GO Arts

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

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Tacoma Art Museum takes Haub wing plans to Landmarks Preservation Commission for May 8 vote

Olson Kundig's rendering of the western (Pacific Avenue side) elevation of TAM's expansion. Courtesy image.
Olson Kundig’s rendering of the western (Pacific Avenue side) elevation of TAM’s expansion. Courtesy image.

The Tacoma Art Museum and Seattle architects Olson Kundig brought their plans for the museum’s new Western American art wing before Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission at a meeting Wednesday night. Details on the renderings include a close-up of the building material – a Tacoma-made fiber and resin composite called Richlite – the louvred windows which will allow street views into the wing’s sculpture hall, layout of five internal galleries and a metal grill on the Pacific Avenue side of the overhanging canopy.

The 16,000-square-foot wing is budgeted at $15.5 million, and purpose-built to house the newly-donated, 280-piece Western art collection of German billionaire Erivan Haub and his wife Helga, who have a home on Fox Island. The Haubs are paying for part of the expansion, which also includes renovation of the existing lobby, street entrance and parking lot entrance areas. You can read more details in Craig Sailor’s story here.

The Commission had no big objections, says architect and commissioner James Steel, but there were some questions about transparency from the street and whether the ivy slope beneath the cantilevered wing would be closed in for safety.

“They did improve the museum’s entrance – it’s more recognizable and transparent from the street,” says Steel. “They improved the pedestrian feel, and it makes a stronger relationship to Tollefson Plaza.”

What’s interesting about the proposal, which the Commission will vote on May 8 (it has jurisdiction over the exterior look of the building, which is sited in the Union Depot conservation district), are the plans, which show close-up details. 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

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Western art expert Laura F. Fry named as curator for new Haub wing, breaking ground at Tacoma Art Museum later this year


Tacoma Art Museum announced today that Laura F. Fry, a Western art expert from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, will be the curator for TAM’s new Haub wing, a 15,000 square foot extension of the museum planned to house last year’s gift of 280 pieces of Western American art by German billionaire Erivan Haub and his wife Helga. Fry will join TAM in April.

“We are delighted to welcome Laura to the museum,” said museum director Stephanie Stebich. “This is a critical position for our museum as we move forward with sharing the Haub Collection

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Twelve Tacoma Artist Gifts of Christmas – Day 5

Welcome to the Twelve Tacoma Artist Gifts of Christmas! Inspired by both the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and fellow features writer Sue Kidd, who’s offering you her own “Twelve Tacoma Foodie Gifts of Christmas” on her TNT Diner blog, I’ve come up with 12 alternative gifts for Christmas: no partridges in pear trees, but something a lot more uniquely local.

So here’s Day 5 –

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

Five gothic rings! (Sung with dramatic slow-down)…Four pottery bowls, three CDs, two baby heads and a deck

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Stadium District Dickens Fest coming up Saturday…

This Saturday you can revel in everything Victorian as the Dickens Fest returns to Tacoma’s Stadium District. Expect horse-and-carriage rides, a costume contest (that includes yourself!), a beard contest and performances on two stages that include magic and puppet shows, singers, storytellers, youth actors in “A Christmas Carol,” instrumentalists and spoken word artists.

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8; Ball 6-9:30 p.m. Free. King’s Stage, 218 St. Helens Ave; Queen’s Stage, Titus Will showroom, 633 Division Ave, Tacoma. dickensfestival.net


Foundation of Art Award highlights past and present winners at B2 Gallery in downtown Tacoma

Oliver Doriss, "Blue Moon." Courtesy photo.

Hard to believe that the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation has been presenting its annual Foundation of Art Award for five years now, but it’s true – and the community-funding non-profit is celebrating the anniversary with a show at downtown Tacoma’s B2 Gallery spanning 40 nominees and winners from the award’s past five years. The result is a cohesive exhibit that skims over some of Tacoma’s best artists and their recent work, including this year’s winner glassblower Oliver Doriss.

Doriss’ piece is just to the left of the entrance, and it’s a bit of a surprise. Leaving his usual chunky vases and forms for a figurative 2-D work, the glass artist (and Fulcrum Gallery owner) has riffed on a moody, New Age-type landscape, with a circular glass blue moon rippling with silver metal and green enamel hanging over a triangular arch of brown “earth.” The arch gets sophistication from the thick, jagged edges, and the whole thing sparkles with a metallic, otherworldly sheen, but the size and serenity looks created for decorating a wall rather than the boldness of Doriss’ other work (this award is given on the basis of a body of work, not just one piece.) Read more »


It’s not just carols and classical: Tacoma shows by Cathedrals and Uncle Bonsai/Christine Lavin put some spunk into the holiday concert season

Is decking the halls getting you down? Holly not so jolly? You don’t need to be Scrooge to appreciate a musical offering that doesn’t involve yet another rendition of “Away in a Manger” – and luckily for you, there are two alternative holiday shows this week and next, courtesy of the Broadway Center, that’ll put you onto another musical plane altogether.

The first is Friday night’s combined show by singer-songwriter Christine Lavin – called “wildly entertaining” by The New Yorker – and Northwest folk-pop trio Uncle Bonsai, who bring tight harmonies and clever lyrics to new folk music. “Just

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Critic’s picks: Warhol at TAM, Raymond Turner at Museum of Glass, Tacoma art studio tours and PLU’s “Magic Flute”

Andy Warhol’s flowers come to TAM

In 1982, Tacoma almost became famous – for an Andy Warhol flower mural splashed right across the Tacoma Dome. It didn’t happen, but Warhol’s photographs, paintings and illustrations of flowers that inspired the application are coming to Tacoma Art Museum in “Andy Warhol’s Flowers for Tacoma.” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays Nov. 3-Feb. 10, 2013. $10/$8/free for under-five and 5-8 p.m. third Thursdays. 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4258, tacomaartmuseum.org

Raymond Turner at Museum of Glass

Former Tacoman Raymond Turner exhibits his thickly brushed paintings on glass at the Museum of

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