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Journal


Tomorrow night we’re hosting a very special guest for the October Artwalk: Brian Sterkovsky.

Not only does Brian play and build harps, he also plays electric banjo and writes and sings his own words and poetry. Not only does he do all this, he’s one of our favorite regular customers at Miro Tea! Tomorrow night at 7pm Brian will be performing on harp as well as doing some spoken word performance for the Artwalk opening of Maryam Tohidi. For a taste of Brian’s work, you can visit his MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/briansterkovsky)–you’ll get a sampling of his eerie harp originals, as well as his spoken word and gitjo songs. He’s also got two albums worth of material (one of harp and one of gitjo/singing) available for purchase digitally or on CD.

Brian is extremely talented and a great friend of Miro Tea, so come on down tomorrow night, grab a roasted apple fig and walnut crepe (with ice cream) and a cup of Irish Breakfast tea, and show your support!

As some of you out there know, we occasionally have live music at Miro Tea. Tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 pm we’ll be hosting Guardian Ear, a local Seattle band. They play a pretty interesting blend of experimental acoustic chamber music–guitar, oboe, percussion and cello–definitely different from your average coffee house strummers, and it should be a great energy and fit for Miro’s space. See you tomorrow night…

http://www.myspace.com/guardianear

The busy summer months haven’t left much time for blogging here at Miro Tea, so I’m here to quickly introduce this month’s artist and mention that this hot (for Seattle) weather is perfect for enjoying iced tea…feel free to stop by, check out Aba’s art, and try one of our Green Tea Mojitos or an iced tea latté or chai!


Aba Diallo was born in Dakar, Senegal, a busy, international port on
the Atlantic Coast of Africa. In school he studied philosophy and
literature as well as the French language. After high school, he
moved to Goree Island (World Heritage Site), a tourist and historic
destination 20 minutes west of downtown Dakar. There he bagan to work
for his uncle who owns an art gallery selling sculptures, paintings,
jewelery and other handicrafts made by local artists. After a year of
this type of work he soon took interest in the origins of the art
pieces at the boutique. He became friends with veteran painters on
the island and began an apprenticeship, learning many things about the
art scene and business on the island. He started to create his own
style of painting using collage and a technique of sewing canvases
together to make “patch-work” paintings. This type of work is truly
his passion in life, second only to God, it is a way to express
himself and show the way of life he has grown up with, while
supporting himself and his family.

It’s been a great pleasure looking at Aba’s art for the last few weeks. Not only do the bright colors fill our space with energy, the tapestry-style hangings really make the works stand out and grab attention in a really unique way! He’s already sold several pieces, so stop by and check them out before they’re all gone! The art will be up for a couple more weeks, but you can check it out on Aba’s website any time: http://www.abadiallo.com


Happy summer!

Elliot


June is already upon us, which means we’re showing new art! It’s a real pleasure for me to introduce our June artist because she’s a close personal friend. Courtney Morgan is a Walla Walla native. She majored in art at Whitman College and recently received an MA in design studies at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. Her show, titled “Please Clap Your Hands,” is a collection of oil paintings inspired by a visit to a friend’s farm house in Denmark, the colors in a display case at a Florence gelateria, and song lyrics. She describes her paintings as clean, bright, hopeful and poignant. The bright, lively colors are looking great in Miro Tea’s space, and I’d add that Courtney’s inimitable sense of humor is also evident in spades.

As usual, the Artwalk event opens the second Saturday of the month–many Ballard businesses will be showing art as well. In celebration of Courtney’s opening, we’ll also be featuring some live music at the event. Performing this Saturday night will be…well, er, me. Since my lyrics are integrated into some of Courtney’s paintings, I agreed to emerge from self-imposed exile to perform. I’ll be joined on”stage” for a few songs by another Miro employee, Nick Arthur. I hate to have to describe my own music, so I’ll say that I write and sing songs, accompanying myself on acoustic guitar. The songs I write are sometimes difficult to box into tidy genre categories, but things that are important to me as a songwriter are lyrics, interesting guitar parts, and experimentation. I’ve been making music for about 8 years and performed quite a bit in college but have lately been sidelined due to some health issues with my vocal cords.
Courtney’s opening is a special event for me, though, so I’m ecstatic to be able to participate. I’ve got a song sample on my Myspace for anyone interested. The art opening and music will go from 7-9 pm and should be a really fun time.
Courtney’s paintings will be up all month–please feel free to stop by for a look if you can’t make it to the opening! I’ll be back soon to discuss some tea news…

Elliot

For any readers out there who aren’t already aware, many businesses in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood participate in a monthly event called “Artwalk.” Basically, businesses host local artists and display their art on a monthly basis, and the second Saturday of each month is the official “opening,” during which most businesses host receptions and the artists are usually there to represent their work. Miro Tea has been hosting art every month since we opened, and our blog is an excellent way to get a little bit more information about our artists to the public.

This May’s artist is Winston Haycock. I had the pleasure of meeting Winston yesterday when he came in to hang his art. He’s got a great energy and it really translates well to his art–our walls are looking fantastic with lots of bright, stimulating color. Included here are some samples of Winston’s pieces that are currently hanging at Miro, as well as a few pics of some “pop nostalgia” pieces Winston also wanted the public to see, along with Winston’s bio. Please feel free to stop by and meet Winston at this Saturday’s opening–the Artwalk event officially lasts from 6-9 pm, and Winston’s art will be up all month!

Winston Haycock has been creating multimedia paintings since 2000 when he discovered the fun of seeing different paints react to one another, changing their original form into something quite different with each experimentation. He has made over 1,000 of these paintings and can’t wait to get to the next body of work after a series has been finished. He is getting quite known in the Pacific Northwest for this style and also enjoys painting pop style oils based in the nostalgic vein, which he calls his ongoing Sinatra Series, a style inspired by his landscape-painting mother, Velma Young, who brought him up with classic movies from a very early age . She taught him the landscape and how to use a palette knife, and he eventually learned (he is a self – taught artist) photo realism in pencil and graduated to brushes and oils.

Winston focused on the portrait from the urging of his father, Dave, and eventually was painting famous people in surreal group landscape settings, some in a sort of a children’s storybook fantasy land, and others from real movie still photos . He made his first abstract multimedia piece in 1999 using coffee beans encased in wax, and found the mixed media a welcome break from the very crisp, tight lined nostalgic oil work, so he started having shows mixing the two styles together. He now keeps each style separate when having a show, and the current opening he is having on May 9th is no exception. This will be Winston’s 33rd artist reception and the show is indeed whimsical, focusing on his new Hidden Poem series, he includes his new flat oil abstract series and new patina copper series, all together a very highly textural and colorful show. The flat oil abstracts were inspired by a recent commission from a family member, and the copper patina color ties the whole body of work together and makes the show complete. Encompassing the full spectrum of color and playing with ” text”(ing), Winston gives the public a very childlike but sincerely thoughtful show of decorative fun pieces, which have been doing very well in the Ballard area. His media include common table salt, wood stain, aluminum foil tape, caramel colored hide glue, roof tar patch, drywall cement patch, oil bar, airplane enamel, ground marble and glass, encaustic beeswax/oil bonding and many other mixtures of interesting paint, including Japan paint and acrylic gel. Winston’s work is reasonably priced ($80-$120) because he can make about 20-40 pieces each month. The work is often 3 feet in length enough room on the wood panels he uses to show what different paints do when mixed in unorthodox ways, but not too big to find a spot above your piano or sofa! Winston is currently illustrating a children’s book about his cat Francis Mcoullagh for Random House, and also paints wine labels for wineries in eastern Washington, where he has a permanent show of ongoing work at the 6th Street Gift & Art Gallery in Prosser, WA (509-786-3088). He can be reached at home in his studio at 206-588-0222 or by email at winstonhaycock@gmail.com.


I’ve been conducting guided tea tastings off and on for the past few months–now I think I’ve got the kinks worked out and am ready to advertise the tea tastings as a regular event, so here goes:

Please join me at Miro Tea every Sunday from 1-3 pm for complimentary guided tea tasting. During the two-hour period I will be sampling any number of our 200+ teas–what we taste is up to those who are participating in the tasting, so it’s a great opportunity to learn about the differences between the major tea types, compare the small differences between very similar teas, or learn to appreciate the process behind gong fu tea brewing. These tea tastings are also a nice chance to learn a bit more background on the history and processing of some of your favorite teas.

Sundays are a great day to drop by Miro Tea–the year-round farmer’s market is bustling on Ballard Avenue right outside our front door and the entire neighborhood is very lively and busy. Please take a relaxing stroll through the market and stop by Miro afterward–I’d be delighted to share a cup of tea with you!

Elliot