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Tag: American Art Co


Pastels at the American Art Company range from mediocre to breathtaking

Kari Tirrell, "Train Wreck." Photo courtesy American Art Co.
Kari Tirrell, “Train Wreck.” Photo courtesy American Art Co.

It’s not quite business as usual at the Northwest Pastel Society’s 27th annual International Open Exhibition, on this month and next at American Art Company in downtown Tacoma. Yes, around half of the show is misty, romantic landscapes, all well executed but looking just like pastels pretending to be oil paints and eschewing any originality of vision.

But a handful of the works – mostly those awarded juried prizes – both capture the unique texture and feel of the medium and say something unusual to boot. In the front portrait gallery, many of the works sport light-burnished, angelic subjects gilded with New Age-y palettes of neon pink and yellow. There’s some gratuitously in-your-face flesh from Paul Barton’s nude, and the usual number of feel-good beachside moments. But  Roberta Combs combines the smooth surface and intense tonal clarity of a Renaissance oil with the social commentary of a Diane Arbus photograph in “Harlem Heat.” Z. Feng uses a fascinating charcoal-sketch feel in “Mr. White,” with hair and beard strokes fierce and direct.

Over in the animal section, which includes Van Gogh-inspired zebras and a Harry Potter-esque owl (coincidentally by artist Laurie Potter), there’s one of the show’s most stunning examples of color blending: Joe Mackechnie’s opaque salmon, swimming through a Technicolor stream of teal, magenta and gold. Read more »


Critic’s Picks: Edible Book Fest at UPS, Pam Ingalls at Brick House, new work at American Art Co and Mark O’Connor fiddling the Rialto

image004Edible books at UPS

Yes, you can have your book at eat it too. The University of Puget Sound’s annual Edible Book Festival is on again this Monday in the Collins library, spurring dozens of highly competitive and wacky entries from “Much Andouille About Nothing” to “Of Rice and Hen.” It’s part of the international Edible Book Festival. The categories are extensive – including Most Humorous, Most Geautiful, Most Delicious and Creeps Me Out – and the only rules are that it be (mostly) edible and inspired by a book. The festival is held April 1. Entry drop-off 8-11 a.m., show hours 11 a.m.-4 p.m., awards ceremony 3:30-4 p.m. with light refreshments (but, alas, no book eating). Free. Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner St., Tacoma. pugetsound.edu, books2eat.com

Pam Ingalls’ paintings at Brick House

Pam Ingalls shows still lifes, landscapes and nudes painted in the Russian Impressionist style with deep vivid colors and loose brushwork at Brick House Gallery. 5-9 p.m. third Thursdays and by appointment. Free. Brick House Gallery, 1123 S. Fawcett St., Tacoma. 253-627-0426, thebrickhousegallery.com

New work at American Art Co. Read more »


Critic’s Picks: Surreal portraits at Fulcrum Gallery, pastels at American Art Co, “Fiddler on the Roof” at Kitsap Forest Theater and “Happy Days” at Tacoma Musical Playhouse

Surreal portraits at Fulcrum Gallery

The Hilltop’s Fulcrum Gallery presents “Surrealistic Portraits,” a group show blurring human and beast in portraits by Larkin Cypher, Kelsi Finney, Jeremy Gregory and Keith Carter. Noon-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through July 14. Free. Fulcrum Gallery, 1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma. 253-520-0520, fulcrumtacoma.com

American Art Co hosts International Pastels Exhibition

The Northwest Pastel Society’s International Exhibition is back at American Art Co in downtown Tacoma, featuring work by local and national pastel artists in a variety of genres. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. 1126 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-272-4327,

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Tacoma gallery the American Art Company hosts the 25th Northwest Pastel Society exhibition

The American Art Company in downtown Tacoma regularly hosts open-call shows for regional artist societies: The latest is the 25th annual international exhibition for the Northwest Pastel Society. Some 77 artists from all over North America are exhibiting in a broad range of styles through December 31.

Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. 1126 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-272-4327, www.americanartco.com



In Tacoma, American Art Company Quilt Invitational quilts both follow and break out of tradition

After a three-year absence, the Quilt Invitational is back at American Art Company in downtown Tacoma, and the 40 quilts that fill the gallery space are a wide variety from traditional to ground-breaking.

The front gallery is full of geometrics: the vivid Mondriaan-ish shapes of Maria Groat, the more muted earthtone “Windows” by Janet Steadman, and in back some more traditional squares by Timothy Leonard and Melody Crust. Also in front is a new work by Toot Reid: This time her three panels are very different, with one traveling from blue to white to green, another moody in

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Critic’s Picks: Click Flick at the Grand Cinema, quilt art at American Art Co and “Words” on Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma

Click Flick: “Horton Hears a Who”

This month’s free Click Family Flick at the Grand Cinema is the animated, Dr. Seuss-based “Horton Hears a Who.” Doors open 9:30 a.m., screening 10 a.m. Aug. 20. Free to first 100 people. The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma. 253-593-4474, www.grandcinema.com

Quilt Invitational at American Art Company

The American Art Company’s 11th Northwest Contemporary Art Quilt Invitational is always a chance to see the latest trends in quilt art – new fibers, new techniques, new views. Open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. third Thursdays

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Free Arts Month: three different galleries and hot-house guitars

I didn’t post yesterday, so I’m catching up on two days of free arts.

Jan. 8: Three very different galleries downtown, all within one hour. First up Brick House, always worth a visit, with local artists and a relaxed atmosphere. Up through end of January is work by Seattle painter Mindi Katzman, easy on the eye and in a variety of styles. Her older work (2000) captures still-life fruit floating in a dimensionless sea of ivory. Later work also uses oils/encaustic (wax), but with more texture, like a heron staring out from a rock over an endlessly gray Northwest

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