ARTS at King Street Station Gallery

ARTS at King Street Station is a dynamic space for arts and culture in the heart of the city, dedicated to increasing opportunities for communities of color to generate and present their work.

Location

King Street Station
303 S. Jackson St., Top Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
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Gallery Hours

Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm 
First Thursdays, 10am - 8pm

The American War

portrait of a woman and prosthetic legs with photo

February 6 - March 21, 2020

Opening Reception

Thursday, February 6, 2020, 5 - 7 pm

The American War is an exhibition featuring photographic and video works, both created and found by artists Pao Houa Her and Sadie Wechsler, that expose the legacy and residue that remains in Southeast Asia and the United States in the aftermath of what is known stateside as the Vietnam War.

The exhibition will consist of over 40 objects including contemporary photography by Her and Wechsler, historical images, poetry and video for visitors to explore. Her and Wechsler created and collected materials, including works from the National Archive in Washington, D.C., that reflect the life altering effects the war continues to have on the people who lived in the region - especially the Hmong people from Laos. Accompanying the exhibition, the artists have produced a double-sided poster featuring artwork by both artists, alongside a commissioned poem by Hmong American poet May Lee Yang. This publication is free for all who attend the show.

The American War, which is the common name used for the Vietnam War (1955 - 1975) in Southeast Asia, caused more than 3 million casualties and a legacy of lasting trauma for the people and the lands of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and the United States. The war also contained conflicts in countries outside of Vietnam, including The Secret War in Laos. The Secret War, run by the CIA and executed by the US Air Force, ravaged over 30 percent of the countryside, contributed to nearly half-million Lao refugees. To this day unexploded ordnance in Laos is still detonating, taking life and land from the folks in the countryside. Her and Wechsler look at the scar of these wars and how they continue to shape lives and land across the world. 

Pao Houa Her works across multiple genres and technologies of photography to address Hmong identity and related notions of desire and belonging within the Hmong American community. Her was born in the northern jungles of Laos in 1982. With her family she fled the conflict resulting from the American War in Vietnam - like many others, by crossing the Mekong River on her mother's back. After living in refugee camps within Thailand's borders, Pao and her family were sent to the United States in 1986.

In conversation with Her's images are Wechsler's photographs. They are evidence of Wechsler's attempts to understand and ultimately take responsibility for the continued bloodshed of the United Sates. She visits museums, sites of death, and locations of memorial in Laos and Southeast Asia to have a glimpse into how the United State's wars are felt after they are "finished." Wechsler also engages in military archives in the US to visualize state sanctioned impacts of these wars. Friends and collaborators, Her and Wechsler met through the MFA photography program at Yale. Together Her and Wechsler visited Laos, where they initiated a conversation that both dissected and complicated their different relationships to the global impact of the war. This show is the first physical manifestation of their ongoing dialogue.  

Pao Houa Her was born in 1982 in Laos, and was raised in Saint Paul, MN. She currently lives in the Twin Cities region. She received a MFA in Photography from the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT in 2012 and a BFA in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2009. Her received a Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Artists in 2013 and was awarded Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2009 and 2012. She also received an Alice Kimball Fellowship in 2012.  

Sadie Wechsler (born in Seattle) received a BA from Bard College in 2007 and an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2013. Her work has been show nationally and internationally and was included in Format Festival England and Beijing. She has been included in group shows at Aperture Gallery, Belfast School of Art, Photoville, and Newspace Center for Photography, and has had solo shows at DeSoto Gallery and Gallery 4Culture. Wechsler has received the Delivan grant from Bard College and the smArt Ventures Grant from the City of Seattle. She has been an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch Art Center and the Arctic Circle Expedition. In 2016, she self-published her first monograph Part I: Redo and her work can be found in the collections of the Yale University Library, the Hammer Art Museum, the Getty Research Institute and the King County Portable Collection. 

Image: Pao Houa Her, Tojsiab woman, 2015. Sadie Wechsler, Legs for display, 2018.

Past Exhibitions

2019

Brighter Future: To be heard. To be seen. To be free.

Brighter Future: To be heard. To be seen. To be free.

November 7, 2019 - January 11, 2020 - "Brighter Future: To be heard. To be seen. To be free." is a group exhibition of artworks created by more than 50 local artists of color reflecting on themes of freedom. The exhibition is organized by the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery Board, a collective of City of Seattle employees including people of Black, Latino, Native American, White, Asian, and Indian backgrounds who showcase local artists of color and build appreciation for diversity and social commentary expressed through art. The exhibition features 100 artworks including paintings, photography, sculpture, print, video and four installations. Image: detail from "Dani, Mexico City, MX" by Marilyn Montufar, Chromogenic color print, 2011.

Tagalog sa King Street

Tagalog sa King Street

September 5 - October 5, 2019 - "Tagalog sa King Street" is a collection of one-act plays written and performed in the national language of the Philippines: "Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady" (How I became the Leading Lady), by Carlo Vergara, a story of two sisters, Mely and Viva, who turn a small grudge into a superhero battle between good and evil; and "Hintayan ng Langit" (Heaven’s Waiting Room), by Juan Miguel Severo, about 67-year-old protagonist, Manolo, meeting his unrequited love, 64-year-old Lisang, in purgatory. Their spiritual ascent is delayed until they resolve a lifetime worth of heartaches and regrets. With the creative use of live English surtitles and shadow puppetry, non-Tagalog speaking patrons can enjoy the innovative, brave new playwrights selected from the Virgin Labfest of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

yehaw'

yehaw'

March 23 - August 4, 2019 - yəhaw' is an exhibition by Indigenous creatives, an expansive, multi-city, yearlong project. It includes satellite installations across the Puget Sound region, performances, artist-in-residences, a publication, art markets, culminating in this large-scale exhibition at ARTS at King Street Station. The title yəhaw̓, is drawn from the Coast Salish story of Native people from all tribes uniting around a common cause and lifting up the sky together. The exhibition is a collective portrait of Native America featuring artwork by over 200 creators ranging from master artisans and elders, to gallery-represented and museum-collected artists, to youth and emerging creatives who will be exhibiting in a gallery for the first time. Learn more at https://yehawshow.com/ Image: Detail from Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena and Jewish), "Awapuhi", Archival pigment print from scanned tintype, 2016, Courtesy of the artist.

2017

BorderLands

BorderLands

"BorderLands" explores the ideas of belonging and resistance. Immersive installations include artworks by Anida Yoeu Ali & Studio Revolt, RYAN! Feddersen, Satpreet Kahlon, Pedro Lasch, Henry Luke, Ries Niemi, Crystal Schenk, Carina A. del Rosario, and Inye Wokoma. In addition 2D- and 3D artworks from the City's collection will be on display in the installation "And She Persisted: Voices of Women Artists", featuring 38 women artists who challenge assumptions, take risks, and break barriers while creating objects of beauty and depth.