For the winner: A guide to choosing your piece

Congratulations: you’re the winner of the sad wall contest! (Or you might be, if you enter by this Thursday!)

It’s almost time to choose a piece of original art by a Seattle artist to take home as your prize! But there are almost 700 pieces of art on Artsyo that are worth up to $500. Yikes…where do you start?

To help guide the winner in this tough decision, we asked eight Seattle curators and arts writers which piece they would choose on Artsyo, if they could choose just one. Here’s what they said:

BRANGIEN DAVIS, Arts & Culture Editor at Seattle Magazine

Brangien’s favorite: Feldspar (Ryan Molenkamp)

Brangien, why this piece?

“For me, falling in love with art is kind of self-centered, in the sense that I love art when I feel like it’s loving me back. It’s all about the personal connections that spark when I’m looking at a piece—when the work is asking me, “Hey, remember X?” Or, “Isn’t it titillating to think about Y?” I love Feldspar in part because because I love Devil’s Tower… because I love—yes, still love—the movie Close Encounters, and also because when I moved here from Virginia 19 years ago I stopped at Devil’s Tower and considered it symbolic of the strange new world I was about to enter. But I also love Feldspar because of the artful new spin Ryan has given to this place I already loved. The fuschia lines leading your eye up up up, the chartreuse trees gathered like guardians at the base—it’s both exactly what it looks like and not at all how it looks. So I get to love Devil’s Tower in a whole new way. Which makes looking at the piece as thrilling for me as a cross-country move, or an alien landing.”


LELE BARNETT, Curatorial Consultant for the Microsoft Art Collection

Lele’s favorite: Approaching Storm (John Armstrong)

Lele, why this piece?

“I featured this piece by John Armstrong in my exhibit presented by the American Meteorological Society and EcoArts Connections: Forecast: Communicating Weather and Climate. I love the drama in this piece. The color is dramatic, the clouds are dramatic, and even the figure’s stance is dramatic. It’s as if he’s preparing to battle the storm in a boxing match.”


GREG LUNDGREN, Seattle artist, curator, owner of art bar The Hideout, and the force behind Vital 5 and Walden 3

Greg’s favorite: Cranes and Pole (Jennifer Zwick)

Greg, why this piece?

“Zwick finds design and beauty in the everyday mundane – makes you look at the world in a different way. To me her work isn’t about pretty flowers or other obvious things to point a lens at, but revealing beauty in the things we pass by everyday, and that makes the world rather magical.”


JOEY VELTKAMP, Seattle artist and writer of the Northwest-centric art blog Best Of

Joey’s favorite: Pussy Riot (Ries Niemi)

Joey, why this piece?

“I love work that’s smart, political and unconventional. Ries Niemi’s Pussy Riot is all of that and more.”


SHARON ARNOLD, Seattle artist, curator, and the force behind art-in-a-box subscription service LxWxH

Sharon’s favorite: 70s Kitchen (Julie Alpert)

Sharon, why this piece?

“Not only does it have a certain sense of nostalgia, for childhood or family/friendly gatherings (because we all know that everyone ends up in the kitchen no matter what); but there’s so much said about what *isn’t* there – the spaces left by the objects that she chose to leave out. They are stand ins for figures. They are themselves, characters. It’s a simple watercolour of lush patterns, line, and form – but it’s a complex narrative that we fill in with our own stories.”


KIRSTEN ANDERSON, owner of Belltown’s Roq la Rue Gallery

Kirsten’s favorite: collected, trussed (Allyce Wood)

Kirsten, why this piece?

“It was VERY hard to pick just one, but I think I’ll go with Allyce Wood’s “Collected, trussed.”  It’s different from the type of work I tend towards, but I think it offers up a nice contemplative moment as well as being aesthetically lovely to look at.”


LAURIE KEARNEY, owner of Capitol Hill’s Ghost Gallery

Laurie’s favorite: The Snake Grass Yawned (Chandler Woodfin)

Laurie, why this piece?

“Chandler’s work is eerily beautiful. This piece is especially soft in nature, with a subtle depth and fantastic use of color to form a lovely composition.”


JULIE BAROH, Georgetown Art Attack organizer and owner of Georgetown’s Krab Jab Studio

Julie’s favorite: Hut (Aaron Winnenberg)

Julie, why this piece?

“I like this piece for a variety of reasons: it has a naivety to it with the way the objects and figure are represented, but I can definitely tell the artist is very deliberate with his manner of painting, his choice of colors as well as the composition. It has a strong illustrational feel - Hut could easily be used as a editorial piece in a magazine, or even a book cover – but can still hold its own as fine art.”


Sincere thanks to the eight curators who took the time to find a favorite piece on Artsyo and share their reasons. The works they chose are all quite different — which goes to show that choosing a piece is a very personal thing. Brangien Davis said it well: “I love art when I feel like it’s loving me back.” Start with the pieces above, browse through the rest of the collection, and find the one that sparks for you.