First Thursday, Downtown Seattle, April 2008

Every first Thursday of the month, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, downtown Seattle has an art walk aptly called… First Thursday. Tonight, we decided to scope out the infamous 619 Building.

For the uninitiated, the 619 Building is a building crammed chock full of artist lofts. Mixed media artists, painters, photographers… all types of artists. Out of all of the places one can go to during the art walk, the 619 Building is probably the most lively. Other places might have wine and cheese, but the 619 Building has that too. And they also have live music and way more people. So if it is your first time to an art walk, the 619 Building is NOT a bad bet.

In one of the corridors, there were 3D books designed by different artists. Some were great and some were mediocre. It just so happened that every book I deemed as great happened to have been created by Mark M. Magill. I can’t seem to find much more information about him online, but if anyone knows about him, speak up!

Community participation projects are always good. On these clipboards, passerbyers are asked to draw in the blank boxes their rendition of the shown photo. It’s a great project with amazing results. Check them out.

Ryan Molenkamp is a Seattle artist who explores shape and colors through his paintings that manage to be interesting despite their simplicity.

Installation by an artist I did not quite catch the name of. Can anyone help?

There was an Underground Magazine (formerly known as the Exotic Underground) party, and one entire floor was dedicated to sex art. It was one giant party, chock full of people, latex-suit-clad women, and lots of nudity. These pieces, a collaboration between local artists Redd and Carl Faulkner, are a part of their “Tibetan Hentai” series, which turns Japanese hentai into an even more beautiful and wondrous thing (an arguable point, certainly). The scroll-type framing adds 100 points as well. Apologies for the subpar photo; it was nearly impossible to find room in this corridor, and these pieces did receive a lot of attention by passerbyers.

And, to finish off the night, I present you with the penis lamp. This is a table-size one, but there was a 6 foot tall one in the middle of Johnny Wow‘s room as well. I don’t think Johnny Wow made it, but I’m not sure who did. Sorry! If you know, please let me know.


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Dr. JohnnyWow!
15 years ago

Appreciate the mention of my studio, and the 619 Artwalk. The 6′ Penis in the studio was created by Karen Miner. Her work is in several NW galleries. She has a large sculptural head, “Kiss” in the Canvas gallery presently.

Come by again sometime, introduce yourself. I’ll give copies of my books to anyone that mentions this listing.
Dr. JohnnyWow!

Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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