Tag Archives: Kenji Stoll

2017-18 Arts Anchor Fund and TAIP Recipients Announced

22 Mar

Hilltop Artists Team Production student, Dawntae, marvering hot glass. Photo courtesy of Hilltop Artists

10 Arts Organizations and 18 Artists Funded by Tacoma Arts Commission

The Tacoma Arts Commission has awarded $255,000 to 10 Tacoma-based arts organizations through its Arts Anchor Fund program, and $45,000 to 18 Tacoma artists through its Tacoma Artists Initiative Program. The Arts Anchor Fund program awards range in value from $20,000 to $33,000 each, and the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program awards are $2,500 each. Funding for both programs is for the 2017-2018 biennium.

“Tacoma’s arts community is thriving,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Mike Sweney. “With these grants, we are honored to support our major arts institutions and independent artists in engaging, enlightening, and inspiring their communities as well as audiences from the Puget Sound and beyond.”

Arts Anchor Fund Program Awards

From Tacoma Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Opera.

The 2017-2018 Arts Anchor Fund program award recipients are: The Grand Cinema, Hilltop Artists, Museum of Glass, Northwest Sinfonietta, Symphony Tacoma, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Little Theatre, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma Opera, and Tacoma Youth Symphony Association.

In 2016, nine of these organizations served 506,909 people, provided free admission to 130,181 people, and generated an estimated $9.67 million for the local economy.

The Tacoma Arts Commission established the Arts Anchor Fund program in 1995 to provide financial support to major local not-for-profit arts organizations that significantly improve the quality of life for Tacoma. These arts organizations serve Tacoma’s community through regularly scheduled performances, exhibits and events, and school and outreach programs.

Tacoma Artists Initiative Program Awards

The Red Chador: Threshold
public performance-installation by Anida Yoeu Ali. Photo courtesy of Anida Yoeu Ali.

The 2017-2018 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program funded artists are: Anida Yoeu Ali, Travis Barker, Priscilla Dobler, Daniel Garcia, Antonio Gomez, Mark Hoppmann, Maria Jost, Anne Lyman, Kevin Miller, Elise Richman, Mauricio Robalino, Jessica Spring, Nicholas Stokes, Kenji Stoll, Masahiro Sugano, Qin Tan, Collin Veenstra, and Ben Wildenhaus

Funded Tacoma Artists Initiative Program projects include: production and screening of a live action short film; production of two music albums paired with public performances and a workshop; writing a book-length poetry manuscript with an accompanying reading; writing and staged reading of a one-act play; music performances on a portable stage; an exploration of the intersection of music and culture, including a bilingual workshop; a multi-media performance of early music; three multimedia temporary public art installations; and the creation and exhibition of visual art including a series of handmade books, illustrations, paintings, mixed-media pieces, letterpress art, and poster art.

From DUELS, by Nick Stokes, directed by José Amador. Pictured: Daniel Christensen and Carter Rodriquez. Photo by Andrea Sassenrath.

The Tacoma Artists Initiative Program was established in 1999 to assist artists with the generation of new work, and to share their talent with the public in a free and accessible format.

The Arts Anchor Fund program and Tacoma Artists Initiative Program are two of three funding programs administered by the Tacoma Arts Commission. For a complete listing of funding programs and information about the Tacoma Arts Commission, visit cityoftacoma.org/arts.

Manitou Trestle: dedicated to the love of community

3 Feb

On January 31, about 50 community members gathered in South Tacoma to dedicate the new multi-media mural, Manitou Trestle, created by artists Claudia Riedener, Chris Jordan, and Kenji Stoll, for the South 66th Street Trestle. The public art piece is a project of Sound Transit’s public art program (STart) in collaboration with the City of Tacoma’s Public Art: In Depth artist training program. 

The mural layers South Tacoma’s history, industry and personal experiences with botanical representations of native flora, topography and quotes from the community. These layers of ceramic tile and paint create a dynamic and collective representation of the community’s memories and tell a visual story of the South Tacoma neighborhood’s past, present and future.

Photographer Dane Gregory Meyer captured the event through the following photo essay.

Community members gathered at the STAR Center for the artwork dedication.

Community members gathered at the STAR Center for the artwork dedication.

During the dedication: Claudia Riedener, artist;  Chelsea Levy, Sound Transit; Marilyn Strickland, Mayor of the City of Tacoma; and Joe Lonergan, Tacoma City Council member.

During the dedication (left to right): Claudia Riedener, artist; Chelsea Levy, Sound Transit; Marilyn Strickland, Mayor of the City of Tacoma; and Joe Lonergan, Tacoma City Council member.

Mayor Strickland reads a poem, Manitou Trestle, written by Ken Sikes in commemoration of the dedication of the trestle.

Mayor Strickland read a poem, Manitou Trestle, written by Ken Sikes in commemoration of the artwork dedication. “…we poor, tired, huddled masses, yearning to be seen, passing through, and to. So loved. So love. So Tacoma.”

Barb Luecke, Sound Transit Art Program Manager, presents the Golden Roller community stewardship award to Venus Dergan.

Barb Luecke, Sound Transit Art Program Manager (left), presented the Golden Roller community stewardship award to Venus Dergan (right).

Artists Chris Jordan, Kenji Stoll, and Claudia Riedener (left to right) talk about the inspiration for the mural.

Artists Chris Jordan, Kenji Stoll, and Claudia Riedener (left to right) talked about the inspiration for the mural.

 

Left to right: City Council member Joe Lonergan, artist Chris Jordan, Mayor Marilyn Strickland, artist Claudia Riedener, and artist Kenji Stoll.

Left to right: City Council member Joe Lonergan, artist Chris Jordan, Mayor Marilyn Strickland, artist Claudia Riedener, and artist Kenji Stoll.

An enthusiastic group of attendees visit the mural site after the dedication ceremony.

An enthusiastic group of attendees visit the mural site after the dedication ceremony.

Echo Curry and children from the Henry T. Schatz branch of the Boys and Girls Club inspect the mural they helped influence.

Echo Curry and children from the Henry T. Schatz branch of the Boys and Girls Club inspect the mural they helped influence.

The mural is composed of botanically-inspired ceramic tiles, stamped with quotes collected from the community, layered with historic buildings and topography of the land as illustrated through aerosol paint.

The mural is composed of botanically-inspired ceramic tiles, stamped with quotes collected from the community, layered with historic buildings and topography of the land as illustrated through aerosol paint.

A view of the expansive mural, which covers the north and south sides as well as the median of the train trestle.

A view of the expansive mural, which covers the north and south sides as well as the median of the train trestle.

Manitou Trestle Dedication

Manitou Trestle Dedication

All photos used with permission from Dane Gregory Meyer. Copyright Dane Gregory Meyer.

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Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyDane Gregory Meyer has been a professional photographer for over 25 years and owns Dane Gregory Meyer Photography. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2009, currently as Vice Chair, in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.

Fab-5 hits new high with indoor graffiti commission

11 Jan
Art in 3-D: dedication party for the new Fab-5 mural at DCI headquarters in Kent.

Art in 3-D: opening party for the new Fab-5 mural at DCI headquarters in Kent. The art work extends through two floors and into the backrooms.

Fab-5 is taking graffiti art to new heights and kicking off 2013 on a high note: team artists Kenji Stoll, Chris Jordan, Troy Long and Travis Galindo recently completed a $90,000 art commission at the Kent, WA, headquarters of global electronics company, Digital Control Incorporated (DCI). They’ve created a multi-dimensional, two-story indoor mural that wraps around corners and hovers colorfully over workstations. It’s a work that’s sure to redefine “graffiti” and catapult it to a new level – one that integrates spontaneous, free-form painting with elegantly designed work space.

Located in the neighborhood of the Boeing Co., DCI headquarters is about as big as an airplane hangar, and it provided Fab-5 with an unimaginably exciting palette. The warehouse is a model of swank industrial design with large central spaces where there are no cubicles – instead, banks of large, lush plants and crystal-clear window dividers section off work areas. Because the company specializes in electronics, the place is immaculate – but in the most appealing way. Dogs are allowed visiting privileges, there is a pingpong table on the mezzanine, and for focused quiet time, there is a submarine-size tropical aquarium that is filtered from beneath by small, living mangrove trees. The company is a leading designer of drilling guidance systems with offices in Germany, China, India, Australia, and Russia.

IMG_5766

Spaceworks alums Chris Jordan and Kenji Stoll at the dedication of the Fab-5 mural.

The challenge for Fab-5 was to create a visual environment that dozens of engineers and designers would all be amenable to working in (plastered in graffiti?), and that would complement the space’s clean architectural style. Oh, and a deadline of two months – that alone would keep the Five in respirator masks and working around the clock last summer.

The result of their efforts: an immersive environment that is over the top, and hard to describe. On the walls, cumulous clouds of color give birth to silhouettes of gadgets related to drilling guidance systems; Jordan and Stoll, the team’s liaisons, spent hours interviewing the engineers about their work and its components, and recorded motifs that would be catalysts for thought. Color and design merge to create a dynamism that keeps the eye moving from floor to ceiling and around corners. They didn’t hold back; as Jordan pointed out, going for generic graffiti effects would have doomed the work to the pleasantly dull realm of chain restaurant art. At the mural dedication, visitors were plainly awed by the work. Most importantly, the clients, founders Peter Hambling, and John and June Mercer, were elated.

We caught up with Kenji Stoll to ask him how the commission was executed, and how the four artists in Fab-5 managed to keep the collaboration rolling smoothly. Continue reading

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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