Today’s the new Asian year – the Year of the Dragon. And for the ninth year in a row, Tacoma’s Monkeyshine folks have gotten out and about late last night to do their anonymous, slightly crazy glass art thing: hiding hundreds of hand-blown glass floats stamped with this year’s animal in front yards, trees and odd places around Tacoma for lucky citizens to find and keep.
Begun in 2003, Monkeyshines is a collaboration between local glass artists, glassblowers at the Jason Lee Hilltop Artists in Residence program, and willing volunteers who fan out late one night to deposit the floats all around the city. I’ve done it one year, and it’s fun finding creative places to hide the floats: under bushes, in tree branches (securely, of course), inside newspaper boxes… This year there are over 500 balls and medallions, each stamped with a dragon.
In addition, the Beautiful Angle guerrilla poster art team has produced a run of dragon posters, which will also be up around town for the taking.
“Celebrating the Year of the Dragon with glass art is a natural,” said Miss Monkey, the project’s official, unidentified spokesperson. “Dragons are all about fire, energy and beauty. And glass floats are beautiful in a way that is so true to a waterfront community like Tacoma. They are the ultimate beachcomber’s treasure. Everyone should own at least one.”
Even if you don’t look further than your own front yard. Or your neighbor’s…