GO Arts

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

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Archives: Nov. 2012


Fumiko Kimura blends sumi-e paint with tea bags in inventive new series at Flow Gallery, Tacoma

Fumiko Kimura, "City of Destiny." Courtesy image.

If you haven’t already realized, Tacoma is a hotbed of sumi-e painting – and the latest show at Flow Gallery and Studios underlines the inventiveness of local artists to expand this traditional Asian brush-art with all kinds of new techniques and styles. It’s a mini-retrospective of the work of Fumiko Kimura, a renowned sumi-e artist, teacher and co-founder of the Puget Sound Sumi Artists Association, who learned her art growing up in Japan but who takes it to new levels with her latest series, “Poetry of Tea Bag Art.”

Tea bags? Yep: those thin paper bags, emptied of leaves but stained ochre by them, bring sumi-e into the 3D world of collage and open up new avenues of form in the world of curvy brushstrokes. Kimura places them thoughtfully into small works (created this year and displayed in the back of the gallery) where the black sumi ink is used more like a pencil to create sketches of people, places, things. In “Peggy’s Ukelele” a female mouse is bent happily over her instrument, the ink-dot notes wafting up into birds that fly through a tea-bag window into a drifting sky. “City of Destiny” fits a dreamy Tacoma skyline underneath a just-visible Mt. Rainier in gray ink, all over a tea-bag square. The effect is veil-like, transforming a landscape into a vision of the future, or a dream, mixed with Japanese and English calligraphy like layered annotations of meaning. Read more »


Critic’s Picks: TSO with Janet Sung, Cathedrals at Immanuel Presbyterian, “Twelfth Night” at Lakewood Playhouse and neo-futurist theater at UPS

Violinist Janet Sung plays with the Tacoma Symphony this weekend. Courtesy photo.

TSO with Janet Sung

Dynamic young violinist Janet Sung returns to the Tacoma Symphony to play Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnol,” on a program that also includes Beehoven’s “Eroica” symphony. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. $24/$42/$62/$77. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. 253-591-5894, broadwaycenter.org, tacomasymphony.org

Cathedrals: Local indie music in churches

The Broadway Center’s “Cathedrals” series continues to present local indie bands in acoustically reverberant churches: Tonight’s show at Immanuel Presbyterian features Portland’s Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives, Seattle’s Pollens and Tacoma’s own Goldfinch, releasing their CD with free download to all Cathedrals ticket buyers. 8 p.m. tonight. $16. Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 901 N. J St., Tacoma. 253-591-5894, broadwaycenter.orgipctacoma.org

“Twelfth Night” at Lakewood Playhouse Read more »


Senior art show at Franke Tobey Jones, Tacoma Art Museum inspires and keeps the creativity flowing

Shadow ManyWhales, with her beadwork in the Franke Tobey Jones Senior Art Show. Photo: Rosemary Ponnekanti

For Shadow ManyWhales, her beadwork reflects many parts of her life: her love of beauty, her delight in using found or given materials, her concern for young girls owning their bodies, her 21-year sobriety. Now, the 82-year old Cherokee/Arapaho/Aztec artist’s work is reflecting another aspect – her age – as it is displayed in the sixth annual Regional Senior Art Show, on view last week at Franke Tobey Jones and opening tomorrow at Tacoma Art Museum.

The show, organized by FTJ’s Senior University, is open to all Western Washington artists over 55, but focuses on Tacoma-area locals like ManyWhales. Not just something to brighten the community rooms at the retirement home, the show has expanded from a few days at FTJ to four weeks in the community area of Tacoma Art Museum’s mezzanine, celebrating older artists and keeping seniors creative.

“We restrict entries to work created in the last two years only,” explains FTJ development director Sarah Idstrom. “The concept is to keep people creating.” Read more »


Chainsaw sculpture: Gandalf and Smaug emerge in a North End front yard

“The Hobbit” might not be released in cinemas yet, but Gandalf the wizard and Smaug his fire-breathing adversary are already here in Tacoma’s North End, courtesy of a 10-foot fir stump and a creative chainsaw sculptor.

Finished just two days ago, the sculpture of a bearded wizard battling a coiled, spiny dragon wreathes around the tall stump of a tree left behind in Ross Barde’s front yard at North 11th and Anderson Streets when a too-tall fir came down this summer.

“I knew I wanted something, so I asked my brother to save some (when he cut it down),” says

Read more »


Harmonica player Paul Green at Immanuel Presbyterian’s Blues Vespers this Sunday

It’s all about the harmonica at Blues Vespers this Sunday. Immanuel Presbyterian‘s monthly free blues service features award-winning Seattle player Paul Green as the headline act in its 8th annual Harmonica Showcase, along with Stacey Jones and Steve Bailey. Tom Boyle and the T-Town Aces rhythm section will back up the stars, plus there’ll be a guest appearance by London blues star Tim Aves.

“The harmonica provides a second voice connected directly to the feeling of the player,” says Green about his instrument, also called the mouth harp or Mississippi saxophone.

The Blues Vespers is a blues concert with

Read more »


Critic’s picks: Cello at Gig Harbor’s Harbor History Museum, storytelling at Ruston’s Antique Sandwich Co, a string trio in Old Town Tacoma and Nikki McClure at Bellevue Arts Museum

Violinist Maria Sampen will be one of the three musicians at the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town concert next week. Courtesy photo.

String trio and flute storytelling in two Old Town concerts

UPS-based Maria Sampen (violin), Tim Christie (viola) and David Requiro (cello) fill Slavonian Hall with Kodaly, Bach and Gordon Jacob this Tuesday in the monthly free Classical Tuesdays in Old Town concert. And this Sunday kids and families can hear renowned flute player Gary Stroutsos, featured on Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “Lewis and Clark,” share traditional Native American songs and storytelling at the Old Town Music Society.

3 p.m. Nov. 11 (flute). $2/$5. Old Town Music Society, 2101 N. 30th St., Tacoma. 253-752-2135.

7 p.m. Nov. 13 (string trio). Freewill donation. Slavonian Hall, 2306 N 30th St., Tacoma. 253-752-2135, classicaltuesdays.blogspot.com


Chilled-out cello at Harbor History Museum

At the Harbor History Museum this Saturday international solo cellist Michael Fitzpatrick (nephew to Gig Harbor weaving artist Cecilia Blomberg) will perform the music The Huffington Post has described as “chill-axed surfer dude vibe…simple beauty that fills the soul.” A recipient of the Prince Charles Award, Fitzpatrick has spent the last 16 years recording “Tuning the Planet” with the Dalai Lama. 3:30 p.m. Nov. 10. $20 (includes wine and snacks). Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor. 253-858-6722, harborhistorymuseum.org, michaelfitzpatrick.com

Traditional storytelling at the Antique Sandwich Co.

It’s the perfect combination of event and venue: “Tellabration,” an annual night of traditional storytelling that joins others around the world, and the intimate cozy comfort of the Antique Sandwich Co. in Ruston. Members of the Mt. Tahoma Storytelling Guild are featured. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10. $5. Antique Sandwich Co., 5102 Pearl St., Tacoma.  253-983-9114, 253-752-4069

Nikki McClure at Bellevue Arts Museum Read more »


New public art by Lisa Kinoshita brightens Metro Parks’ STAR Center in South Tacoma

Lisa Kinoshita, "Sempervivum." Courtesy image.

Tacoma artist Lisa Kinoshita will see her latest public art piece unveiled and dedicated this Saturday at the new Metro Parks STAR Center on South 66th St. Kinoshita’s “Sempervivum,” a $25,000 commission created under the 1 per cent for art money that’s part of any public project, was inspired by the natural wetland history of the area.

“My outdoor art installation pays tribute to the wetlands during its early-20th century heyday,” said Kinoshita. “This sculpture trilogy seeks to link the past to the future, celebrates South Tacoma’s fascinating natural heritage and highlights the sensitive balance between humans and their surroundings.”

Made of three large steel forms with plants covering them, “Sempervivum” makes use of green-roof technology, and fits with the center’s goal to achieve silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status. Read more »


Mexico’s Mariachi Vargas and Washington’s Mariachi Huenachi meet at the Pantages this Sunday

Mariachi Huenachi from Wenatchee High School. Courtesy photo.

It might be a long way from Mexico to Washington, but with music the distance evaporates. This Sunday at the Pantages Washington’s premiere high school mariachi band, Mariachi Huenachi (from Wenatchee, of course) will open the show for the band widely regarded as the world’s best: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. For the Wenatchee students it’s not only their first time in Tacoma, it’s the highlight of a touring schedule that has them taking mariachi joy around the state.

“We play a lot of places – Seattle, Idaho, the Mariners, we even opened for the Seahawks,” says Ramon Rivera, director of the three bands (including Mariachi Huenachi) that make up the mariachi program at Wenatchee High School. “But this is even better. It’s a great honor for our program to be playing with the best in the world. These musicians are (our) idols. The students are so excited; it’s beyond surreal.” Read more »