The Tacoma Art Walk, on the third Thursday of each month, has been going on in some form since 1989 when a small, but dedicated, group of artists and gallery owners decided to help draw more patronage to the downtown arts scene. With the opening of the Museum of Glass and the new Tacoma Art Museum and the continued existence of the Washington State History Museum, there was even more incentive to keep the ball rolling.
In recent years, however, there was a schism in the art community that split third Thursday between the Art Walk and a so-called “Art Mingle.” In its heyday, there was even an “Art Bus” that would convoy art viewers from place to place on the Art Walk/Art Mingle map(s). (The participating galleries, museums and businesses of Art Walk have always been too spread out to really make the Art Walk walkable.) Were it not for the stalwart presence of the museums and their policy of free admission on the third Thursday of each month, Art Walk may not have survived.
A new revival of the old Art Walk is now in progress. A relatively new group in town, the Tacoma Artists’ Collective, has undertaken the task of restructuring the Artwalk (now one word). They are also the group responsible for the return of the 100th Monkey art gatherings (mentioned in the last issue of Tacoma Weekly) and they have also put their force behind the Frost Park weekly chalk art doings (soon to be the subject of a story here in the pages of your Tacoma Weekly.)
In addition to the museums, the new Artwalk currently includes a dozen venues. Here is a list of the stops on the May 17 Artwalk, along with the names of the artists whose work will be shown at each stop.
- Happy Belly, 1122 Market St.
Necrashaw R. Montgomery
- Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave.
Familiar Faces and New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art
- WSHM, 1911 Pacific Ave.
- The Social Bar and Grill, 1715 Dock St.
James Allen Tucker
- 253 Collective, 1901 Jefferson Ave.
- Pacific Brewing, 610 Pacific Ave.
- Anthem Coffee and Tea, 1911 Pacific Ave.
Kristen Marlo, Abigail Neilson, Elizabeth Ashbrook
- Shakabrah, 2618 6th Ave.
Quinelle Bethelmie and Mia Heney Marshall
- The Swiss, 1904 Jefferson Ave.
- Uncharted Waters Float Center, 3837 S. 12th St.
- Freight House Square Art Gallery, 2501 E. D St.
- 950 Gallery, 950 Pacific Ave. #205
- Hotel Murano Creative Forces, 1320 Broadway
Ten different local artists
For more on the Tacoma Artwalk and to view a map of the stops on the walk, visit tacomaartwalk.com.