Bad Art Makes Good: Adventures in Kitsch and Beyond, Thursday Feb. 7th


Come to Ballard for “Pecha Kucha” a unique lecture series where speakers present 20 slides and speak about each illustration for 20 seconds. This month’s event s is at the Nordic Heritage Museum located at 3014 NW 67th Street and it’s 6pm-9pm on Thursday, February 7th, with an after-party at the Official Bad Art Museum of Art at Cafe Racer.

The Pecha Kucha theme is “Bad Art Makes Good – Adventures in Kitsch” in honor of the current show at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Bad Art? 1,000 Birch Board Pictures from Sweden. The more than 1,000 mixed-media works featured in this visiting exhibition from the Backlund & Håkansson Collection in Sweden represent a ubiquitous form of folk art from unknown origins in northern Europe. Sold as tourist souvenirs for more than a century, these humble objects have spread around the world.

Bad Art

Bad Art challenges notions of fine art, folk art, bad taste, and good taste by asking: what expressions of human creativity can be called art? Who decides, and does it matter? Are these birch board pictures art? Kitsch? Or something more?


After Party at the Bad Art Museum at Cafe Racer

Pecha Kucha is scheduled 6pm to 9pm on Thursday February 7th and when that’s over the fun has just begun, as the party moves to Seattle’s own Official Bad Art Museum of Art (also known as OBAMA), located at Cafe Racer at 5828 Roosevelt Way NE in the Ravenna neighborhood near the UW. There will be food and drink and live music by the incomparable “Operadisiac” starting at 9pm.

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Operadisiac bills itself as a surreal opera cabaret with flashes of burlesque. When opera was new it was a lively, scandalous thing performed in a noisy atmosphere of people gambling, eating, and socializing and they wanted to bring opera back to its roots by making it new again. Operadisiac, which is made up of 3 lovely ladies, Juliana Brandon, Marchette Dubois and Melissa Young, sing a variety of opera arias, art songs, and popular songs in operatic style interspersed with accordion solos and variety schtick. There are often burlesque numbers, but it’s not solely a burlesque show. As they say, think of them as opera outreach for adults.


If you haven’t been there, the Official Bad Art Museum of Art is full of the best examples of the worst type of kitschy art, including paint-by-numbers, black velvet paintings, paintings of kitties and children with big eyes, and the ubiquitous Dogs Playing Poker. It’s located at Cafe Racer at 5828 Roosevelt Way NE in the Ravenna neighborhood.

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