Farewell, 619 Building: Retrospective

Earlier this year, it was announced that the 619 Building — Pioneer Square’s First Thursday’s most exciting spot — would be closing and its artists forced to relocate. In celebration of this, the recent Art Walks at 619 have been out of control, with visitors spilling out of doorways, artists jovial and lively, and musical acts aplenty.

But these good times are being ground to a halt abruptly. According to Seattle PI, “Instead of their original spring move-out deadline, at least 8 months away, they have now been told that need to be out in just two months.”

With August 1st as the new cut-off date, artists will unfortunately not be able to participate in the First Thursday Art Walk on August 4th; instead, residents will be celebrating Last Thursday tonight.

As the artists search for new studio spaces in the near future, we just want to give one last hurrah to the legacy of the 619 Building as we know it. This post highlights some of the building’s residents, and other artists who have simply shown there, who have come to be adored by REDEFINE — many of which have gone on to become major players in the Seattle art scene. Having a studio in the 619 Building has very obviously helped foster career growth for many of these talented individuals, and with the hour of demise looming so close, let’s just take a moment to celebrate the great moments that have been had in the space, where residents and visitors alike have stepped on open, even grounds.

Chris Sheridan

“”If you let your head get too big, you stop growing.”
READ FULL INTERVIEW

Stacey Rozich

“As I got older, I learned that if you can convey a story with an image, then you’re good; you’re golden. So I focused on having this background narrative that wasn’t quite obvious, yet each piece has a little vignette — a little drama in it.”
READ FULL INTERVIEW

Lucien Knuteson

“Just because something has been done before does not mean that you shouldn’t pull the trigger yourself, because that’s the only way to learn and the only way to get better.”
READ FULL INTERVIEW

AND MUCH OLDER…


July 2008 Recap: Bryan Mandronico, Erin Kendig, Stacey Rozich
May 2008 Recap
: PeeGee!, Ego, Parskid, Keith Noordzy, Jeff Jacobson, Aaron Kraten, Weston Jandacka, Kate Protage, Chris Sheridan, Lucien Knuteson
April 2008 Recap: Mark M. Magill, Ryan Molenkamp, Redd, Carl Faulkner
Jason Sho Green Interview

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) 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.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

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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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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