The latest edition of the Woolworth Windows art in downtown Tacoma is big – really big, with larger-than-life versions of everyday and mythical objects that fill the window space with color, form and vision to stop passers-by in their tracks.
Maybe the most surprising is Beth Johnson, up the theater end of the windows. A self-taught, self-described closet artist who’s obviously got a wealth of imagination, skill and love of fantasy (she gets summer jobs acting at the Renaissance Faire), Johnson has crafted three dragons out of cloth maché – whimsical, humorous and just a little scary. She combines realistic effects (wrinkled skin, reptilian scales, baleful eyes and fiery tongues) with original elements (corkscrew hair that ends in dagger-sharp teeth) and a fun sense of humor: The lizard-green dragon lazily carries a knight’s lance loaded with damsel-in-distress laundry (scarves, chiffon), while the little black guy with the scorpion tail examines a yellow-jacket he’s caught on his tongue with painful dismay. The red dragon, meanwhile, stares angrily out of a trophy mount – perfect lodge décor for your country knight.
One window further down Tacoma’s letterpress printmakers show off their supersize skills in the steamroller prints from this year’s Wayzgoose, a letterpress festival held annually at King’s Books. Read more »