There are some rather unusual musical instruments in the Proctor Art Gallery this week. Two guitars and a mandolin have no strings – instead, they’re covered with a mosaic of glass and beads in swirls, curves, lines and hearts, shimmering with color like a swimming pool in brilliant sunshine. They’re the work of Patty Franklin, a Woodinville artist who shows in Seattle and around the region, and who is the featured artist at Proctor this month. She’ll also be demonstrating her mosaic technique this Saturday morning.
Franklin builds her mosaics up like relief sculptures on a variety of different surfaces: a sculpted female torso, onto which she’s created a white mosaic dress flamed with multi-hue glass tongues; flat framed boards of wedi (the waterproof substance used behind tiles in showers); and the guitars and mandolin themselves, actual instruments bought in junk shops and filled with foam for strength.
Some works are more subtle than others, but the instruments are as joyful and surreal as the work of glass artist Davide Salvadore, and a flat mosaic of a woman’s head streaming backwards with an iridescent cloud of colored dreams and visions is a wonderful metaphor. The mosaic pieces, too, are worth a detailed look: tiny millefiori circles, glass rods, hand-blown glass shapes, beads, and the saturated color of smalti, the traditional Venetian mosaic glass.
“This is a rather unique opportunity for Proctor District,” says gallery founder Carolyn Burt.
Patty Franklin’s work is on view 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through April 2. Artist demonstration 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. March 10. Free. Proctor Art Gallery, 3811 N. 26th St., Tacoma. 253-759-4238, www.proctorartgallery.com, www.pattyfranklinmosaics.com