Monday, June 25, 2012

Next Silkscreen Workshop is Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m.

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 alchemy.of.time (at) to reserve a spot!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Few Words With Graphic Designer Christopher Harrell

Cairo is excited to feature work by artist and graphic designer Christopher Harrell, opening on June 14th!

A motion designer for World Famous by day, Harrell has been exploring other mediums in his spare time, including woodblock printing, sculpture, and typography. "Last Words" is a show featuring typographic prints of the last words of the artist's favorite books, and will be on display for the month of June here at CAIRO. 

Christopher stopped by yesterday to answer a few questions regarding his inspirations for this show, the origins of his work with woodblock printing, and his current favorite tunes. Read on!

The interview: 

Tell me about your show, Last Words.
Well, the idea was to take the last sentences from books that I loved, or have been instrumental in my past, and turn those into typography pieces. I wanted to turn those words into designs based on artistic elements in the books, and as well as find a way to make the words look interesting on their own.

How did you learn to woodblock print?
I have always been interested in different types of printing, especially screen-printing. I do graphic design as a profession, and there is such is such a history in woodblock printing and typography in graphic design, so i wanted to learn the roots of what I do for work on the computer. So I started taking classes at School of Visual Communications to learn.

Tell me a little about the work you do as a professional.
I am a motion designer at World Famous, which means I do all sorts of design and animation. I do a lot of things based around typography, and designing the looks and feels of video. But I really love typography and graphic design in general, so that is what I do in my own work.

Biggest inspirations for the show?
There are some really amazing artists that work just with type, like Lawrence Weiner and Jenny Holzer. I've always been really interested in the fine arts that mix elements of graphic design. I'm really into artists that take words out of context.

What are some of your inspirations from life, other than artists and methods?
Well, there are words everywhere. Words are always inspiring me, or bothering me, in the way they are laid out. The type or work I do breeds a lot of obsessive-compulsive disorders, so I am always trying to adjust things.

How would you describe your personal artistic style?
That’s hard to describe, but there is certainly a palette that I always use. I like a lot of pastels and obnoxious colors. I think most of my work is fairly influenced by art and design that came out of the sixties: some of it has a Swiss International style and some of it has more of a French New Wave style.

What are you listening right now?
I've had Damien Jurado on repeat lately, and I just started listening to Mariee Sioux. I like trippy folk music. ASAP Rocky just came out with a new single that I've been listening to. Bryan John Appleby is in fairly constant play. It tends to be people I know most of the time. Also, I really like Youth Lagoon.

What are you the most proud of in your work at the moment?
Working with type in the design world is so intimidating; people treat it like such a holy thing you know, and I’m stoked that I’ve been able to become comfortable with it. A person I print with at SVC recently called me a typographer, and I realized that I am kind of am a typographer. So I am proud that I am comfortable with this new medium.

Where can I find your work?
I just did new show posters for Lemolo and Bryan John Appleby. A team of us at work did the SIFF poster, which is going to be in the new edition of Communication Arts. And next week World Famous is going to start shooting for Capitol Hill Block Party.

What is next for you?
I have been thinking a lot about 3D printing and sculpting, and taking a break from posters, but, of course, there is never enough time.

Many thanks to Christopher to stopping by, and we hope to see you all on THURSDAY, JUNE 14th for the opening, 7-9 PM!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


CAIRO is now hiring for two unique internship opportunites. Deadline is JUNE 22nd

Media Intern 

Cairo is seeking an outgoing, motivated, creative individual to become the 2012 Summer/Fall Media Intern.  This is a unique opportunity to get experience working with an established grassroots Arts, Music & Events space.  

This internship is available to anyone over 18, and will involve one 4 hour shift, and on average 5-10 additional hours per work outside of the space.   The intern will work on a variety of projects, promoting and coordinating press for on-going music, art, and special events at Cairo. In addition intern will work on specific off site events, including the Second Annual Vibrations Festival this August in Seattle. Additionally there will be occasional work on upcoming and previous Cairo Records releases.

Specific Tasks to include:

 - One weekly 4 hour in-store shift to be determined
 - Assisting at Music shows (working the door/monitoring the space)
 - Drafting and distributing Cairo press releases
 - Establishing new media contacts
 - Distributing flyers for larger events
 - Updating Cairo Blog for upcoming events

Skills preferred:

 - Previous experience promoting events ("Arts" field preferred)
 - Ability to work under multiple individuals
 - Interest in CairoCairo activities
 - Web design a big plus
 - Strong writing & communication skills


 - This is an un-paid position
 - May be transferable as school credit
 - $100 monthly store credit
 - Free silkscreening training, access to studio, and supplies at cost
 - Free admission to all Cairo events
 - Copies of all Cairo Records releases

Fashion & Design Intern 

Cairo is now accepting applications for 2012 Summer/Fall Fashion and Design Intern.  This individual will be working on the direction of Cairo's retail store.  

Specific Tasks to include:
 - One 4 hour shift per week to be determined
 - Assisting in Photo Shoots and Styling
 - Help with Online stores
 - Updating Blog and Tumblr accounts
 - Developing new content for Cairo Blog

Skills preferred:
 - Previous work in fashion or retail (one of these is required)
 - Ability to multi-task
 - Warm and inviting personality
 - Ability to operate a digital SLR camera
 - Self-motivated, overachiever preferred

- This is an un-paid position
 - $100 monthly store credit
 - Free silkscreening training, access to studio, and supplies at cost
 - May be transferable as school credit
 - Free admission to all Cairo events
 - Copies of all Cairo Records releases

PLEASE SEND A PARAGRAPH, up to a page letter of interest outlining any relevant experience, and your reasons for applying for the specific internship.  Deadline is JUNE 22nd.  Email to, or drop off in person 12-7 daily at Cairo.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Strong Female Leads: Violet Strays' Serrah Russell and Alyssa Volpigno

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Violet Strays co-curators Serrah Russell and Alyssa Volpigno. Without meeting these ladies prior to our interview at Cairo, I had no idea what to expect of the two, and I am happy to say that beyond being a pleasure to interview, they are full of ardent energy and creative innovation for their work. 

As the founders of Violet Strays, an online art gallery, Serrah and Alyssa created an artist forum that "seeks to emphasize temporality while forging connections between artists through the internet." Up and running for over a year now, the gallery features a new artist of various mediums each week. Created from an artist's perspective, the work in the gallery is carefully selected to fit the aesthetic of transience.   

Throughout the interview, Alyssa, Serrah, and I talked about Boston terriers, appropriate "office food", and the precise art of flavor combinations. Check out photos and words from their interview below. 

The Photoshoot:


Alyssa contemplating 'her' flavor

 Serrah's I-Just-Won-a-Trip-to-Rome!! face


Want to see more photos from the shoot? Go to our Tumblr.

The interview:

Tell me about Violet Strays. What inspired this idea? 
S It started when we were planning to curate a show specifically for collage artists. We applied for a gallery space and didn't  get it, but we had already had made the connections with artists, so we started thinking about another way to showcase these artists without physical space. 
A It seemed like a natural choice to do something online, its a good way to reach people on a global level and much less expensive. 

What sorts of artists are you interested in showcasing? 
S I think we're interested in showing artists that we connect with visually, as well as ones that  feel like they are able to take a week of time on the website and do something that is interactive: to really use the medium and forum we provide. Artists that are willing to take the time and really think about what it means to be exhibited in this type of space. 

Where are you from? 
A I'm from Hillsboro, Oregon. I've been up here since 2007 to go to UW for Interdisciplinary Visual Arts. 
S I grew up in a really cool town south of Seattle called Kent… ha. I came up here to study photography at UW. 

What medium do you typically focus on with your art? 
S I do a lot of collage and mixed/found media, usually using photographic imagery--I use a lot of  fashion magazines and found photos and try to reinterpret the concepts of the images in my art.   
A I also do a lot of collage, mostly with fashion magazines and National Geographics from the 60s and 70s.

What was your first artistic inspiration? 
S I started taking pictures when I was little. I was just taking pictures of really lame stuff on vacation, but somehow at a young age I knew I wanted to to photography. It was really the only thing I wanted to do for college as well. 
A Growing up, my mom and I always did arts and crafts in the afternoon. It was a really nice outlet and routine that I decided I wanted to pursue through college. 

What are you the most proud of at the moment, career or otherwise? 
S I'm really proud of being featured in the current show at Lawrimore Project, "Can't Get There From Here". It's a really strong show that Scott Lawrimore put together with Isaac Layman, Amanda Manitach, Britta Johnson, and others. 
A I am most proud of my business, Saltimbanque Chocolates, at the moment. I just  got on the roster for The Seattle Storefronts Project. 

You are a chocolatier? (!!) 
Yes! So I graduated college in December 2010 and I was looking for a job, so I started a chocolate company. The name "Saltimbanque" comes from the Picasso painting Famille de Saltimbanque. The aesthetic of the business has a fun circus feel to it. 

Who are 3 people from history that you would invite to dinner? 
A Cher, John Steinbeck, Tim Gunn, 
S Steve Martin, Jeff Bridges, Kristen Wiig 

What was the last book you read? 
A Haha, I just finished Dave Ramsay's "Total Money Makeover". I don't think I've read anything that would be considered literature lately. 
S The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, which actually kind of motivated me to quit my day job in a way. 

How would you describe your personal style? 
A "Structured bohemian" I would say. I love turquoise and brown leather and southwest detailing, but I still like to look presentable. 
S More recently I have tried to narrow down my wardrobe to pieces I am more excited about, I am inspired by my sister, who has about 4 pieces in her closet. I'm always trying to narrow it down and become more of a minimalist. I like the idea of mixing feminine and masculine--a very balanced look, just like our signs. We are both libras.

Favorite places to go in Seattle? 
S I like going to Clever Bottle a lot in Belltown. It's very unlike most bars there--creates a good aesthetic experience; everything is done very thoughtfully.
A I love going to the Magnuson 'little dog' park, with my boston terrier. 

If you had to pick a flavor to best represent yourself, which would it be? 
A Cinnamon, Fig, Tequila 
S Tobacco, Honey, Ginger

What is next for both of your careers?
A With Violet Strays, we are continuing to push forward with more great artists. We always have our ears open for a space for a pop-up exhibition. 
S I am also working on putting together a show for August at Paper Hammer Gallery featuring artists who use found materials, as well as an upcoming show with Maggie Carson Romano at SOIL Gallery.

Thanks again to AV & SR for the laughs. Until next time!

*Many thanks to Elissa Ball for letting me steal her tagline for the title of this interview!