By Maureen Hoffmann
Special to the B-Town Blog
Have they caught your eye? Piqued your curiosity? Thanks to Merrill Gardens  and The Maverick Apartments , Burien has innovative, new spaces devoted to the public display of sculpture, drawings, paintings and artistic installations. The City of Burien is partnering with The Maverick Apartments and Merrill Gardens to bring art to downtown Burien. The plan is to showcase community art in the windows for three-month intervals.
According to the City of Burien:
“As part of the design review process for the two developments, the City encouraged the architects to create a display space for local art. City design standards require buildings to have specific elements to make the downtown a pedestrian-friendly place. This includes how a building presents itself to the street. We want to avoid blank walls and make the streetscape more interesting to the pedestrian. There are multiple ways to achieve this: retail space, landscaping, and art displays. The City worked in partnership with the developer to meet the intent of the design standards. The result was the inclusion of display windows in the final design–meeting both the buildings’ needs and contributing to our downtown streetscape.”
On the east side of Merrill Gardens, along 4th Ave. SW between SW 151st and SW 150th, passersby will see nine lighted display cases. Currently showing is the work of John Taylor: bold, intriguing ceramic sculptures, drawings and paintings.
John Taylor’s exhibit is titled “35 years of Art Making”. In the artist’s words:
“I can truly say I am lucky and have been living the dream, making art for 35 plus years. I began my career as a photographer and print maker. This morphed into painting and then later ceramics. The figure has been a continual source of inspiration and source material for my work. My current studio practice involves painting, drawing, printmaking, and ceramics.” (On display until the end of March 2018.)
More information about John Taylor can be found at http://www.jatceramics.com 
Artist’s Reception with John Taylor
Our Meet-and-Greet with John Taylor will be on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 3 p.m. in the Merrill Gardens Bistro. We will have some refreshments and beverages and it will be a lovely time for everyone!
The Maverick Apartments
Have you noticed the curious glassed-in space at the northwest corner of The Maverick, at SW 150th and 6th Ave. SW? Have you wondered what’s going on in there? Artist Danny Mansmith is transforming the space over the period of three months through the accumulation of fabric, cut paper, drawings and sculptural forms. He spends time there each week, treating it as a “residency”. Rather than carefully planning the creation, he moves with inspiration, wanting to “put out good energy for Burien.”
Danny Mansmith’s exhibit is titled “Eight Doorways”. In the artist’s words:
“Working with my hands has saved my life. My grandma gave me my first art lessons when I was very young. She sewed my clothes growing up and this influenced me to later teach myself how to use the sewing machine – allowing imperfections, emotions, and childlike energies to fuel and inspire me to create. I will be working and adding to the accumulation and transformation of the space over the next three months.” (On display until the end of March 2018.)
More information about Danny Mansmith can be found at https://dannymansmith.com 
Merrill Gardens 2018 Exhibits:
- January-March: John Taylor – Sculptor, clay artist
- April-June: Roxanne Fawcett – Painter
- July-September: Jennifer Bloom – Painter
- October-December: Heather Danso – Painter
Maverick 2018 Exhibits:
- January-March: Danny Mansmith – Fiber and multimedia artist
- April-June: Kathleen Skeels – Sculptor, clay artist
- July-September: Arts A Glow artist
- October-December: George Rodriguez – Sculptor, clay artist
The plan for 2019 is to do a Call-for-Artists, as is done for the Burien Community Center exhibit space. The call would go out in late summer/early fall 2018. Program coordinator is Alisa Savage, Arts Coordinator for City of Burien in partnership with Merrill Gardens and Maverick staff.
For further information, please contact:
Alisa Savage at [email protected] Facebook Twitter Subscribe