It might be hard to convince you on a day like today but fall is a little over a month away and that gets our minds thinking about Tacoma Arts Month. What is Tacoma Arts Month? It’s the entire month of October chock-full of hundreds of arts and cultural activities for you to participate in including music, dance and theater performances; visual art exhibits; literary readings; lectures; workshops; film screenings and cultural events. Tacoma Arts Month is dedicated to showing off the very best about our community and we want you to be a part of it. Come see how the arts are at work in Tacoma!
One of the signature events that takes place in October is the Tacoma Studio Tour. This year’s tour features 57 artists and collaborative studios and allows the general public the opportunity to see the spaces in and tools with which local artists create their work, ask questions, and purchase one-of-a-kind creations. All studios will feature demonstrations of the artistic process or will have hands-on activities for visitors.
And, something new this year – your Tacoma Studio Tour Passport! Collect a stamp at each studio location you visit and once you’ve collected at least 8 stamps, send us the passport and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of several fabulous prize packages containing artwork hand-crafted by a selection of artists on the tour including: David Bader, Terry A Bader, Ann Darling, Michaela Eaves, Anne Elrod, Jennifer English, Lynne Farren, Maeve Harris, Hilltop Artists, Fumiko Kimura, L. Lisa Lawrence, Roberta Lowes, Dorothy McCuistion, John McCuistion, Chandler O’Leary, LeeAnn Seaburg Perry, William Turner, Elayne Vogel, Yoshiko Yamamoto, and Lois Yoshida.
What: Tacoma Studio Tour
Where: 35 studio locations around Tacoma
When: October 17 & 18, 11 am – 5 pm
Stay tuned as we’ll be bringing you a series of weekly posts featuring sneak peek samples of art from each of the participating artists. Here are this week’s highlights:
Inspired by natural elements, mid-century design, and rich urban textures, Leah Fitts creates original paintings using acrylics, charcoal, and other mixed media. She paints to express herself and forge connections with those who view her work. Allowing spontaneity and intuition to guide her, Leah’s abstract paintings represent a personal journey – thoughts and emotions captured on canvas and expressed through bold color, strong composition, and interesting textures and shapes.
Anne Elrod, Anne Elrod Studio
Anne Elrod has been creating art for the last 20 years. Her work is in private collections in Washington, California, Hawaii, Alabama, and Norway. Her passion is color, texture, and what if? One of her axioms is painted on her studio wall: “I’ve never met a color I didn’t like”, along with Winston Churchill’s wise quote: “never, never, never give up” and Goethe’s: “begin!” Anne believes that creativity is in everything and everyone.
Lisa Lawrence, Phoenix Rising Pottery Studio
“Out of the ashes and forged by flame… Art is created and life reclaimed” L. Lisa Lawrence fell in love with the way fire transformed earth and minerals into pottery, glaze, and glass in art class in Junior High School. Located in a once-abandoned 100-year-old home on Tacoma’s Hilltop, Phoenix Rising Pottery Studio is now an urban farm helping to feed the local community and an art studio where earth and minerals are reborn into art.
Ann Darling, Kennedy Road
Ann Darling is an award winning, but not famous (outside of clients, family & friends!), custom clothing and accessories maker. After working in the health care field for many years she delights in walking into her studio each day to create items people can wear. Recently, a foray into computer printing images on fabric has opened new avenues for adventures with fabrics created from her own designs.
Retha Hayward owns and manages three of the studios at Manitou Art Center, operates the White Dove Gallery, teaches fused and stained glass and mosaics, is Artist in Residence for Empty Bowls, and serves on the Lakewood Arts Commission. She shares her passion for art with the community, promoting and showcasing local artists and serving as adviser/instructor to many organizations.
Originally from Vancouver, B.C., Karen Utter has always lived in the Pacific Northwest. The area has strongly influenced her imagery and color choices. Karen works in several mediums but recently chose to make a series of collages, some with Asian-style imagery and others based on nature and music. Painted and handmade papers, linocuts, charcoal, ink, and oil pastels will be featured during the Tacoma Studio Tour.
Tacoma Arts Month is sponsored by Click! Cable TV, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Northwest Public Radio, KPLU, Weekly Volcano, Tacoma Weekly, South Sound magazine, and ARCADE.