Cascadia Art Museum treats coffee crowd to insider information behind newest exhibit

“Northwest Social Realism & The American Scene: 1930-1950.” One might consider this expansive title rather dry until they have participated in “Coffee With the Curator” — a guided tour with juror and curator, David F. Martin who led 35 enthusiasts of Cascadia Art Museum through the art museum’s newest exhibit on Saturday. Says Museum Executive Director Brandi Clark of the well-received inaugural event, “This is where one will get the real insider information” about the lives of Northwest artists during the ’30s through the ’50s. (Photos and captions by Emily Hill)
David F. Martin specializes in the art history of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Martin is internationally recognized for his pioneering research on regional artistic expression. Here, he is providing revealing back story on the lives of the artists whose work is included in the CAM current exhibit .
Maybe not what you think:  This banner connotes the “National Recovery Administration,” part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal program. The purpose was “to establish codes for businesses to follow that would provide minimum wages, limit the maximum number of hours worked and set prices and production levels,” according to Martin.
Over the years, the exhibited work of Kamekichi Tokita (1897-1948), has predominately reflected Tokita’s Japanese internment experience at Minidoka Relocation Camp. Martin has chosen this self-portrait of Tokita to include in “Northwest Social Realism & The American Scene: 1930-1950”
By Helmi Juvonen (1903-1985). This piece is reflective of the obsession that artist Juvonen had for Edmonds’ artist Mark Tobey, an openly gay man. During his remarks, Martin told of how the besotted Juvonen not only inked this pencil and charcoal on paper (meant to reflect the cottage they might share) with the words, “[My] Sweet Mark” but also designed wedding invitations with their names in her unwavering devotion. “Today she would be considered a stalker,” remarked Martin dryly, receiving appreciative chuckles from tour participants.
Milton Simons (1923-1973) Self-portrait 1948. Simons is credited with being an educator, poet, dancer and noted musician/composer. (Bio credit Born and raised in Seattle, he was encouraged toward the arts at an early age.
Delbert J. McBride (1920-1998) Oil on paper. Martin says of this piece, “McBride created several figure studies depicting cross-dressed males during the 1940s and ’50s.”


Juror and curator of “Northwest Social Realism & The American Scene: 1950-1930” David F. Martin describing one of the pieces chosen for CAMs current show, which runs through March 26.  The art museum will hold a second “Coffee With the Curator”, according Executive Director Brandi Clark. Ticket sales will open at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1 for that event. Additional information at Cascadia Art Museum is available at this link.

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