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Tacoma Art Museum’s opening party for “Hide/Seek” filling up fast

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on March 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
March 8, 2012 10:52 pm
Thomas Eakins, "Salutat." Image courtesy Tacoma Art Museum.

Want to be at the opening party for “Hide/Seek,” the controversial GLBT art show coming next weekend to Tacoma Art Museum? Then you’d better hurry. Already 450 people have RSVP’d to the 7-10 p.m. party on March 17, and that’s getting near museum capacity, said communications director Lisa McKeown.

The show, which got a lot of attention when it was first mounted at the National Portrait Gallery in 2010, is a survey of gay and lesbian portraiture in American art from 1850 to the present, and includes most of the seminal art figures in this country’s history: Jasper Johns, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz and more. It also includes “Fire in My Belly,” the unfinished video work by David Wojnarowicz which was taken down from the NPG show after protests by Republicans and religious conservatives angry at the scenes where ants crawl over a plastic crucifix.

Andy Warhol, "Camouflage Self-Portrait." Image Courtesy Tacoma Art Museum.

“Hide/Seek” then traveled to the Brooklyn Art Museum, which experienced an attendance boom, and is opening at TAM next week thanks to good contacts between Tacoma curator Rock Hushka and director Stephanie Stebich, and staff at the NPG and BAM.

So – is TAM going to get any backlash for “Hide/Seek”? Apart from a few angry letters when the show was announced last year staff haven’t seen any signs of trouble, says Hushka. But they’ve had the police and fire crews in to show them the lay of the land, just in case.

What about you? Are you glad our local museum is taking a stance on what has recently become a hyper-political hot button issue – gay rights? Or are you disturbed at what some of the art conveys?

Comment below…and if you want to get your opening party ticket, RSVP quickly to 253-272-4258 or www.tacomaartmuseum.org

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