Archive | July, 2012

Hope Heights Mural Update!

29 Jul

Progress is being made at the Hope Heights mural wall located at 6323 McKinley Ave. on Tacoma’s Eastside.  The wall has been cleaned, primed, and prepped—ready for painting to begin! With the help of the community and a team of artists led by Joni Joachims, the Hope Heights mural will be underway shortly!

Tacoma just looooves a blank slate!


TAM Receives Donation of the Marioni Glass Art Collection

28 Jul

Paul Marioni, a founder of the studio-glass movement donated his 400-piece glass art collection to the Tacoma Art Museum.  This collection includes his work, as well as the work of others, and was given to the Museum because of its long commitment to Northwest art.  This collections value is estimated at more than $1 million dollars and is an extremely generous donation to the art community.

The exhibition is now on view until September 23, 2012 and is entitled The Marioni Family’s Radical Experimentation in Glass and Jewelry. The family will also be participating in an Artist Talk on Wednesday, June 13 at 10:30 am, which will consist of a gallery walk-through and lecture.  Courtesy of the Tacoma Art Museum, here is more information about the Marioni family and their donation:

This summer Tacoma Art Museum celebrates the art and legacy of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most innovative and influential artist families: Paul Marioni and his children Dante and Marina, while marking the 50th anniversary of studio art glass in America. On view June 9 through September 23, The Marioni Family: Radical Experimentation in Glass and Jewelry showcases how the artists of the Marioni family engage with form, materiality, and tradition, each in their own thought-provoking and individual styles.

Exhibition highlights include a retrospective survey of the work of Paul Marioni, one of the nation’s foremost innovators in glass art; a selection of works by his son Dante that underscores his world-renowned skill as a glassblower; and jewelry by his daughter Marina that showcases her humor and wit. The three family members were recently subjects in the “Family Episode” of the PBS documentary series Craft in America. Continue reading

PA:ID Featured Artist: Ed Kroupa

26 Jul

Ed Kroupa has been involved in the fine arts field for over fifteen years, dabbling in the areas of fabrication, sculpture, drawing and more.  He is the co-owner of Two Ravens Studio, which opened in Tacoma in 2008.

Ed holds a professional background in prop creation using the techniques of wax casting process, mold making, vacuum forming, and resins.  His work is displayed in both the US and in England, and can even be seen in Disney theme parks!

Site: Thea Foss Waterway Public Esplanade

Esplanade site, between S. 14th and S. 15th streets. Photo by Ed Kroupa

In 1983 the Environmental  Protection Agency declared the Thea Foss Waterway a Superfund site. In 1994, the City of Tacoma took the lead in developing a clean-up plan for Thea Foss and Wheeler Osgood Waterways.  Since, from 2002-2006, approximately 425,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were taken from the waterways and capped with clean sediments.  The City restored the shoreline to a more natural function, reintroducing native aquatic vegetation and natural beach areas that provide access to Tacoma’s urban waterfront.

 The area that Ed will transform is the sandy area on Esplanade between S. 14th and S. 15th streets, in front of the private housing development “The Esplanade” at 1515 Dock Street.  The site was originally designed as a volleyball court but, due to low usage, the court will be removed, leaving an expansive sandy area just begging for an interactive art piece.   

Q &A with Ed Kroupa

Can you give me some background on yourself and how you got into this career?
I grew up in the small town of Ridgecrest, located in Southern California. I took an interest in drawing at an early age and began taking as many different kinds of art classes as my mom would sign me up for. My mom also fostered my art interest at home as we often spent time doing craft and ceramic projects together. After dabbling in photography, ceramics, painting, pottery and other art related subjects, I set my sights on having a career as an illustrator and took several drawing and drafting classes to get myself prepared for working in that field.

When I thought I was ready, I gathered up my best work and approached a company in town that had a large Illustration department hoping to get my foot in the door. They liked my work but informed me that they did not have an opening in that department at that time. They did however offer me a position in their Drafting department with the intent on having me transfer to the Illustration department as soon as an opening came up. So I became a draftsman. The company’s contract was for the Naval Weapons Center and I soon found myself drafting plans for numerous missile systems.

I remained in the Drafting department for four years. After a series of life events, I found my way to the Northwest. Some old high school classmates of mine offered me a job at an effects shop they had been running in Shelton, WA. The job involved making props and displays for movies and theme parks. Based on my past education, work history and friendship with them, I soon found the next step in my art career. I stayed with the effects company for about six years sculpting and fabricating for broadcast, motion picture, theme park, and other projects in the entertainment industry.

When it was time to move on, I looked around for something that would benefit from my past work history and found The Bronze Works. The Bronze Works was a bronze art foundry located in Shelton. I stayed with them in Shelton till their move to Tacoma and worked my way up the chain to become the department head for their mold and wax departments as well as being the lead person on all of their sculptural enlargement projects. While working there I was asked to create several original sculptures for clients.

The Bronze Works stayed open until 2009. When they were in the process of closing I teamed up with two other former employees, Katrina Toft and Mike Haney, and formed Two Ravens Studios. We started out making molds and resin castings in our partner’s mom’s garage. The intent was to eventually offer traditional artisan foundry work as well as design original sculptures and continue with the resin work. After some talks with the old foundry owner we were able to acquire the equipment needed to start our own foundry. We soon were approached by other artists and asked if we would create their work in bronze, aluminum, resin, and plastic composites. In 2010, Two Ravens Studio moved into its downtown Tacoma location and started its furnaces in 2011. We have been growing ever since and taking on large projects.

What are some of your previous projects that you have been most proud of and why?
One of my favorite projects was through the Public Art: In Depth program. I was asked to do a temporary art installation in a location of my choice. I called my temporary project “Life.” The installation took place at the Garfield Gulch Bayside Trailhead. Over the course of an evening I transformed a grassy open space (adjacent to the Trailhead,) with balloon forms containing glow sticks. These balloon forms represented the building blocks of life. My goal was to bring attention to this unused area at night by lighting it up with “life.”

“Life” temporary art installation. Photo by Ed Kroupa.

What was your initial reaction when you were selected to create a public art piece for the Esplanade, and what is your reaction to the site you will be working on?
I was elated that I was chosen to be the lead artist and have been considering several possibilities for the area. During my initial explorations of the Esplanade, I was taken in by the way the sandy area resembled an infinity pool, giving the viewer the illusion that they could walk across a “beach” and right into the Waterway. 

Do you have any preliminary thoughts about what you will make in the space?
Ultimately what I hope to accomplish is give people a reason to step off the walkway and interact with the art and the space. I’d like to include recycled materials with foundry cast elements to be able to create a substantial piece for the location. As a Tacoma resident and artist I feel a strong connection to the coastal area and its aquatic life inspires me greatly. So this is likely to influence my design of the artwork for the Esplanade.

Hip Hop in the Park, August 11

26 Jul

Who: DASH Center for the Arts and Campus MLK
What: Hip Hop in the Park
Where: People’s Park, S. 9th Street & MLK Ave., Tacoma
When: Saturday, August 11, 12 – 6 pm
Cost: FREE!

People of all ages will converge at People’s Park on August 11 for the Fifth Annual Hip Hop in the Park event from noon to 6pm. This event, which is organized by the DASH Center for the Arts, is designed to bring the younger and the older community members together in a positive environment.

“Hip Hop is a voice of the people both young and old. It’s almost a lost art form. Part of our vision at DASH is to make sure the hip hop culture is not. That’s why each year, we come together to celebrate all that is Hip Hop,” said Candi Hall, DASH Center Executive Director.

“This is a family fun event reaching out to its community to show real Hip Hop,” said Darren Spencer, Director of the Art of Hip Hop program at the DASH Center. His students will perform at this end of the year event, showing the community their creative expression. The center is also hoping to recruit new students for next year’s class.

Along with students from the DASH Center, performances will include UPC All Stars featuring Angel Mitchell, E-Rich, Tiny Dousha and Vic Hashim, Josh Rizeberg and AWOL. Headlining the event will be Xola aka Kid Sensation featured in the song “Posses on Broadway” done by Sir Mix Alot. Enjoy local food, retail, arts and crafts, and community vendors throughout the day as well.

Tacoma Murals Project Update: Dometop Mural is Underway

23 Jul

Progress has continued on the mural at the retaining wall of the 3200 block of East L Street in Tacoma. The wall, once covered in moss and dirt, underwent pressure washing a few weeks back to remove the debris. Community members with the Dometop Neighborhood Alliance volunteered time to prime the wall and now the mural painting has begun.  The overall design pulls inspiration from the nearby community garden, and will be studded with strawberries and garden creatures.

So far, the base of the wall has been painted blue with green grass streaming upward.  Lead artists Rachael Dotson and Jeremy Gregory, and artist team Yvette Simone, Chelsea O’Sullivan, and Natalie Oswald are pushing full steam ahead and it should be completed in the next few weeks!

Here are some pictures of the in-progress work:


Artist team members meet to sketching the mural design. Photos by Jeremy Gregory.

Spraying on the blue base coat. Photos by Jeremy Gregory.




Painting grasses. Photo by Rachael Dotson.



The mural as of July 12. A field of strawberries and some garden creatures will be appearing soon. Photo by Hannah Franke.



A Gift That Keeps on Giving

18 Jul

Information courtesy of the Tacoma Art Museum


Thomas Moran, “Green River, Wyoming” Oil on Canvas



Tacoma Art Museum Receives Gift of 280 Works of American Western Art from the Haub Family.

The Tacoma Art Museum recently announced a major donation by Erivan and Helga Haub and family of 280 major works of American Western Art along with a contribution for a new 15,000 square foot gallery and lobby expansion to house the collection, as well as endowment funds for the care of the collection.

The new expansion will be designed by award-winning architect, Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects, who is also the architect for the museum’s plaza redesign project. This will be Tom Kundig’s first completed museum project, set to open in spring 2014.

“We are extremely grateful to the Haub family for this extraordinary gift, the largest in the museum’s 75-year history,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “The 280 works from noted artists will make our museum a key destination to view American Western Art.”

This significant donation of iconic works will transform Tacoma Art Museum into one of the leading museums in the country featuring American Western Art. The museum will be the only Pacific Northwest institution to hold a collection of this caliber, and in turn will provide an entirely new dimension of cultural offerings to Tacoma as well as the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

“This collection ranks among those of the highest breadth and caliber in American museums today,” said Peter H. Hassrick, retired museum director, curator, and American and Western art scholar. “Western art as a genre has added much to the overall development of American art over the past 150 years. The Haub collection represents a remarkable esthetic contribution as well as a fascinating historical narrative.”

Peter Hassrick has advised both the Haubs and Tacoma Art Museum on shaping this extraordinary gift of art, building funds, and endowment support.

Erivan and Helga Haub began collecting American Western art in 1984, and have since amassed one of the most important collections in private hands. Their passion for the West has helped shape their artistic choices, which chronicle the land, people, wildlife, and history of the great American West.

The collection features outstanding works that capture the spirit of the American West including the work of significant historic Western painters, such as grand manner landscape painters Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran; titans of Western genre, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell; and works by artists such as E. Martin Hennings and Ernest Blumenschein. The collection also contains works by notable modernist painters, including Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as more contemporary artists such as John Clymer, Tom Lovell, Bill Schenck, and Clyde Aspevig. The works range in date from the 1820s to the present.



John Mix Stanley, “Scene on the Columbia River” Oil on Canvas



To read the Tacoma News Tribune article from July 7, please visit:


PA:ID Featured Artist: Claudia Riedener

17 Jul

Claudia Riedener grew up in Switzerland on a small vegetable and dairy farm with a fruit orchard. In 1992 she moved to Chicago, where she received her degree and worked at the Chicago Botanic Garden. After relocating to Tacoma in 1999, she worked in horticulture for a few years before making a career shift to tile artisan in 2002.

Claudia creates ceramic murals, a type of touchable art that absorbs the surrounding elements, such as heat. To her, “murals are a translation of what I learn of a community and they endeavor to introduce the story to the passersby.”

In June, Claudia was selected, through a competitive process, to create a public art piece for Sound Transit’s Art Program (STart) for the 66th Street Underpass. Her goal is to create an mural that depicts past stories of the community while simultaneously transporting them to create new experiences.

The Site: 66th Street Underpass

Sound Transit is expanding its Sounder commuter rail service to South Tacoma and Lakewood. When Sounder service is fully operational to the South Tacoma Station, 18 trains will arrive and depart from the station each day.

Only six blocks from the new station is the 66th Street Underpass, which creates a natural gateway between the Manitou, Edison, and Arlington neighborhoods and the South Tacoma Way business community to the east. The elevated train trestle has, for decades, served as a tagging ground for surrounding youth and even a site to memorialize area residents.

With the work being done to prepare rail service from South Tacoma to Lakewood, Sound Transit is upgrading the rail infrastructure, including this underpass area. Their intention is to make the underpass a welcoming portal to the Manitou community, which is experiencing rejuvenation with the new Boys and Girls Club and Metro Parks’ STAR Community Center.

Refurbishing the underpass will consist of removing the lead paint, repairing cracks and concrete spalling, and repainting. After these initial changes are complete, Claudia will create an artwork that will give the underpass a renewed sense of welcome while still maintaining the character of the community that consider 66th Street an important landmark in their lives.

Q & A with Claudia Riedener

What are some of your previous projects that you have been most proud of and why?

I really enjoyed working on the wall mural for the South Tacoma Public Library [project funded through the Tacoma Arts Commission’s Tacoma Artists Initiative Program].  The library board and David Domkoski were a pleasure to work with and the community has welcomed the addition of my work titled ‘Elk Trap’ (picture below).

The Zina Peace Park at McCarver has been an amazing experience as well. The students, teachers, Metro Parks Foundation and the neighbors all got involved and created a peaceful, playful and inviting park with much art and great play area and vegetable gardens for both the students and the neighbors. I visit this park often and I like how well it is loved and utilized by the community.  

Elk Trap

What was your initial reaction when you were selected for the 66th Street Underpass project, and what is your reaction to the site you will be working on?

Of course I am super elated to be given this opportunity to work with the South Tacoma community again. The entire area has seen such renewal and revitalization; yet the history of the place is still palpable all around. My reaction to the Manitou Trestle involves the underpass being a portal, a way thru to get to the other side, the other place and the return back.  The underpass is the perfect canvas. But it also is dauntingly large in area.


Do you have any preliminary thoughts about what you will make in the space and how you will incorporate community identity within the space?

Before laying out my ideas I want to get community input, meet with the neighborhood council and the business district and do more research. I certainly want to involve applied architectural ceramics; perhaps in combination with other surface techniques.

Stay Tuned for updates on Claudia’s project! We’ll be keeping track of other PA:ID artists throughout the year as well.


Happy 10th Anniversary, Museum of Glass!

11 Jul

 Information Courtesy of Museum of Glass

Who: Museum of Glass
What: 10th Anniversary Celebration and Shatter Sessions
Where: Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street
When: July 13 & 14
Cost:  All events are included with regular Museum admission unless otherwise stated

Come celebrate the Museum of Glass’ 10th anniversary with two days of festivities including a community party featuring live bands breaking glass and the opening of a new exhibition by maestro Lino Tagliapietra.

“We’ve had a fantastic first decade with memorable exhibitions, artist visits and events that have earned the Museum a reputation for being a place of high energy and creative inspiration,” said executive director Susan Warner. “Our community has been so supportive as we have matured as an organization. I hope many of these supporters will come and celebrate with us.”

Museum of Glass opened its doors to the public to wide acclaim on July 6, 2002, welcoming more than 10,000 visitors during its first weekend and nearly 300,000 visitors during the first year, including guests from all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Since then, the Museum has welcomed nearly two million visitors, hosted more than 300 Visiting Artists in the Hot Shop, organized 33 original exhibitions, and built a Permanent Collection of 20th and 21st century glass art.


Shatter Sessions
When: Friday, July 13, 7 – 10 pm
Cost:  $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available for purchase at or at the Museum on July 13 prior to 5 p.m.
The Museum’s 10th Anniversary celebration will culminate in Shatter Sessions, a concert on the plaza where bands will attempt to shatter wine glasses using only sound. Bands include Friends and Family, Nolan Garrett, Joy Wants Eternity, Hot Bodies in Motion, Miles Max, Rumble Pack, Not from Brooklyn.

Choripan by Asado and Social Bar & Grill will serve up a selection of street food and assorted beverages, including a new signature Museum of Glass beer from Engine House No. 9 that has been crafted with input from the Hot Shop Team. Fair-style games, including a “shatter box” form breaking glass, will be available for visitors to play.

Maestro: Recent Works by Lino Tagliapietra Artist and Member Reception
When: Saturday, 7 – 10 p.m.
Cost: $12 general, Free for Museum Members
Meet Maestro Lino Tagliapietra and be among the first to see the exhibition which showcases 65 glass masterpieces created by Tagliapietra during the past decade. The works demonstrate the artist’s evolution to larger works and use of bolder colors and patterns over his nearly fifty year career. Five large-scale installations, featuring butterflies (Borboleta), vessels (Avventura), boats (Endeavor), seagulls (Gabbiani) and shields (Masai) are central to the exhibition.

Museum Store Tent Sale
When: July 13, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; July 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Come to the Museum Store’s annual sale on the plaza. Great savings on select glass pieces and special 10th Anniversary souvenirs from MOG and guest artists Beto Yarce (Cintli), Tisha Abrahamsen (Andre Glass) Paul LaBrie and Tacoma Glassblowing Studio. Artist Keiko will demonstrate the art of flameworking making small sculptures, beads and vessels. Shop early for the best selection!

Family Day: July Jubilee!
When: July 14, 1 – 4 p.m.
Sail away with Lino and work with artist Jennifer Adams to paint a mini gondola. Transform yourself into a glassblower with our photo panel and watch Fab-5 Break Dancers perform in the Grand Hall at 1 and 3 p.m.

Fab-5 Break Dancing
When: July 13, 7 p.m.; July 14, 1 and 3 p.m.
Performances by Tacoma’s Fab-5 Break Dancers

Visiting Artist Davide Salvadore
When: July 13 & 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; July 15, 12 – 5 p.m.
Davide Salvadore was born into a family of glassmakers in Murano, Italy and is a master of traditional Venetian glass working. He founded and manages his own studio, Campagnol e Salvadore, where he mixes his lampworking and glassmaking skills in inventive ways to create a distinctive and expressive body of work. He is also a founding member of Centro Studio Vetro, a non-profit association founded in 1997 to cultivate and promote the culture and art of glass.

Conversation with the Artist: Davide Salvadore
When: July 15, 2 p.m. 

10th Anniversary Party Hats
When: July 13, 12 – 5 p.m.
What’s a celebration without party hats? Get creative and decorate a cone head party hat using a variety of colorful and glitzy materials.

Glass Etching Workshop
When: July 13, 12 – 8 p.m.
Cost: $5
Personalize a drinking glass with your own custom design.

Bead Making Workshop
When: July 13, 12 – 4 p.m.
Cost: $38 general, $32 members
Create a unique glass bead with glass rods and a torch. Workshops start on the hour; last session begins at 3 p.m. Suitable for ages 12 to adult. Reservations: 253.284.4719.

Glass Fusing Workshops
When: July 14, 11 a.m. – 4 pm; July 15, 1 – 5 p.m.
Cost: $38 general, $32 members
Using colorful glass shards, stringers and frit, create a glass tile that can be used for a coaster OR two glass pendants/magnets. Workshops start on the hour; last session begins at 3 pm Saturday, 4 pm Sunday. Suitable for ages 6 to adult. Reservations: 253.284.4719.


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