Check out the spaces where Tacoma’s artists work their magic
By Dave R. Davison
Tacoma Arts Month is now upon us. Already the Oct. 4 “Kaleidoscope,” Arts Month’s kick-off, is in the rearview mirror. The Tacoma Studio Tour, the heart and soul of Arts Month, now lies dead ahead. On the weekend of Oct. 14 and 15, many of Tacoma’s painters, weavers, potters, photographers, sculptors, jewelry makers, draftsmen, printers, fabric artists and other assemblers of materials and conjurers of visions will welcome visitors to their studios: their caverns of creativity and the lairs where they loosen their hair and begin the alchemical processes that turn humble media from the earth into objects radiant with mystery and beauty.
This year marks the 16th Studio Tour and it is the biggest so far, boasting 70 artists at 42 studio locations around Tacoma. A tour map (including an interactive Google map that allows users to plot their own custom course) are available at tacomaartsmonth.com. For those, like myself, who are not biologically grafted to a telephone, there are Studio Tour guide books with maps, information on the artists and a Studio Tour passport page. The latter allows studio tourists to collect stamps at each location. If you collect eight or more stamps, you can send the page to Tacoma Arts Commission and be eligible to win one of several prize packages that includes artwork hand-crafted by some of the artists on the tour.
Each studio on the tour will feature demonstrations or will have hands-on activities for visitors. Artists will also be available for questions and will have art and mementos for sale. Be prepared to purchase with cash or check, although some of the artists are also equipped to use credit cards. The Studio Tour is a free, family-friendly, self-guided tour. Tour hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Most locations are open on both days of the tour, but some are available for just one day. See the website or guidebook for specifics.
Following is a sampling of some of the activities that studio tourists will be able to participate in:
- Location 7. Bill Colby: Learn about woodcut printing and create a print on rice paper.
- Location 11. Alice Di Certo: Create a small pendant.
- Location 12: Liz Pulos: Create your own weaving on a cardboard loom.
- Location 16. Chandler O’Leary: Fold, cut and create a pop-up greeting card from illustrated materials.
- Location 20. Jessica Spring: Print a keepsake on a vintage press.
- Location 21. Katie Dean: Pick up a design for a coloring contest and enter to win some artwork.
- Location 25. Jeff Libby and Adrienne Wicks: Create a small functional wood art piece.
- Location 27. Feast Arts Center: Visit the gallery and the work space where weekly figure drawing sessions are available.
- Location 30. Lois Yoshida: Participate in a hands-on sumi painting demonstration.
- Location 32A. Ann Darling: Create a small fabric collage using thread, needles, buttons and other embellishments.
- Location 32B Lynne Farren: Make and take a Dia de los Muertos mini coloring book.
- Location 32C. Karen Perrine: Use marbled paper to create a collaged bookmark, then laminate it.
- Location 33. Narrah McDonald: Create a pair of fingerless upcycled sweater gloves.
- Location 37A. Grace Amundsen: Learn the basics of laser cutting to create a small medallion.
- Location 37B. Snow Winters: customize a laser cut wood medallion with cross stitching.
- Location 39A. Cheryl De Groot: Texture metal with a hammer and string beads.
- Location 39B. Lynn Di Nino: Learn how to do fabric piping.
- Location 40. Yoshiko Yamamoto: Letterpress print a coaster to take home.
First ever Tacoma Satellite Studio Tour features four locations
A group of artists that missed the deadline for the Tacoma Studio Tour organized themselves into the first ever Tacoma Satellite Studio Tour. This group of artist will have their work spaces open to the public on the same days and same hours as the main studio tour. The satellite tour will feature multiple artists at four sites in the heart of downtown Tacoma. Get a stamped card from all four sites and be entered to win some great swag.
1212 S. 11th St.
Christopher Paul Jordan: Jordan is the 2017 recipient of the Neddy Award, a prestigious $25,000 prize; and he was named one of City Arts Magazine’s 2017 “10 to Watch.”
Kenji Stoll: Stoll is one of Tacoma’s foremost mural artists. He is also one of this year’s winners of the Foundation of Art Award from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
Minka, 821 Pacific Ave.
Lisa Kinoshita: Kinoshita has exhibited at Museum of Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum, SOIL and the 2017 “Out of Sight” show in Seattle. She was the recipient of a 2016 Artist Trust Gap Grant. She was the founder of Moss + Mineral (2003-2016), and co-owner of MINKA.
Nicholas Nyland: Nyland’s work was on exhibit at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair (Linda Hodges Gallery) and has been shown at Tacoma Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park, Portland Art Museum and many other venues. He is co-owner of MINKA, a design space in Tacoma.
eTc, 907 Pacific Ave.
- Dion Thomas, Umi Wagoner, Perris Wright
eTc is a design store exploring the intersection between urban art and street fashion. Known for its rotating art and photography exhibits and razor-sharp window displays, this minimalist boutique in downtown Tacoma is putting wearable art out on the street … right where it belongs.
Creative Forces at Hotel Murano,
1320 Broadway Plaza
- Gallery artists including Carolyn Osborn, Ed Kroupa, Sharika Roland
Creative Forces is an artful shop in the lobby of the Hotel Murano in downtown Tacoma. Painting, sculpture, glass and jewelry by some of the city’s premiere artists are presented in this intimate space curated by owner/artist, Carolyn Osborne.
The Hotel Murano is an extraordinary setting to end your studio tour. Have a cocktail and check out the world-class collection of studio glass dazzlingly displayed in the lounge, on the mezzanine and in the lobby.
Release of the newest Dead Feminist broadside
The 26th Dead Feminists letterpress broadside will debut at the Tacoma Studio Tour at Anagram Press, location 16 for those of you keeping score at home. The Dead Feminists series is a collaboration between artists Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring. The series features quotes by historical feminists that are relevant to current political and social issues. (The 25th broadside, “Save Our Ship,” for example, is about women lighthouse keepers and is a call to persevere through the oncoming storm of the 45th presidential administration.)
“Broadside” refers to a large sheet of paper, printed on one side (a poster, in other words.) Historically they were printed announcements of events or proclamations. Our most famous example would be John Dunlap’s printing of the Declaration of Independence as a broadside in 1776. Today they are fine art pieces, often featuring poems, that are intended to be displayed as art.
Each limited edition, Dead Feminist broadside is letterpress printed from hand-drawn lettering and illustrations. A portion of the proceeds of each is donated to a cause that aligns with the issues highlighted. The series was begun in 2008. The broadsides go for $40 each. Last year, O’Leary and Spring published “Dead Feminists, Historic Heroines in Living Color,” a 192-page art book put out by Sasquatch Books. Information on the project can be found at www.deadfeminists.com.