Archive by Author

Introducing the ‘Laureate Listening Project’

24 Jul
Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo. Photo by Jesse Michener

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo. Photo by Jesse Michener

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo has partnered with the City of Tacoma and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to launch the Laureate Listening Project, an interactive audio anthology website where recorded oral poetry from members of the region will be mapped to provide a permanent record of the lives, ideas, concerns, and celebrations of a diverse community through the vehicle of poetry.

Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage audio map.

Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage audio map.

Are you curious about what an ‘interactive audio anthology website’ looks like? Here’s an example of a similar audio mapping website that highlights endangered languages around the world.

Smiraldo will work with various nonprofit and cultural organizations to encourage people from of all backgrounds to share their poetry about places and spaces in Tacoma and around the world. Audio recordings of these poems, centered on the “spirit of place” theme, will be edited and placed on a Google map website so users can search by a particular poet or location and listen to work inspired by the site. Some recordings will be accompanied by soundscapes and music created by composers and sound artists.

Individuals who are interested in sharing their short spoken works can contact Smiraldo at vanillasoul@clear.net for further information and to schedule a recording session.

Smiraldo is also leading a team of poets as an artist in residence for the Race and Pedagogy National Conference at the University of Puget Sound this September. Poets and other artists will function as creative journalists to document ideas, challenges and solutions to address the topic of education in a dynamic and changing America. He plans to include audio pieces collected from conference participants in the Laureate Listening Project.

Funding for the Laureate Listening Project is made possible by a Spark Grant from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Mapping capability is made possible by the City of Tacoma. The Tacoma Poet Laureate position is appointed and administered by the Tacoma Arts Commission. Information about the Tacoma Poet Laureate program is available on the Tacoma Arts Commission website.

PrintThe Greater Tacoma Community Foundation was created to help build a stronger future for the Pierce County region. For over 33 years, the Community Foundation has partnered with generous individuals, families, community leaders, nonprofit organizations and others to strengthen the community through powerful and rewarding giving. Building a thriving, engaged, and caring community is central to its mission. In 2013, the Spark Grants program was launched to provide $1,500 micro-grants to support everyday people who want to spark positive change in their neighborhood. More information is available at gtcf.org/sparkgrants.

Nominations sought for 2014 AMOCAT Arts Awards

3 Jul
Council Member Marty Campbell; Jane Carlin and Rochelle Monner representing Puget Sound Book Artists, the 2013 AMOCAT Arts Award for Community Outreach by an Organization winner; and Mayor Marilyn Strickland

Council Member Marty Campbell; Jane Carlin and Rochelle Monner representing Puget Sound Book Artists, the 2013 AMOCAT Arts Award for Community Outreach by an Organization winner; and Mayor Marilyn Strickland

The Tacoma Arts Commission is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Awards.

Since 2004, the AMOCAT Arts Awards recognize those in our community who provide distinctive contributions to the arts. The honorees work hard to support and build our community by innovating in artistic excellence. Each exhibits vision, dedication, and action in creating a lively arts community in Tacoma.

The three award categories are:

  1. Community Outreach by an Individual – Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an individual
  2. Community Outreach by an Organization – Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an organization
  3. Arts Patron – A community partner who significantly supports or contributes to the arts in Tacoma

“Tacoma is home to an amazing group of arts supporters – people, organizations and patrons who invest their energy and passion into improving our community through the arts. The AMOCAT Arts Awards help recognize and commend these people for all they do to make our city a more vibrant place to live and work.” – Mayor Marilyn Strickland

To make a nomination, simply fill out the online nomination form. Nominations are due by August 1, 2014. The Tacoma Arts Commission will review all nominations and select one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee’s community impact as well as the quality of the work being done by the nominee, not by the number of times the nominee has been nominated. Mayor Strickland will present the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Awards at the Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party on Oct. 2.

In the category of Community Outreach by an Individual, past winners include: Lynn Di Nino, Jared Pappas-Kelley and Michael S. Lent, Laura and Matt Eklund, Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn, Linda Danforth, William Kupinse, Oliver Doriss, Stella Haioulani, Katy Evans, and David Domkoski.

In the category of Community Outreach by an Organization, past winners include: Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass Education Programs, Arts Impact, Tacoma School of the Arts, Barefoot Studios, Victory Music, King’s Books, Hilltop Artists, Fab-5, D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts, The Grand Cinema, and Puget Sound Book Artists.

In the category of Arts Patron, past winners include: Sound Transit Art Program, Pierce Transit, 6th Avenue Business District, The Weekly Volcano, Hotel Murano, City Arts, Urban Grace Church, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Key Bank, and Erivan and Helga Haub and family.

Additional information about the AMOCAT Arts Awards can be found online.

Sun King Reigns Again

30 Jun

On June 25, About 40 community members from Tacoma and beyond gathered at the pocket park at S. 15th and Dock Street to welcome the return of Thomas Morandi’s Sun King sculpture to the public realm. Photographer Dane Gregory Meyer captured the event through the following photo essay.

The monumental-scale public art sculpture, part of the City of Tacoma’s Municipal Art Collection, was originally installed in 1977 in front of what is now the Hotel Murano. The piece was moved into storage in 2007 while it underwent repairs and awaited its new permanent location. 

Mascots from Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Tacoma Art Museum came out to celebrate the Sun King.

Mascots from Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum, and Tacoma Art Museum came out to celebrate the Sun King.

Council Member David Boe and Tacoma Arts Commission members Scott Ramsey, Traci Kelly, and Don Lacky gather before the dedication.

Council Member David Boe and Tacoma Arts Commission members Scott Ramsey, Traci Kelly, and Don Lacky gathered before the dedication.

A group of about 40 community members gathered in celebration of the artist, Thomas Morandi, and his artwork, Sun King.

Community members gathered in celebration of the artist, Thomas Morandi, and his artwork, Sun King.

The monumental-scale Sun King provides the focal point for those gathered in celebration.

The monumental-scale Sun King provided the focal point and backdrop for those who came out to celebrate.

Council Member David Boe chanted The Beattles' Sun King lyrics.

Council Member David Boe led the crowd while chanting the lyrics to Sun King by The Beattles.

Artist Thomas Morandi helps dedicate his artwork.

Artist Thomas Morandi spoke about the changes in Tacoma from the time he created the artwork in 1977 to today.

Artist Thomas Morandi and former arts administrator Ellida Lathrop pose in front of the artwork they brought to Tacoma in 1977.

Artist Thomas Morandi and former arts administrator Ellida Lathrop posed in front of the artwork they brought to Tacoma in 1977.

All photos used with permission from Dane Gregory Meyer. Copyright Dane Gregory Meyer.

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Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyDane Gregory Meyer has been a professional photographer for over 25 years and owns Dane Gregory Meyer Photography. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2009 in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.

What do you have planned for October?

24 Jun
Tacoma Community College's sculpture program performs a live molten iron pour as part of Tacoma Arts Month in 2013.

Tacoma Community College’s sculpture program performs a live molten iron pour as part of Tacoma Arts Month in 2013.

Call for Arts Activities
13th annual Tacoma Arts Month
October 1 – 31, 2014

Will you be hosting an arts event in October? Do you want to contribute to the arts programming offered in Tacoma, build community, and benefit from free publicity? Submit your arts activity for inclusion in the 2014 Tacoma Arts Month online calendar!

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking submissions of arts activities happening during our thirteenth annual Tacoma Arts Month this October. We are looking for a variety of activities spanning all categories of art and culture including but not limited to music, visual art, literary art, dance, theater, and film.

If you will be hosting an exhibition, performance, class, workshop, reception, lecture, tour, artists’ market, celebration, meeting, presentation, or any other programming, let us know. We will list your arts event in an interactive and searchable online calendar of events on www.TacomaArtsMonth.com. There is no cost to you. We will be promoting the many events going on throughout the month through newspaper and magazine advertisements and articles, email newsletters, television ads, radio ads, and through a variety of social media outlets.

This month would not be possible without the participation of local businesses, organizations, and community members. We encourage you to participate by hosting your own arts activity or event.

Deadline for submissions is August 10, 2014. To qualify, your arts activity must be located within the City of Tacoma limits and occur during the month of October.

To have your event listed:

1. Fill out the online Tacoma Arts Month Activity Submission form. Note: If you are submitting multiple events, please fill out a form for each event.

2. (optional) Email a digital photograph to be used for promoting this event. Image must be at least 150 ppi. Email digital images to tacoma.submissions@cityoftacoma.org. Please put “Activities_Your Event Namein the subject line.

Questions? Contact Naomi at nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org or by calling (253) 591-5191.

4th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition

10 Jun

June 5th – July 31st
Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound

Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II. Photo: courtesy of Mary Ashton.

Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II. Photo: courtesy of Mary Ashton.

The evening of June 5th, 2014 marked the opening reception for the 4th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition, featuring 57 extraordinary handmade books created by 39 artists from Puget Sound and beyond. Held annually at Collins Memorial Library on the University of Puget Sound campus, the exhibition represents the growing diversity of ideas constantly challenging the question; what is a book? In this exhibition, using various media ranging from photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, calligraphy, and digital means, and employing a variety of materials including wood, handmade paper, fabric, and cordage, the members of the Puget Sound Book Artists strive to answer that question.

Lucia Harrison: Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor. Photo: courtesy of Lucia Harrison.

Lucia Harrison: Old Growth: Beneath the
Forest Floor. Photo: courtesy of Lucia Harrison.

The exhibition demonstrates that, like other artists, book artists are not limited to boundaries imposed on them by “rules.” This opens up endless possibilities in regards to the book form and even the materials used in making the book. The term “altered states” comes to mind. Keep in mind, while working together towards one goal, the artists whose work grace this exhibition are as diverse as the work they create. No two interpretations are alike, just as not two artists are alike. Remember, I said “endless possibilities?” From the complex layers of Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II, to Lucia Harrison, recipient of the exhibition’s Award for Excellence for Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor, the exhibition tests our expectations of what a book is.

As you stroll through the exhibition, You may find yourself wishing you could reach through the glass to pick up the book. On the evening of June 19th, 5:30-7:30pm you may have your opportunity during the Conversation with the artists when the works are taken out from beneath the glass. You will have a first-hand opportunity to understand how these books came to be, and to hear from the artists themselves about their vision.

Lily Richmond: Go With The Flow. Photo: courtesy of Ross Mulhausen.

Lily Richmond: Go With The Flow. Photo: courtesy of Ross Mulhausen.

The Puget Sound Book Artists is a non-profit organization comprised of over 60 members from Puget Sound and beyond, with a growing membership from other states. Recipient of the 2013 AMOCAT Arts Award, the organization’s mission is to further the knowledge, practice and understanding of the art of the book by means of educational activities including but not limited to lectures, workshops, and exhibits.

For additional information about the exhibition, the award recipients, and the opening reception, visit the Puget Sound Book Artists’ blog. To inquire about membership or any other questions, you may contact them at psba@gmail.com.


This blog post was written by Mark Hoppmann, a 2011 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program funding recipient and current President of the Puget Sound Book Artists.

The Rise of the ‘Sun King’

9 Jun

 

by Thomas Morandi

“Sun King” sculpture by Thomas Morandi

What: “Sun King” Rededication
Where: South 15th and Dock Street
When: Wednesday, June 25, 12 – 1 pm
Cost: Free!

The public is invited to celebrate the reinstallation of “Sun King” by Thomas Morandi, one of Tacoma’s most prominent pieces of public art, on June 25, from noon – 1 p.m, at the park on the intersection of South 15th and Dock streets along the Thea Foss Waterway. Morandi will be present at this event, along with Council Member David Boe and members of the Tacoma Arts Commission.

“We are pleased to bring this stunning work of art back into the public realm where it will be enjoyed for years to come,” said Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “This site is pivotal in connecting downtown to the waterfront and this monumental sculpture provides great visual interest.”

The sculpture is one of the first major pieces of art to be sited along the Prairie Line Trail, a new walking, biking and interpretive trail that follows the historic rail corridor linking the University of Washington Tacoma campus, the Brewery District, the Museum District and Thea Foss Waterway. The trail eventually connects with the Water Ditch Trail in South Tacoma.

“Sun King” was commissioned in 1977 for $30,000 in Urban Renewal Grant funding from the federal Department of Public Works. The monumental-scale, contemporary, bronze plate sculpture measures over 13 feet tall, 17.5 feet wide and 10 feet deep. Morandi was selected by a panel interested in providing a focus for the pedestrian space at South 13th Street and Broadway Plaza, where the piece was sited until 2007 before it was moved into storage.

Morandi currently resides in Corvallis, Ore. and is a metal sculptor and former professor of art at Oregon State University.

 

A Farewell to Felder

23 May Maestro Felder quietly centers before taking stage, awaiting his final conducting of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.

On May 10, Tacoma bid a fond farewell to Maestro Harvey Felder as he wrapped up his 20-year tenure as music director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. Photographer Dane Gregory Meyer captured Maestro Felder’s final concert in Tacoma through the following photo essay.

Marquee billing Tacoma Symphony Bids Fond Farewell to their Maestro of 20 years, Harvey Felder.

Marquee billing Tacoma Symphony Bids Fond Farewell to their Maestro of 20 years, Harvey Felder.

 

Patrons, including Mayor Marilyn Strickland, gather to enter the Pantages Theater.

Patrons, including Mayor Marilyn Strickland, gather to enter the Pantages Theater.

 

TSO Felder Farewell

Mayor Marilyn Strickland reads the Proclamation naming May 6-12, 2014 as Harvey Felder Week.

Maestro Felder quietly centers before taking stage, awaiting his final conducting of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Felder quietly centers before taking stage, waiting his final conducting of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Harvey Felder addresses the audience.

Maestro Felder addresses the audience.

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra performs Mahler, Symphony #5.

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra performs Mahler, Symphony #5.

Completion of performance and first of several standing ovations.

Completion of performance and first of several standing ovations.

Harvey Felder gives thanks to his orchestra.

Maestro Felder gives thanks to his orchestra.

Maestro Felder exits with flowers during standing ovation.

Maestro Felder exits with flowers during standing ovation.

Encore performance, leading the orchestra and audience playing and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

Encore performance, leading the orchestra and audience playing and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

A farewell kiss.

A farewell kiss.

Final standing ovation and exiting stage by Maestro Felder and Concert Master Svend Ronning.

Final standing ovation and exiting stage by Maestro Felder and Concert Master Svend Ronning.

All photos used with permission from Dane Gregory Meyer. Copyright Dane Gregory Meyer. The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra through the Arts Anchor Fund.

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Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyDane Gregory Meyer has been a professional photographer for over 25 years and owns Dane Gregory Meyer Photography. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2009 in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.

Home

21 May Sarah Gilbert in the Museum of Glass hot shop. Photo provided by artist.
Sarah Gilbert in the Museum of Glass hot shop. Photo provided by artist.

Sarah Gilbert in the Museum of Glass hot shop. Photo provided by artist.

What do Rochester, NY and Tacoma, WA have in common? Sarah Gilbert has called both places home, and wants to show local citizens what she finds fascinatingly similar about these two gritty cities. It started out as an interest in historical figures that the cities have in common, but grew into a much more personal project. She is interviewing friends and family about their idea of ‘home’ to help develop her new series.

Gilbert is a glassblower and engraver, using her glass as a canvas to illustrate narratives about family in Rochester and friends from Tacoma. Her new series uses a process similar to creating cameos, where the surface is carved away to show contrasting colors below. What makes her work remarkable is not just the practical challenge of using this technique large scale, but also the narrative element. This series includes landscapes or ‘postcards’ from both cities, and portraits of over a dozen friends and family members.

Come and check out some remarkable new glass work, and at the same time get a glimpse into the personal word of a bi-coastal artist.

What: 3000 Miles from Home – an exhibit of cameo engraved blown glass pieces that explore the concept of ‘home’ using  historic and contemporary people and places from Rochester, NY, where Gilbert was born and raised, and Tacoma, WA, where she currently lives.
Where: Kittredge Gallery, University of Puget Sound, N. 15th & N. Lawrence Street.
When: Exhibit will open around August 22, 2014
Cost: Free
Meet Sarah:

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Sarah Gilbert’s work through the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program.

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Tacoma Arts Commission member Traci Kelly. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Traci Kelly moved to Tacoma in 2004 and joined the Tacoma Arts Commission shortly after. Her degree is in sculpture, but she appreciates the range of arts the City of Destiny has to offer.

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