Thursday, December 20, 2012

for your LOVED ONE(S)((SELF))

some ideas for your LOVED ONE(S)((SELF))

Interview with December Artist Shana Cleveland of La Luz

Hi folks!

TONIGHT is Cairo's December art show featuring "Famous Faces" by Shana Cleveland

For this exhibition, Cleveland recreated promoshots from the early days of rock'n'roll, as well as silhouettes and shadow puppets. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing and chatting with Shana last week about her artistic style, Detroit MI, and crazy stories from the road. 

Keep reading to learn more and come to Cairo TONIGHT 7-9 PM to see her work! 

The Foster Twins

The Supremes

Tell me about your work for this show, "Famous Faces". 
This show will be mostly comprised of portraits that I did for my calendar this year, which is called Famous Faces. There are 12 portraits for that--it's all old rock and rollers from the 50s and 60s. There are also going to be a lot of silouhettes--I've been doing a lot of those lately, and maybe a couple other things. My favorite portrait is the one of the Foster Twins. 

What other mediums have you used in the past, if any? 
I've taken a lot of art classes but I've mostly just dabbled in different mediums. When I was in art school in Chicago I did a lot of 3D design work, sculpture, and photography. I went to Columbia College--I started majoring in photography but ended up graduating a degree in poetry. 
I do a lot of design work for show posters in general,  but I don't really consider visual art as my specialty--its just something I like to do. I focus on music the most, artistically speaking. 

How would you describe your personal artistic style in any creative endeavor?
It's weird…when I draw people, I think it looks exactly like the person in real life. But I know that's not true. It's really pop art, kind of comic, I guess. I don't put a lot of artistic weight on it. 
It's different with my music, I usually try to make something that's really fun and familiar, but not something that I've heard before. I wanted to make something really fun to hear and easy to understand, you know? Music that is not exclusive or necessary to be a part of the scene to enjoy, but also have more depth there for those who want it. I want it to stand a lot of listens. 
Lyrics are really important for me, too. I wanted the lyrics to be easily understandable, but not cliche. 

Any mediums you want to explore? 
I am pretty much doing exactly what I want to do with music right now--La Luz is the most exciting thing I've done so far. We just started up this summer, after I got back from tour with The Curious Mystery. We have a tape coming out on Burger Records, and a 7 " coming out on Water Wing which is a division of Mississippi Records. Those are coming out at about the same time, so we are going on our first tour of the West Coast in March. 

What are you most proud of in your career so far? 
Hmm, I don't know. I am most proud of La Luz, I think. The portraits, as much as I love doing them, are easy. Mostly, this new band is what I am really proud of. Marian played in The Curious Mystery with me and The Pica Beats. The other musicians, Abbey and Katie, I met at Cafe Racer. They do mostly classical and jazz music--I met them at a jazz jam session at Racer. This is their first rock band. 

Where are you from? 
I am from Kalamazoo, MI. When I was 18 I moved to Chicago for school. Kalamazoo was cool though, there were a lot of underage punk shows and a cool music scene happening when I was there. 

Where is your favorite place on the road?
I really love being on tour. I liked playing on house shows in Michigan and Philadelphia--places where kids are really excited and stoked to see a band. One of the best tour experiences I've had was when we played at a DIY loft showspace in Michigan. The kids were totally flipping out and screaming and dancing, and when I told them we were originally from Michigan, they went hysterical. It was amazing. 

Best tour story?
When we were toured this summer with Calvin Johnson's band The Hive Dwellers, and we went to Greensboro, NC. We were  crashing at our friend's house while he was at work because he set up the show for us. All of a sudden the cops came and apparently they received reports that people had broken into the house and were ransacking the place--but we were just sitting around--reading. More and more cops kept coming, and eventually the house was full of cops, and they were asking WHERE'S THE DRUGS???  It was a total misunderstanding and no one got arrested but I was pretty sure we were going to. Calvin was making fun of the cops and they took him outside with his hands behind his back. Ha, that was pretty crazy. 

What are your greatest musical influences? 

Lately I've been influenced by Link Wray more than anyone on my quest to become an awesome surf guitar player. And classics like The Velvet Underground, Billie Holiday, the Beatles, Kinks, Stones, and Stevie Wonder. And Television. And Mississippi Records tapes bigtime. Really amazing singers like Irma Thomas and loose wild singers like Will Oldham and Ariel Pink and Lou Reed...Lou Reed's got the coolest noises.

See you tonight!
507 E Mercer 

7-9. Drinks and conversation provided ;)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

HOLIDAY gift guide

OPEN EVERYDAY from 12-7pm on Capitol Hill, 
Come see one of our gift giving specialists 
to help pick out the perfect something for your someone special

Cozy, knit caps made in the Pacific Northwest.
Crystals and Terrariums.
Colorful Leather Journals.

The softest sweatshirts you will ever own.

Painted wooden bangles from LA.
Soy candles from Brooklyn. Special favorite: CAMPFIRE!
Handmade jewelry, this one from new local jeweler IE: Nebulous.
2013 Moon Cycle Calendar with astrological phases.
The Wild Unknown Tarot deck.
Full Moon, super soft t-shirts.
Leather wallets handmade in Minnesota.
Hand-blended fragrances, made in Portland.

Local design duo, Iacoli & McAllister, new necklaces just out!

Seattle artist C.M. Ruiz designed for Cairo.
All Colors. 

Cozy blankets.
Pocket notepads.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Silkscreen Workshop: Monday, Dec. 3 at 7 pm

Personalized, handmade works of art are the best holiday gifts!

$45 gets you this great workshop, teaching you the basics of silkscreening t-shirts, posters and more, plus 1 month's worth of 7 day a week access to our studio to create your very own goodies. Stop by or email cairosilkscreening (at) to reserve a spot!

Thursday, November 15, 2012



Read Max & Graham's interview and come prepared to WRASTLE!

The Interview: 

1. In a sentence or 2, please introduce yourself (as Max & Graham) and your style of art. 
G: Hi, I'm Graham. We do stuff and make stuff. 
M: I'm Max. We do stuff and make stuff.

2. Where do most of your ideas for pieces come from?
G: Explosions, white chicks, pot, maguffins, youtube videos with like 45 views, bulk items, porches, UFO abductees, Luminas, celebrity cardboard cut outs. 
M: VHS, cults, long nights, tool dip, stone texture. Chains of thoughts. We steal a lot of stuff from other people and then accuse them of stealing it from us.

3. What is "Wrastle"? How should the audience come prepared? 
G: Take some shots before you come. Wear tight clothes and if you own a mouth guard bring it. 
M: Wrastle is a chance to experience something a lot of people either never experienced or haven't for a long time, and that is the experience of ruff-housin with somebody in your living room. This isn't backyard wrestling or sport wrestling, this is like your brother beating you up for no reason and man it's fun. We wanted to make an experience rather than a static image, and also I love wrastling.

4. What is the best prank you have pulled off (individually and together)? 
G: Recently we hung a note on our buddy Goodman's door that just said we were really sorry. We didn't actually do anything but he was furious about it and demanded to know what we had done. He then threatened to set me on fire. We all had a pretty good laugh though. 
M: We hid a dildo above the door to our roommates room and her mom walked in and it hit her mom on the head with the dildo.

5. What is your most played song of 2012? 
G: Monster Mash.
M: Monster Mash. But it's quickly becoming Y'all Ready For This.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EXPO Artist Interview Continued!


Here are two more artist interviews for EXPO 90, starting tomorrow @ Cairo!

In a sentence, please introduce yourself.
Megumi Shauna Arai

What forms of photography do you most prefer? (Digital, film,
digitally altered, etc)
120 and alt process with mad respect for digital.

Where have you spent most of your life? How has this place affected
your art and your work?
We lived in Seattle and Tokyo growing up. Unrelated to that, I have spent a lot of time confined. It feels good to be free.

How does the theme "The End: 2012" resonate with you? What does it conjure?
Everything ends and I’m terrified of endings so its good stuff to meditate on.

Do you plan to prepare for the demise of civilization in any way?
 Tell my mom I love her.

What is the last song you would listen to before the end of the world?
Dignified & Old - The Modern Lovers

In a sentence, please introduce yourself.
My name is Lauren, I live in Seattle, and photography is my medium to share beauty and thoughts with others.

What forms of photography do you most prefer? (Digital, film,
digitally altered, etc)
I prefer film, especially 35mm. I mainly use a Canon A1 that my mom gave me back in high school, one that she has had since the 1980's; or different point and shoots I've accumulated over the years. Recently, I bought an Olympus XA2 at a flea market in San Francisco that has been great to make images with.

Where have you spent most of your life? How has this place affected
your art and your work?
I've always lived in the area, I grew up in Olympia, and moved to Seattle 8 years ago. I feel that the landscape here shows through in my work, because I love shooting outdoors quite a bit with Northwest themes. I was recently featured on the Nordstrom blog (, and they described my work as having a "laid-back hedonism that is quintessentially Northwest". That sounds about right to me.

How does the theme "The End: 2012" resonate with you? What does it conjure?
I believe that all this apocalypse, and "end of the world" jargon is really just alluding to more of an awakening in humanity's consciousness; hopefully progressing together in a positive manner that benefits us all, and our earth.

Do you plan to prepare for the demise of civilization in any way?
Not really, but if I'm wrong, I would want to have a big feast at my house with friends and family.

What is the last song you would listen to before the end of the world?
"This must be the place" By The Talking Heads, it's been my favorite song for quite some time.

Interview of Max & Graham coming soon!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

EXPO 90 Artist Interviews.

Hi Folks! Cairo's annual EXPO 90 festival is starting THIS THURSDAY, November 15th, with a group photography show titled "The End", and "Wrastle", an interactive performance by Max & Graham. 

Here are short interviews with a few of the photographers to get you prepped for the big night! 

1. In a sentence, please introduce yourself. 
My name is Andrew Nedimyer and I hide behind a beard.

2. What forms of photography do you most prefer? (Digital, film, digitally altered, etc)
I prefer to shoot film. Primarily 35mm on a variety of cameras. My go-to is my Contax T3.

3. Where have you spent most of your life? How has this place affected your art and your work? 
I grew up in Orlando Florida, and moved to Seattle 5 years ago. Seattle is full of creative types and it's easy to find inspiration here. I think the friends I've made here have made the most impact on anything creative I do. 

4. How does the theme "The End: 2012" resonate with you? What does it conjure? 
I imagined the end of the world being a physical place, it makes me think of the cover of the book, "Where the Sidewalk Ends".

5. Do you plan to prepare for the demise of civilization in any way?
I'll probably just order a pepperoni pizza and sit at home watching Wayne’s World. 

6. What is the last song you would listen to before the end of the world? 
Asleep by the Smiths or Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-lot.

1. In a sentence, please introduce yourself. 
I'm Serrah Russell, an artist and curator living in Seattle and working with instant film, found photography, and digital imagery. 

2. What forms of photography do you most prefer? (Digital, film, digitally altered, etc) 
I prefer instant film and typically use Fuji Instax and Fuji FP100C and shoot on a Instax Camera and a vintage  Polaroid Land Camera 100 that was a complete steal for $3.99 at the Dearborn Goodwill. The piece I have included in this show, "This is not the end. This is only the beginning" is actually an archival print from a digital scan of an original Polaroid. I really like the immediacy of instant film as well as the way it helps me to be more considerate and decisive about my shots. 

3. Where have you spent most of your life? How has this place affected your art and your work? 
All of the life that I can remember has been spent here in the Pacific Northwest. I truly feel like I live in a dream, this city is so full of community, creativity, and surrounded by so much natural beauty. Everyday I wake up and look out at Elliott Bay from our balcony and am beyond grateful that I get to live here. 

The PNW has affected my work in a strong way that is quietly revealing itself more and more these days. Nature merges with city in such a specific and intricate way here and it adds a depth to each individual's narrative within their place. I feel like much of my recent collage work, particularly the work I put together for the Northwest art subscription program LxWxH addresses the emotion and story of people and their emotional experience within their dwelling or their surrounding. 

I'm fairly in love with Seattle and honestly, I think I have been for quite some time but am only now beginning to realize just how much. Being in love with a place, its people and their potential has influenced me to really invest and put down roots. I'll certainly be here for a while. 

4. How does the theme "The End: 2012" resonate with you? What does it conjure? 
The End conjures up thoughts of science fiction ala Kurt Vonnegut, ideas of time travel, hope for endless possibilities. I really enjoy the idea of an imminent ending of the world, because it elicits many questions and theories as well as a deeper understanding of our present. I believe that nothing ends but rather transitions into a beginning. So The End has a positive light to me, as if it is a conduit into a new place. I believe in the eternality of actions as they continue to affect the future so nothing is really over. 

5. Do you plan to prepare for the demise of civilization in any way?
I don't have a current plan though recently I have been beginning and ending my day with thoughts of thankfulness for all the beautiful and lovely things of this world, so maybe my plan is to just live as well as I can until the world stops. However, if a zombie apocalypse became a reality, I think my husband has some specific plans for survival that he formed based on watching the television series Walking Dead. I believe they involve us creating a commune with all the people we know who have specific skills that can help us survive. We have a gardener, computer engineer, artist, and cook, so I think we really just need some medicinal help like a nurse or doctor to complete the whole package. 

6. What is the last song you would listen to before the end of the world? 
If I'm leaving this world, I'm going out with Bob Dylan so I think I would have to say either The Times They Are A-Changin' or Wedding Song. In Wedding Song I'm particularly thinking of this line:

"It's never been my duty to remake the world at large,
nor is it my intention to sound a battle charge
'Cause I love you more than all of that with a love that doesn't bend
and if there is eternity I'd love you there again."

1. In a sentence, please introduce yourself.
Aquarius, vegetarian, jogger, lover, dreamer. 

2. What forms of photography do you most prefer? (Digital, film, digitally altered, etc)
Poetic beautiful imagery.

3. Where have you spent most of your life? How has this place affected your art and your work? 
U.S.A. It has inspired me to search for endless beauty in such a tacky place.

4. How does the theme "The End: 2012" resonate with you? What does it conjure? 
Ridiculous superstition bunch of nonsense the fundamentalists love to preach about.

5. Do you plan to prepare for the demise of civilization in any way?
Some may argue turning on the radio dial is proof that civilization has already died.

6. What is the last song you would listen to before the end of the world? 
Judge Dread 'End of the World' followed by the Pet Shop Boys 'The End of the World' no irony just great songs.

More interviews to come, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DANIEL HIGGS (lungfish) / / Arrington de Dionyso / / Calvin Johnson

BIG UP to Daniel Higgs, known primarily for his work in the seminal 90s punk band LUNGFISH. Cairo is proud to be presenting this show NOVEMBER 9th, at 8 pm. Joining him will be Arrington de Dionyso & K Records mastermind, Calvin Johnson.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Next Silkscreen Workshop is Nov. 13 at 7 pm

Make your own t-shirts, posters and more! $45 gets you this great workshop, teaching you the basics of silkscreening shirts and posters + 1 month's worth of 7 day a week access to our studio to create your very own goodies. Stop by or email cairosilkscreening (at) to reserve a spot!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sea Change: Inside the Artist's Studio with Shaun Kardinal

This month, Cairo is excited to show the work of artist Shaun Kardinal, in his series titled Reiterations. The collection, opening on OCTOBER 11th at CAIRO, features a progression of the artist's work with hand-embroidered two dimensional memorabilia, primarily in the form of vintage postcards and magazines. Shaun primarily works from home, which happens to be one floor down from my home. As building mates, we decided to hold the interview from 'inside the studio'. Here is an image of Shaun's workspace: 

 The 'studio'
During the interview, we caught up on the Space Needle as a public work of art, dog-people artists versus cat-people artists, and pizza at the neighborhood Pine Box. Here is a photo of Shaun in front of one of his favorite buildings in Seattle:

Shaun and his lady, artist Erin Frost, share an apartment and an enormous cat, who enjoys entertaining himself with much of the artist's supplies. 
The artist with blog star Charlie Chew

Read on to learn more about the collection featured and the artist himself! 

The Interview: 

Tell me about this show, "Reiterations". 
Both series that I am presenting are continuous and numbered–Alterations, an embroidered postcard project now past 60 works, and the bigger, collaged series Connotations pushing 40. The "Iterations" in the title comes from that ongoing count. "Reiterations" denotes that its not a new concept--its a continuation of those series. 
The whole embroidery thing started when I was sharing pieces of art in the mail a few years ago with some friends. At the time, I was focused on photography and was getting burnt out on my self portraits. When a friend sent me a postcard that was embroidered and collaged, I really loved the idea, so I made my own and sent it back. I got really into it and started sewing up postcards left and right. Of course, they were much more collage-oriented back then–little scenes built up with bits of string. One thing I really liked immediately about the medium was that there's not a lot of waste, especially compared to photography.

What other art mediums have you worked with in the past?
I did a little bit of screen printing for a while, then I was really interested in bumper stickers, as well as some some video and installation stuff. But since 2006 I've focused primarily on photography and these embroidered projects. 

When did you first start creating/making art? 
I always drew when I was a kid, but usually just cartoons and things I would see on TV. In high school I took a lot of art classes and got pretty skilled at drawing and photography, but I lost interest when I graduated. I grabbed my camera again in my early twenties. I worked at a frame shop in Pioneer Square around that time, and we started an art gallery there, so I started taking photos and compiling a body of work. My cohort Dan Carrillo bought me a great little medium format camera and I shot my first show with it. It was the first time I made an effort to be a part of the art world that I had worked with so closely at the frame shop. It was pretty great. 

How would you describe your personal artistic style? 
There is a lot of focus on color, with lots of geometry and planning. At the same time, I make a lot of arbitrary decisions--the images I choose for the work are chosen at a gut level, intentionally ignoring its content. For example, a lot of the time, the circles for the Connotations pieces are cut from the back, and I won't worry about what part of the image I will or won't cut through. Almost all of the postcards are completely planned out on the back with no correlation to the image on the cover–aside from the color choices. So yeah, a lot of arbitrary decisions, as well as hyper organization and focus on precision. It works for me--it's a productive pairing of things.

Which of your pieces are you the most proud of? 
This latest Connotations is my favorite thing I've ever created, I think. They are very satisfying. I am also really happy with a project I did last year with my girl Erin Frost

Where are you from? Do you think your upbringing manifests in your work?
I am originally from Tracy, California, right outside the Bay area. Tracy is nothing like the bay area, though: it's one of those middle-of-everything towns, super corporate. It was the largest growing town in the USA when I left because its right between Sacramento, SF and San Jose, so everybody just lived there and commuted, which made it a weird town. It was run by the teenage kids of commuter parents, all working at the myriad chain stores.

I moved here after high school. I love it here, but i feel like there is a ceiling you hit here in the art world. It's comfortable, and you can do well for a long time, but you can't reach past a certain point. 

As for my upbringing having an effect on the work, I think the content of my photography was more a direct result of that. However, I am attracted very much to vintage imagery, and I am unsure where that nostalgia comes from, since the suburbia I knew is not what appears in these images I choose. Maybe some kind of longing for a past I'll never have? Getting deep here.

Did you have a summer highlight? 
My trip with my girl to Portland was pretty great. We went down there to see Twin Shadow and stayed in a fancy hotel. It was hot there at the time, too--it wasn't quite summer yet here, even mid-August. I really like Portland!

Do you have a favorite record of all time?
I have a few. I used to have a real hold on that in my twenties... at-the-ready lists of favorites. But now it's hard to really call anything an absolute favorite. I can always go back to Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips, and I really love Microcastle by Deerhunter. I'll listen to most anything by David Bowie or the Beatles, standards like that. Pretty much every Pulp record. Tender Buttons by Broadcast. Sunset Rubdown's Shut Up, I am DreamingHoliday by Magnetic Fields. I listen to music all the time. 

Do you have a go-to karaoke jam? 
Yes, These Eyes by The Guess Who.

Where do most of your inspirations come from?
Being a web developer, I spend a lot of time online, including plenty of time browsing design and art blogs, clicking through my Tumblr dashboard. I save graphics with shapes and patterns I want to try to generate with the thread and refer to them when I need a kickstart. I love color, and I'm always grabbing more and more embroidery thread. 

Are there any local artists you've been blown away by recently?
Casey Curran is always amazing. A long time favorite of mine is Victoria Haven–I'm really looking forward to seeing her contribution to the Elles exhibit at the SAM. As far as projects go, I think everything that Todd Jannausch does is really smart. People should give him more money to do his projects. 

If you could do a public project of art, where and what would you do?
I mentioned bumper stickers earlier–a few years ago when that was my thing, I got a grant to produce an outdoor exhibition which would feature a series of stickers promoting everyday stuff like air, trees, sidewalks, walls, and on and on... which would be illustrated texts in the style of band stickers and campaign slogans. Unfortunately, for that project at least, by the time the money was available, I had lost interest in stickers. Thinking about it now, though, I feel like there could still be something to it. I wonder if I can still get that $1000...

Thanks to Shaun for the interview and we are excited to see you for the opening on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11TH at CAIRO!