Image: Jazzy Photo

sweet, rotten, sweet

A video installation, plus live performance by Peggy Piacenza

WHEN Exhibit: March 7, 2019 – March 31, 2019: Installation Exhibit, Thur-Sun, 11am–5pm (11am–4pm on performance days) FREE

WHEN Performance: March 16–30, 2019: Performances, 3/16 5pm; 3/17, 3/23, 3/24 4pm & 6pm; 3/29 8pm; 3/30 6pm & 8pm Tickets: www.peggypiacenza.com   

First Thursday Opening: March 7, 2019 6–8pm

Community Conversation: Sunday March 10th and 31st 2019  4pm

PERFORMANCE TICKETS: are required, limited to 25 people per show, and offered on a sliding scale basis ($10-75)

Tickets: www.peggypiacenza.com

sweet, rotten, sweet is a visceral communal ritual examining what it means to see, be seen, and bear witness to the passage of time. In this video installation, Peggy Piacenza has crafted a visual and sonic landscape that utilizes dance and performance to illuminate the human struggle to find meaning within an absurd world. Reimagining past choreographic works that deal with the nature of touch and the inevitability of mortality, sweet, rotten, sweet aims to strip away extraneous layers in order to discover moments of stillness within an overstimulated, disoriented psyche.

The next step in a creative evolution, sweet, rotten, sweet re-conceives material from Piacenza’s recent work The Event, into a new realm of video installation and gallery performance.

In addition to the installation, there will be live performances throughout the month. Staged in an intimate setting, with 25 audience members and four performers, sweet, rotten, sweet uses an up-close and personal setting to awaken audiences to the present moment.

“Both deeply personal and vividly abstract, Piacenza’s dreamy, emotional landscape shows us that the lonely experience of our humanity is something we all have in common.”

—Kaitlin McCarthy, City Arts

“Piacenza seems to have erupted from some Dada burlesque; jarring, implacable, and completely compelling.”

—The Stranger

Conception & Choreography: Peggy Piacenza

Director of Photography: Doug Arney

Original Music and Sound Design: Paurl Walsh

Scenic Design: Danielle Blackwell, Ezra Dickinson, Peggy Piacenza

Performers in Video: Ezra Dickinson, Kim Lusk, Wade Madsen, Amelia Reeber

Light Design: Jessica Trundy

Peggy Piacenza is a longtime Seattle choreographer and performer who has toured nationally and internationally. Her work focuses on a wide spectrum of experience and draws from her explorations in improvisation, performance-related studies, and inter-disciplinary collaborations.

“[Piacenza] proved the connection between the absurdity of mortal life and the higher calling of the human spirit.”

—Seattle Dances

“Piacenza owns the movements and spoken words…with astonishing intelligence and mettle.”

—Seattle Dances

Along with Dayna Hanson and Dave Proscia, Piacenza is a co-director of Base, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating risk and invention in dance, performance and multidisciplinary art. thisisbase.org


I Saw the Face of Hecate 


When: August 1 – September 29, 2018

Opening Receptions: Wednesday August 1, 2018 6-8PM

First Thursday Opening: August 2, 2018 and September 6, 2018   6-8PM

‘Hecate’s ability to see into the “underworld” of the sleeping and the dead, made her comfortable and tolerant in the company of those most would shun out of fear or misunderstanding.’ -  GoddessGift.com 

“I Saw the Face of Hecate’ is about facing my deeply feminine journey into darkness where I found the treasures of the underworld. If you knew that the most powerful guide is already in you, would you go into your underworld to find her? Would you be willing to meet Hecate?”- Juli Adams



When: March 22 through April 28, 2018

OPENING: March 22, 2018     6 – 8PM

FIRST THURSDAY OPENING: April 5, 2018   6 – 8PM

BONFIRE Gallery presents LIMBO LOUNGE, a graphic novel by acclaimed artist and illustrator Dave Calver. Limbo Lounge exhibits selections from some of the 420 art pieces published in the graphic novel, released February 6th and already on Amazon’s list of best-selling graphic novels: 

“This trippy, surreal, full color adventure brings us from the hot, swirling sands of hell to the colorfully bizarre “Limbo Lounge,” filled with the recently deceased as well as bored oddball interlopers from hell. Meet flower-headed freaks, Bud and Lou. Root for their friend, a spry, elderly nun, Sister Eunice, as she works remotely in Limbo continuing to rid earth of despicable dirt bags. And, by all means, avoid the knife-wielding little pageant-princess-gone-bad as she plots for anything she can get at anyone’s expense.”

Artist Dave Calver’s rich, evocative, surreal work has been widely featured from The New York Times and Vanity Fair, to Rolling Stone and Playboy. Taschen recently chose him as one of their favorite 100 illustrators in the world. Huffington Post’s review of Taschen’s ”100 Illustrators,” singled out Calver as their #1 favorite. Published internationally, Calver’s work includes film, sculpture and commercial works.  

“A Delightfully Strange Romp Between Life and Death…what is shown is absolutely stunning.”– Bleeding Cool

“Not just hipster doom and gloom, but about love and hope…a great, independent work that speaks volumes to the human experience…” - SCREAM, The World’s #1 Horror Magazine

“LIMBO LOUNGE mixes equal parts Tex Avery and Hieronymus Bosch. Vibrant, Expressionistic madness.” –DoomRocket

“Freaking amazing.” Roz Chast, The New York Times Bestselling Author; New Yorker Cartoonist





When: January 21 through January 28, 2018

OPENING: January 21, 1-4PM.

Ellen Sollod presents RESIST at BONFIRE Gallery featuring Sollod’s projects: Ribbons of Resistance, I Resist/I Embrace and 100 Days/100 Postcards. Sollod began her Ribbons of Resistance project immediately following the 2016 Presidential Election. Over the last year as a demonstration against tyranny, she has given away by hand, by mail and at marches nearly 1500 black, embroidered ribbons. She also undertook her I Resist/I Embrace portrait project through which she has created photographic portraits of nearly 50 people declaring what they resist and what they embrace. Following the 2017 Inauguration, Sollod began the 100 Days/100 Postcards project through which she sent a postcard to the White House each of the first 100 days of the Administration. RESIST brings these projects together through photographs, prints and limited edition artist-books. Sollod will be giving Ribbons of Resistance away during the opening on January 21, the anniversary of the Women’s March. www.sollodstudio.com 

Gary Faigin    “The Water Cycle”   Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”

Gary Faigin

“The Water Cycle”

Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”

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Inside Out


The paintings of Gary Faigin, featured in BONFIRE Gallery upcoming show, “INSIDE OUT,” revolves around a fundamental tension between the domestic and the urban, the organic and the artificial, those aspects of quotidian life that are stubbornly persistent, and those that represent the cutting edge of change in our modern world. 

In many of the images, food is presented as our principal connection to the natural world, critical to our very survival but increasingly distant in its production. Integrated into traditional still life arrangements, fruit, fries, flowers and fish are presented in purposely incongruous settings, as the excesses of mechanical civilization come ever closer to imperiling the ability of the earth to support its living inhabitants.  Faigin emphasizes that our daily needs for food, shelter, and emotional comfort have not been transformed by the new technology of the Brave New 21st century.

In Faigin’s tower paintings, the viewer assumes a position of vertigo that represents a losing of balance, a feeling of being about to fall—a tactic meant to jog the viewer into heightened awareness. The theme of environmental degradation is ever-present, with the viewer’s vantage point akin to a bridge master or tower guard, filled with multiple highways, or an industrial complex, or a deep mining quarry.

In his train paintings, Faigin uses the venerable steam engine to grab the viewer’s attention.  Few inventions of the industrial revolution embody as much historical and cultural resonance as the train, one of the single most potent agents in altering our physical and cultural landscape -- trains shrank distances, swept away the Wild West, and made our mega-cities possible; trains led to war being infinitely more lethal, and resource extraction becoming infinitely more efficient. 

Faigin’s painted trains destroy landscapes, thrust open doors unexpectedly, and are relentless in their momentum and speed.  Early 20th Century artists were hired to paint trains in picturesque, uninhabited terrains whereas Faigin pictures them in the very landscapes which they have helped make ever more precarious. 

October 4 – December 2, 2017.

Opening reception: Saturday October 7, 6-8PM

Artist Gallery Talk: Saturday October 14, 2PM

First Thursday Open Gallery: October 5 and November 2, 2017 6-8PM

Gary Faigin, Artist, Author, Educator & Critic: Faigin’s paintings have been shown in galleries in New York, Santa Fe and Seattle as well as one-man museum shows at the Frye Art Museum and the Coos Bay Art Museum. He received his artistic training at the Art Students League in New York and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Faigin is also the co-Founder and Artistic Director of nationally-renowned Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, and the author of “The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression,” published in 1990, since translated into eight languages. Faigin writes art reviews for the Seattle Times and hosts televised “Art Talks” with leading American artists at Town Hall, Seattle. His Wikipedia page may be located here.

Deborah Faye Lawrence    “Targeting the American Dream”   Fabric and paper collage, archival varnish on canvas, 33.5 x 37 inches

Deborah Faye Lawrence

“Targeting the American Dream”

Fabric and paper collage, archival varnish on canvas, 33.5 x 37 inches

Deborah Faye Lawrence 

strumpet of Justice

BONFIRE Gallery in Seattle’s International District presents Strumpet of Justice, an installation of penetrating artworks by Deborah Faye Lawrence, an artist who has been registering her grievances against tyranny since 1980.  The exhibition features new and historic satirical works occasioned by today’s bizarre political climate.

When: August 2, 2017 through August 6, 2017 and by appointment through August 31, 2017 206.790.1073

BONFIRE Gallery will be open Noon to 5PM

Artist Talk and Opening Reception: Wednesday August 2,  6-8 PM with talk at 7PM. 

First Thursday: August 3, 6-8PM

Artwork by Saki Mafundikwa

Artwork by Saki Mafundikwa



BONFIRE Gallery in Seattle’s International District presents ARTRUMPS: Resistance and Action, a diverse group of artists’ powerful response to this unprecedented time of political upheaval through provocative questioning and creative humor.

Throughout history artists have lead the way using their work as a voice of dissent, protest and action for change. The purpose of ARTRUMPS Resistance and Action is to present artists in a variety of mediums, cultures and geographical locations, inspiring people with politically engaged artistic expression and points of view.

“This is precisely the time artists go to work.”
-Toni Morrison

The artists and the gallery are donating 50% of the sale of work to nonprofits of their choice, organizations working for justice, equality, resistance, legal support and change.

ARTRUMPS exhibiting artists include: Ann Gardner, Seattle; Barbara Van Wollner, Healdsburg CA; Beverly Naidus, Tacoma; Buster Simpson, Seattle; CT Chew, Seattle; Casey Curran Seattle; Chris Crites, Seattle; Clayton Smith, Seattle; Daemond Arrindell, Seattle; Dave Calver, Palm Springs CA; Deborah Faye Lawrence, Seattle; Electric Coffin, Seattle; Ellen Hochberg, Seattle; Ellen Sollod, Seattle; Gene Gentry McMahon, Seattle; Hanna Concannon, Portland OR; Holly Ballard Martz, Seattle; Horatio Law, Portland OR; John Devaney, New York, NY; Kelly Lyles, Seattle; Lisa Myers Bulmash, Seattle; Liza Von Rosenstiel, Flagstaff AZ; Louis Gervais, Seattle; Mary Coss, Seattle; Pat Lenz, Healdsburg CA and New York, NY; Reilly Jensen, Seattle; Romson Bustillo, Seattle; Roz Chast, New York, NY; Saki Mafundikwa, Zimbabwe; Stacy Linn, Seattle; Troy Gua, Seattle; Uly Curry, Seattle; Yonnas Getahun, Seattle; Zebra Penman, Seattle. 

“The purpose of art is the fight for freedom. Everything is art. Everything is politics.”
- Ai Weiwei

When: April 1, 2017 through June 3, 2017

BONFIRE Gallery is open Noon to 5PM Wednesday through Saturday or by appointment 206.790.1073

Opening reception: April Fool’s Day Saturday April 1, 2017 6-9PM

First Thursday openings: April 6, 2017, May 4, 2017 and June 1, 2017 6-9PM

Where: BONFIRE Gallery is located at 603 S Main St. in a storefront in the Panama Hotel, International District, Seattle 98104

“A punk is a person who asks the world uncomfortable questions and does everything possible to make sure the world can’t cop out…that is what art is for us, and without art, life can’t exist.” Pussy Riot

“I prefer to accept only one type of power: the power of art over trash, the triumph of magic over the brute.” -  Vladimir Nabokov

“…the long, erotic, unended wrestling” of art and politics - Adrienne Rich

“How can you be an artist and not reflect your time” – Nina Simone

“Revolutionary art is a tool for liberation.” Emory Douglas and protest aesthetics at the black panther


Poet Daemond Arrindell with Artists Mary Coss and Holly Ballard Martz take an intimate look down the barrel - contemplating gun rights, the loss of life, and the search for healing in their touching, powerful and sometimes darkly humorous ruminations on America’s weapon of choice. 

Poetry, sculpture, video and performance meld to tell the saga of gun culture in the exhibit KISS FEAR at Bonfire Gallery.

Coss binds haunting imagery to the sacred to create visceral narratives. Martz uses dark humor to reflect on the arbitrary and tragic nature of gun use in the United States. As these artists weave wit and a need for examining our assumptions throughout the work, Arrindell’s words provide depth and volume to our complex politics and show how language can leave us breathless.

This project is supported in part by a grant from 4Culture.

When: November 3, 2016 through January 28, 2016

BONFIRE Gallery is open Noon to 5PM Wednesday through Saturday or by appointment 206.790.1073

Opening Reception: Saturday November 5th 6PM – 9PM

First Thursday Openings: Thursday November 3, 2016; Thursday December 1, 2016; January 5, 2017: 6PM - 9PM

Workshop: with Poet Daemond Arrindell Saturday January 7, 2017 3PM – 6PM.

Artist talk: Thursday December 1, 2016: 6PM-8PM

Where: BONFIRE Gallery 603 S Main Street at the Panama Hotel, International District, Seattle 98104