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A Collaborative Habitat for Artists

Hello, Seattle art community! FRED wants to meet you and introduce you to like-minded individuals!

FRED Wildlife Refuge is a privately-run, collaborative art center that includes a photo studio, art gallery, performance/rehearsal studio (for physical arts) and scene shop. A refuge for Seattle's most inventive and innovative artists FRED challenges creatives to break away from their normal routine and venture into unlikely collaborations with artists of disciplines other than their own. FRED will provide space for collaboration among (but not limited to) music, dance, physical performance, digital media, literary artists and visual artists to enter into cross-genre partnerships with the intent of adding new repertoire to Seattle's already vibrant art scene.

FRED, the brainchild of Can Can's Owner/Artistic Director Chris Snell (was recently featured on the cover of City Arts' new "Power Issue"), occupies the former Milkie Studio which was home to legendary photographer Fred Milkie. The re-imagined 5,200 square foot space is located in the heart of Capitol Hill. It will continue the tradition of over 40 years' worth of art creation while aiming to invigorate new life into art-enthusiasts and creators by providing a place to bridge exciting new ideas with inventive and unlikely collaborations. FRED will offer residencies to select local artists.


It all began January 20 with the FRED GALLERY'S first installation. Stay-Cation is a collaboration by artists Jason Wood and Sean M. Johnson. It is a visual play on the same active euphemism in vogue today. We have been tightening our belts, saving money, and taking fewer vacations during the seemingly unending recession that our country has been enduring. To get relief we have to find joy in the little comforts of life. Jason Wood and Sean M. Johnson set out to help us find those comforts. The artists have built an environment that could permanently adjust the idea of play and open a new world of repurposing for the viewer using experientially laden objects as a tether. We are invited to interact with what Jason and Sean are calling a "sample of a playground that is already all around us." This fun and interactive exhibition will surely bring some enjoyment to those that visit the prodigious event.

Jason Wood is a Chicago native whose artist mother and carpenter father brought him up with a great appreciation for craftsmanship and skilled labor. This appreciation juxtaposed with Chicago's hyper-urban environment, and the natural setting that surrounds the city instilled in Jason a unique curiosity of the history of trade materials and the romantic nature of a tool in a skilled hand. Sean M. Johnson was born in Columbus, Ohio and also draws heavily from his experience with his parents and environment. As he grew up in a biracial family with a lower middle class society, Sean's understanding of race and aesthetics were formed out of the dichotomies that are inherent in both. The two met at the University of Washington while obtaining their respective MFAs. They have come together out of a passion for using their visual vernacular to express cultural ideas, and their deep-rooted belief in Art.

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