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The Curator: Sierra Stinson

Age: 26
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Favorite Place in Seattle: The pedestrian bridge at Carkeek Park
Go-to Karaoke Song: “And She Was,” Talking Heads

Sierra Stinson has nothing against art galleries. She just doesn’t need them.

In December 2010, the California native hosted the first in a twice-monthly series of shows that take place in her Capitol Hill studio apartment. Called Vignettes, the one-night-only events eschew the depressing politics of galleries. They’ve quickly emerged as one of the more sought-after spaces for artists to show in Seattle. For each one, Stinson moves her bed into her closet to make room for intimate and wildly inventive shows by Troy Gua, Matthew Offenbacher, Greg Lundgren and more.

“Sierra’s timing is impeccable, in terms of her seeing her cultural moment and acting, based on wanting to provide a place for her friends to show their work and talk things out,” says Gretchen Bennett, one of Stinson’s former Cornish instructors and another Vignettes artist. “In joining the conversation at the moment she did, she is helping to shape it.”

Stinson plans to host Vignettes as long as she has her lease and will continue to search out new spaces for art. Late this month, she and artist Susan Robb will create “Onn/Of,” a festival of light that Stinson hopes will brighten up the dreary Seattle winter.

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Photography by Kyle Johnson at Melrose Market Studios.

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