This Episode: “Style”

Event Date: Tuesday, February 15 from 7 to 9 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


The Quick Summary: This time we’ll be talking about style, how we create and re-create ourselves as individuals, as presences in the crowd. And how we make our mark on the world around us, whether through art or in the simple everyday.


The Guests (see guest bios below)

Adria Garcia, artist, clothing merchant

Robin Held, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Collections, the Frye Art Museum

Laura Cassidy, Style Editor, Seattle Metropolitan magazine

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Refuse Alchemist, Maker, Facilitator

Kelly Lyles, artist


The Story

I want to talk about style. Not necessarily fashion; fashion can be a part of style, but only a part. Fashion can be as ephemeral as last year’s runway designs, but style stays for life. Fashion is often all about money, with dresses that cost more than a mortgage payment, while style is something that everyone has, at some level. Style can be a gorgeous high-fashion dress, but it can also be the favorite scarf that a woman hastily throws on while she rounds up her children to catch the last relief truck out of the village, before the killers come. Style can be the ancient, sweat-encrusted John Deere cap that for a farmer is the last reminder of his father. Style can be an old pair of jeans or a beautiful teddy bear who has been handed down through generations. Style can live in a man’s walk or the way a woman dances.

And then of course there’s style as art, wearable art, costume, art and fabric. And the whole notion of style in art. We’ll have a lot to talk about. Do come.


A Bunch of Plugs

You may have read the Jen Graves account of a project by NKO and conversation alums No Touching Ground and Dan Hawkins ( The project, “New Mystics – “tomb” revisited,” was indeed exquisite, and now the three artists are preparing for an April exhibit at Gallery 4Culture, building on that project. They’re trying to raise some $1,111 ( to cover part of the costs needed to put on the show. The fundraising venue is Kickstarter, and as with any Kickstarter project, donors get something back, beyond the pleasure of funding something wonderful. Watch the video, take a look at the cool things you will get for your money, and put something in. It will be more than worth your while.

Meanwhile, artist, musician and conversation alum Paul Rucker performs with Hans Teuber at Vito’s on February 15, the same night as this conversation. Paul is excellent, so if you come to Vermillion, think about heading to Vito’s later that night to catch the second set (

Amazing conversation alum Amy O’Neal’s AmyO/tinyrage performs at the Moore in “The Lowdown: An Unexpected Night Of Seattle Dance Performance” on Friday, February 11 (

Amazing conversation alum Catherine Cabeen performs at ChopShop at Maydenbauer Center in Bellevue on Saturday and Sunday, February 12 and 13 (

Amazing conversation alum Crispin Spaeth is producing (and choreographing for) Ten Tiny Dances at Velocity on February 11-13 (

And Michael Cepress, a wonderful designer (he would have been a guest at this conversation, but for a conflict that night), is running a two-day “Wearable Art and the Body” workshop at Inscape Arts on February 19 and 20. For more information, contact Michael at 206-334-7602.


A few plugs for myself: This Friday evening, February 4, from 7 to 8 pm, I’ll be moderating a discussion at the Henry Art Gallery on “Panoptos Revisited: A Panel on Art and Technology.” The discussion features John Sutton, Ben Beres, Zac Culler, Joseph Gray, and Matt Westervelt part of the SBC project Panoptos. For more information: and

On February 27 and 28, I’ll be performing a monologue at 12 Minutes Max at On the Boards. For more information:

On Sunday evening, February 13, I’ll be hosting the regular Storytelling Night at the fabulous Canoe Social Club. If you want to hear more about Canoe, guest passes, Canoe events, and the new trial memberships, let me know.

And finally, my long-running weekly space opera adventure serial continues at Check it out.


A word about parking: if you come to the conversation and you come by car, it’s usually easier to find parking the earlier you come to the neighborhood. So come a little early, sit down for a drink and get something to eat at Vermillion before the conversation begins. You’ll be glad you did.


The Guests

Adria Garcia is an artist and the co-owner and curator of Indian Summer, a woman’s clothing store (


Robin Held: As Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Collections, at the Frye Art Museum, and as former Associate Curator of the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Robin Held has established herself as one of Seattle’s leading curators of contemporary art. Among the important exhibitions of visual art, performance, and film she has curated since 2002 are: Nathalie Djurberg (2009), Empire (2008), It is Not a Question of Knowing Whether This Interests You but Rather of Whether You Yourself Could Become More Interesting Under New Conditions of Cultural Creation (2007-2008), Hug: Recent Art by Patricia Piccinini (2007), Tracy and the Plastics 101 (2006), Swallow Harder (2006), Oliver Herring: Taking and Making (2006), The Retrofuturistic Universe of NSK (2005), Hershmanlandia: The Art and Films of Lynn Hershman Leeson, 1965-2005 (2005), and Gene(sis): Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics (2002). The latter was the first art museum exhibition to be registered with the National Institutes of Health, providing a new museum model for the safe exhibition of life forms created by artists.

Held commissioned renowned American artist Dario Robleto to curate an exhibition and create new art based on the Founding Collection of the Frye Art Museum in 2008, resulting in the 2008 exhibition Dario Robleto: Heaven is Being a Memory to Others.  Also in 2008 Held was responsible for the residency and performance Oliver Herring: TASK Seattle, in collaboration with the Seattle Public Library, On the Boards, and the Tacoma Art Museum. Recent and upcoming exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum include Implied Violence: Yes and More and Yes and Yes and Why (2010) as well as Degenerate Art Ensemble (2011).

Held has published and lectured extensively on contemporary art and performance. In 2009 she was a Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow; in 2006 a Goethe-Institute Visiting Scholar, Munich, Germany; and in 2003 a Getty Grant Program Curatorial Research Fellow for Hershmanlandia (2003). See:


Laura Cassidy writes: “My career in city media began when I moved back to the Northwest after spending the ‘90s in New York City. Not long after my return, the Seattle Weekly paid me to stand in rock clubs (I was a music writer), and then they paid me to eat in restaurants (I was a food columnist, and then the food editor). They didn’t pay me very much though. In May of 2006, not longer after it launched, I joined Seattle Metropolitan. I’ve spent the last five years essentially shopping for a living; as the style editor I cover the retail scene, fashion, style, stylish people, and other “lifestyle” elements. I also produce quarterly fashion spreads, and I blog, and I oversee a newsletter that almost 10,000 are subscribed to. As the editor of our twice-yearly wedding magazine, I produce and direct photo-shoots that show off gorgeous local dahlias and brilliant catering ideas, and I help make sense of conflict-free diamonds, two- versus three-button suit jackets, and a dizzying array of dress shapes.” See:


Born in the Enchanted Emerald Isle known as Seattle, Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes began honing his craft as a Maker actively at an early age. Since his late teens, he has spent his time as a “finder of rare items.” With countless hours spent in thrift stores and garage and estate sales, he has been a resource for those who have found themselves in need and want of clothing, furniture, and affects that have stood the test of time.

Alley-Barnes’s professional life has been multi-faceted. He has written copy, produced editorial cartoons, been a wardrobe consultant, and dispatched cabs. He has also worked extensively as an artist and curator. To date he has curated, participated in, soloed in, and/or conceptualized to fruition no less than 50 exhibitions both in gallery and independent settings. He has consulted widely in arts education as an artist in residence, master teaching artist, and a curriculum development specialist.

At present he is the Creative Director at Pun(c)tuation, a mixed-use space on Capitol Hill.

He also works as an art director and production designer for What Matter’s Most Productions and as Creative Consultant for Sub Pop recording artists Shabazz Palaces. Recently he has partnered with Matt Noren in Tarboo, a local clothing company focusing on the small-batch production of men’s and women’s shirts.

He also happens to be the father of the coolest eleven year old on the planet. See:


Kelly Lyles writes: “I’m a full-time visual artist (painter) but started out with a commercial art degree and grand designs of being a fashion illustrator (which I’ve tried a few times, but the industry was just switching to photography when I graduated). Here in Seattle I’m equally known for my paintings, my artcars, my Arts listserve; the 4th piece of the pie is my rather flamboyant style (which sticks out far more in Seattle than other places I’ve lived). Even as a child I had strong opinions on clothing; every passport shows me in a different costume: tennis outfit in December, tutus at home (with ever-present fake cigarette and gold heels), PJ Night-shirt worn to grade school, etc. More than my grades was the honor of being voted “Miss Mod” in High- school (must have been the 70’s gauchos & hot pants that swayed the vote).

“Now I drive the EXCESSORIES ODD-YSSEY. It’s covered in purses, shoes, belts, sunglasses and jewelry, with a magnetic paper-doll on the front for dressing up (the magnets are reproductions of my actual clothes). See:

“Personally, I wish style factored more into the Seattle conscious! All the uniformity of Goretex, sneakers and Birkenstocks are a Visual blight, & don’t we need more color & creativity in this grey town? People forget to have FUN with their clothes! It’s another expression of who we are….

“PS, Notice next time you’re at a meeting, a party, a lecture: one of my theories is that at any gathering people group by color, based on what they’re wearing.”


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