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Tacoma Nautica…from the Pretty to the Gritty

5 Jun

The pretty: “Foss Skiff” at the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum. Photo: Mick Klass.

“Tacoma Nautica…from the Pretty to the Gritty” is an exhibition of photographs by Mick Klass that captures both the brute power and graceful efficiency of sailing vessels that crisscross Tacoma’s industrial waterfront. The folio of 12 photographs on view at the Tacoma Municipal Building (12th floor gallery) also records the nuances of a seascape that changes season to season, day to day, and hour to hour.

Klass, who is the marketing manager for Tacoma Rail, moved from Cincinnati to Tacoma in 2008 and quickly gained notice as a photographer. The “Foss Skiff” photo, above, won 2nd place in the City of Tacoma’s 2011 National Arts Competition. (He received another 2nd and an honorable mention in two prior years.)

“That triggered an offer to display in the Municipal Building,” he says. “Tacoma Public Utilities used some of my railroad pictures for their 2010 annual report, and this year expanded my contributions to other sections of the 2011 annual report.” He also had a picture chosen for the Mighty Tacoma exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2010.

And the gritty: cutting through local waters. Photo: Mick Klass.

“The arts scene in this area is certainly very lively, and has opened up a number of opportunities for me such as exhibiting at TAM, some galleries and participating in projects,” says Klass. “I even shoot roller derby from time to time for fun. There are way too many things going on to keep track of!

Enjoyment is a factor in this artist’s ongoing work: “I’ve been a photographer on and off since grade school. I became a recidivist, avid photographer in 2004, and have been honing my skills ever since. Some day I hope to get it right!” Tacoma Nautica is on view at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 12th floor gallery through July 31. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 am-5 pm.

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