I didn’t post yesterday, so I’m catching up on two days of free arts.
Jan. 8: Three very different galleries downtown, all within one hour. First up Brick House, always worth a visit, with local artists and a relaxed atmosphere. Up through end of January is work by Seattle painter Mindi Katzman, easy on the eye and in a variety of styles. Her older work (2000) captures still-life fruit floating in a dimensionless sea of ivory. Later work also uses oils/encaustic (wax), but with more texture, like a heron staring out from a rock over an endlessly gray Northwest sea.
Then there’s a series of cute metal sculptures from a couple of years ago, faux tropical scenes with bendy palm trees (it works best when the curves get abstract and zoom out from the picture plane); and in her 2010 pieces Katzman applies encaustic with a hot pen, creating lush garden scenes with almost pointillist detail. If she filled the whole scene with these color bursts, instead of unchallenging landscapes, it’d be even better.
Brick House is at 1123 S. Fawcett St., Tacoma. Reception 5-9 p.m. Jan. 20, open third Thursdays and by appointment. 253-627-0426, www.thebrickhousegallery.com
After that I took in the groovy mix at Mad Hat Tea down on Commerce. They’re between shows right now but there’s still some fun art up, like Laura Eklund’s floaty mermaid sculpted out of steel mesh, and Matt Eklund’s dreadlocked skull “Acid Test.”
Mad Hat Tea is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily at 1130 Commerce St., Tacoma. 253-441-2121, www.madhattea.com
Then, just up the steps to Broadway, is the American Art Co., which among the usual restaurant/corporate-style landscapes and sculptures often hosts some cool shows. On the wall right now is a five-panel quilt installation by Toot Reid, her irregular rectangles acting as abstract maps for geometric fabric shapes and zigzagging, dangling red threads. There’s a curvy hog-gut basket by Jill Nordfors Clark and Erica Carter’s quilts of pastel flower fields.
American Art Co. is open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at 1126 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-272-4327, www.americanartco.com
Jan. 9: Today was the perfect day (gray, rainy) to combat the weather with a feel-good guitar concert in the balmy atmosphere of the Seymour Conservatory in Wright Park. Metro Parks holds monthly free concerts here, ranging from classical to jazz to folk, and today John Nicols brought two friends along (another guitarist and a laconic cellist) to play originals and James Taylor/Beatles covers among the African violets and ferns. The string sound bounced back off the glass beautifully, and with just 14 seats it felt more like an intimate café show without all the distracting clinks.
Second Sundays at Seymour concerts are at 1 p.m. second Sundays – the next is Feb. 13. Seymour Conservatory, 316 S. G St. in Wright Park, Tacoma. 253-591-5330, www.metroparkstacoma.org