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Happy Lunar New Year from Monkeyshines – or is that Rabbitshines?

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Feb. 3, 2011 at 9:25 am |
February 3, 2011 1:18 pm
Here's a float from a couple of years ago, carefully (not!) hidden.

It’s officially New Year – lunar new year, that is, and in the Asian calendar this is the year of the Rabbit. Which means that this morning, all around Tacoma, hundreds of hand-blown glass floats stamped with a rabbit design are hidden in trees, yards, newspaper boxes and the like, just waiting for fortune to fall upon someone. Maybe it’ll be you …

I’m talking Monkeyshines, the annual crazy art event cooked up by local glassblowers (who shall remain anonymous) and their devoted helpers, who every year create beautifully swirled color glass floats in honor of the new year, and hide them around town overnight. Next morning (or sometimes long after) lucky folk find them, in the way that we used to find glass fishing floats washed up on the beach. A kind of happy synchronicity, or random joy, if you like.

“I’ve been doing this every year for eight years,” says one participant. “It’s a annual project that’s become part of Tacoma’s cultural fabric.”

In conjunction with the glass art, local poster artists Beautiful Angle have created a rabbit-themed poster, which they’ll distribute throughout downtown Tacoma.

This year, the Monkeyshines folks have hidden 500 floats, so get out there and get looking! But please, say the organizers, don’t be greedy.

“This is an art project that is of, by, and for our community,” says one of the lead participants, “but please take only one. Let others have some fun, too.”

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