GO Arts

Everything new on the walls, stage, screen and streets of Tacoma and South Puget Sound.

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Archives: Aug. 2012


Get involved with art, music and games at the Tacoma Downtown Block Party

Tacoma’s downtown merchants are putting on another block party, and this time you get to be a part of it – literally. This Saturday afternoon and evening the Opera Alley block (Court C between 7th and 9th Streets) will be humming with live music, a DJ dance party, beer gardens with local brew, live painting, food, dance and more – and you get to join in.

“At this festival the line between producer and consumer is blurred…” says the website, and stuff you can do includes a costume photobooth, chalk drawing, mural painting, body painting, a community canvas, music

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Summer Stock Festival at Centerstage Theatre, Federal Way

Bob DeDea and Caitlin Frances in Centerstage Theatre's "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Photo: Laura Campbell

Yes, you can have theater in summer, and Centerstage Theatre in Federal Way is going to show us how it’s done. Thanks to a new collaboration with Central Washington University theater department and an economic grant from the city, the company will produce two weeks of two shows, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “All in the Timing.” The Summer Stock Festival begins this week.

“We’re dipping our toe in the water,” says Centerstage director Alan Bryce. Bryce acknowledges that theater in summer isn’t the norm (inside, anyway) but explains that the Summer Stock Festival is part of a $35,000 economic grant from the City of Federal  Way and has teamed up with local hotels and the annual Northwest Sand Festival, the biggest of its kind in the country which draws hundreds to see sand sculptures inside the cool of the Commons Mall. Anyone buying a ticket to the theater festival will receive a free Sand Festival ticket as well as a discount at the Clarion Hotel. Read more »


Clouds of art in Tacoma’s new Woolworth Windows installation

Janet Marcavage, "Fabrication." Courtesy photo.

Just when the weather’s finally warming up, we get clouds of art. The latest Spaceworks installation in the Woolworth Windows in downtown Tacoma features three artists – all female, not sure if that means anything – playing with clouds in form, metaphor and effect, using paper, fabric and straw to create art that wafts through the windows’ large interiors.

On the uptown end University of Puget Sound-based printmaker Janet Marcavage continues her rather dry, formal investigation of patterns and textures. This time she takes the ubiquitous stripe – think college dorm sheets, tacky business shirts – and transmutes it into flowing, leaf-shaped papers that flutter by in drifts, their interestingly-hatched stripes giving them the illusion of folded fabric.

Janet Marcavage, "Fabrication." Photo: Rosemary Ponnekanti

The flat window decals add to the dimensional riff, and the palette of violet/poppy red is bold and lipsticky. What drags the installation down is the inclusion of all the striped jersey sheets, pinned lumpily to the walls. Their heaviness detracts from the paper’s skillful construction, and the whole thing seems a little lazy – a kind of “how can I possibly fill this entire window?” Read more »


Critic’s Picks: Lakewood Playhouse’s “Love Letters,” Punch and Judy at Fort Nisqually, Music and Art in Wright Park and third Thursday ArtWalkTacoma

Dance it out at Third Thursday Artwalk

There’s a dance theme at the museums this ArtWalkTacoma Art Museum is holding a Best of the Northwest night for local youth to show off their dance skills (5 p.m.) and the Museum of Glassholds its second Zumba on the Plaza class (5 p.m.) and bead-making workshop. Both are free, as are all museums. Galleries are open late. 5-8 p.m. Aug. 16. Free. TAM: 1701 Pacific Ave.; MoG: 1801 Dock St; Washington History Museum: 1911 Pacific Ave.; LeMay-ACM: 2702 E. D St., Tacoma. artwalktacoma.com

Lakewood Playhouse’s “Love Letters”

Lakewood Playhouse

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Washington State History Museum gets “In the Spirit” for the seventh year at the annual Native American arts festival and exhibit.

Dancers from the 2009 In The Spirit festival. Courtesy photo.

Contemporary Northwest Native American art is in the spotlight at the Washington State History Museum right now, and it’s looking more innovative than ever. The 7th annual “In the Spirit” exhibit is up in the galleries for a couple of weeks, highlighted this Saturday by the annual market and festival of Native dancers, musicians, storytellers and artisans in the plaza outside. New this year for the “In the Spirit” festival is free admission to all exhibits at the museum, including the Native art show by the same name.

“Festival participants and families will have an opportunity to experience these cultural traditions, purchase fine art and jewelry, and support Pacific Northwest Native American artists,” said WSHM director Jennifer Kilmer in a recent press release.

Both festival and exhibit have new and familiar work. The festival, which runs 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, features regulars like the Chief Leschi School drum and dance group, the Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers and the House of Welcome Longhouse dancers, as well as newcomers Tahuri Mai Maori dance group from New Zealand, the Tac Town Singers and alt-rock duo Scatter Their Own from the South Dakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Exhibit awards will be presented at 5 p.m. Read more »


Marriage equality theater: Found Space Productions gives staged reading of docudrama “8” at University of Puget Sound

Everett McCracken, left, Marilyn Bennett and Joe Grant will be part of the staged reading of "8" on Saturday night at UPS. Photo: Kali Raisl

It’s all over the headlines and now it’s on stage too: gay marriage rights, coming this Saturday to the Norton Clapp Theatre at the University of Puget Sound. A staged reading of docudrama “8” by playwright Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” “J. Edgar”) comes courtesy of Found Space Productions, last seen on the Hilltop in a temporary Spaceworks site producing edgy plays by Albee and others.

“8” is basically the court case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger (the American Foundation for Equal Rights versus California’s 2008 anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8) turned into theater. Just written last year, the mix of trial transcripts read by actors, interviews and original Prop 8 TV ads was intended to give the public a true account of what happened in the 2009 trial, which eventually led to the overturn of the proposition.

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Skate Like A Girl, plus chalk, dance and watch molten glass at the 4th Annual Hilltop Arts Night Out tonight

If you have restless kids looking for something else to fill the summer with, it’s here: the fourth annual Hilltop Arts Night Out. Glassblowing, music, chalk art, dance, T-shirt design, food and skateboarding reinvent the family arts night in a totally hip way, all between 4-8 p.m. tonight at Jason Lee Middle School.

Led by the Hilltop Artists in Residence, the Jason Lee non-profit program that trains at-risk students in glass art, the Arts Night Out is a free community all-ages event happening on National Night Out, which unites Americans in taking back their streets for safety and community.

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Critic’s picks: Eatonville Arts Fest, Tacoma Art Museum Northwest Fest, Auburn Artrageous and Des Moines Poetry Slam

Eatonville Art Festival

This weekend sees the 41st annual Eatonville Art Festival. Hosted by the local Lions Club, the festival gathers 100 Northwest artists and artisans for live music, demonstrations, Western art, silent auction and vendor stalls, plus a kids area, food and beer garden and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 3-5. Free. 211 Fir St., Eatonville. eatonville.com

TAM’s Best of the Northwest Fest

Celebrate the best of the Northwest at a free community festival this weekend at Tacoma Art Museum. Art activities include watercoloring landscapes, sketching still lifes and a multimedia collaborative project, plus chalk art challenge on Tollefson Plaza.

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 4 (3 p.m. chalk-off). Free. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4258, tacomaartmuseum.org

Auburn’s going Artrageous Read more »