“… when art concerns itself with things not germane to physical presence its intrinsic (communicative) value is not
altered by its presentation in printed media. The use of catalogues and books to communicate (and desseminate) art is the most neutral means to present the new art. The catalogue can now act as primary information for the exhibition…and in some cases the “exhibition” can be the “catalogue”. I might add that presentation – “how you are made aware of the art” –
is common property, the same way that paint colors or bronze are common property to all painters or sculptors.”

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXSeth Siegelaub from a discussion with Charles Harrison



A Message from JEMA’s Founder:

John Erickson


Hello and welcome to The John Erickson Museum of Art Website. The museum’s namesake is an homage to my great-grandfather. John Erickson worked for 35 years in the Arcade Building in Seattle, Washington and died around 1945. Erickson operated a little watch-making, engraving, jewelry
store in the (now demolished) section of the Arcade Building where Robert Venturi’s Seattle Art Museum (SAM) currently occupies. Erickson’s store was on the third floor and looked out over 2nd Avenue. I am not sure of his store’s exact location but I would guess it roughly occupied the space now inhabited by the Seattle Art Museum’s Native American Gallery. JEMA is small replica
of the SAM’s’s Native American Gallery (minus the art).


Arcade Building


This newly built miniature space will function as an actual museum in its own right. The replica is built one-quarter inch = one foot scale. The scaled down size of the space is also reflected in the duration of exhibits. Exhibitions at JEMA usually run proportionally shorter lengths of time, making exhibitions roughly 9 hours and 15 minutes in duration. Of course, on certain occasions, exhibitions may be held over by popular demand.

JEMA is a location variable museum space. It is housed in a sturdy but stylish 16"x12"x9" aluminum carrying case. JEMA is also a quite young museum. It celebrated its Grand Opening on July 25th, 2003 at 2:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Seattle Art Museum. The opening lasted two minutes.


Sean Miller in front of SAM holding a picture of the site‘s previous structure, the Arcade Building.


JEMA with the Seattle Art Museum in the background.


JEMA’s mission is to display and collect innovative and provocative con-temporary art and/or offer exhibitions that allow people to think differently about the nature of art and art practice. JEMA’s design allows it to perform and embody numerous aspects of art and art practice in a simultaneous manner. JEMA is a museum, display case, crate, exhibition space, sculpture, photographic series, performance, installation, site-specific project, collaboration and web-based project. In fact, in its operation JEMA exhibits and demonstrates almost all media associated with visual art (sometimes simultaneously). In addition, it involves nearly all the realms of art practice and the business of art, revitalizing the roles of curator, artist, and viewer.

JEMA dematerializes the art institution and re-envisions it as a tool (capable of being transported as carry-on luggage) while still highlighting and publicizing artists and providing a rich cultural service. The practice of creating, owning, and operating JEMA has pioneered a new criterion for analyzing exhibition spaces. Special concerns at JEMA, associated with art exhibition and promotion have led to coinage of new phrases to address the unique issues and assets facing this institution. JEMA slogans include: “The Museum/Tool Paradox”, “The Location Variable Equation ”, “Museum Stealth”, and “Spatial Prejudice”.

The coming year offers exciting opportunities to view and consider a variety of new artists and ideas. We hope you will spend a little time at JEMA.

So please come see JEMA or let JEMA come to you.




Sean Miller