Archive | April, 2014

Crafts of the Past at Fort Nisqually

23 Apr
An artisan provides a spinning demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photos By Russ Carmack.

An artisan provides a spinning demonstration during Crafts of the Past.
Photos By Russ Carmack.

During the next five months, guests of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum will get a close encounter with the creativity of daily life in the 1800s when the popular Crafts of the Past program returns for a third year.

Each weekend from May 3 through September 28a different artist will be “in-residence” at the Fort with displays and demonstrations of their work. Most will also offer guests the opportunity to try the craft themselves. Featured crafts include Native American basketry, metal engraving, millinery, botanical illustration, broom making, and blacksmithing.

“Many of the things people needed for daily life in the 1800s — from what they wore to the tools they used — were produced by crafts people whose work was both functional and beautiful,” said Fort Nisqually’s site manager Mike McGuire. “This is a chance to see artists in action and learn directly from them.”

What: Crafts of the Past
Where: Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, 5400 N. Pearl, in Point Defiance Park
When: Saturdays & Sundays, May 3 – September 28
Cost: Free with museum admission (admission: Free – $7)

Crafts of the Past is sponsored by the Fort Nisqually Foundation and made possible with funding from the Nisqually Indian Tribe and the Tacoma Arts Commission.

An artisan gives a woodworking demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

An artisan gives a woodworking demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

Artisans for May:

May 3-4 – Steve Baima follows in the tradition of the 18th and 19th century gun makers who embellished their wares with intricate metal engravings. Steve was mentored by accomplished artisans, and has been perfecting his craft through years of practice. Guests will have the opportunity to try their hand at engraving lines on soft brass. Steve is the president of the Cascade Mountain Men and the Washington Historical Gunmakers Guild.

May 10-11 – Heather Kibbey and Mickey Pederson have each been spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and tatting for more than 40 years. Both Mickey and Heather are regular volunteers at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and often mentor other volunteers. Guests will see them spin and weave, and have the opportunity to try their hand at using drop spindles or weaving on a loom. On Saturday, guests will also get to see how the whole process begins — with the sheering of sheep — thanks to a small flock of visiting sheep.

May 18 (Sunday Only) – Judy Bridges, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is descended from five fur traders and their Native American wives. Her baskets use both traditional and modern materials. She took up basketry in the early 1990s, studying with both native and non-native teachers. She has been teaching and demonstrating basketry for more than a decade. Judy will demonstrate basketry techniques such as plaiting, twining and coiling. Guests can examine baskets under construction and handle raw materials.

May 24-25 – Victoria Anderson had her first experience with making a cyanotype photographic print as a child with a kit she got from a science store. As a college student, Victoria explored the process more deeply, learning to make her own photo-sensitive paper and fabric. Cyanotypes use ultraviolet light (e.g. sunlight) to create a photographic image, and were one of the earliest forms of photography to appear in the mid-1800s. It was quickly utilized to make images of plant specimens. Guest will have the opportunity to make their own prints of leaves, buttons, or lace. The botanical uses of this craft connect it to the current exhibit, “Dr. Tolmie, the Naturalist.”

May 31-June 1 – Alan Archambault has been creating historical illustrations for more than 50 years. Before the advent of photography, images of places and events were often created by artists. Such illustrations are an important resource for historians. Alan, a former museum director, understands their significance and has worked to keep the craft alive. Alan is also an accomplished calligrapher. Younger guests can enjoy coloring illustrations, and older guest can try their hand at illustration or calligraphy.

2014 Schedule

May 3 & 4 – Metal engraving

May 10 & 11 – “Sheep to Shawl” sheering, spinning, and weaving

May 18 – Native American basket weaving

May 24 & 25 – Cyanotype photographic prints

May 31 & June 1 – Historical illustration and calligraphy

June 7 & 8 – Native American beadwork

June 14 & 15 – Broom making

June 22 – Collecting botanical specimens

June 28 & 29 – Fingerweaving

July 5 & 6 – Blacksmithing

July 12 &13 – Botanical illustration

July 19 & 20 – Woodturning

July 26 & 27 – Banjo making

August 2 & 3 – Culinary arts – cheese making

August 9 & 10 – Punch and Judy puppetry

August 16 & 17 – Basket weaving

August 23 & 24 – Textile arts


New episode of Tacoma’s own ‘artTown’ TV show now available

21 Apr

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The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office – in partnership with its Community and Economic Development Department’s Arts Program – are proud to announce the launch of a new episode of “artTown,” a cultural documentary-style TV initiative exploring Tacoma’s emergence as a major creative hub in the Pacific Northwest.

Launched in October 2013, the quarterly series features diverse perspectives on a variety of creative disciplines. Offering a more holistic look at creativity in Tacoma, “artTown” stretches beyond what people might traditionally think of as “creative” – such as fine art, music or dance – to spotlight other creative areas of interest that have flourished in Tacoma like food, fashion, innovative education practices, architecture and more.

This episode features:

New York Times bestseller author Marissa Meyer and Metro Parks Commissioner and author Erik Hanberg
Artisan craft brewing with Narrows Brewing, Pacific Brewing & Malting Co., Harmon Brewing, Tacoma Brewing, Wingman Brewers, and Ram Brewing
Storyteller Megan Sukys and the Drunken Telegraph
Ben Warner, Ryan Spence, and Taylor Woodruff  discuss skate culture
Multi-media artist and dancer April Nyquist
DJ Eddie Sumlin aka Mr. Melanin
Public artist and glass artist Diane Hansen
Author Jason Skipper
music composed by Isaac Solverson
and more….

Authors Marissa Meyer and Erik Hanberg chat in the Artist 2 Artist segment on 'artTown'

Authors Marissa Meyer and Erik Hanberg chat in the Artist 2 Artist segment on ‘artTown’

Online viewing:
Watch “artTown” anytime at

TV Tacoma air times:

Mondays at noon
Tuesdays at 1 a.m.
Wednesdays at 8 a.m.
Thursdays at 6 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 5 p.m.
Sundays at 5 a.m.

TV Tacoma is aired on both the Click! and Comcast Cable systems. On Click!, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where TV Tacoma can be found on Channel 21. On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma city limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County. TV Tacoma is not on the Comcast system in University Place, but is accessible anywhere on the Internet at

It will also be available through Click! ON Demand’s TV Tacoma and TacomaArt & Culture menu listings.

Future episodes will be produced in part based on some of the audience feedback culled via social media, email at or phone at (253) 591-2054.


Nick Goettling selected for mural under Murray Morgan Bridge

21 Apr
Detail of Nick Goettling's 2013 Morgan Street mural in Chicago.

Detail of Nick Goettling’s 2013 Morgan Street mural in Chicago.

Artist Nick Goettling from Gig Harbor was recently selected in a competitive process to create a site-responsive mural along Dock Street on the concrete wall of the stormwater collection system below the western side of Tacoma’s Murray Morgan Bridge.

Built in 1913, the Murray Morgan Bridge was closed in 2007, due to safety concerns and restored and reopened 100 years later, in 2013. This $10,000 mural commission is part of an interpretive information plan to tell the story of the bridge and celebrate its connection to the Foss Waterway.

Detail of Nick Goettling's 2013 Morgan Street mural in Chicago.

Detail of Nick Goettling’s 2013 Morgan Street mural in Chicago.

A review panel, consisting of community members affiliated with the site and Tacoma Arts Commissioners, reviewed the work of 10 artists, selecting three to interview for the final commission. The panel’s recommendation of Goettling was approved by the Tacoma Arts Commission on April 14, 2014.

“The panel was impressed with Goettling’s bold graphic style of painting and his personal connection to the history of the area,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Traci Kelly. “His emphasis on colorful layers and interest in making the work approachable to all viewers fit the needs of our community.”

Nick Goettling's Winter Migration temporary mural, 2011.

Detail from Nick Goettling’s Winter Migration temporary mural, 2011.

Goettling will continue research of the bridge and history of the area and will connect with members of the local community in developing a mural design. Painting will commence over the summer and the final mural will be completed by the end of October 2014.

Volunteer for Tacoma Arts Commission

16 Apr

CBC_logocolorstackedThe Tacoma City Council invites individuals who are knowledgeable and passionate about the literary, visual and performing arts to apply for the Tacoma Arts Commission (TAC). If you are interested in supporting, enhancing and providing leadership for the arts in Tacoma, this is a great opportunity.

The TAC consists of 15 volunteer members who are confirmed by Tacoma City Council to serve 3 year terms. Members are residents of Tacoma and arts advocates and artists.

The TAC provides leadership in supporting and enhancing the arts for the benefit of the City and its residents. Its purpose is to develop, support, coordinate, sponsor, and present the arts on a year-round basis for the benefit of the residents of Tacoma. The primary responsibility of the TAC is to create policies to support the ongoing development of arts programs and projects in Tacoma. Its primary programs include the funding of artists and arts organizations to provide services for the citizens of Tacoma; oversight of the Municipal Art Program; and supporting programs such as Spaceworks Tacoma, Tacoma Arts Month and the Tacoma Murals Project.

There are currently four member openings on the TAC:

  • 1 Working Professional Artist
  • 1 Professional Position – a person who has professional experience or training related to the arts
  • 2 At Large Positions – a person working outside of professional practice in the arts but who demonstrates a deep interest in and appreciation of cultural and artistic activities

The TAC is especially interested in applicants who live in under-represented parts of the City and bring diversity to the commission.

Meetings are held from 5 – 7 p.m., on the second Monday of each month, in the Tacoma Municipal Building North, Room 16 (728 St. Helens, 1st floor). Beyond monthly meetings, commissioners are asked to sit on at least one committee and one funding panel. Commissioners are also asked to periodically attend and evaluate programs produced by artists and organizations the TAC funds and are expected to attend and assist with all major programs the TAC produces.

To be considered in the first round of applications, you are encouraged to apply by April 30. But, applications are accepted on a rolling basis and applications received after April 30 will be considered for the next available seat openings. Applicants can go to for more information or to submit an application. Those who would prefer hard copy applications, and those with questions, can email, call (253) 591-5178 or stop by the Customer Support Center in the second floor lobby of the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market St.).

You’re Invited to a Regional Arts Forum in Tacoma

11 Apr
ArtsWA Commissioners with Karen Hanan.  Photo by Cooper Studios.

ArtsWA Commissioners with Karen Hanan. Photo by Cooper Studios.

What: ArtsWA Regional Arts Forum
Where: Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma
When: Monday, May 5, 5:50 – 7 pm
Cost: Free!

Join us for the Washington State Arts Commission’s (ArtsWa) first Regional Arts Forum, an informal meet & greet event where you will have an opportunity to meet Karen Hanan, the new Executive Director of ArtsWa. This is Karen’s first stop on a year-long quest to meet community members across the state. Bring your questions and comments and learn more about the programs and opportunities supported by ArtsWA.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to organize and host this event and welcome Karen to our community. Thank you to the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts for hosting us in the beautiful Pantages Theater.

Additional ArtsWA Regional Arts Forums will be held over the course of the year in Vancouver, Bellingham, Yakima, Twisp, Spokane, and other Washington cities to be announced.

For more information contact:
Glenda Carino, Communications Manager
Washington State Arts Commission
(360) 586-8093

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