Tag Archives: University of Puget Sound

4th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition

10 Jun

June 5th – July 31st
Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound

Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II. Photo: courtesy of Mary Ashton.

Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II. Photo: courtesy of Mary Ashton.

The evening of June 5th, 2014 marked the opening reception for the 4th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition, featuring 57 extraordinary handmade books created by 39 artists from Puget Sound and beyond. Held annually at Collins Memorial Library on the University of Puget Sound campus, the exhibition represents the growing diversity of ideas constantly challenging the question; what is a book? In this exhibition, using various media ranging from photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, calligraphy, and digital means, and employing a variety of materials including wood, handmade paper, fabric, and cordage, the members of the Puget Sound Book Artists strive to answer that question.

Lucia Harrison: Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor. Photo: courtesy of Lucia Harrison.

Lucia Harrison: Old Growth: Beneath the
Forest Floor. Photo: courtesy of Lucia Harrison.

The exhibition demonstrates that, like other artists, book artists are not limited to boundaries imposed on them by “rules.” This opens up endless possibilities in regards to the book form and even the materials used in making the book. The term “altered states” comes to mind. Keep in mind, while working together towards one goal, the artists whose work grace this exhibition are as diverse as the work they create. No two interpretations are alike, just as not two artists are alike. Remember, I said “endless possibilities?” From the complex layers of Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II, to Lucia Harrison, recipient of the exhibition’s Award for Excellence for Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor, the exhibition tests our expectations of what a book is.

As you stroll through the exhibition, You may find yourself wishing you could reach through the glass to pick up the book. On the evening of June 19th, 5:30-7:30pm you may have your opportunity during the Conversation with the artists when the works are taken out from beneath the glass. You will have a first-hand opportunity to understand how these books came to be, and to hear from the artists themselves about their vision.

Lily Richmond: Go With The Flow. Photo: courtesy of Ross Mulhausen.

Lily Richmond: Go With The Flow. Photo: courtesy of Ross Mulhausen.

The Puget Sound Book Artists is a non-profit organization comprised of over 60 members from Puget Sound and beyond, with a growing membership from other states. Recipient of the 2013 AMOCAT Arts Award, the organization’s mission is to further the knowledge, practice and understanding of the art of the book by means of educational activities including but not limited to lectures, workshops, and exhibits.

For additional information about the exhibition, the award recipients, and the opening reception, visit the Puget Sound Book Artists’ blog. To inquire about membership or any other questions, you may contact them at psba@gmail.com.

This blog post was written by Mark Hoppmann, a 2011 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program funding recipient and current President of the Puget Sound Book Artists.

At the Intersection of Film and Culture

21 Mar


Before the light and airy University of Puget Sound venue saw sunset and darkness slowly settled, nearly 90 people gathered on Thursday to become acquainted with Norwegian words, win prizes, and bid on small auction items as part of the Sister City International Film Festival’s screening of the Norwegian film The Other Side of Sunday.

A jovial mature audience was cautioned to hang in there, past the film’s first 10 minute racey beginning.  Most of us in the audience had lived through the 60’s and needed no warning against any blush that may have come.

The venue, Commencement Hall, grew dark in a beautiful way, as a rare sunny afternoon outside turned to evening, then night. The film absorbed attention and was vivid in its portrayal of rural Norwegian life in a secular household of the 1950’s. 

This story was billed as a coming of age story about a Protestant minister’s daughter, but at its core there seemed a broader coming of age, women gathering courage, one generation after another, to find their own truth, freedoms and life apart from traditions of male dominance disguised as piety.  It was called a dark comedy, though that may be more in the Shakespearean sense, happy ending rather than laughs.

I thought this film was a treat and well worth seeing. I imagine there will be discussions among members of the audience in the days that come.


March 27: Featuring the sister city of Morocco with a screening of Defining Love, A Failed Attempt

Acting overlaps reality, bridging roles with those in one’s life. Hamza and Zineb travel to a remote area in the Atlas mountains in Morocco to research for parts they’re supposed to play in an upcoming rendition of the legend of Isli and Tisselt – a tale of two lovers whose tears are believed to have created the two lakes that bear their name. Zineb and Hamza, both emerging from failed relationships, meet Mohammad, a young shepherd, who is a dreamer. DEFINING LOVE is a meditative exploration of the invisible in our lives, with nature as its witness.

April 3: Featuring the sister city of Cuba with a screening of Esther, Somewhere

A year after the death of his wife Maruja, Lino Catala, a staid old man is approached by Larry Po, another quirky old man with multiple personalities. Larry confesses Lino that his late wife, Maruja, led a double life: by day an ordinary housewife, and by night an impressive bolero singer. From this moment on, the two elders join in a thorough search of Maruja´s past while trying to find the whereabouts of Esther Rodenas, the great love of Larry’s life. While following the trail of the women he loved, a friendship develops between the two that definitively transforms and shows them that life does not end in old age.

Where: University of Puget Sound, Commencement Hall, Tahoma Room (corner of N. 13th and Lawrence Street)
Time: Doors open at 6 pm, cultural program starts at 6:15 pm, film starts at 7 pm
Cost: FREE! Seats are limited to first come, first serve

More information about the 12th Annual Sister Cities International Film Festival is available at sistercityfilmfest.org.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support this event through Arts Projects funding.


Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyThis review was written by Tacoma Arts Commission member Dane Meyer. Dane 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 in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.


11 Mar


Tacoma’s own MLKBallet presents CHAMBER, an evening of contemporary dance and live chamber music at Urban Grace on March 29Featuring original choreography by Faith Stevens and the world premier of commissioned music for cello, violin, piano, and electronics by local composer Brad Hawkins, CHAMBER blends contemporary dance with new music and bold 20th century works by Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, and John Cage. CHAMBER joins old traditions with new and explores the visual aspects of music and dance performance, as performing artists share the stage.  The event is ADA accessible.

Who: MLKBallet
Where: Urban Grace, 902 Market Street in downtown Tacoma
When Saturday, March 29, 7:00 pm
Tickets: $8, order at Brown Paper Tickets

The public is also invited to a free open rehearsal on Sunday, March 23 at 11:00 am, at Schneebeck Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support MLKBallet through Arts Projects funding.

Photo by Scott Haydon

Photo by Scott Haydon

About MLKBallet
MLKBallet is a tuition-free dance training program committed to providing accessible, quality ballet training for children in the Tacoma area.  They produce contemporary dance shows in Tacoma as a way of building a dance audience and to provide their students and families opportunities to experience all levels and types of dance in the Tacoma community.

19 Arts Projects funding recipients announced

27 Jan
A duo does a dance routine during the final round of Fab-5's AfterLIFE breakdance battle

A duo does a dance routine during the final round of Fab-5’s AfterLIFE breakdance battle. Photo provided by Fab-5.

The Tacoma Arts Commission recently awarded $50,000 in 2014 Arts Projects funding to 19 Tacoma organizations in support of public outreach projects in the fields of music, dance, theater, literary, film, urban, visual arts and cultural arts. The awards ranged in value from $1,000 to $4,000.

“The breadth and quality of grassroots arts programming in Tacoma is consistently impressive,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Traci Kelly. “The range of community-based programs reflects our diverse neighborhoods and interests. We are proud to support this outstanding group of organizations.”

Funded projects include the production of five diverse cultural and arts festivals, visual art programs for families, urban art classes for youth, contemporary and multidisciplinary dance events, a variety of music performances, an international film series, poetry readings and workshops, arts components to a national conference and a community-wide guerrilla art project.

Punch and Judy performance by Kelsey Sample at Ft. Nisqually's Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Ft. Nisqually.

Punch and Judy performance by Kelsey Sample at Ft. Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Ft. Nisqually.

Funded organizations include the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, DASH Center for the Arts, Fab-5, Fort Nisqually Foundation, King’s Bookstore, Local Life, Metropolitan Glass, MLKBallet, Northwest Repertory Singers, Old Town Business and Professional Association, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Second City Chamber Series, Sister City Council of Tacoma, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Maritime Fest, the BareFoot Collective, University of Puget Sound, and the Washington State Historical Society.

The Arts Projects funding program supports high quality community projects with a strong focus on arts that are accessible and affordable to the public. Twenty-three Arts Projects applications were submitted to the Tacoma Arts Commission with requests totaling $92,400.

Arts Projects is one 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.

American Voices: Walidah Imarisha and Fab-5

10 Apr
Fab-5 members Kenji Stoll, Eddie Sumlin, and David Long (from left), with Walida Imarisha, at the Fab-5 community center Fabitat. Photo by Ashley Solus.

Fab-5 members Kenji Stoll, Eddie Sumlin, and David Long (from left), with Walida Imarisha, at the Fab-5 community center Fabitat. Photo by Ashley Solus.

What: New Faces, New Voices: The Role of Youth in Educational Justice
Where: University of Puget Sound, Schneebeck Concert Hall
When: Thursday, April 25, 7 pm
Cost: Free, tickets not required

Walidah Imarisha, a spoken word artist, educator, writer, and innovative voice on issues of youth and justice, will perform with the Fab-5 artistic youth group on Thursday, April 25, at University of Puget Sound.

The spoken word performance New Faces, New Voices: The Role of Youth in Educational Justice will take place from 7 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall. Everyone is welcome to this free event.

Imarisha will address an educational system that she sees as suffering from a virus that is “much more insidious” in the ways that it damages young people than in the days of overt racism—because prejudices have been driven underground.

“Students,” she told Professor Dexter Gordon in a recent video interview, “feel marginalized, silenced, invisibilized, demonized, criminalized, without that being said explicitly. They’re not learning about themselves and everything they do learn about themselves is negative. Many young, brilliant folks have dropped out of school because they were saving their spirits. And we have to see that as a survival tactic.”

Thelma Jackson, education consultant to five Washington governors and owner of Foresight Consulting, will open the evening with an introductory talk. This is the final in a series of three public events titled American Voices: Invisibility, Art, and Educational Justice and presented by the Race and Pedagogy Initiative at University of Puget Sound, with support from the Catharine Gould Chism Fund.

Walidah Imarisha teaches in Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s women’s studies program, and Southern New Hampshire University’s English department. One half of the poetry duo Good Sista/Bad Sista, she uses her art and scholarship to explore identities and to examine methods of control—historic and contemporary.

As a lecturer, organizer, and poet, Imarisha has toured the country, regularly challenging people to consider issues that are not often a part of public conversations. One tour involved a talk by Imarisha on “Why are there so few black people in Oregon?” Imarisha told the Women of Color zine that the answer stems from the historical creation of institutions designed for “white, straight” men. She says it is essential for that process to be understood today.

“If we don’t see this [process], then we can’t see why students of color are dropping out at twice the rate of white students, and why LGBTQ students of color are dropping out at an even higher rate,” she told the online magazine. “This is not history—this is the foundation for the institutions that shape our lives every day in the here and now. And it affects and constricts all of our lives.”

Imarisha has facilitated poetry and journalism workshops in community centers, youth detention facilities, and women’s prisons. She was one of the editors of Another World is Possible, the first anthology about the 9/11 tragedy, as well as the first editor of the political hip hop publication AWOL Magazine. She spent six years on the board of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, and helped to found the Human Rights Coalition, a group of prisoners’ families and former prisoners in Pennsylvania.

Fab-5, a Tacoma youth organization started in 2000, aims to cultivate a sense of community by providing creative outlets for underserved, urban youth. At the group’s Hilltop center Fabitat, workshops in DJing and music production, creative writing and spoken word, breakdancing, and visual art are held throughout the year. Fab-5 is involved in educational programming with public schools, after-school centers, and juvenile detention facilities. At University of Puget Sound, Fab-5 has a hip hop radio show on the student-run station KUPS.

For more information about American Voices: Invisibility, Art, and Educational Justice contact the Race and Pedagogy Initiative at 253.879.2435 or visit www.pugetsound.edu/raceandpedagogy.

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