Butoh in the Ecotone: an Art and Food performance

Saturday, March 7,  from 4 -7pm


Row House Café in South Lake Union

1170 Republican St., Seattle

Seattle WA 98109


Seattle, WA—Inside the warm ambiance of Row House Café in South Lake Union, three local butoh dancers and an artist collaborate to create a food and art performance. Alan Sutherland, Haruko Crow Nishimura (Degenerate Art Ensemble), and Sheri Cidro Brown (DAIPAN) join Isobel Davis’ visual art exploration of the edge effect in her hung work, "Energy of the Ecotone", (on view daily through March), filling every nook and cranny, with art, artifacts, costumes, food, and music, that embodies the creative energy of biological diversity.  The live music is provided by Travis McAllister (PDX). Including a ritualistic communal culinary tasting created by Row House Café chef Carmel Spiro.

Created by Row House chef Carmel Spiro

This very special event at Row House Café, Saturday, March 7th from 4-7pm, admits ticket holders for $30, which buys a drink, entertainment, tastes, and the full butoh and art experience.   Doors open for pre-performance art mingle and drinks at 4. Dancers begin at 4:30, and early evening proceeds through the next couple hours in a unique journey of sight, sound, movement, music, interactive elements, and communal assimilation.  “We wanted to offer the audience a way to enter the exploration of this dynamic microcosm, an imagined world where we can dream of being together in a different way,” says Sheri Brown, one of the dancer/choreographer trio.


About Isobel Davis

Isobel Davis’ has installed a body of cyanotype works which examines life in transition in the ecotone, a zone where ecosystems intersect leading to explosive biodiversity.  The ecotone is the area of transition between biological communities birthing the edge effect where more diversity exists than on the flanking communities.  Nature’s creativity at the edges is an instructive counterpoint to doom-and-gloom climate scenarios in biological and social landscapes. The cyanotype process, allows her to co-creating with the sun by laying material on prepared paper and developing in water. Her cyanotypes record the variable effects of sun and weather, embodying the energy and aliveness of this transition zone.  Isobel has been exploring related themes for the last few years. She has a studio at Inscape Arts building in the International district.

For more about her work and projects, visit:


About Butoh artists:

Butoh dance naturally embodies the edge effect, as butoh dancers’ investigations into transformation put them in the ecotone space both physically and metaphorically.


Tyler and Isobel Combined show




“Feathers’ Second Flight”

Row House Cafe is pleased to present “Feathers’ Second Flight”
an art exhibition from artist Chris Maynard.

Artist Reception: Thursday January 10th, 2013: 6pm-9pm
Artist in attendance; Refreshments will be served
Reception Purchase Incentive: 20% off on all sales Jan. 10TH
Show Duration: Through January 20, 2013
Location: Row House Cafe / 1170 Republican St, Seattle, WA 98109
Historic Cascade Neighborhood • South Lake Union • Seattle

Gifts from Nature

We often overlook the true beauty of nature that surrounds us, missing out on the little intricacies of life. Chris Maynard is not one to take that beauty for granted. In his work with feathers, Chris has been able to capture artwork from the skies and present feathers with a fresh perspective. Form, pattern and color are the attributes emphasized in Maynard’s work and he measures success on whether his pieces “convey some intimate sense of the bird that grew the feathers.” Many of the molted supplies used by Maynard come from zoos and private aviaries. All the feathers features in Maynard’s work are legal to own and sell, as he has spent a large amount of time navigating the complex legal requirements with federal and local authorities. It is apparent in his work, the respect and appreciation that Maynard has for these offerings from nature. For without them, Chris would have to seek out another medium.

Finely Tuned Perfection

Maynard does not choose the supplies for his work “lightly.” “When I have an idea for a piece, the feathers have to be perfect.” Whether it is a single feather from a Cockatoo or a collection from different pheasants, time is taken to achieve the perfect form, composition and lighting. Apart from the beauty of the feathers themselves, Maynard’s layouts impart a greater significance to the patterns on display. He approaches his work with the tools of a surgeon and the eye of an artist, fine-tuning his pieces with dynamic precision. This attention to detail is most prominently displayed in Maynard’s most recent offerings.

In the Shadows

Chris Maynard’s latest work sheds new light on feathers. Literally. Using shadowboxes and a surgical scalpel, Maynard’s work comes to life as small cutouts of birds burst from the feathers, returning to the skies. It is another homage to the birds that once wore them. The shadows cast are as important as the feathers themselves, giving the displays their three-dimensional and lifelike appearance. After viewing Chris’ extensive collection, it may be hard to decide whether the feathers looked better on the bird or in his displays. Either way, Chris is putting the molted remnants to good use.

The Artist

A native Washingtonian and graduate of Evergreen State College, Chris Maynard now makes his home in Olympia. Apart from his extensive work with feathers, Chris currently teaches design, paper working and sculpting at Olympia’s Community Art Studio and Seattle’s Fremont Powerhouse Studio. Chris’ feather artwork is quickly gaining recognition throughout the United States and internationally, with a number of solo exhibits set for 2013. Chris Maynard can be reached at (360) 878-0755 or via email
Opening Exhibit: Friday August 24, 2012: 6:00P-9:00 PM
Artist in attendance; Refreshments will be served
Show Duration: Through October 18, 2012
Location: Row House Cafe / 1170 Republican St, Seattle, WA 98109
Historic Cascade Neighborhood • South Lake Union • Seattle


Row House Cafe is pleased to present “Remnants” an exhibition from Seattle photographer Thomas Krueger.

Much of Krueger’s work focuses on discarded inanimate objects, organic matter and decayed structures. His photographs placemark the path of his subjects’ lifecycles and inevitably unearth a human fingerprint. He uses lighting and the darkroom lith printing process to integrate a contemporary graphic finish.

Krueger’s images often present as the convergence of dual moments emanating from disparate worlds. At the precise point of collision, they create singular integrated images that are at once surreal and experiential; the history of abandonment is revealed and celebrated in what Krueger interprets as its’ present day narrative of hope. His commentary is simultaneously innocent and dark, humorous and eerie.

“My photography is a way to visually reveal what truly lies within the refuse of the world. I expose the hidden beauty of objects and places that have been discarded and forgotten and illustrate that order still exists amongst chaos. I instill layers of meaning in my work. Where a quick judgment of human abandonment is seen in my images, further study reveals hope tempering the isolation.”

“I typically scout my subjects in destinations others avoid. I seek out barren lands and ruins. Inevitably I find humanity traced amongst destitution. It is an archeological pursuit for remnants of the human soul as it holds onto life in its’ indigent state. I shed light and ingratiate that which has been discarded and I revel in my lens’s ability to reveal the magnificence in what others deem as insignificant.”

Krueger’s work reflects his culturally diverse upbringing with a Japanese mother whose family’s descends from a long line of Kimono makers, and an American father stationed at a Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan. Krueger’s aesthetic and vision was cultivated at an early age when his father gave him a camera at age eight which eventually led to his first professional job as a staff photographer for The Seahawk, a Naval newspaper.

Artistically, the enduring life of the Kimono has indelibly influenced Krueger’s vision. The concept of recycling is a philosophy embedded in this traditional Japanese art and is threaded throughout Krueger’s works. When a Kimono is no longer useful to its original owner, the fabric is recycled into new garments and accessories for others to wear and revere. This enduring respect for materials is evidenced in Krueger’s quest to make worthy of objects that have been discarded as waste and reflects his drive to layer meaning and restore value to his abandoned subjects.

Paying tribute to both cultures, Krueger combines both traditions in the signing of his work with his American surname signature Krueger and his mother’s Hanko signature (Japanese ancestral name stamp) Niiro, a Samurai family name.

Krueger moved to Seattle in 1994 to study at The Art Institute of Seattle where he received a Degree in Commercial Photography.

Krueger is the recipient of multiple awards for his art, his work has been shown in solo and curated shows throughout Seattle, New York, Georgia and Finland and has been featured in numerous publications internationally.

Thomas Krueger can be reached at 206‐349-3348 or via email at

Additional information about the photographer can be accessed through his website at

Jesse Level Art Exhibition

Opening Exhibit: Thursday May 24, 2012: 6:00PM
Artist in attendance; Refreshments will be served
Show Duration: May 24 through July 23, 2012
Location: Row House Cafe / 1170 Republican St, Seattle, WA 98109
Historic Cascade Neighborhood • South Lake Union • Seattle

“Cross Culture”

Row House Cafe is pleased to present “Cross Culture” an exhibition from artist Jess Level.

Level’s show will be in two parts. His opening show will feature his work that was inspired by his life in Spain: “Cross Culture: Across the Sea.” The second phase of his show will feature work that is more locally inspired: “Cross Culture: Bringing it Home.” The body of work he intends to show will contain both oil on canvas and pen and ink drawings.

Location, location, location
Level draws his inspiration from where he lives and the spaces in which he occupies. His work is a commentary on the local customs, events and life subjects - or livestock - that inhabit the perimeters of his vision. Whether on the coast of Spain or the coast of Washington, Level’s work captures the light and levity of societies and their history. For Level, it’s all up for interpretation.

Cross Culture
Art, in its multitude of forms, has always been one of society’s greatest escapes. Level’s work has an embedded levity, which celebrates life and light and is a welcome respite from the political turbulence of our time. On the surface, Level’s work is whimsical; yet with further study, social, political and economic dysfunction is found cloaked in abstraction. Things are not always what they seem.

A common theme throughout Level’s work is “paintings within paintings.” These multiple layers cause the viewer to dig deeper into the work, yet the deeper you dig, the murkier the waters become. We all are painfully aware of reality and what lurks beneath the surface, yet Level always focuses on the light.

In most of Level’s paintings, there are multiple stories being told in the same space. The paintings often feel like a frozen moment shared by multiple living stories. The mixing of mythologies (and other stories, like the history of modern art in Spain, the story of selling a painting, the story of building a canvas) creates a dialog of divergent planes. It's conspicuous that it's Level who gets to decide which ones belong together in this particular moment. The painting becomes an archival annotation of the birth of the new iteration of international or cross-cultural mythology.

When the stapled edges, canvas texture and crossbars of the canvases are exaggerated, it draws attention to the purposeful act of a painting's construction. Art becomes an object to be handled, evaluated, thrown out the window, making the narrative message conspicuous and unavoidable.

It seems that any of the elements, whether it's a human figure, an animal, or any object of a portrait, might be just an idea in the moment, remembered from a different time, or headed to a different place than the others. As some elements are grounded, others might run screaming off in different directions or slide from the edge of the painting. Perpetual motion.

Level’s mentor Julian Gomez praised his paintings as “rich and well painted reflections by a different sort of Amerikan whose vision of my country is just and flattering." His color palates are a story in and of themselves and add to his play on light. As you fall into the paintings within Level’s paintings, it is hard to pull yourself back out with the same understanding at the beginning of your venture. There are worlds within Level’s work, when once you get lost in them, you forget about the larger reality. Level does not paint using source materials rather his work is stream of conscience based on experience and raw emotion. It is joyous, albeit haunting at times. Ultimately, Jess's work is about space, light and reflection.

Artist bio
It was a long road that led Jess Level back to the Pacific Northwest, where he currently resides “in exile…more or less.” After crashing classes at The Savannah College of Art and Design and The New York School of Art, Jess landed a teaching position at a private college in Arizona. It was in that desert land where he was first introduced to the lovely Pilar, and it wasn’t long before she lured him to Spain in the fall of 1996. “A new life. New language. New rules. The freak show begins.”

“She led him there to paint, and after suffering all the consequences from that choice he became a poor, but famed artist in that weird and beautifully complicated land.” No longer crashing art classes, Jess studied personally with Spanish artists Julian Gomez and Antonio Marquez in Cáceres, from 1997 until 1999. It was during this period when his unique style was fleshed out and he began “painting things as they should be, not as they are.” Level’s name quickly spread across Spain, along with his art, after being commissioned for several murals throughout the region. Tragedy struck in 2006 when 86 of Level’s pieces were stolen from his studio in Oviedo, Spain. Things got worse when after discovering the identity of the perpetrator, Level’s immigrant status rendered him helpless in the foreign courts and a long battle ensued. He left Spain in 2009, without his stolen work, “after many battles with both love and state. From consequences that fell together from choices made, and the loss of many paintings...”

Jess Level can be reached at 206‐369‐7688 or You can also visit his website at *Quotations above were taken from the artist

About Row House Café:
Row House Café is a neighborhood euro-bistro in South Lake Union, whose focus is featuring all the arts - culinary, visual and performing. A nod to the 19th century salon. Originally built in 1904 as work force housing, the cottages were rehabilitated and converted into a neighborhood café that opened in September 2010. For more information on Row House Café, please visit

Genius Loci: Resurrecting the Spirit of a Place


Show Duration: March 15 to April 14, 2012- extended to May 14th due to popular demand!
Location: Row House Cafe / 1170 Republican St, Seattle, WA 98109
Historic Cascade Neighborhood • South Lake Union • Seattle

As part of this month's ARTcade, Row House Cafe is pleased to announce Genius Loci: Resurrecting the Spirit of a Place.

With the arrival of and other corporations, South Lake Union’s Cascade neighborhood is emerging as a burgeoning center of industry once again. The neighborhood has an illustrious history of labor and production from the early twentieth century—one of the few remaining vestiges of this past is Row House Cafe.

Built in 1904 as three row houses for immigrant workers, Row House Cafe has undergone many different incarnations. In the course of a century, it has evolved from workforce lodging to student housing to temporary offices for a construction company.

When Row House Cafe partner Erin Maher began work on the derelict space in 2010, it was “lifeless and abandoned.” The architectural integrity of the cottages had been denigrated and the buildings were in near ruin. Maher recalls, “I came to realize that these row houses were some of the last remaining relics of a neighborhood built by and for immigrant workers, and the buildings harbored a connection between the past and the future.” As she removed the rubble, the original structure began presenting itself. Maher says, “These buildings wanted to survive; they were begging to be reclaimed.”

Within a few weeks of Row House Cafe opening, artist Yoona Lee stopped in and was instantly attracted to the space for its visual poetry. Lee explains, “Rather than colonize Row House with preexisting paintings, I wanted to create work about and around the space itself, as a tribute to its genius loci and previous residents.” Using the ambience and dense history of the space as a point of departure, she produced a body of work, which includes tight figurative drawings, neo–Abstract Expressionist paintings, and a text-based installation that takes advantage of a small room of vintage mirrors. Several of Lee’s pieces utilize materials found on the Row House property, including tiles and a vintage folding chair found in the basement. The title of the show, Genius Loci, refers to the rehabilitation of the original spirit of the place.

Lee observes, “At Row House, the present is suffused with the past in a singular way that new development just won’t have.” And this history appears in unexpected ways, as evidenced by the fact that Maher recently moved residence and discovered her new landlord’s parents had been residents of the original row houses during the 1920s.

Row House Cafe partner Maher concludes, “I was meant to release the history within these walls and Yoona was meant to capture it. What I see in this body of work is the toil of life, the respite of home and a glimpse of a passage.”

The work in Genius Loci evokes a sense of familiarity laced with the uncanny, creating a conceptual déjà vu that links a labor-rich past to an industrial present. In all of the show’s pieces, the presence of the building’s original occupants can be experienced in ways that are concrete and beguilingly intangible.

Genius Loci
In this mixed-media show, artist Yoona Lee explores the history of the Row House Cafe, a community space created from early-twentieth-century workforce housing. To investigate ideas of permanency, transience, and placemaking, Lee uses varying modes of representation that include tight figurative drawing, neo–Abstract Expressionist painting, and text-based installation. By incorporating materials found on the housing site, she addresses the physicality and emotional energy of the original space. Through reminders both concrete and intangible, the lingering presence of the row houses’ past inhabitants, as well as a restored genius loci (or spirit of the place), emerges. In this way, Lee’s work evokes a sense of familiarity laced with the uncanny.

Artist bio
Yoona Lee is a Seattle-based visual artist and writer. She received her bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in Fine Arts, at the University of Pennsylvania. Yoona’s artwork has appeared in The Stranger’s Slog, a Seattle-based blog of news and culture, and in various literary magazines, including Mosaic and Voyage Out. She presented her writing and drawings at a 2010 University of Washington academic conference on “Cultural Work in the Racial Present.” Most recently, Yoona designed a cover illustration for Seattle Journal for Social Justice. Yoona Lee can be reached at 206-225-9768 or

Title: Document
By: Yoona Lee

Title: Remittance
By: Yoona Lee