Friday, January 8, 2010


Two years ago today we ignored all economic trends and opened Cairo Gallery, a space for emerging local, national, and international artists of all disciplines. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished as a gallery, and every single artist we’ve hosted in our intimate space. We’ve been encouraged and inspired by your support, and especially the depth of your engagement in Cairo, which is why it pains us deeply to tell you that the space as it’s existed is no longer. Cairo as a gallery will not reopen in 2010, though some elements of its former self will persist. Of note, Cairo will continue to be a venue for great music and occasional film...we may even host another modern dance performance, or let Michael and Emma turn this place into a Narnia-esque (sans biblical references) forest again. Unfortunately the regular 6 week art exhibitions will not be back, nor will one of Cairo’s original founders.

This space could never EVER have happened without Justine, there is just no simpler, nor bolder way to state it. Her vision is an inspiration to me, and everyone else she touches. We are all excited to see what she creates next.

We could give you a list of reasons why running a gallery didn’t work out for us, but ultimately we enjoyed the act of curating and engaging artists, more than the act of hosting and selling. We launched Cairo out of a desire to showcase artists and work that we felt would not otherwise be seen in Seattle, and we did it well.

We’d like to take this time to thank the artists who took a chance on a couple of folks with nothing but passion, and gave us such inspired work in return. We hope other galleries and artspaces will take notice of these artists, as their work deserves to be seen more in Seattle:

Aaron Osborn (NYC)
Alika Cooper (LA)
Chad States (Philadelphia b/w of Seattle)
Edie Tsong (Santa Fe)
Pete Kuhov (Santa Fe)
Kyle Ranson (SF)
Nicholas Kamuda (Seattle)
Jesse Brown (Seattle)
Aaron Harris (Seattle)
Stephen Eichhorn (Chicago)
Toby Liebowitz(Seattle)
Heidi Anderson(website is for her twin sister Erika as well (Seattle/LA)
Amelia Bauer(NYC)

All of these artists truly inspire us. They are the reason why Cairo existed in the first place. Thank you all for showing at Cairo.

Thanks also to the following talented and patient Cairo interns: Emily Stebbins, Jennifer Mao, Serrah Russell, Francesca Lohmann, Sacha Parker, Maegan Bell, and Lindsey Schoeneman

Though we are at times incredibly torn about watching elements of what we created together become history, Justine and I are simultaneously very thankful to be returning to just "partners", as opposed to “business partners”. This is not to say we have regrets, we've reveled in even the most difficult interpersonal/business situations, gaining a greater respect for each other and our relationship in process....more on that here:

The Strange Attractor

The next week will bring more information on Cairo, the space, but not the gallery. A new partner for Cairo has also emerged in Aimee Butterworth, formerly of 20twenty, and one of the driving forces behind The Holy Mountain, a venue for incredible music in Seattle. We’ve chosen to keep the Cairo name, because we think the new space still properly reflects the mission statement written two years ago, which we reprint below. Cairo has never been just one thing, we've lived in each moment of our two years, morphing and adapting, while keeping the integrity of it's original vision completely intact. Cairo is an ever evolving entity. As long as people find a place and a time to engage it, we will continue to tweak, sustain, and grow it.

Mission Statement: Cairo is a forum for creative inquiry and exposure, showcasing visual arts, design, performance, sound, film, and artist-in-residence opportunities. We renegotiate the traditional relationships between artist and institution in partnership with our visiting artists, and, in the process, create an ever-evolving arts space open to all kinds of circumstance.


Joel Leshefka

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cairo Collection Tshirts !

Cairo Collection Tshirts ! Designed by artists Justine Ashbee, Nicholas Kamuda, Jesse Brown . . . Super deliciously soft tees - get your own here