WHO: United Indians of All Tribes Foundation
WHAT: Hattie Kauffman Exhibit Opening and Reception
WHEN: Thursday, July 16, 2015 6-9pm
WHERE: Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center
Sacred Circle Gallery
5011 Bernie Whitebear Way
Seattle, WA 98199
“It’s just another way of telling a story,” says artist, writer, and former network news correspondent Hattie Kauffman about her work as a painter. Storytelling is something she knows well. During a thirty year career in television news, (which began at KING-¬-5 and went on to Good Morning America and CBS News) Kauffman has written thousands of stories on “…breaking news, features, sports, crime, celebrities, you name it.”
She wrote her own story in the critically acclaimed memoir Falling Into Place.
But she says communicating through art has opened a new world to her. She has always been interested in painting, but her life in broadcast journalism kept her busy until 8 years ago when she took a drawing class while in Los Angeles. Her journey to become a painter continued when she moved back to Seattle in 2011.
“I began taking classes at the old Patrick Howe Gallery on Eastlake and it was like a part of myself -¬–¬-that I didn’t know existed-¬–¬- came alive.”
Her painting “Girls Grand Entry” was selected as the image of the 2015 Sea Fair Pow Wow. Her first solo exhibit opens at Sacred Circle Gallery in the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center on Thursday, July 16th. On exhibit will be ten of Kauffman’s paintings including still life, landscape, and several with a Native theme.
“Girls Grand Entry is a great example of ‘story’ in a painting. It’s all about the central figure’s right foot. Notice how it’s raised?” she asks. “That one gesture marks the change from standing to dancing, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.” Kauffman says it’s fitting that her first exhibit is at Discovery Park’s Daybreak
Star located on Bernie Whitebear Way.
“Bernie would get a kick out of it,” she smiles. “A lot of people don’t know this, but as a teenager I was one of those who climbed the fence during the takeover of Fort Lawton.” (In 1970 Fort Lawton, a decommissioned US Army post in Seattle, was taken over by Native Americans led by the late Bernie Whitebear. The occupation led to the establishment of a social service and cultural arts center for urban Indians, one of the first of its kind.)
Now Hattie Kauffman is back on the property, this time as a Native American artist with a story all her own. She is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and was born in Idaho but raised in Seattle. The Kauffman family has long been active in the cultural and social life of the local Seattle Native community.
“Even though we grew up kind of poor, starting out in the housing projects at High Point, art was always around us. My dad painted a portrait of my mom, which was framed and hung in the living room.” Hattie says. “And a 1973 portrait of my brother (late actor, director and play-write John Kauffman) hangs in my office today.”
The exhibition runs July 16th to September 30th at the Sacred Circle Gallery, located at 5011 Bernie Whitebear Way, Seattle WA 98199. For more information, contact United Indians of All Tribes Foundation at 206/285-4425.