Distance Dialogues

Fall 2020


In Fall 2020, Seattle University's Hedreen Gallery and Vachon Gallery hosted an online exhibition program, Distance Dialogues. This series includes four video programs created by emerging curators who graduated from Seattle University in Spring 2020. Curators include Anna Iwasaki, Meilani Mandery, Dev McCauley, and Kate Murray. In these interview-driven programs, the curators explore the leadership of a working artist, activist, and/or creative community member through conversation and close-readings of their recent work. Each of these original projects was produced during Fall 2020 and was shaped by the ongoing conditions and context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

horizontal ruleAgainst the Wall: Making Art and Murals in 2020
A conversation with Bailee Hiatt

Curated by Dev McCauley

In her conversation with guest curator, Dev McCauley, Bailee Hiatt talks about how her artistic practice and outlook have shifted during the public health crisis and the ongoing national movements for racial justice. In the face of the unsettling tumult of 2020, Hiatt and a number of other Seattle-based artists turned to murals as a way to respond to the world around them while simultaneously imagining new realities. The dread that Hiatt felt when businesses boarded up at the onset of the pandemic was followed by a feeling of possibility, "looking at these plywood boards in a different way, they really just turned into a canvas.”

Detail image of pink and green mural with black cats

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Revisiting Up From the Table
A conversation with Anab Nur on the school-to-prison pipeline

Curated by Meilani Mandery

Inspired by Creative Justice’s 2019 exhibition, Up From the Table, arts educator and organizer Meilani Mandery spent over a year researching the school-to-prison pipeline, Seattle University’s role in that pipeline, and Seattle University student organizing in connection to the No New Youth Jail movement. In this video program, Mandery organizes a conversation with educator, activist, and Seattle University graduate, Anab Nur, in which Nur asks the community to reflect on definitions of justice and care. This video project reflects a snapshot of the spirit and momentum of Mandery’s research and commitment to center the histories and brilliance from generations of BIPOC organizing.

Orange letters say What is the school to prison pipeline?

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Shaping Jewelry as Art
A conversation with Sana Nisar

Curated by Anna Iwasaki

After relocating to Islamabad, Pakistan with family in June 2020, curator Anna Iwasaki continues to pursue her interest in creating interdisciplinary, multisensory curatorial projects in digital space. This video exhibition, Shaping Jewelry as Art considers artwork by Sana Nisar, a jewelry artist based in Pakistan. This online exhibition explores the formal and conceptual ideas behind several pieces from “The Atlantis Collection”, which is Nisar’s recent body of work inspired by marine life.

Jewelry on stone background

horizontal rule"it's kind of a special place..."
A conversation with the owners of Mary's Market

Curated by Kate Murray

In response to the initial COVID-19 stay-at-home order in March 2020, curator Kate Murray moved from Seattle, Washington, to her family home in Sierra Madre, California. In this video program, Murray talks to Jenny and Heather, the owners of Mary's Market, a small cafe tucked away in the Sierra Madre Canyon. This cafe has been a staple of Murray's neighborhood for close to one hundred years and has faced unprecedented temporary closures due to both COVID-19 and the 2020 wildfires that threatened the Sierra Madre Foothills. This conversation centers the owners' experiences navigating running their business through the lockdowns and highlights the importance of actively supporting local businesses.

small restaurant on a neighborhood street