Tag Archives: Tacoma Community College

Tacoma’s next Poet Laureate is…

13 Apr

2017-2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate Kellie Richardson. Photo by Israel Perez.

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced the selection of Kellie Richardson as Tacoma’s 2017-2019 Poet Laureate.

Over the next two years, Richardson will participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events. She will also participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October, and help produce the 2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate Ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate.

“As Poet Laureate, my priority will be to support the creation of bold spaces that mirror our citizenry,” said Richardson. “I strongly believe in the power of storytelling as a means of healing and, ultimately, a way in which individuals and community find resolution despite trauma, and common ground among bitter rivals.”

As a wrap-up of National Poetry Month, the Tacoma Arts Commission and Tacoma’s current Poet Laureate, Cathy Nguyễn, will host Pass the Torch, a poetry and music event at which Richardson will officially be awarded the title. The free, public event will be held April 29, from 5 – 8 p.m., at the Tacoma Community College Auditorium (Building 2, accessed from South 12th Street and Whitman Street). Free parking is available in Lot G off South 12th Street.

Light refreshments are available from 5 – 6 p.m., with an opportunity for attendees to participate in a hands-on project led by artist Saiyare Refaei. Attendees can also record a poem for inclusion in the Laureate Listening Project reflecting on the personal importance of a particular place in Tacoma. Limited recording spots are available, and can be reserved through Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org.

The main program begins at 6 p.m. and will feature poets Richardson, Nguyễn, Miriam McBride, PaQ’Jon Dickerson, Marquis McCrary, Marcel Augustin, and Baiyinnah Muhammad. These poets will be joined by DJ Smokey Wonder.

The Tacoma Poet Laureate program is sponsored by Click! Cable TV. Pass the Torch is sponsored by Tacoma Community College’s Office of Student Engagement.

Another free, public event focusing on poetry in Tacoma, the Louder Than a Bomb Tacoma Teen Poetry Slam, takes place at 2 p.m. that same day at the Tacoma Community College Student Center (Building 11).

About Kellie Richardson

2017-2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate Kellie Richardson. Photo by Israel Perez.

Kellie Richardson is a writer, artist and educator born and raised in Tacoma, Wash.  Her work explores the intersection of race, class and gender with specific emphasis on themes of love, loss and longing. She employs both classical poetic forms as well as contemporary mediums such as spoken word. Her work is provocative yet accessible, powerful yet vulnerable. In addition to publishing original work, she created the blog, Brown Betty, in 2012. Brown Betty exists to provide armor and inspiration for real life; a place where commerce and community intersect to cultivate healing. The blog explores the complexities of navigating the human experience, and calls its readers to continue to be inspired to endure and overcome barriers to their happiness.

Richardson is particularly inspired and called to explore the experiences of women of color, and the intersectionality of identities. In addition to teaching courses at Pacific Lutheran University, she has provided poetry and writing workshops to students from Bryant Montessori to Tacoma Community College. She has performed pieces for the Tacoma Art Museum, The People’s Assembly, University of Washington Tacoma, Drunken Telegraph, The Tacoma Round, COLORED2017, and many others.

Richardson’s relationship with Tacoma is defined by transitions and metamorphosis as she has moved from student to professor, child to parent, and, the most critical progression, from onlooker to loving actor. She enters this process as a loving actor looking to continue to give to Tacoma through poetry and the gift of storytelling. As Poet Laureate, she will persist in her desire to ensure literary arts are both accessible to, and representative of, the diversity in Tacoma.

Metal-Urge Free Community Festival this Sunday!

15 Oct
Tacoma Community College wows crowds with a molten iron pour.

Tacoma Community College wows crowds with a molten iron pour.

Join us for a free, fun-filled afternoon of metal arts for the whole family.

Metal-Urge Free Community Festival
Sunday, October 19
12 – 3 pm
Tollefson Plaza, S. 17th & Pacific Avenue, Tacoma
Free and open to the public

We’ll keep you entertained with:



Metal-Urge is a city-wide celebration of metal arts that explores the many ways artists push this versatile and diverse medium. From October 1 – November 30, 31 venues will feature metal-themed exhibits, workshops, lectures, festivals, and more.

A list of all events and exhibits is available at TacomaMetalUrge.com, and brochures are available in coffee shops and cultural venues around town.

Besides the Metal-Urge Free Community Festival, two additional anchor programs are:

  • “Protective Ornament: Contemporary Amulets to Armor”
    October 18, 2014 – February 1, 2015
    Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave.
    This exhibit showcases nearly 100 works—including helmets, brass knuckles, breastplates, aggressive or defensive jewelry, chain mail, amulets, talismans, and protective gear—designed to address issues of protection and empowerment in the face of everyday perils and social challenges. Ranging from protective hardware (physical fortification) and protective “software” (faith-based adornment), the array of contemporary works underlines the crucial safeguarding function of jewelry and other wearable ornaments. Organized by the National Ornamental Metal Museum Foundation, Inc. The exhibition was curated by Suzanne Ramljak, Editor of Metalsmith magazine.
  • Seattle Metals Guild 19th Annual Northwest Jewelry & Metals Symposium
    October 18, 9 am – 5:30 pm
    Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave.
    This metal arts symposium features lectures by Metalsmith magazine editor Suzanne Ramljak, historian Stephen Fliegel, Vivian Beer, artist Jennifer Trask, jeweler Todd Pownell, and metalsmith Myra Mimlitsch-Gray. For more information or to register visit seattlemetalsguild.org/programs/symposium.

Metal-Urge is organized by the Tacoma Arts Commission and sponsored by Click! Cable TV and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.


Art at Work Month kickoff this Monday

25 Oct
What happens when molten iron is poured into 300# blocks of ice? Come check it out.

What happens when molten iron is poured into 300# blocks of ice? Come check it out.

Come celebrate with us. You know you want to! Join the Tacoma Arts Commission in a free community celebration of the arts as we kick off Tacoma’s 12th annual Art at Work Month.

Art at Work Opening Party and AMOCAT Arts Awards
Monday, October 28

6 – 8:30 pm
Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street, Tacoma
Free and open to the public

We’ll keep you entertained with:

the BareFoot Collective will  be dancing us into Art at Work Month. Photo by Michael Hoover.

the BareFoot Collective will be dancing us into Art at Work Month. Photo by Michael Hoover.

music by Taxi Driver
molten iron pour by Tacoma Community College
contemporary dance by the BareFoot Collective
urban arts by Fab-5
poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo
films by Kat Ogden and Carla Barragan
museum displays and marine life touch tanks

You will even have the opportunity to contribute to Diane Hansen’s soon-to-be-installed public art piece, The Locks, by personalizing a padlock to hang on the installation. We’ll provide the supplies, you provide your sentimental love of Tacoma.

Enjoy appetizers, dessert, and no-host bar while experience the newly-renovated Foss Waterway Seaport including a new public art piece, Lot 411 by Bret Lyon.

Help us honor the 2013 funding recipients and AMOCAT Arts Award winners – Erivan and Helga Haub and family, Puget Sound Book Artists, and David Domkoski. Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Deputy Mayor Marty Campbell will present the awards beginning at 7:15 pm.

This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Dress warmly – we’ll be over the water and it’s fall.

The Art at Work Opening Party is sponsored by Foss Waterway Seaport and NW Stage. Art at Work Month is generously sponsored by Click! Cable TVThe Greater Tacoma Community FoundationKPLUPremier Media GroupTacoma Weekly, and Weekly Volcano.

Tacoma Studio Tour Preview: Part 8

31 Oct

Still looking for something to do this weekend? How about the Tacoma Studio Tours! This year’s tour features 55 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. You can ask questions and purchase one-of-a-kind creations. And every studio will feature demonstrations of the artistic process or will have hands-on activities for visitors. Check out ArtAtWorkTacoma.com  for the full list of artists, schedule, and an interactive map where you can plot your custom tour course.

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

Here is this week’s artist sneak peeks:

Lance Roberts
Manitou Art Center is a group studio where Roberts works and teaches. His work is hand-thrown and hand-painted and uses porcelain through high and reduction based firing. His work has an Asian feel of simplicity and grace with a western twist.

Chandler O’Leary
Chandler O’Leary is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and is the proprietor of Anagram Press, allowing her to make a living by drawing pictures and lettering by hand. She is one half of the collaborative team behind the “Dead Feminists” letterpress poster series, and the playing card designer of the Tacoma Card Deck created by Tacoma Makes. Visit Chandler’s studio to print a small keepsake on an antique Kelsey platen press.

Toni Snyder

Toni is primarily self-taught and only began her artistic journey 10 years ago. She renders primarily oil paint landscapes. She also enjoys drawing in the classical style using charcoal pencils. Sharing her love of painting and drawing with others allows her to share a part of who she is and how she sees the world around her.

Mark Sigafoos – Tacoma Glassblowing Studio
Tacoma Glassblowing Studio was established in 2006 by husband and wife team Mark and Jeannine Sigafoos. This state of the art glassblowing studio and glass gallery offers visitors a close view of how hand-blown glass is made and gives guests the opportunity to try it for themselves. This facility also offers classes, group events, corporate gifts, and features very talented local glass artists in their gallery.

Sharon Styer

Sharon’s love of warehouses, abandoned buildings, and alleyways is evident in her urban photography which plays heavily with lights and shadows. There is a quickness to her work, like a moment caught out of the corner of your eye before it is gone. Visit Sharon’s studio and try out her digital “darkroom”. Sharon will have a selection of unedited photos for you to try your hand at manipulating; make yours as creative, funky, or sophisticated as you want. Finished piece will be emailed to you.

Susan Thompson

Susan Thompson is drawn to traditional and functional shapes as well as the idea that pottery is used in the rituals of daily living. It is her hope that pieces she makes will be passed around the table, or be used in some way with enough frequency that they become part of life and, with time, become artifacts that hold echoes of the past. During the tour, visitors can make a slab tray for a small fee (includes glazing and firing.)

Lorraine Toler

Lorraine Toler is a Korean-American and was born and raised in Tacoma. Her paintings are story boards and recount personal, familial, and historical stories through her various series. Lorraine paints with her fellow artists in the JET Tools building.

William Turner

William Turner’s recent works are his elaborations on the work of two Master Painters, El Greco and Velazquez, merging his abstract style with classic themes. He focuses on the great Velazquez painting “Las Meninas” and El Greco’s “Vincenzo Anastagi”.  Working from scant facts about these two artworks, Turner is creating a visual fiction filling in the imagined events of his life.

Karin Williams

Karin’s “Bones” series has developed out of the encouragement of several local physicians. These paintings create visually pleasing compositions using unusual subject matter. Abstractions of bones and joints are made with an interesting color palette and “tongue-in-cheek” titles.

Karen Utter

Originally from Vancouver, B.C., Karen has always lived in the Pacific Northwest. The stunning natural beauty of the area is a profound influence on her work. With a preference for pastels, Karen works in a colorful, expressionistic style. Her subject matter is landscape, and is often populated with a variety of Northern Wildlife, including wolves, foxes, deer, bears and birds. Her most recent pastel series focused on topiary in a mid-century modern setting.

Tacoma Community College

Tour TCC’s metal casting, ceramics, and printmaking studios. See the latest student artwork and try your hand at making your own creation. Join TCC instructor Kyle Dillehay to cast and take home your own iron scratch block tile ($10). Interested in ceramics? Join Rick Mahaffey in decorating and raku firing pottery ($10). TCC is a community college facility providing a diverse selection of art classes for the community of Tacoma.

Betty Sapp Ragan

Betty Sapp Ragan has exhibited in regional, national, and international exhibitions. She completed her MFA at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and moved to Tacoma to teach at the University of Puget Sound. She is interested in architecture as it relates to the land and the culture. Betty is fascinated with the questions of why we build what we do, and why we place these buildings in their specific locations.

Steve Lawler

The furniture Steve designs and builds incorporates two passions: The first being the creative process itself; the second is the thoughtful and respectful use of our planet’s resources. Creatively, he strives to apply equal weight to form and function. Using recycled and repurposed materials is both a push and a pull, it forces him to find a unique expression for these sometimes odd and limiting pieces of raw material. It is at the same time challenging and incredibly stimulating.

Check out other artists on the tour:
Studio Tour Preview: Part 7
Studio Tour Preview: Part 6
Studio Tour Preview: Part 5
Studio Tour Preview: Part 4
Studio Tour Preview: Part 3
Studio Tour Preview: Part 2
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.

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