Tacoma artists are going hatty. For this weekend’s Proctor Arts Fest (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday) 15 local artists have made 14 giant “hats” to adorn the old-fashioned-style lampposts at the intersection of N. 26th and Proctor Streets.
This afternoon I went along to Proctor wine bar Pour at Four, where Metropolitan Market (the event sponsor) was holding a reception for the Hats judging. The hat sculptures could be of any material, but had to be wind-proof, rain-proof, lightweight, and able to be fixed firmly to the lampposts. The result was a Seussian selection of hats animal, vegetable and mineral. Claudia Riedener’s “BzzZZZz” was an enormous beekeeper’s netted hat, and Di Morgan-Graves produced a fun purple octopus knitting while playing a drum on its gold top hat (my son’s favorite, that). There was an orca-tail hat, a chicken hat, an alien spider hat and a birdcage hat.
Here’s the octopus:
Winners of the $200 prizes were:
Becky Frehse, for Most Colorful (“Rain Hat,” an upended umbrella over metal tubs, from which melted icewater will run during the festival
James Ceccanti, for Tallest Hat (“Red Hat from Mars,” a five-foot-high flower-like appendage)
Teresa Owens and Mary Kralik, for Most Outrageous (“We Worked our Tails Off,” the orca tail with various other tails dangling therefrom)
Jurors were Kyle Dillehay, John Butler and Bonnie Cargol.
Here’s Rick Semple and Jori Adkins in a trial run of Ann Meersman’s bat Hat. (Their medieval princess “Veiled Hennin” is above.)
For the actual mounting at 7 a.m. Saturday, the local fire department has volunteered its services.
Hats on High! is an initiative of (naturally) Tacoma artist Lynn di Nino. “The intention was to get more local artists involved with the festival,” said organizer Elayne Vogel. The rest of the festival includes the usual local vendors, a juried art competition, dance from Dance Theater Northwest, the farmers’ market, pet parade and so on.
The Hats will only be up for Saturday, but if you really like one, they’re for sale: see Giardini Gifts for payment. Then go home and think hard about exactly where to put it…