Tag Archives: Ed Kroupa

Newest episode of artTown has landed

5 Mar

The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office – in partnership with the Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality – has released a new episode of artTown, a cultural documentary-style TV initiative exploring Tacoma’s emergence as a major creative hub in the Pacific Northwest.

In this episode:

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at The Grand Cinema’s 253 Short Film Competition as one team writes, shoots, and edits a 253 second short film in 72 hours
  • Visit the unique studio of jewelry designer Cheryl DeGroot
  • Explore Floating Life Forms, a public art piece on the Thea Foss Esplanade created by Tacoma artist Ed Kroupa
  • Hear what inspires the beat in Antonio Gomez’s music
  • Learn how art is being used to engage community and energize public spaces in the Lincoln District Revitalization Project

Silong Chhun talks about his community engagement work in the Lincoln District.

Launched in 2013, the series has earned numerous awards and 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 fashion, innovative education practices, architecture and more.

Online viewing:
Watch “artTown” anytime at cityoftacoma.org/artTown

YouTube:
Watch segments or the full episode anytime on the City of Tacoma’s YouTube Channel

Percussionist Antonio Gomez.

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 tvtacoma.com.

Click! ON Demand
Available for viewing anytime on Click! ON Demand’s TV Tacoma and TacomaArt & Culture menu listings

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

6 Oct

 

Guitarist-singer-songwriter Nolan Garrett and the legendary Jerry Miller.

Guitarist-singer-songwriter Nolan Garrett and the legendary Jerry Miller.

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.

This episode features:

  • Viewpoints and musical riffs from emerging guitarist-singer-songwriter Nolan Garrett and the legendary Jerry Miller, one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time
  • A look at Tacoma’s hot metal arts scene with Amy Reeves of Tacoma Metal Arts Center, John Simpkins of Fort Nisqually, Ed Kroupa of Two Ravens Studio, and Saign Charlestein
  • An exploration into letterpress arts with Jessica Spring of Springtide Press, sweet pea Flaherty of King’s Bookstore, and Margaret Bullock of Tacoma Art Museum
  • A visit to the working studios of local artists Angela Rockett, Lynne Farren, Lynn Di Nino and Mauricio Robalino
  • music composed by Isaac Solverson
Hot off the press at Springtide Press.

Hot off the press at Springtide Press.

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.

Those who want to immerse themselves more fully in Tacoma’s creative community are invited to participate in Tacoma Arts Month, which features hundreds of events held throughout the entire month of October.

Online viewing:

Watch “artTown” anytime at cityoftacoma.org/artTown.

Saign Charlestein at work in his metal arts studio.

Saign Charlestein at work in his metal arts studio.

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 tvtacoma.com.

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

Tacoma Studio Tour Preview: Part 2

19 Sep

This is part 2 in our series highlighting the artists participating in the Tacoma Studio Tour this November.

The Tacoma Studio Tour will feature 55 artists and collaborative studios and will allow 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. Check out ArtAtWorkTacoma.com at the beginning of October for the full list of artists, schedule, and an interactive map where you can plot your tour course.

What: Tacoma Studio Tour
Where: 37 studio locations around Tacoma
When: November 3 & 4, 11 am – 5 pm
Cost: FREE!

Here is this week’s artist sneak peeks:

Elayne Vogel
  
Unusual materials have almost always guided the imagery in Elayne’s art work.  These one-of-a-kind necklaces, which she calls “Unusual Adornments,” are meant to combine humor and elegance in entirely wearable durable jewelry.  Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Bellevue Art Museum, the Foster White Gallery in Seattle, and the Tacoma Art Museum.

Katrina Toft & Ed Kroupa: Two Ravens Studio & Art Foundry
  
Two Ravens Studio & Art Foundry provides sculptural services from mold making to metal finishing as well as designing original sculptures. Two Ravens Studio creates works of art for public displays and private residences. The studio casts in bronze, aluminum, and resin, producing works from small scale to monument size. Their list of clients includes individual artists, architects, designers, museums, and corporations.

Jan Karroll
  
Jan Karroll is a multimedia artist who creates unique wooden jewelry embellished with vintage buttons. The pieces are completely hand crafted from selected wood and finished to enhance the qualities of both the wood and the buttons. The fasteners are fabricated of shaped and sharpened brass wire. Each piece is mounted in a custom frame. Raw materials and pieces in progress will be shown and techniques demonstrated as well.

Claudia Riedener: Ixia Tile Tacoma
  
Ixia Tile focuses on handmade architectural ceramic installations for public art, private, and commercial commissions. The creative process includes carving, sculpting, molding, extruding, and hand-building from slabs. Clays and glazes made in Tacoma are used exclusively. Public art installations in Tacoma include Mc Carver Park, South Tacoma Public Library, Multi-Care TreeHouse, Masa Restaurant and Bellarmine School. Visit Claudia’s studio during the tour and lay your hands on clay to create your own tile.

Amy Reeves: Tacoma Metal Arts Center
  
In December 2009, Amy Reeves opened Tacoma Metal Arts Center (TMAC) to teach metalsmithing classes and to offer studio access to students and jewelry artists in the community. TMAC currently host classes taught by over 15 different instructors and a gallery featuring the hand-made metal jewelry and art of students and instructors. Visit the studio during the tour to see casting demonstration and hands on metal texturing.

LeeAnn Seaburg Perry
  
LeeAnn Seaburg Perry is wading in uncharted territory in the art realm as she combines encaustic stones or rusted wire with her new stone sculptures. The rusted wire blends with the stone, adding tension to the whole sculpture. The carved stone is costly and valuable–the smaller river stone and the rusted wire have no value to us–yet in context of the sculpture, the tension of what we value and what we don’t is resolved. Visitors to LeeAnn’s studio will have the opportunity to take a chisel in their own hands and try carving a piece of marble and soapstone.

Check out other artists on the tour and watch for future previews:
Studio Tour Preview: Part 1

Art at Work Month is sponsored by Click! Cable TV, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Washington State Arts Commission, Weekly Volcano, and Premier Media Group.

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.

Walking the Walk on the Prairie Line Trail

13 Nov

On Saturday, glowering skies drenched the opening of Temporal Terminus: Marking the Line, an exhibit of temporary art installations sited along the Prairie Line Trail. The deluge did not scare off the large crowd who turned out for a guided tour of the art works starting at Tollefson Plaza, winding down to the Tacoma Art Museum and Thea Foss Waterway, continuing along the esplanade by the Museum of Glass, and back up to the University of Washington-Tacoma. Rain or no rain, it was a great opportunity to see how this half-mile, $5.83 million legacy trail – the western terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad, completed during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency – will link up Tacoma’s major cultural attractions.

The rain started on Friday as the eight teams of artists commissioned to create art for the pedestrian/bike trail project now underway began installing their works. It became an all-out battle of humans vs. nature as the weekend progressed. By the time the tour began on Saturday, well-wishers had girded themselves with umbrellas, raingear and high spirits to view the temporary installations along the trail. Here’s a glimpse of the eight new public art works on view through Nov. 26:

UW-T Campus
Title: Ghost Prairie
Artists: Thoughtbarn  (Lucy Begg & Robert Gay)

Thoughtbarn’s installation speaks to the railroad line’s namesake. Inspired by the mysterious Mima mounds in Thurston County, and the plight of the diminishing prairie, this installation introduces a piece of ‘artificial prairie’ along the rails running through the UW-T campus. It is a playful referral to both the railroad’s history and its new landscape-driven future as a bike and pedestrian path through the city. For its duration the colorful, intriguing object will catch the eye of local pedestrians and drivers. Those most curious can get up close to run their hands along the ‘grasses’, which also glow at night.


UW-T Pedestrian Bridge

Title: Envision
Artists: Jeremy Gregory, Diane Hansen, Ed Kroupa

Gigantic eyes look down on the campus from the pedestrian bridge. Are they benevolent? Visionary? Judging? That depends. The eyes are those of Abraham Lincoln, the visionary whose dream it was to complete a transcontinental rail that would meet the Pacific. Is he overlooking his accomplishment or wondering about this particular route’s demise and our crazy modern lives? Walking over the ped bridge, one experiences a different viewpoint and inspiration for the endurance of vision.


Grassy area by UW-T
Title: Manifest Destiny
Artists: Maria Meneses, Nicholas Nyland, Elise Richman

Manifest Destiny was a phrase that justified the territorial expansion of the United States as if it were a divine sanction. A series of markers reminiscent of the Northern Pacific Railroad signs act as a historical timeline of Tacoma, starting in 1870, three years before Tacoma was designated as the western terminus for the transcontinental railroad. A stepping stone begins the journey and the subsequent signs track the growing population of the city over 140 years at intervals that represent the largest jumps in population.

Dock Street Grassy Area
Title: Zero Down
Artists: Chris Jordan, Chandler O’Leary, Claudia Riedener

From a series of ‘footprints’ that occupy the grassy area, colorful shadows extend.  The images are rendered in temporary paint and continued in chalk, the forms span the grass and onto the concrete morphing into forms human and imagined.  Each brightly colored shadow represents the diversity and complexities of humans’ personalities. Seen here, a ghostly profile that will fade over time.

15th Street Overpass
Title: TACOMABALL
Artists: Kyle Dillehay, Lisa Kinoshita, Oliver Doriss

The curve of this overpass is the inspiration for TACOMABALL, a monumental, temporarily interactive pinball-style game which will come to life during the Prairie Line Trail tour. Gigantic red balls will be bowled down the curve interacting with various obstacles depicting both notorious and beloved local icons. Racing stripes and imagery reminiscent of the game will remain on the ramp (assuming nature cooperates) through the course of the exhibit making every pedestrian a player in the game.

Hood Street
Title: Rogue Rhizomes
Artists: Chris Sharp, Lance Kagey, James Sinding

This section of the Prairie Line Trail is a ragged remnant of an industrial heritage that has witnessed dynamic transformation all around, while remaining itself, virtually unchanged over the last 100 years. The fringes of this space are a competition between structured plantings and wildness trying to reinsert itself into the landscape. This installation explores the rogue elements of organic invasiveness, between city and wildness. Using brightly colored markers and a three-dimensional letterform the eye is drawn from a distance and evoke ideas of giant flora. Organic patterns around the base of each light pole emanate outwards over time making use of positive and negative space and ‘invade’ the surrounding area.

Photo: Holly Senn

Tollefson Plaza
Title: Link
Artists: Bret Lyon, Janet Marcavage, Holly Senn

Link makes visible the connection between the rail lines and highlights how the Prairie Line Trail linked Tacoma to the communities of Tenino, McIntosh, Wetico, Rainier, Yelm, Roy, Hillhurst, Lakeview, and South Tacoma. Floating yellow orbs, iconic of the yellow and black railroad signs will re-enact the stops along the line that connected with these communities.


Photo: Kristin Giordano

Under I-705
Title: Wild Wilderness
Artists:  Jennifer Adams, Kristin Giordano, Kenji Stoll

This work comments on the diminishing open spaces in our world and the impact on animal habitat.  In addition, it calls attention to the wild spaces that exist within our urban midst. Peeking from the interesting, dense vegetation near Tacoma Art Museum, a variety of animals that would be hard pressed to co-exist inhabit this newly created environment. Think: mega fauna.

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