GO Arts

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

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Archives: Dec. 2012


Market Street mural encourages living in downtown Tacoma – and writing about it

Downtown On the Go's mural at Market and 11th Streets, Tacoma. Courtesy photo.

The latest installation of murals brightening empty Tacoma streets is now up at Market and 11th Streets downtown. Sponsored by “Downtown on the Go,” a collaboration between the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the City of Tacoma, Pierce Transit and downtown businesses which promotes public transport and downtown living, the mural on the empty red brick building invites participation from passers-by about why they’d want to live downtown.

Inspired by the “Before I Die” walls, a global public art project begun by New Orleans artist Candy Chang which gives space for passers-by to chalk in what they’d most like to do before they die, the “On the Go” mural covers the building’s half-dozen boarded-up doorways with gray-painted plywood stenciled with the lines “I’d live downtown if…” followed by writing space.

The mural is opening to the public tonight at the First Night New Year’s Eve celebrations. Read more »


Critic’s Picks: First Night at night and during the day, Tacoma Art Museum dance party and Seattle Symphony on New Year’s Eve and

The 2012 dragon meets the 2011 rabbit in the parade at last year's First Night. Photo: Lui Kit Wong, The News Tribune.

First Night at night

The place to be in Tacoma on New Year’s Eve is in the theater district, where First Night offers plenty of arts-based, alcohol-free family fun to ring in 2013. Best picks look to be the Shortest Parade (6:30 p.m. along Broadway from 7th to 9th Streets) with Mayan snake boats and more, a new crystal art installation in the middle of an “ice walk” Broadway between 9th and 11th Streets), outdoor stages along Broadway and performers like the Mud Bay Jugglers inside theaters. 6 p.m.- midnight Jan. 31. Buttons $10 advance/$14 on day allow inside access (free for kids), outside activities free. Theater District, downtown Tacoma. firstnighttacoma.org

First Night during the day

For littlies that can’t see the new year in at midnight there are plenty of day options. With a $10 button (free for kids) you’ll get all-day access to the Museum of Glass and the Children’s Museum, where there’ll be art activities and, at the CMT, parading in the new year at noon. Your button will also get you free skate rental at the Polar Ice Skating Plaza on Pacific Avenue. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 31. $10 adults, free for kids. Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma; 866-4-MUSEUM, museumofglass.org. Children’s Museum of Tacoma, 1501 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-627-6031, playtacoma.org; firstnighttacoma.org

Dance it out with Andy at Tacoma Art Museum Read more »


New Year’s Eve jazz at The Harmon, Tacoma

If First Night isn’t your thing and you still need a party to go to on New Year’s Eve, head for The Harmon in downtown Tacoma, where you’ll get cover-free big band jazz rocking tunes until midnight on December 31.

The man behind it is Rich Wetzel, who’s been lining up regular jazz gigs for his Groovin’ Higher Orchestra for a while now, proving that big band jazz can draw a crowd on a weekend. Playing high energy jazz-rock-funk-Latin, the band has a tight ensemble and fluid soloists, even on unusual instruments like flugelhorn.

The all-ages show is free

Read more »


Lisa Kinoshita brings rare art of horsehair hitching to Fulcrum Gallery, Tacoma

Leave it to Lisa Kinoshita. The Tacoma artist who has brought us insect jewelry, taxidermy installations and everything else esoteric now explores the almost-lost art of horsehair hitching, a complicated Western braiding art, in a talk Friday night at Fulcrum Gallery.

Not only is horsehair hitching unusual, but to find artisans who have the hours and patience to spend making whips and bridles out of horsehair Kinoshita had to travel to Montana State Prison, where inmates are not only continuing an art that’s been made there since the 1800s but selling their finished pieces for thousands of dollars

Read more »


FlowerHouse lights up Tacoma’s Hilltop like a stained-glass eulogy to the common weed

Duncan Price, "FlowerHouse." Courtesy photo.

It sits at the corner of South 15th and G Streets like a beacon. Architecturally it’s just an ordinary large four-square Craftsman of the kind you see all over that neighborhood, but it’s what’s in the windows that make it shine, literally: 28 backlit photographic panels of brambles, thistles and weeds on a heroic scale, lighting the darkness in silent, appreciative hope. It’s “FlowerHouse,” a City of Tacoma-granted installation by artist Duncan Price, who lives in the house and has come up with a great way to brighten the darkest time of the year (and promote his work at the same time).

Duncan Price, "FlowerHouse." Courtesy photo.

Sitting on the corner one block down from St. Leo’s and St. Nicholas’ on Yakima Avenue, the “FlowerHouse” functions, in fact, a little like a church – visually, at least. Every single window, from the small rectangle over the doorframe to the three-part bay window on the side to the upstairs bedrooms, is completely covered over with a backlit rectangle printed with a giant, close-up shot of a weed. Yes, Northwest garden pariahs like blackberry, ivy and thistle are here captured with all the care and fascination usually given to more exotic species like hummingbirds or orchids: A yellow dandelion bloom sparkles with morning condensation, a bramble’s thorn arches greenly out of a blood-red base, a purple thistle-flower spreads a dainty, delicate filigree. Read more »


Critic’s Picks: Tapestries at Harbor History Museum, PNB’s “Nutcracker” in Seattle, “Sister’s Christmas Catechism” at Centerstage Federal Way and Tacoma’s “FlowerHouse”

Flower House lights up the Hilltop

Artist Duncan Price lights up the Hilltop neighborhood with his installation “FlowerHouse,” 28 backlit photographic panels of brambles, thistles and weeds on a heroically botanical scale. On view 24/7. Free. Corner South 15th and G Streets, Tacoma. duncanpricephotography.com

Tapestries at Harbor History Museum

Check out the work by Tapestry Artists of Puget Sound and Tapestry Weavers South in the lobby and gallery of the Harbor History Museum. “NWxSE” features work by 40 artists from figurative to abstract, traditional to modern.  10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (closed Christmas and New Year’s Day). $7/$5/free for six and under. 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor. 253-858-6722, harborhistorymuseum.org

PNB’s “Nutcracker” Read more »


One more “Nutcracker,” this time from Charisma School of Dance in Lakewood

If you haven’t had your fill of “The Nutcracker” ballet yet, and don’t want the trek (or high prices) of Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, you’ve still got one more choice. This Friday night Charisma School of Dance in Lakewood offers its version of the traditional ballet that’s “sweet and sassy.”

From the press release: “Because Charisma offers styles of dance other than ballet, it was decided to embellish the usual Nutcracker offerings with some appropriate tap, jazz, and hip-hop numbers. Charisma also embellished the plot a bit. Because ballet is so important to the dancer, regardless of style

Read more »


The Burke Museum, in Seattle’s University District, unwraps plastics in new exhibit.

If you’re under 50 years old, you probably don’t remember a time without plastic. Plastic toys? Plastic buckets? Plastic raincoats? Lunchboxes? Umbrellas? We’re so dependent on them it’s hard to imagine life without them. But a new exhibit at Seattle’s Burke Museum, “Plastics Unwrapped,” challenges us to think about the history of plastics and how they went from being a new invention to being ubiquitous – and how they’ve changed our world.

Compare pre-plastic items from the museum’s collection, learn about the recycling and construction process, find out how plastics affect the environment and learn about new scientific discoveries

Read more »