Soft Touch @ Museum of Museums
Touch it ✋
Published February 22, 2023
On display until August 31st • Open Thursdays – Sundays
Museums can be rigid, hard, sharp, cold. You, the viewer, often feel like you have to maintain a sense of decorum if you want to take in all the art. Don’t touch stuff. Don’t be too loud. Don’t try to get silly. But the new exhibition at First Hill’s Museum of Museums flips those expectations with Soft Touch, a group show of over 40 artists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond, all tasked with creating something soft. It’s a delirious mishmash of material and texture that invites viewers to get close, to be silly, and—when appropriate!—to touch.
Every artist interpreted the show’s thesis differently. There’s a “meditation room” where viewers can plop down on a cushion to take in the joyous patterns of Leah Nguyen’s painted muslin, Colleen RJC Bratton’s sculpture on maternal instinct made of fabric and marigold seeds, and Andrea Alonge’s psychedelic quilted piece embodying darkness and life. The Seattle-based Stella Brunson has several organic-shaped sculptures, made of latex and hair, approximating the look of flesh. There are also a few immersive installations for viewers to pose inside, like Shiloh Davies’ “Breakfast Nook” in the museum’s corner stuffed with plush breakfast items. Or Debi Boyette’s extremely Instagrammable “Clouded Thoughts,” which brings those puffy, dreamy masses of water vapor into the gallery.
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📸: Adam Kubota
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.