Happy New Year!!
The snow may be gone, but Tacoma Art Museum still has a “Snow Job” going. The central installation of TAM’s annual Snow Bound festival on Dec. 14 is still up through this weekend: a time-consuming effort by Tacoma’s Marc Dombrosky and Shannon Eakins of individually wrapping each of the 600-plus stones in Richard Rhodes’ courtyard sculpture, “Wave.”
Since I missed the festival while swimming and surfing in sunny Australia, I thought I’d pop along to see how “Snow Job” looks. It must have looked awesome with a foot of actual snow piled up (bet TAM never thought they’d actually have real snow for the festival, let alone to be snowed in for several days!), but even without the white stuff this is a fun installation.
Each sweater is perfectly laid out, neck showing but waists and sides neatly tucked under the stones. The occasional arm shows–reaching Napoleonically across a tummy, or holding hands rather demurely with a neighboring arm–but the overall look is tidy, a sweeping checkerboard of colors. It’s Grandma’s bedspread, rather than Rhodes’ austerity. Apparently, Dombrosky and Eakins will be laundering the sweaters after unwrapping them this Sunday, to give to charity (all part of the general theme of taking care of community.) Not sure how they’ll be after several weeks in deep-freeze, but it’s a nice thought.
What’s even more fun is the guerilla-like knitting hidden slyly around the rest of the museum. Knitted sleeves pop up on door handles, bench legs and so on, provided by the Feisty Knitters’ Association. Not heard of these folk? Their myspace page is pretty enigmatic, but Hello Knitty, Professor Purl et al are the smarties behind those knitted cupcakes that were around Tacoma for awhile.
According to TAM director Stephanie Stebich, it’s all part of the festival. On her tip, I spotted the cutest items–a miniature black and miniature white sweater. See if you can find them too.
Oh, and in case you were thinking that $7.50 ($6.50 senior/student/military, free for under-five) is a lot to pay to see old sweaters, there’s some more art in the galleries–Ottoman Empire paintings, Donald Fels signboards, and some exhibits from the collection including some thought-provoking Surrealist comparisons. And for Bank of America cardholders, this weekend is FREE.
Tacoma Art Museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, at 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma (closed New Year’s Day). 253-272-4258, www.tacomaartmuseum.org