Life has been hard for art galleries lately. We all know why: When the economy’s bad, people cut back on buying art. For the same reason, life’s been hard for artists, as galleries close or take on less work. But one Tacoma gallery has come up with a neat solution to both problems.
Madera, in the SODO neighborhood along Pacific Avenue, has turned its gallery space into a permanent showcase display for the work of 13 local artists. Madera Architectural Elements loosely knits artists working in a variety of media to both show their work and inspire the clients who come to Madera’s woodworking studio to furnish their home.
Who’s in MAE? Some of Tacoma’s brightest and best: Ixia Tile (studio name for tile artist Claudia Riedener,) mosaic artist Jennevieve Schlemmer, concrete artist Lynn Di Nino, Pacific Rim Tapestries (including Cecilia Blomberg,) painter Mindy Barker and various other artists in wood, metal and glass.
Everyone likes the solution. “I wasn’t getting much traffic,” says Carlos Taylor-Swanson, owner of Madera Woodworking, which is also part of the group. “It was a lot of work to bring in rotating shows. This gives artists the freedom to show what they want, and a space to meet with clients.”
MAE members pay a small fee per month to show their work. In return, they get a gallery space that brings in people who are seriously looking to buy work for their home, rather than a cutting-edge show gallery.
MAE is open by appointment at 2210 Court A., Tacoma. 253-572-1218, www.maderastudio.net