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American Power

American Power
July 7-30, 2016
Thursday-Saturday, 1-7pm

While art venues in the United States are increasingly interested in contemporary art that is vague and apolitical, CoCA takes the month of July to feature artists that speak out and stand up for their views and use art as tool for social change. CoCA seeks to create community where it is needed and provide space for open dialogue which broadens awareness of all points of view through support of contemporary art and artists. 

“American Power” features a partial remounting of internationally acclaimed conceptual artist, Paul Rucker’s, “Rewind Exhibit” recently exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Ku Klux Klan robes on 7 foot tall mannequins confront this symbol of hate through Rucker’s revisions which use red silk, Ghanaian Kente cloth and camouflage patterns in place of ghostly white cotton. Rucker’s video on the proliferation of prisons and his “Soundless Series” which use the beautiful shape of a cello address power, race, and class and further explore the historic inequities for people of color.

The terms "American" and "power" convey the central metaphors of additional works by Pacific Northwest artists Tracy Boyd, Chris Crites, Rebecca Cummins and Troy Gua. Work throughout the exhibit responds to the current climate around guns and violence, while it also addresses the hostility for those that don’t look or act similar to the “norm.”

Gua’s sculpture “American Pie” presents a ‘flaky crust’ made of resin and foam enveloped in a pie tin and filled with bullets. Gua’s metaphor is, unfortunately, too accessible: gun violence is as commonplace and American as apple pie with 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015 (Mass Shootings Tracker), thousands killed and, according to the Gun Violence Archive, 26,819 people injured [those figures exclude suicide]. Crites presents a new body of work from his “Terrible Horizons” series, as well as his work of disposable people and icons on disposable media, i.e. paper bags. Cummins overlays the sound of exploding bombs on popping balloons and Boyd, both a veteran and a queer artist, presents paintings of iconic political faces on reclaimed military tarps, as well as a self-portrait with two faces titled “Dual Self,” which shows her inner grief post-Orlando alongside a direct glare in her bold and active painting style. “This painting is meant to help us mourn the horrible tragedy, but to remember that it’s most important to move beyond fear and anger,” said Boyd.

Located at CoCA PS35, 106 Cherry St., shows opens on July 7 and runs through July 30, 2016. For more information please visit

Next Event:

Artist lecture by Paul Rucker
When: Saturday, July 23, 3-4pm
Location: CoCA PS35, 106 Cherry St., 98104
Suggested $5 donation

Past Events:

American Power Opening Reception
When: Thursday, July 7, 6-9pm
Location: CoCA PS35, 106 Cherry St., 98104
Part of the Pioneer Square Art Walk

Conflict Resolution Presentation by Sergeant Gracy
When: Thursday, July 7, 7:30-8pm
Location: CoCA PS35, during the opening reception for "American Power."

At 7:30pm Sergeant Paul Gracy of the Seattle Police Department will give a special presentation on conflict resolution techniques. The talk will be 20-30 minutes and will include discussion of how to react to aggressive behavior in a safe and effective way. 

 Images: (left, top - bottom) Tracy Boyd, Dick, acrylic on tarp. Chris Crites, Hood-1957-74 Kilotons, acrylic on paper bag.

(right) Paul Rucker, Shelter in a Time of Storm, mixed media installation.

American Power is made possible with support from 4Culture and Good Arts, LLC.


07/13/2016 The Stranger: Couch-Surfing Center on Contemporary Art Gets a Center

07/07/2016: The Stranger: Recommended art events

07/07/2016: Seattle Weekly: Seattle Weekly's Art Walk Picks

Earlier Event: June 2
Later Event: June 29
CoCA & Columbia Winery