Tag Archives: Washington State History Museum

Music and Art in Concert

26 Apr

From left to right: One of five paintings depicting the George Washington Bush party traveling to Oregon; painting by Jacob Lawrence. Image courtesy of Washington State Historical Society. Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance); painting by Amy Sherald. Frances and Burton Reifler © Amy Sherald. Treasure-trove by Kelly O’Dell and Raven Skyriver. Courtesy of the artist; photo by Kp Studios.


The ability for art and music to move its audience is powerful.  The combination of these two mediums in one setting will be an unprecedented collaboration that is not to be missed at Northwest Repertory Singer’s Celebrating the Arts in Tacoma.

What: Celebrating the Arts in Tacoma concert
Where: Mason United Methodist Church, 2710 N. Madison St., Tacoma
When: Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 7 at 3 pm. Pre-concert lectures start one hour prior to each performance.
Tickets: $15 – $18. Purchase tickets for May 6 here or for May 7 here.

Celebrating the Arts in Tacoma will be a unique musical experience. Presented in three segments, multimedia visual presentations will surround the choir.  Each section of music relates to an exhibit at three major Tacoma museums:

The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today

Through May 14, Tacoma Art Museum features a traveling exhibit of contemporary portraiture representing 43 artists from 20 states, including both emerging and internationally known artists.  As the choir sings about the gripping plea for peace of “I Dream a World” by André Thomas or shares the supportive camaraderie of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the strong human spirit and the stories behind these words will be strengthened by the triumphant images of art facing the audience.

Coming to Washington: George Washington Bush

This inspiring exhibit at the Washington State History Museum follows the first immigration path to the state of Washington.  This segment will focus on the importance of art and music within the hearts of the brave pioneers and the rich cultures which inhabit the state we call home. Coupled with Mack Wilberg’s “Wayfarin’ Stranger” and Marta Keen’sHomeward Bound,” these soul-stirring images portray travels through a world of woe to the bright land of promise. 

Into the Deep

Water and sea creatures beckon in this Museum of Glass exhibit.  Fifty-five pieces by nationally and internationally known artists exquisitely express the beauty of marine life in the ocean.  As the mother seal sweetly sings to her pup in Eric Whitacre’s “Seal Lullaby” and Gwyneth Walker takes the audience on a mesmerizing journey through a triad of movements in “Three Days by the Sea,” the breathtaking images from this exhibit will deepen your appreciation and awe for the similar and beautiful parallels of marine water and glass. 

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Northwest Repertory Singers and this concert through our Arts Projects funding program.

True Grit

28 Oct

True Grit FLYERPresented by Tacoma Poet Laureate, Cathy Nguyen, and Associated Ministries intake specialist, Raphael Hartman, you are invited to True Grit, a dynamic evening of art and conversation.

Date: Thursday, November 19
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Avenue
Cost: Free, donations accepted

True Grit is an art benefit show that will capture the stories of six youth from the greater Puget Sound area and exhibit honest photography of local, makeshift spaces of refuge for youth on the streets. Through documentary and poetry, True Grit will explore the stories of Tacoma and Seattle youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness and will host a diverse panel of youth, advocates, and service providers to dialogue around the ways in which Pierce County can support youth and young adults in housing, education, and self-actualization.

The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be collected at the event and will be given to a local organization, to be revealed on the evening of the show and which will be selected by our youth interviewees. Don’t miss out on a powerful experience where advocates and community members can envision a world where all youth have safe, supportive housing and opportunities to succeed.

True Grit is supported through sponsorship by and partnership with the Tacoma Arts Commission, the Washington State History Museum, and Pacific Lutheran University.

In the Spirit returns to the Washington State History Museum

22 May
Patti Puhn poses next to her work, Ceremonial Cape (cedar bark, sinew, abalone shell buttons, rabbit fur), winner of the 2012 In the Spirit "Honoring the Ancestors" award.

Patti Puhn poses next to her work, Ceremonial Cape (cedar bark, sinew, abalone shell buttons, rabbit fur), winner of the 2012 In the Spirit “Honoring the Ancestors” award.

On Saturday, June 8, the Washington State History Museum will unveil the eighth annual In the Spirit: Contemporary Northwest Native Arts exhibit, in partnership with The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education & Cultural Center.  The exhibit, which will be on display through August 18, showcases work from more than 20 Northwest Native artisans and focuses on the distinctive cultures and stories of the region’s tribal groups.  The two-month exhibit will culminate with the In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival on Saturday, August 17, 2013.

“Through these incredible artists, we are able celebrate and teach about the diversity of Washington state heritage,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the Washington State Historical Society. “The sheer variety of mediums on display is a testament to the unique heritage of Northwest Native art and the beautiful contrast between traditional and modern cultures.”

There will be nearly 30 pieces in this year’s exhibit, including paintings, prints, basketry, sculpture, woven clothing, beadwork, cast glass, and mixed media pieces. This year welcomes an impressive eight past In the Spirit award winners and six first-time exhibitors. Each artist, representing 20 tribal groups, presents a different perspective and aesthetic.

During the opening night reception on June 8, museum members are invited to view the full exhibit and discuss the works with the artists and curators. The three-person judging panel, comprised of Native American art experts and artists, will present this year’s winners in four categories at the opening reception: “Best of Show,” “Celebrating the Northwest,” “Celebrating Tradition” and “Celebrating Innovation.”  A “People’s Choice” award is voted on by visitors throughout the exhibit and awarded during the August festival. 

“The interest and enthusiasm for this exhibit continues to grow year after year, and it shows how important these artists and cultures are to Washington history,” said Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, Director, Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College. “Each piece this year is rich with stories that tell of the various challenges, values and triumphs of Northwest Native communities.”

What: In the Spirit: Contemporary Northwest Native Arts exhibit 
Where: Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma
When: June 8 – August 18, 2013. Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., extended hours and free admission every third Thursday, 2 – 8 p.m.
Cost: $9.50/adults; $7/seniors and students; free for members and children age 5 and younger. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, active duty military with valid ID can receive free admission along with up to five of their family members.

The In the Spirit exhibit and festival are organized by the Washington State Historical Society and The Evergreen State College; made possible in part by the Tacoma Arts Commission, Tulalip Tribe and Nisqually Tribe, and media sponsor KUOW 94.9.

In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival

8 Aug

Margaret Morris of the Northern Star dance group performs at the 2011 In the Spirit Festival. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market and Festival, the region’s largest Native American arts event, returns to the Washington State History Museum this weekend for its biggest celebration yet. This popular outdoor festival will feature a mix of performances by new and returning Native American artists, and for the first time, free museum admission.

Festival activities take place inside and adjacent to the museum. Through partnership with The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education & Cultural Center, Native American dancers, musicians and storytellers will perform in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater. In the plaza, adjacent to the amphitheater, some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented artisans, including weavers, printmakers, carvers, and beaders, will gather to display and sell their exquisite works.

“Festival participants and families will have an opportunity to experience these cultural traditions, purchase fine art and jewelry, and support Pacific Northwest Native American artists,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the Washington State Historical Society. “As we enter the final days of this year’s In the Spirit exhibit, closing August 26, the festival gives visitors a chance to celebrate the culture and artists in a vibrant, public forum.”

The day’s schedule is full of standout performances, including returning favorite Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers and a group new to the festival, Scatter Their Own, from South Dakota. Visitors can also enjoy demonstrations inside the museum on basket weaving, carving and how to make a dream catcher. All artists participating in the events are skilled masters of their craft and offer adults and children alike an introduction to generations of knowledge and tradition. Continue reading

Hope in Hard Times on April 29

27 Apr

In honor of National Poetry Month, join 2010-11 Tacoma Poet Laureate Tammy Robacker and writer Maria Gudaitis with special guest poets Hans Ostrom, Josie Emmons Turner, Allen Braden, and Elijah Muied as they read poems in response to “Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression”—an exhibit at the Washington State History Museum. “The Museum, which celebrates and conserves images, words, artifacts and papers, is an appropriate, resonant location for this event that celebrates thoughtful writing about hope and suffering. Both the History Museum and poetry attempt to preserve community memories and individual experiences. Both also aim to preserve a sense of meaning associated with the human experience,” said Robacker.

The poets will engage exhibit stories, artifacts and images. Like the exhibit, the reading will touch on poverty and resourcefulness—distress and courage—to show how artistic voices add meaning to memories of important eras.

“The Museum’s exhibit bears witness to Americans living through the worst economic crisis in our history. Survival and celebration go hand in hand. Even in the darkest time, people wrote poems. We see this in the Bible, in Holocaust art, in the poems of Prague Spring and in poets under house arrest in China today. Art lifts spirits. And the South Sound could use a creative boost, because the current economic downturn has depleted us,” said Gudaitis. Continue reading

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