The highlight among the art exhibits at this year’s Bumbershoot was the "Bumber By Number" pavilion, the creation of local artists JoDavid and Marlow Harris. Inviting several dozen local artists to select a favorite work from their personal collection of several hundred vintage Paint by Numbers pictures, the resulting reworked paintings were put on display at Seattle Center. As noted by KUOW art critic, Gary Faigin, the exhibit made a case for both artistic inventiveness as well as the contrast between then – most of the pictures dated from the '50s and '60s – and now.
We can all agree that Paint by Numbers pictures are not museum-quality art. But sixty years after their emergence as a mass-produced creative outlet for newly-leisured, post-War Americans, the snappy little paintings nonetheless hold a continued fascination for artists and collectors.