Founded in 1995, SOIL is a not-for-profit cooperative space established, supported and operated by local artists. SOIL exists as an alternative venue for artists to exhibit, develop, and advance their work, and is committed to exhibiting and celebrating art of diverse media and content. The cooperative has been in existence for twenty years and has been consistent in showing a different exhibition each month that opens on every first Thursday. It has received substantial local as well as national press attention.
The organization began in 1995 when a small number of local artists felt a need to exhibit challenging work. They banded together and had a number of exhibitions together in a variety of locations. The group really began to solidify when they found their first home in the now deceased Erikson building, at 82 University, across from the Seattle Art Museum. After a couple of years, SOIL moved to Pioneer Square and stayed for a year in a space beneath the Elliott Bay Book Company. That space proved too small, and they chose to move up to Capitol Hill. On Capital Hill they were at 1205 Pike for two years. This basement space was interesting, but ultimately rent became too much for the quality of space; and SOIL moved again to 1317 Pine Street. But then in 2004, we were invited by a non-profit arts development group to move into a new arts building in Pioneer Square called the Tashiro Kaplan Building. We couldn’t pass up the amazing opportunity and so in June 2004, we moved into our current home in the TK Building at 112 3rd Ave S.
We have shown painting, drawing, sculpture, light based work, wax art, chocolate art, plaster art, interactive art, gerbil art, new media, sculptural installations, sound installations, experiential installations and video. We have also hosted poetry readings, performances, musical events, and other unclassified art… In other words, SOIL will show almost anything, provided it is accepted by the membership.
We accept submissions for curated shows during calls for proposals. Calls happen roughly twice a year. Please check our website regularly for calls. All proposals are viewed by the membership and accepted or declined on a 2/3 vote. If you are proposing an idea for a curated show it is imperative that your statement of intent, concept and background research on the topic be clear and leave us with a strong impression. Images are crucial to our understanding of your proposal. We are, for the most part, a visual group and strong images backed with a strong statement will impress needed membership. All accepted proposals are dependent upon open slots in our exhibition schedule.
We announce a call for show proposals about once a year. Check back often or sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.
We take in members, as space opens up, on an ongoing basis. As we receive new membership applications we review them as a group and then require a 3/4 vote of approval. Most members are people that another current member is familiar with, so it is a good idea to come and talk to members when they are sitting or introduce yourself to members at openings. Express yourself to us so that we get to know you. Again it is imperative that you visually and mentally engage us with your application material. You are trying to stimulate the minds of up to 24 people. When applying for membership we ask for slides, cover letter of intent, a current resume, and a general statement.
Proposal materials will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.