Yay, Tacoma has another mural! Tacoma has a strong mural tradition (Old Town, Kings’ Books, 6th Ave Farmers Market, People’s Park, and all the “ghost” ones downtown, for starters.) But it’s always good to have more – and the Proctor district is getting another one this Saturday, thanks to a neighborhood grant and artist Rachel Dotson.
Dotson is an established muralist around town: She’s the artist who painted the historic scene on the side of the Waterfront Museum on Dock St, and all the giant portraits around Auburn. Now she’s turning her hand to art nouveau. Her Proctor Farmers’ Market mural, which will be unveiled this Saturday at 11 a.m. on the north side of Teaching Toys at North 27th and Proctor Streets, is inspired by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. Active at the turn of the 20th century, Mucha painted beautiful young women in flowing robes surrounded by nature. Dotson is taking the curling lines and intricate borders and replacing the young ladies with metallic gold ears of corn and asparagus. The mural takes up four plywood panels, each 4×10 feet.
While it only took Dotson a couple of months to paint, the mural’s actually the result of over a year of hard work to achieve mutual merchant agreement and a City of Tacoma neighborhood grant. But it’s worth it, says market co-founder Erling Kuester, in that it gives the area a welcoming feel, and helps the market have a week-long presence.
It also helps deter graffiti vandalism, according to the City of Tacoma, which is sponsoring a new program intended to “reclaim spaces targeted by vandalism and graffiti.” The Community Based Mural Program, part of the City’s Safe and Clean initiative, will pair teams of trained and qualified artists with selected community groups to create murals that reflect community stories.
Proposed mural walls must be on commercial or public property and located in a Community Based Services (CBS) area, and permission of property owners is required. Interested? Download information at www.tacomaculture.org/arts/opportunities.asp, call 253-591-5191 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submissions is May 28.
And if you’re an artist, you can capitalize on all this mural fervor. The City of Tacoma is sponsoring a workshop training artists in mural painting skills. No painting experience is necessary, though participants must have other artistic training or background. Contact Naomi Strom-Avila on 53-591-5191 or email@example.com.