Winter Conversation Schedule

John Boylan’s Next Conversation

Winter Conversation Schedule

Admission is free. Tell your friends.

This roundtable conversation series happens at Vermillion, a most lovely wine bar and art gallery at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle ( For more information on the series, call John Boylan at 206-601-9848.

We had an excellent set of conversations this fall, “Public Art,” “Art and Alcohol,” and “Courage and Confidence.” In all three, the guests were excellent, and the conversations full of good ideas, fine humor, and passion. Thanks to all concerned.

We’re skipping December, and then we’ll be back in January with another season of conversation. Here’s the schedule. The dates are fixed, but the subjects may be subject to change.

Drawing (Tuesday, January 19)

There’s something in drawing that is essential to the way our world works. In the fine arts, it’s a poor cousin to painting and sculpture. But it’s usually at the root of both disciplines. In the manufactured world, almost nothing is made without being drawn first, from clothes to cars to houses to software interfaces. And as any good naturalist can report, one of the best ways to look at nature, whether a tree, a streambed, a raccoon track or a coyote carcass, is to draw it. What is the power and the pleasure in putting pencil to paper?

Landscape (Tuesday, February 16)

I want to talk about the ways in which we look at and play with the land. Landscape is painting, landscape is creating a garden, landscape is urban planning, landscape is being in the woods. It is about looking at the land from a distance and from close up. It is about surface and space, and it is about the pathways we create and choose for making our way across the land. Landscape can be about inspiration and stewardship. What happens when it is not?

Re-imagining Cities (Tuesday, March 16)

What are the ways in which we re-imagine a city? In Seattle, there has been a lot of talk about remaking our town, especially with the election of a mayor who comes from a background of environmental activism. But how do we rethink what a city can be? Often it starts with a simple “what if?” question: “What if we had a monorail, or a big new park in the Cascade neighborhood?” Or sometimes, “What if civilization falls apart? Would Seattle become a series of villages? And what would they look like?” But is “what if?” the best way to re-imagine a city? What else is there? And most important, what imaginings actually lead to a re-imagined city?

Mass Media (Tuesday, April 20)

We all have come of age in a culture of mass media. But the mass media of Technicolor movies and Mad Men are different from those of websites and Twitter. Or are they? What part does a citizen play in a nation informed by pervasive media? Or uninformed, as the case may be? What is the future of radio, that most beautiful form of communication? And newspapers? As I’m writing this, “Editor and Publisher” has just announced its own demise. This venerated magazine has successfully covered the newspaper industry in some form since 1884. What does that change mean in the general scheme? The other evening I learned why my water pressure sucked by checking Facebook. Is that the future of information?


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