Archive | June, 2011

Art at Work Studio Tours 2011: Call to Artists

20 Jun

You knew it was coming soon! Our Art at Work month, a celebration of local arts in Tacoma held every November, is in its tenth year this year! We’re kicking off the planning by releasing our call to artists to participate in the studio tours during the first weekend of November. Interested? Here’s the info.

10th ANNIVERSARY STUDIO TOURS: November 5 & 6, 2011

Are you a professional artist that lives in Tacoma and/or has a working studio in Tacoma? Do you want to open your studio to the public, demonstrate how you make your work, host a hands-on activity and help raise the visibility of the arts in Tacoma?

ST 2010 at Hilltop

The Hilltop artists turn out a rockin' piece during their demonstration. Studio Tours 2010

Apply to participate in our 10th Anniversary Studio Tour! The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking professional artists who are willing to open their studios to the public for our annual Studio Tour, one of the features of Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month this November. The emphasis of the tour is on raising visibility of the arts and providing artistic opportunities for the community to connect to the arts. While we encourage artists to have work for sale, the intention is not primarily as a studio sale. Studios will be open on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6 from 10 am to 4 pm (artists can choose to be open on Saturday, Sunday, or both days). The Tacoma Arts Commission will publish a map and publicity materials featuring the studios. The studio tours are free to both the artists and visitors.

Click here for full details and qualifications. Click here to apply online now! The deadline is July 15, 2011.

Wayzgoose and Tacoma’s Printmaking Delirium

15 Jun

Freshly pressed: a Ric Matthies print. Photo: Aaron Locke

The Puget Sound region is frequently cited as one of the most reading-obsessed corners of the country (with moss-friendly weather and a high incidence of depression reputed to be factors). Luckily for local literati, there is King’s Books in the Stadium District, an indie gem of a bookstore and a clearinghouse for approximately 100,000 rare, out-of-print, secondhand and newly released books, according to proprietor sweet pea Flaherty.

King’s has everything we love in a neighborhood bookshop – a pithy and knowledgeable staff, the “old book smell” (take that, Kindle!), resident cats roaming the stacks – and enough volumes to keep one busy through a lifetime of soggy weather. On top of that, the 11-year old store supports artists through events such as the renegade craft fair, Tacoma is for Lovers, and highbrow hijinx such as the Banned Book Club. One of the city’s most popular art festivals, a printmaking and book arts showcase called Wayzgoose (after a medieval guild celebration) is an annual event (co-founded by award-winning local artist, Jessica Spring) held at King’s.

Flaherty takes the wheel at Wayzgoose. Photo: Aaron Locke

Spaceworks is celebrating seven years of Wayzgoose with an exhibition opening at the Woolworth Building, July 15. On view will be a gonzo selection of eye-popping, black-and-white prints produced by steamroller printing (you read that right) – a feat that is the coup de grâce of each year’s festival. The artworks, originally cut on 4′-long slabs of linoleum, are by some of Tacoma’s finest. And an artist riding a steamroller like a bucking bronco – we can’t think of an image that better encapsulates the gritty T-town spirit. We caught up with sweet pea Flaherty to talk about Wayzgooses (Wayzgeese?) past, present and future. Continue reading

Art and History Connect on the Prairie Line Trail

2 Jun

Walk on the wild side (l to r): Todd Bressi, Lucy Begg, artist Elizabeth Conner and Robert Gay get the back story on Tacoma rail from historian Michael Sullivan.

Urban planner Todd Bressi and the design team of Lucy Begg and Robert Gay (Thoughtbarn) held a lively series of speaking engagements in Tacoma last week, on the public art plan for the much-vaunted Prairie Line Trail (PLT). The trio met with staff from the City, University of Washington-Tacoma and Tacoma Art Museum; historic preservationists, downtown stakeholders, artists, cycling advocates and interested citizens about the trail’s potential to become a showcase for art and art experiences, as well as a magnet for civic activity. The design team was awarded a $30,000 commission, supported by a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) planning grant, to develop an art proposal for the legacy trail which will link downtown Tacoma’s most significant cultural and historical sectors.

Unbeknownst to most Tacomans, the Prairie Line Trail is an extraordinary landmark of Tacoma history. In 1873, the Northern Pacific Railroad designated the now-overgrown, half-mile, two-acre corridor as the western terminus for its transcontinental railroad, beating out competitors Seattle, Olympia and Bellingham. Modern city-building and telegraph communications followed the railroad, and from here sprung the town’s moniker, “The City of Destiny.” The proposed $5.83 million walking, biking and interpretive trail follows the historic rail corridor linking the University of Washington-Tacoma campus, the Brewery District, the Museum District and Thea Foss Waterway, and eventually connects with the Water Ditch Trail. Users will be within walking distance of the convention center, the copper-domed Union Station, and the ethereal Museum of Glass Bridge – all destinations that radiate outward from the Tacoma Art Museum (currently awaiting a streetscaping and plaza/entrance redesign). By commissioning a public art plan, “We are developing a roadmap that’s considerate of art” and honors the city’s history, says City Art Administrator, Amy McBride. That may be an understatement: The Prairie Line Trail offers a ripping opportunity to create a history-infused active destination and outdoor art venue that is unique to Washington, and the country. The PLT will draw visitors to our historic downtown, where curated temporary and site-specific permanent art may greet trail users. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: