Last summer, kids and adults alike created art on the fly by forming words from a jumble of wooden, painted letters at Tollefson Plaza in downtown Tacoma.
A newly announced grant will allow the artist responsible for the interactive installation to return to the plaza to mount a similar project. This time, James Sinding is creating wooden words that people can arrange into sentences and poetry.
The project is among 18 innovative arts proposals that will proceed this year with the help of grants from the Tacoma Arts Commission. The panel this week announced $45,000 in awards to artists in visual arts, literary arts, film and music. The Tacoma Artists Initiative Program will provide $1,000 to $4,500 to the artists, who were chosen from 26 applicants.
Some of the other successful proposals would create sculptures incorporating plant materials, exploration of Tacoma myths and fairy tales, and letterpress artist books for each month of one year.
The initiative was started in 1999 to help artists create new work and share their talent with the public in a free and accessible format, a City of Tacoma press release said. “It is such an honor for the Tacoma Arts Commission to be able to support the work of our local Tacoma artists,” Sarah Idstrom, arts commission chairwoman, said in the release. “Funding their creativity enriches our community and continues to be an inspiration for us all.”
The winning artists and their projects:
Kareem Kandi, $4,500. New Music Works: Composition, arrangement, recording and performing of new musical works which span several genres of music yet remain true to the jazz idiom. Artist will present a free public concert and free workshop.
Jessica Spring, $4,000. Artist Book of the Month Club: An intersection of pop culture & fine press. Creation of an edition of letterpress artist books each month for one year. Work will be exhibited at University of Puget Sound (UPS) Collins Memorial Library and circulated at local libraries.
Yuki Nakamura, $4,000. Crosspollination: Creation of a multi-media installation of cast porcelain and video. Work will be exhibited at UPS Kittredge Gallery.
Lance Kagey, $4,000. The Mystery Myth Folio: Creation of a limited edition 24-page folio of broadsides telling the stories, myths and fairytales of Tacoma and its people. Work will be exhibited at multiple locations in Tacoma including King’s Bookstore and Fulcrum Gallery.
Kristin Giordano, $4,000. Climbing the Walls: A Photographer’s Journal of Two Years in the Middle East. Design and printing of hard cover artist books and a professional portfolio from a collection of photographs created during a two-year residency in Doha, Qatar. Artist will give a talk and slide show at Fulcrum Gallery.
Jeremy Gregory, $2,750. Fight or Flight: Creation of 15 paintings and one site-specific installation based on the theme “Fight or Flight.” Work will be exhibited at The Space in downtown Tacoma.
Chris Sharp, $2,500. Chris Sharp Tacoma Artist/Personal Histories: Creation of a series of paintings that develop personal histories and mythologies in the surrounding area. Work will be exhibited at Rosewood Café, the Hub, and AMOCAT Café.
Anne Lyman, $2,500. Tacoma Early Music Media Project: Concert of music composed between 950 and 1550, performed by a small company of professional artists. Free public concert will be at Christ Episcopal Church in Tacoma.
Mark Hoppmann, $2,500. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crows: Creation of India ink drawings inspired by literature and pop culture. Work will be exhibited at the UPS Collins Memorial Library and include an artist talk.
James Sinding, $2,000. Words: Creation of a mass quantity of wooden words to be dumped on Tollefson Plaza. Public is invited to create sentences and poetry using the words. This project will be similar to one in summer 2010, when the artist dumped thousands of letters in the plaza and invited the public to interact with the letters.
Ronald Lagman, $2,000. Lolo: Creation of a short film, Lolo, about the challenges WWII Filipino-American veterans face. Project includes a free public screening of the film at the Grand Cinema.
Jason Ganwich, $2,000. Close Encounter: Creation of a short film, Close Encounter. Project will include a public event focused on the making of the film and a Q&A with project participants.
Duncan Price, $1,700. FlowerHouse: Transformation of a house into a “conservatory” with the creation of large-scale flower photographs to be backlit and publicly displayed in the windows of the house (at S. 15th and G streets).
Lisa Kinoshita, $1,500. Braided Jewelry Project at Montana State Prison: Artist will learn classic plaiting patterns from inmates at MSP and translate the techniques into jewelry pieces. Work will be exhibited at Mineral in Tacoma.
Beth Graham, $1,500. Red Wolf children’s book: Writing and illustration of an educational graphic novel on red wolves. The book will be presented in a free event at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, including a reading and display of the original artwork.
Jason Skipper, $1,300. Articulation: A Short Story Collection: Printing, editing, and submission of a collection of short stories to literary journals and small press contests. Project will include a public reading at King’s Bookstore.
Sharon Styer, $1,250. The Night Watchman: Creation of a series of cross-processed nighttime photographs of Tacoma. Work will be exhibited at Mavi gallery in Tacoma.
Saul Becker, $1,000. Virtual Fields (Tacoma): Creation of multi-media sculptures utilizing plant materials collected in Tacoma. Project will include several open studio events and exhibit of the work.