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Originally published Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 7:03 PM

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An Art Walk stroll through the story of immigration

A selection of galleries highlighted in this month's Seattle Art Walk — "The Poetics of Space," Shift Collaborative Studio; "Temporal," Vetri Glass; PULP reception, Gallery 110; "TXT," James Harris Gallery; "Summer Selections," Linda Hodges Gallery and "Detained," Gallery4Culture.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Other recommendations for July's Art Walk

Be sure to check out these Seattle galleries, too

'The Poetics of Space,' Shift Collaborative Studio: Ellen Hochberg explores the stages of a woman's life, from birth to death, through leaflike abstractions. 5-8 p.m.; 306 S. Washington, Suite No. 105, Seattle;

'Temporal,' Vetri Glass: Glass artist Takuya Tokizawa expresses the ephemeral through brightly colored blown-glass vessels. 5-8 p.m.; 1404 First Ave., Seattle; 206-667-9608 or

PULP reception, Gallery 110: Paper pieces of all kinds are on sale at this party. 6-8 p.m.; 110 Third Ave. S., Seattle; 206-624-9336 or

'TXT,' James Harris Gallery: A group exhibition examines the power of the written word and how it resonates through graphics of popular media. 6-8 p.m.; 312 Second Ave. S., Seattle; 206-903-6220 or

'Summer Selections,' Linda Hodges Gallery: A group painting and sculpture exhibition by eight artists on all aspects of life, from elephants to waterfalls. 5-8 p.m.; 316 First Ave. S., Seattle; 206-624-3034 or

Marian Liu

Exhibit preview

Eroyn Franklin: 'Detained'

Opening: 6-8 p.m. tonight; artist talk: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 8; Gallery4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Place S., Seattle; no cover (206-296-8674 or



Two 50-foot scrolls tell the story from inside.

At Gallery4Culture, Seattle-based artist Eroyn Franklin illustrates immigration, drawing a tale of two characters going through a detention center. The exhibit is one of many open late tonight for Pioneer Square's monthly First Thursday Art Walk.

"I wanted to show people what it looked like, what it felt like inside these places," said Franklin, who investigated the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma and a former Immigration and Naturalization facility on Airport Way in Seattle. "I wanted to bring these ghost places out to the public."

For three months, Franklin worked with journalists from the Common Language Project, a University of Washington-affiliated nonprofit which produces nonfiction multimedia stories.

She toured the facilities, following a detainee's path through processing and filling out background forms. The detainees are assigned "alien numbers," then are taken to a holding cell, followed by a medical area for X-rays and pregnancy tests, and finally to a living cell.

"It's a labyrinth of white cells," said Franklin, 30. "If you step into a hallway, it looks like every other hallway. You're not really sure where you are."

She wasn't allowed to bring in a camera, so as soon as she left the facility, she frantically scrawled down the images from memory, making sure to include details like a wall where detainees wrote the names of their hometowns in tar.

"It was not quite like a prison, just very similar," said Franklin, who took six months to draw out the scenes. "It's mostly kind of disorienting and institutional."

The two main characters in her scroll are based on detainees she met. One was a Mexican woman, who was slated for deportation after being pulled over for expired license tabs. The other was a Cambodian refugee who was at the detention center after being convicted at 18 for driving a getaway car.

Franklin maintains neutrality on illegal immigration, a hot-button issue these days.

"Whenever I start to have an opinion, it changes how people perceive my work," she said. "It's a very complicated issue. You must look at these cases individually."

Marian Liu: 206-464-3825 or

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