The semi-monthly Tripod slide-shows at Gallery Madera in downtown Tacoma always have an array of quirky, fascinating pics, but this Friday the extremes are wild – and locally connected. Mady Murrey will show slides of the new not-so-public art at the Mary Bridge hospital extensions, nationally syndicated cartoonist Chris Britt will show and tell the life of a political cartoonist, and Oregon’s ‘Barbie Lady’ LaVonne Sallee will expose the cutesy doll in daring and sometimes bizarre vignettes that’ll make you look at dolls in a totally different light.
Of all of these, the Mary Bridge shots are perhaps the most useful to Tacomans, who won’t actually ever see this art unless they or a young relative happen to be sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. I blogged earlier about this work, which is Northwest in theme and vaguely ocean-based, including mosaic murals by Jennevieve Schlemmer and Mauricio Robalino, glass by Diane Hansen and Native Northwest art by Shaun Peterson. The one work you can see without even going in is the skyway window full of blown glass bubbles by the Hilltop Artists (visible from the emergency drop-off if you walk underneath). Even so, it’s still worth seeing up close in a photo to spot the cute glass sea-creatures hidden in the floats like a “Where’s Waldo” picture.
Chris Britt is an editorial cartoonist for the Illinois Times of Springfield, Illinois, and has been syndicated since 1991. His award-winning work skewers politicians and public figures, pointing out the ironies of gay marriage, the gun debate, presidential illiteracy and more with goofy characters and detailed sketching. He’ll present “Slinging Ink: The Life of an Editorial Cartoonist.”
The third in the Tripod trio is LaVonne Sallee of Marquam, Oregon, otherwise known as the “Barbie Lady” for her extremely inventive art installations deconstructing the skinny, boringly-beautiful doll and reinventing her as a hairy tree-hugger, a topless Halloween angel, a bag lady, a circus clown, the White Witch, a prehistoric warrior, Lady Gaga and even Jesus.
She picks up material for her ‘altered Barbies’ from yard sales and thrift stores and lets her imagination go wild with clay, plaster, paint and more.
Even more cool is the fact that she’s the sister of Tacoma concrete-art diva Lynn Di Nino, co-organizer of the Tripod series and a quirky found-media artist in her own right.
The Tripod Show runs 7-8:30 p.m. May 17. Donation $5. Madera Furniture Company, 2210 Court A., Tacoma. 235-572-1218, maderawoodworking.com