Topophilia: A Sense of Place, A Sense of Feeling

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Think of your favorite place on Earth: What importance does this place hold for you? Does it remind you of your childhood, your college years, your summer vacation, your family, your best friends? How has this place shaped you, and how, in turn, have you shaped it? Topophilia: A Sense of Place, A Sense of Feeling seeks to explore place significance in contemporary art, and encourage visitors to reflect on their own important place.


  • Emily Bowden, UW Museology Graduate Student, Class of 2018

Featured Artists

  • John Anderson
  • Alfredo Arreguin
  • Cora Edmonds
  • William Hernandez
  • Lauren Iida
  • Joshua Jensen-Nagle
  • Guy Laramee
  • Laura Hamje
  • Akiko Masker
  • Jake Millett
  • John Smither
  • Adrianne Smits
  • David Burdeny
  • Chase Langford
  • Raven Skyriver
  • Ula Trudnos

Opening Reception

Friday, March 9th, 2018 at 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Free to the public. Meet the artists and curator. $5 wine and beer.

More Information About Topophilia

We all have places that hold a certain amount of significance for us, that exist in the real world, but also exist in our imaginations, our stories, our memories, in altered forms that are specific only to us and our lived experiences. Topophilia: A Sense of Place, A Sense of Feeling explores the significance of place, and is based on the central concept that an individual’s personal perspective of a place shapes their artistic interpretation and expression. The 16 artists in this exhibition use their experiences, memories, and imaginations to create places both real and surreal, familiar and fantastic, and to express their feelings about the world around them.

University of Washington graduate student Emily Bowden developed the exhibition for her Master’s thesis project through the Emerging Curator Initiative, a partnership between the Kirkland Arts Center and the Museology Graduate Program at UW that began in 2008. Bowden was initially inspired by her background studying Anthropology and Geography in her undergraduate education at the University of Richmond, and by her experience as a Seattle transplant, who moved to the Pacific Northwest from the East Coast in 2013. “I’ve long been interested in the relationship between people and the places they occupy, and how they shape and change each other, as well as the ability of humans to make any place home,” Bowden says. “I hope visitors can experience a connection with these pieces and the message they interpret from them.”

Topophilia also invites visitors to become part of the art-making process through a community curation project. Using various mediums, visitors will have the opportunity to create representations of places that are important to them, to be displayed at KAC as part of the exhibition. Visitors will also be able to share their thoughts and experiences through words in a gallery interactive. So join us at the Kirkland Arts Center to examine others’ significant places, while also taking the opportunity to reflect on the places that you hold in your heart through creation and discussion.

Follow the progress and behind-the-scenes looks at the development of Topophilia on Instagram @Topophilia_KAC

A warm thank you to Linda Hodges Gallery, ArtxChange, Foster/White Gallery, Bryan Ohno Gallery, and Stonington Gallery for loaning pieces from their artists for the exhibition.