Art of the Idea

Event Date: Tuesday, September 14 from 8 to 10 pm

Admission is free. Tell your friends.

This roundtable conversation series happens at Vermillion, an art gallery, bar, and neighborhood gathering place at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle ( For more information on the series, call John Boylan at 206-601-9848.

If you want to link to this announcement, you can do so at

This month we’ll be looking at concept-driven art, conceptual art, at the roles that ideas play in making art. (Please note the time change for this one: we’ll be moving things back an hour, running from 8 to 10. Feel free to show up early, grab a drink, and have a bite to eat.

The Guests (see guest bios below)

Amy O’Neal, performer, choreographer, and dance educator

Summer Robinson, writer and bookseller

Jennifer Zeyl, theatre maker, installation artist, instigator

Rob Zverina, artist and advocate

The Story

This description will be necessarily simple; this is intentionally one of the broadest and loosely defined topics I’ve suggested. The conversation will be about ideas, an attempt get some sort of a handle on what roles that ideas play in making art. We’ll look at the subject from various angles, how ideas inform art, how thematic concepts engage with craft and aesthetics. Early on, I had thought of including a curator and a historian, but that plan went by the way, to be replaced by a wonderful collection of people representing diverse creative disciplines, including dance, theater, literature, and visual art. Do come.

Plug: As usual, I’m still publishing away at my online adventure serial, “Ship—a weekly adventure serial, a space opera, a romance, a small diversion in trying times.” The latest episode is at ( For latecomers, the “story thus far” links are on the right.

The Guests in Detail

Amy O’Neal is a performer, choreographer, dance educator, and the co-director of locust music/dance/video ( and the director of AmyO/tinyrage ( Over the past decade, she has toured nationally and internationally with her own dance and video work, as well as with Reggie Watts and the Pat Graney Company. Amy teaches contemporary dance technique, funk, and choreography regularly at Velocity Dance Center, with the Seattle Theater Group’s “Dance This,” and at the Young Choreographer’s Lab, which she helped to develop. She has been a guest artist at several major universities in the country as well as Dance New Amsterdam in NYC. She has a degree in dance from Cornish College of the Arts. She has received funding for her work with locust AmyO/tinyrage from all the major hitters in Seattle as well as the National Dance Project, National Performance Network, and the Creative Capital Foundation.  She is proud to be a Seattle-based artist.

Summer Robinson is Seattle writer, founder and proprietor of Pilot Books, organizer of a fine reading series, and publisher of one of the best local literary websites ( Pilot Books is a little place, almost hidden upstairs in the pedestrian mall at 219 Broadway East. Despite the size—less than 500 square feet—the store is crammed full of books by independent publishers (“100% Indie,” the website says) and also contains a lending library and space for a constant series of readings.

Jennifer Zeyl has done scenic design for theaters across Seattle since 2004. Her most recent projects include design for “The West,” featuring the band Awesome, at On the Boards, and the “(Parenthesis)” installation at Western Bridge. She was the recipient of 2006 Stranger Genius Award in Theatre, was named “Best Scenic Designer in Seattle” by Seattle Weekly in 2005, and has been awarded two Mayor’s City Artist awards. Resident Set Designer, co-founder, and Artistic Director (2004-2008) of Washington Ensemble Theatre, Jennifer currently serves as the Creative Director of Seattle’s Canoe Social Club (Est. 2008), a social club for artists and arts supporters in Capitol Hill. She holds an MFA in scenery design from the University of Washington and a BFA in theatre design and directing from the University of Rhode Island. A list of theaters where she has worked includes Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ACT Theatre, Intiman, and many others. Upcoming designs include “Of Mice and Men” (Seattle Rep, 2011) and “Jackie and Me,” a world premier in 2011 at Seattle Children’s Theatre.

Robert Zverina curates the experimental .mp3 feed “WHNI: We Have No Idea” (, so perhaps he was asked to participate in this discussion as a counterpoint to those actually possessing ideas and/or opinions about ideas. The last time Mr. Zverina had an idea was in 1997, when he thought it would be cool to create an automated Web diary format (can you say blog?) but lacked the knowledge and will to make it happen and instead began hand-coding his online photo journal “Picture of the Day” (, which recently celebrated its 1,700th posting in plain HTML. This experience and his years as an alternate transportation advocate lead him to ask, “What does it take to translate ideas into action, both personally and on a broader societal level?” As with most questions, he turns to wikipedia ( as a first step towards an answer….



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