When Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt was planning the fifth anniversary of her gallery, she wanted to do something different than her usual solo shows. She wanted to be surrounded by artists. Walking into her bright gallery in Pioneer Square, looking at the exhibition “Back Stories,” you are greeted by vivid work from 12 artists: mostly photographs, the occasional painting or video, and a single sculpture. And you’ll quickly note that all the people within the art have turned their backs toward you.
This may not sound like a celebratory environment, but as you gaze at and through the backs of the figures, it’s clear: the people portrayed – along with Ibrahim herself – are looking forward and outward.