Mary Ann Peters @ Frye Art Museum 

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📸: Mary Ann Peters: the edge becomes the center

📆 Saturday, June 15th — Sunday, January 5th
🎟️ Free to attend
📍 Frye Art Museum: 704 Terry Ave, Seattle

To really see Mary Ann Peters’ work, you’ve got to look. Like, really look.

In her series “this trembling turf,” Mary Ann Peters challenges norms. There are no discernible figures or subjects. Instead, she uses white ink on a black clapboard to meticulously draw small strokes that bloom into abstract movements, patterns, and textures, revealing themselves to be larger than the sum of their parts. In “slipstream (by the light of the moon),” she contorts the ink to resemble moonlight hitting a choppy body of water, with waves crashing every which direction. And in “this trembling turf (oasis),” the thin lines cuddle and push against each other in ways that remind me of skin under a microscope or maybe the layers of sediment packed deep within the earth. 

“this trembling turf” forms her latest site-specific exhibition, the edge becomes the center, at the Frye Art Museum, which is up through January 5th, 2025. The exhibition’s ten drawings are inspired by the sound waves archaeologists use to find remnants of ancient civilizations and natural habitats where activity brews beneath the surface. There’s a mysterious and electrifying pull to the work, one that feels like a cryptic communiqué from a past life (or outer space). These works will be joined by a new addition to her ongoing impossible monuments series, which she defines as “something that deserves reverence but by virtue of its incidental nature would never be elevated to the status of a monument.”

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An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.