Unbound Collective: 2016 IVA Senior Exhibition

Having just recently exhibited alongside classmates in my IVA Senior Show, you better believe I was making it a point to support the next round of talented artisans.

Unbound Collective

I missed the opening night due to an appointment running over time. [Rude, lady!] Ultimately, though, everything worked out for the best. Honeybee and I were offered a behind the scenes, personal glimpse into each exhibit. And were knighted by the King of Appropriation. How many people can honestly say that?

If you’re new here, IVA stands for Interdisciplinary Visual Arts. That said, you can expect a wide range of work at a show like this. With that much variation from piece to piece it can be a challenge to create a cohesive experience, yet as we promenaded the gallery the flow was smooth and natural.


Tucked in a room off to the side played Alana Crawley’s video wherein shadows and whispers grow as if from nowhere into a daunting character that is equal parts captivating and frightening. Ultimately, though I was relieved whatever it was was free to be itself.

Then looking at the wall text my impressions are confirmed:

“The being in this film is a physical representation of negative internal loops and their manifestation into our real worlds.”


Fiona’s intaglio prints were entrancing, pulling us in from across the room. To know printmaking is to love printmaking… or hate it. It’s not surprising a process so labor intensive can rub some folks the wrong way. I feel an inherent camaraderie with Fiona because we both get down on the printing press. “These prints were inspired by artificial photos of cities drowning in rising sea levels.”

Another standout piece was Emily Adams—aka Emma’s cut paper piece. The cut paper is lovely enough, but really the joy is sneaking a peek at the play of light and shadow. Every time I see Emma’s work I want more. That’s a good sign if ever there was one.

We also really dug this found object piece titled Eye Candy for the Hands by Kayu Cheung. It’s made entirely of plastic gloves and drinking straws on wood.


Mik‘s performance as the King of Appropriation was extra special for us as we were privileged to have a live explanation of his intended response. The wall text offered phony information. It’s revealed through a looping video that we were invited to choose a fabric scrap that appealed to our sensibilities for whatever reason, a pin and attach the fabric to the King’s robes. In doing so we became members in a community. Having successfully completed these tasks, the King then knighted us as we knelt before him in turn. As we returned to meet his gaze, Mik bestows the true meaning of his work:

The King of Appropriation manifests the concept that individuals carry their own unique culture that was cultivated by personal experiences & is not bound by a singular association to a group, nation or demographic. Our individual culture contributes to the interminable fashioning of subjective identity of others in close proximity or social media’s reach whether we’re consciously aware of it or not. We incessantly lay imprints of our individuality in other’s identity through interactions, big or small, contributing to the eternal molding of one’s personal culture. Therefore, we all play a part in a never-ending interpersonal collaboration that is the phenomenon of personal cultural exchange.

Learn more at Mikhail Roque‘s site.


Contributing Artists:

Emma Adams | Esther Bae | Allie Beeninga | Hui Cao | Kayu Cheung | Fiona Clark | Alana Crawley | Sonja Cunningham | Kristen Dong | Amanda Franz | Jiyoung Hur | Jackson Irvine | Alexander Xavier James | Hyery Kang | Cheng Li | Amber Moore | Kate Mortensen | Anqi Peng | Mikhail Roque | Haein Yoo

So what do you think? Any pieces you fell in love with? Are you an artist creating feverishly or more of an enthusiast, down for the casual gallery hopping? For me, art is just as fun to look at as to create. Leave your impressions in the comments below and, as always, don’t forget to Like, and Subscribe for more Wrays of Sunshine.

Brianna Wray Signature









Credits: Thanks to all the artists who participated in the event. All photos were shot by Sunshine, featuring other artist’s work. I was able to ask permission from a few, but not everyone individually. Each artist’s name is listed in the title. If you are an artist and you prefer not to be included, please email me.


Wolf & Mayhem


I got some handmade goodness in the mail recently and I had to share. As someone with a historically pagan mindset, I’m really drawn to the witchy artwork in my friend Jessica’s shop, Wolf & Mayhem. That said, look it!Wolf & Mayhem Banner


I have no concept of hesitation when it comes to a hand stitched zine. Wormwood was in my shopping cart with the quickness. In it I found poetry that effectively conjured all the feels.


Love seeing contemporary artists reinvigorate ancient practices. Love supporting artists. Love love love.

Brianna Wray Signature


Wednesday, Mar. 2, & Thursday, Mar. 3; 11am-6pm both days

“The campus community and public are invited to a sale of work by current students and alumni.

This year, BUY ART is working with Strange Coupling to create two very different events, offered at the same time, and sharing the same goal – support of UW Art majors and alums.”

Strange Coupling is, “a student-run tradition in the Division of Art for over a decade, Strange Coupling bridges the gap between the UW and the greater Seattle art community by pairing students with professional artists for a collaborative project. This exhibit shows the work of student applicants, which is auctioned to support this year’s projects. The selected students and their artist mate will be announced at the Friday evening event.

The 2016 jurors are Jen Graves, Melanie King (MA 2008), Catharina Manchanda, Amanda Manitach, and Jeffry Mitchell.

The professional artists are Iole Alessandrini, Michael Alm, Byron Au Yong, Zack Bent (MFA 2008), Coldbrew Collective, Alice Gosti, Lauren Iida, Stephanie Liapis, Francesca Lohmann, Emily Ann Pothast (MFA 2005), and Norie Sato (MFA 1974).”

I had entirely too much going on to participate in both events, but you can find my artwork for sale in the BUY ART event. There’ll be monotype and relief prints. You can quickly distinguish my work by the sales number, #25.

Also, on display will be the works of some crazy talented classmates such as E.R. Saba. Her sales number is #41. Keep an eye out!


Fall by E.R. Saba | Oil on Canvas | 20″ x 24″ | 2015 | Image appears courtesy of Artist

This is a great chance to step into collecting, you’ll be getting in on the ground floor of Seattle’s up-and-coming arts community.

See you there, boo!

Brianna Wray Signature



Need more info: BUY ART & Strange Coupling Event Page.

Call for Submissions: Spindrift Magazine

Come one, come all, bring your short stories, your paintings, your drawings, your illustrations, dust off the poetry, my alma mater is looking for an artist like you.

Spindrift Call

I just so happen to have a ladyfriend on the inside, [hi Nataliya!] who is an amazing artist in her own right and works hard at editing Shoreline’s award-winning lit mag.

“The journal is designed by a team of students and faculty who hold a jury show each year to select the pieces for publication. Each selected artwork or photograph is then paired with a literary work and published in the journal for the public to purchase and enjoy.

Spindrift has placed top in the nation among colleges for many years. In 2005 and 2010, Spindrift was awarded 1st place in the Community College Humanities Association’s Literary Magazine Competition and in 2011, Spindrift placed 3rd in CCHA’s Pacific-Western Division.

However, the team behind Spindrift gain the greatest rewards, because they are given real-world experience with working on a production team and many former students that have worked on Spindrift have received the opportunity to work for some amazing companies such as the Seattle Times.”

Submit by March 2nd! Tell ’em Sunshine sent ya!

Brianna Wray Signature

About Spindrift.

30 Years Old & Learning Everyday

It’s my birthday, you guys! Some chump calendars may be spreading some namby-pamby nonsense about “president’s day” but it’s my birthday.

Some reactions from friends:

  • Uh-oh, the big three-oh.”
  • “Oh this is the last one worth celebrating, for sure.”
  • “Huh—you don’t look old.”

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my parents for the doing the nasty in the pasty! And for the lovely presents on this 30th birthday since.

Today is extra amazing because it’s ugly terrible, rainy-cold outside and there’s no place I have to be but home with all the flowers and chocolate and chillaxing. Did I mention the Harry Potter? There’s some Azkaban, too. Reading poetry and editing photos for upcoming posts.

I’m just happy. A great deal of that involves my sweet, sweet Honeybee who threw me a living room dance party for which we had the best dj in the 2-0-6, Jeff (seen also in the To the Death video). Many thanks to friends who took ferries to make the scene.

You can’t go wrong with light saber shenanigans.

Thanks for all the love, well wishes and whatnot. It means everything.

So far I’ve learned that I (and, indeed, we as humans) know very little. What I know is no matter what, even when you work extra hard to afford yourself a break, you may very well end up adulting despite your best efforts. You can write all the essays, you can dot all the i’s but you’ll still end up, from time to time, wielding a plunger that is too small for the task. And as you wade through the very literal and sometimes figurative shit in life, it’s all worthwhile when you’re able to locate that someone, and those somethings that make you smile.

Brianna Wray Signature




Everyday I’m Hustlin’

What’s got your hands busy just now? Me? I’ve got a color studies composition itching to get crossed off the to-do list. This past couple weeks I’ve been pretty bogged down by being so busy, but you know, I don’t have to be. Ultimately if I work hard everything will be fine. And I do like to work hard! Like a trooper. So if this quarter had me snowed under before, it will not now.

Of course there’s only so much of that tra-la-la one should profess to the internet with said work still unfinished, but believe me, I’m all over it!  I just took a short break to create this illustration, because. Internet.

Brianna Wray Signature

Looking for a little extra procrastination? Check out this Loch Ness-ish video I put together for Urban Diary # 4

Original Solute

Meet: Dale

If you’ve been around Wrays of Sunshine for a while, you may note our number one commenter (besides Mama Sunshine) is Dale. We met in a printmaking class taught by one Natalie Niblack. We both loved it so much you can find us as paper placers in the steamroller printmaking project.

Paper People

Dale is the easiest to work with, most enthusiastic and just generally one of those people who are so multi-talented that skills seem to seep out of his pores. He can’t help it, he’s just brilliant! And he was so kind as to submit to a quick interview and show Honeybee and I around his lovely home studio.

Hello world, Meet: Dale

Anyone who walked around your lovely home for even a few minutes could see you have a propensity for making and fixing. Where does that come from?

My upbringing. I grew up in a family that valued curiosity. Questions were never frowned upon and someone was always tackling a unique challenge on a shoestring budget. Not just siblings, but parents too. I was surrounded by a get-r-done drive. As my Mom obtained upper level amateur radio licenses, it motivated me to study and pass the exam for my own license. Then, there was my Dad, a mechanical genius—his nickname was Tink. I watched him modify machinery in ways that seemed impossible. Every time, I’d say something like “Dad, there’s no way that can be fixed.” He’d respond, “Well, let’s take a look. I bet we can do something with it.” All the while I’d watch for his grin that meant he was about to share some mechanical wizardry with us. It had a huge impact on me which can be seen in how I approach life as a bit of schemer. Not in a negative way, but more in a harebrained project sort of way. Nothing is too complex or too crazy of an idea to tackle. I recall one of the first over-the-top projects I tackled. It involved dragging home an old 1960s pinball machine. How many parents do you know that would let a kid bring pieces of an old arcade game into the house? Mine did and quite happily too. Over the span of a summer I rebuilt the thing using parts I scavenged from other machines and managed to have a fully functional machine shoehorned into a bedroom. Never mind the fact it dimmed the lights occasionally. My parents certainly never minded, even with all the noise it made. Oh, what parents go through. Especially mine.


That’s amazing, I can’t say that my parents would’ve been amenable to full size arcade games. It’s a great testament to your character that you waited and watched for Tink’s telltale smile. What are you working on right now?


Well, there’s the butterfly booklet project. I take small paperbacks and cut them in the shape of a butterfly. Initially I was carving up discarded fiction books with a scroll saw. Now I’m looking at ways to do this with blank paper so that I can fill the pages with my own stories and illustrations. Other projects include investigating ways I can use fading technology such as offset press technology (lithography) with a focus on possible ways to manipulate color separations for creating unique images. Digital might be more cost effective and definitely the way of the future, but there’s something I like about getting ink on my hands as I tinker with older machines like letterpress and offset press. It feels real, gritty and open with possibilities.

YASSSS! Digital is important for the speed and, yes, cost effective potential, but nothing beats the original techniques that laid the foundation for everything we do now. My Color Studies professor just said in lecture today, “big-name software designers must have first had the ability to make any and every transformation by hand.” And as the world relies more on that software, the skills are lost. If you had to pick one medium, which would it be and why?

Ink fascinates me. It’s tactile, it can be vibrant and sometimes it ends up everywhere you don’t want it to be, but it’s just so beautiful. Sliding a knife blade covered with deft blue across the ink disk of a letterpress is a pleasant feeling that’s hard to describe. You have to experience it firsthand to know just how much fun it is to take on the challenge of learning the personalities of ink, paper and mechanical machinery.

Dale produces all sorts of great print materials, you guys. Issue 4 of his zine, Spare Ink, is now available while supplies last. Trust me when I say you want it, nay, NEED it in your life. How can we get our hands on it?


For now, my blog Spare Ink is where you can request copies (only $4 donation!!!) or find news about the latest developments. I’m actively looking for distro to send copies to though so in the future there will be better accessibility.

With that, I’d like to say thank you to Brianna for kindly doing this interview. She’s awesome!




Dale! Thank you so much for sharing your home and your inspirations with us. We had a blast, as usual when you’re around.

And thanks for clicking your way to my little corner of the internet. It is truly my pleasure to share artists’ stories and collect them here, where we can all benefit from such wisdom and beauty.

There’s been a HUGE gap in interviews due to some complications and scheduling issues, but keep an eye on the horizon for more coming soon. Can’t wait? See the Meet: archives.

Brianna Wray Signature