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Archives: April 2013


Critic’s picks: Kids’ concert at Seattle Symphony, “Savage Seas” at Harbor History Museum, Tacoma Concert Band does Sousa and Darwin-inspired art books at UPS

Diane Stemper, "Darwin's Doldrums." Courtesy photo.
Diane Stemper, “Darwin’s Doldrums.” Courtesy photo.

Darwin-inspired art books at the UPS Collins Library

Ohio artist Diane Stemper makes artist books in a wide variety of forms inspired by the science of Charles Darwin and the art of collecting, comparing and classifying, using drawing, linoleum prints, digital prints, found text and more. Artist conversation 4-5 p.m. today. 7:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Sunday through May 25. Free. Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner St., Tacoma. 253-879-3675, pugetsound.edu

Seattle Symphony kids’ concert

If you missed the Tacoma Symphony’s Family  Concert last weekend, don’t fret: The Seattle Symphony is playing Stravinsky’s lushly melodic “Firebird Suite,” together with a contemporary percussion concerto, at a concert aimed at kids ages six to 12. 11 a.m. April 20 (10 a.m. petting zoo and activities), free workshop afterward at Soundbridge Center. $20 adults/$15 students, seniors. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. 206-336-6600, seattlesymphony.org

“Savage Seas” paleontology at Harbor History Museum

The Harbor History Museum hosts touring blockbuster exhibit “Savage Seas” featuring over 14 complete specimens of ancient marine reptiles from the Cretaceous period, including Tylosaurus, Archelon and Megalodon. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday through July 14. $7 adults/$6 military, seniors/$5 ages 7-15/free for ages six and under. Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor. 253-858-6722, harborhistorymuseum.org

Tacoma Concert Band plays Sousa Read more »


Flow gallery in Tacoma’s Dome district to close

Sad news – Flow gallery, on Puyallup Avenue in Tacoma’s burgeoning Dome district – is about to close. Owner Andrea Erickson announced the news yesterday, saying she intends to spend more time on her own art.

“I want to thank all of the artists and patrons that have been part of our Flow experience over the last couple years,” said Erickson in a general email. “It has been a lot of fun and we have enjoyed meeting and working with you all.”

The closing is the second in about a year for Tacoma’s gallery scene, which saw Sandpiper close recently

Read more »


Spoken word artist and activist Walida Imarisha performs at UPS with Fab-5 crew


Walidah Imarisha. Courtesy photo.
Walidah Imarisha. Courtesy photo.

Walidah Imarisha, a spoken word artist, educator, writer, and innovative voice on issues of youth and justice, will perform with the Fab-5 artistic youth group next Thursday, April 25, at the University of Puget Sound.

The performance is free.

Imarisha, a teacher in Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s women’s studies program and Southern New Hampshire University’s English department, will address how educational systems often alienate youth through a hidden racism.

“Students feel marginalized, silenced, invisibilized, demonized, criminalized, without that being said explicitly,” Imarisha told UPS Professor Dexter Gordon in a recent interview. “They’re not learning about themselves and everything they do learn about themselves is negative. Many young, brilliant folks have dropped out of school because they were saving their spirits. And we have to see that as a survival tactic.”

Fab-5 is a Tacoma youth organization that offers creative outlets for underserved urban youth, including DJing, spoken word and writing, breakdancing and visual art. Read more »


“Look Here” one-night art salon of Tacoma art next week on the Hilltop

If you don’t look now, “Look Here” will be gone. A salon-style art exhibition featuring 14 Tacoma visual artists, “Look Here” is a one-night art stand in a temporary space on Earnest S. Brazill Street in Tacoma’s Hilltop, happening next Thursday.

The brainchild of artist Victoria Johnson, the salon features work by Johnson herself as well as Bill Colby, Lynn Di Nino, Karen Doten, Kristin Giordano, Lisa Kinoshita, Janet Marcavage, Yuki Nakamura, Nicholas Nyland, Frederic Quinn, Betty Sapp Ragan, William Turner, Emily Wood and Otto Youngers, and ranges over sculpture, printmaking, painting, ceramics, photography and mixed media.

Says Johnson: “Artists

Read more »


Glass squid and octopi adorn the new Mary Bridge expansion in downtown Tacoma


Greg Piercy with the new floats installation by Hilltop Artists at Multicare. Photo: Rosemary Ponnekanti
Greg Piercy with the new floats installation by Hilltop Artists at Multicare. Photo: Rosemary Ponnekanti

The Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital expansion – atop MultiCare’s new regional cancer center buildings and the emergency section of Mary Bridge and Tacoma General – isn’t open to the public yet, but the art’s already there, brightening the corridors and waiting rooms with glass sea-life in vivid tangerines and limes. And I was lucky enough yesterday to get a sneak peek at the installations by Jennevieve Schlemmer and the non-profit Hilltop Artists glass program.

The HART installation is interesting in two ways: It’s art made by kids for kids, with ongoing interactions planned; and it’s also visible from the outside. Lining the north windows of the 6th and 7th floor skyway bridges connecting the front building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way and the back building on South J Street are 1,400 glass floats, blown by the skilled, hardworking HART students at Jason Lee Middle School. You can see it from the alley just beside the emergency drop-off (but you’ll have to walk underneath the skybridge to see the north window, as the south one was left clear to preserve the views of Mt. Rainier). Gelato-hued floats pile up like bubbles inside an aquarium: cool blues and greens on the lower floor, warm lemons, limes, tangerines and berry colors on the upper.

But the best part can only be seen by the hospital’s young patients and staff. Up close you realize that every so often the glassblowers (at Wilson High, this time) have popped an exquisitely-blown squid or octopus inside a float, so the whole installation goes from abstract beauty to a “Where’s Waldo?” treasure hunt for viewers. Read more »


Lucas Smiraldo is Tacoma’s new Poet Laureate; will read at library next Tuesday

Spoken word artist Lucas Smiraldo has been chosen to be Tacoma’s new Poet Laureate for 2013-2015. The two-year post has been running for five years and is awarded by the Tacoma Arts Commission. It involves community readings, workshops and events, the first of which is a reading next Tuesday in the Tacoma Public Library main branch featuring past and present laureates.

Smiraldo, who performs as Vanilla Soul, is a prolific writer, performance poet and playwright who has collaborated with many other Pacific Northwest artists in varied disciplines. A former education director at the Broadway Center for Performing

Read more »


Critic’s picks: organ recital at Christ Episcopal, spirituals at UPS, Chad Goller-Sojourner show and PNB’s “Swan Lake” in Seattle

Julia Brown organ recital at Christ Episcopal

International performing and recording organist Julia Brown from Eugene, Oregon, will play Buxtehude, Scneidemann, Bach and contemporary German-American composer Wolfgang Rübsam in a recital on the rich, resonant Brombaugh organ at Christ Episcopal tonight. 7:30 p.m. tonight. By donation. Christ Episcopal Church, 310 North K Street, Tacoma. 253-383-1569, ccptacoma.org 

UPS choirs sing spirituals

Hear the University of Puget Sound’s Adelphian and Dorian singers, plus soloists, in a program of African-American spirituals, including Moses Hogan’s galvanizing setting of “The Battle of Jericho” and arrangements by Eva Jessye (“Porgy and Bess”). 7:30 p.m. tonight. $12.50/$8.50/free for UPS students. Schneebeck Concert Hall, North 17th Street and Union Ave., Tacoma. 253-879-6013, tickets.pugetsound.edu

PNB does “Swan Lake” Read more »


Flora and Fine Arts brings nature onto the walls of Tacoma Art Museum next week

It’s spring inside as well next week, as the second annual “Flora and Fine Arts” show comes to Tacoma Art Museum courtesy of the Tacoma Garden Club. Local designers and floral artists will create 24 arrangements inspired by the current museum show “Drawing Line into Form.” Both shows are open free 5-8 p.m. April 18 for third Thursday; and the “Flora” show will stay up through the weekend.

“The interplay between works in “Drawing Line into Form” and the floral creations of talented local designers will dazzle museum visitors and provide new ways of connecting people through art,” said TAM director Stephanie Stebich.

Part of the private collection of BNY Mellon, “Drawing Line into Form” explores how sculptors sketch and design for their final works. It’s up until May 26 in the museum’s largest gallery.

“Flora and Fine Arts,” modeled on similar events at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, combines flowers, greenery, rocks and other materials into sculptural arrangements inspired by the art on the walls. This year’s show includes a site-specific bonsai installation by Elandan Gardens in the Richard Rhodes “Stone Wave” installation in the interior courtyard.            Read more »