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Community Vision: “Everyone Needs A Place To Call Home”

5 Sep
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“Everyone Needs A Place To Call Home”, a mural in the Woolworth Windows created by local artists and community volunteers. Photo courtesy of Shared Housing Services

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou

Inside the Woolworth Windows at S. 11th St. & Broadway, the sun beams so brightly over a painted cityscape that a passerby can almost feel its warmth emanate through the glass. The mural, entitled Everyone Needs A Place To Call Home, is a project of the nonprofit organization, Shared Housing Services, and was commissioned by Spaceworks Tacoma.

The public artwork comes at a time when Mayor Marilyn Strickland has declared an emergency state for Tacoma homeless, and launched an initiative to help get people off the street and into transitional housing.  Continue reading

Salmon Banners, Gabe Babcock’s Prints Help Improve Water

28 Jul

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Gabe Babcock’s Salmon Banners presented a striking installation in the Woolworth Windows during April-July 2017 round of Artscapes installations. The prints are referencing Northwest Coast style of art, using bold black areas filled in with a split fountain technique. This effect blends two colors, in this case a gradient from a rich red to other colors, including a darker maroon, warmer brown or yellow, each creating a unique print of a fish.

Babcock’s goal is to “provide an image for people to connect over.” His initiative is a “way of tying art, culture and conservation efforts together.”

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The artist hangs the salmon banners as if they were actual salmon being hung to dry. The subtle differences in the color contrast the repetitive pattern of the hanging images. Each salmon becomes an individual in a collection, mimicking the diversity that takes place within populations of species in their natural environments.

Babcock’s inspiration for this concept was an indigenous tale from the northwest. According to the story, a Native American family goes to gather salmon from the river, but their children were disrespectful to their family and the environment. To punish the children and teach them the importance of these resources the parents threw them into the river. The salmon saved the children from drowning. With the children safely on the shore the salmon promised to return every year providing endless supply of nutritious salmon as long as the people were respectful to nature. That is why the salmon is shown carrying a child in the prints. This image was used by the indigenous people and placed next to salmon traps to thank the salmon’s return.

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The significance and impact of this work, now more than ever, is amplified. We live in a time where habitat destruction, lenient environmental policy and destruction and depletion of our natural resources are becoming increasingly common.

Babcock explains “They [salmon] are a huge part of the Native American culture, a keystone species as well as an indicator species. If a river has a strong run of Wild Salmon it is a sign of a healthy aquatic ecosystem.” Babcock’s artscape is especially relevant today because if we continue mistreating the environment, it will no longer provide us with food.

The banners are also part of a larger environmental protection initiative. Through sales of prints, The Salmon Banner Project donates 100% of profits to non-profit organizations promoting sustainable watersheds. Purchase one of these unique prints and learn more through Gabe Babcock’s website gabebabcock.com

All photos by Kris Crews

July 20 Art Walk Includes “The New Avant-Garde” at 1120 Creative House and Opening Reception for “Immigration”

19 Jul

July 20, 2017 marks another monthly opportunity for Tacoma to enjoy a wide range of artistic experiences, newest gallery exhibitions, and museum visits with free admission, all under beaming sunshine.

Along with a couple of intriguing events, this month’s third Thursday is also your last chance to visit current round of Spaceworks Artscapes murals and installations. So come out to enjoy an artful evening on July 20th.

New Exhibition Opening Reception

Immigration: Hopes Realized, Dreams Derailed

Immigration: Hopes Realized, Dreams Derailed

“Dream Act” by Raoul Deal, woodcut print

Join the artists and curators for the opening reception of the newest art show at the Spaceworks GalleryImmigration: Hopes Realized, Dreams Derailed is a multimedia exhibition about immigration and detention. (read more about the exhibition: spaceworkstacoma.com/current-exhibit/)

Thursday, July 20th, 6-9 PM
Spaceworks Gallery
950 Pacific Ave. Suite 205 (Entrance on 11th St.),
Tacoma, Washington 98402

Free and open to the public

Respond on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/1616503958361185

Listen to music, poetry, and stories, as well as immigrant rights leaders speaking about the essential contributions of immigrant workers and the oppressive conditions in the Tacoma’s North West Detention Center.

 

Curated by art critic Susan N. Platt and mural artist David Long, the exhibit addresses the urgent issue of immigration from multiple perspectives by presenting intense work by undocumented immigrants, former detainees, current detainees, DACAs (Delayed Action for Childhood arrivals), college students, grass roots activists, self- taught artists and professional artists.

Music

The New Avant-Garde

Ken Jacobsen Continue reading

GTCF Honors 10 Pierce County Artists with 10th Foundation Of Art Award

14 Jul

Tacoma, WA – Greater Tacoma Community Foundation will honor ten Pierce County visual artists for the 10th Foundation of Art Award in recognition of the growth of the local arts community since the Award’s inception. This year’s awardees span a wide range of artistic mediums, from painting and sculpture, to fabric and letterpress.

The following artists will showcase their work at a dedicated Spaceworks Gallery show and receive $1,000 each: Mindy BarkerHeather CorneliusTodd JannauschJanet Marcavage, Gillian Nordlund, Nicholas NylandChandler O’Leary, Saiyare Refaei, Kenji Stoll, and Chandler Woodfin. The awardees’ art will be on display at Spaceworks Gallery from September 4 to October 19, 2017. Continue reading

Spaceworks Tacoma Receives 2017 NEA Grant to Fund Artscapes

28 Jun
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Saiyare Refaei and Tiffanny Hammonds paint Artscapes mural on a boarded up building 11th & Market. Photos by Kris Crews

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved Spaceworks Tacoma for an Art Works grant in the amount of $20,000 for the purpose of supporting the commission of site-specific installations and murals at vacant commercial spaces in downtown Tacoma.

Spaceworks will be one of 1,029 national grant recipients, chosen from 1,728 Art Works applications. The grants range from $10,000 to $100,000 and focus on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.

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The money will be used to continue funding  Continue reading

Galen Turner’s NEON Artscape Installation

31 May

Galen Turner NEON Artscape2017_16In preparation for Spaceworks’ 2nd annual fundraiser NEON, artist Galen Turner installed a flashy, tongue-in-cheek Artscape in one of the Woolworth Windows. He used traditional, mechanical relays to make the neon lights glow in various patterns. You can observe the relay gears animating the signs by opening and closing electrical circuits creating a dazzling, flickering artwork.

Galen also made some original signs commissioned by Spaceworks specifically for this year’s NEON fundraiser. You can have your chance at winning them in the auction on June 10th, 2017. Buy your tickets now at

spaceworksneon.com/tickets

The neon signs are much more impressive in person. Visit this Artscape while you can in downtown Tacoma, on Broadway and 11th street.

Check out Galen’s installation process below in photos taken by Kris Crews. Continue reading

Mural Opportunity – Call for Artists

8 May

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Spaceworks Tacoma is partnering with the Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area (BIA) to find an artist or artist team to beautify a downtown icon in need of a facelift!

The location is in the skybridge over Commerce Street connecting the Park Plaza North Parking Garage (923 S. Commerce) and Transit Plaza/Theater on the Square (917 Broadway).  This consists of the two interior walls, each roughly 85-feet long and 3-feet tall. Continue reading

What Happened? New Artscapes Mural

10 Feb

A call to participate…

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A new public artwork has popped up on one of the last remaining HAPPENINGS kiosks at the corner of 13th and Market in downtown Tacoma. The work invites you to visit www.ryanfeddersen.com/what-will-happen where you will find the following prompt: Continue reading

2016: Year in Photos

29 Dec

2016 quickly ramped up to be an exciting ride of cultural activities and business opportunities, bringing many new things. Spaceworks had a landmark year! We doubled the capacity of our Creative Enterprise program, invited the public to ‘Fish Tank’ where entrepreneurs made business pitches to a panel of experts, launched the Spaceworks Gallery on the corner of 11th & Commerce, hosted our 1st inaugural auction/fundraiser NEON, and added 3 new staff members!  This look back at the many events in which Spaceworks took part shows a very active year. Tacoma is what we make it, let’s keep making it vibrant.

Artscapes Span Delicate Deer to Monotonous Mechanics

21 Sep
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“Looking forward, Looking backward”, an installation by Eva Funderburgh. Courtesy photo

In a departure from the clever, fantastical creatures she coaxes out of smooth mounds of clay, Eva Funderburgh used tree branches and chicken wire to shape the forest animals in her new installation, Looking forward, Looking backward, at the Woolworth Windows, S. 11th and Broadway, through Nov. 17, 2016.

In this installation, two “deer-like creatures” face each other from opposing windows. “They can be interpreted either chronologically, as childhood and adulthood, or as parent and child,” said the Seattle-based artist. The figures are separated by an insurmountable outdoor space, which adds poignancy to either reading.  The forms are molded from chicken wire “with branches woven through the wire to give them more substance and a ‘sketched’ look.” The openness of the wire allows overhead light to pass through the bodies creating interesting skeins of shadows on a white backdrop. Inside the bodies, dark blue spheres made from plant material add color and depth.

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Art by Eva Funderburgh. Courtesy photo

“My work deals with the overlap of humanity and the natural world,” said Funderburgh. “I use my simple, emotive animal forms to examine human motives and emotions. Humans are animals, and as animals they are part of nature. Guided by this idea, I seek insight into the human condition from sources as diverse as animal fables and biology textbooks.” An accomplished sculptor in clay and bronze, she animates the curious figures she makes with a unique sense of movement and an often humorous emotionality.

Funderburgh attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Art, with focuses in chemistry and sculpture. In Seattle, she is part of the crew on two local anagama kilns, Santatsugama and Ochawangama. In 2006, she teamed up with five other artists to create Florentia Clayworks, a cooperative clay studio. She is an instructor in the Foundry program at Pratt Fine Arts Center, where she explores a fascination with patinas that began with her studies in chemistry.

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“Toothybeast Movement Study” by Eva Funderburgh. Courtesy photo

In 2010, Funderburgh spent five weeks as an artist in residence at the Guldagergaard Center for Ceramics in Skaelskor, Denmark. The experience inspired her to expand both the scale and complexity of her work. It also renewed an interest in installation art; today, she counts a permanent installation in a Seattle school, and temporary works in galleries and a museum, to her credit. Spaceworks is proud to introduce her large-scale art to Tacoma.

• • • • •

Near Funderburgh’s installation on Broadway, a new film short by Isaac Olsen is playing at the Tollbooth Gallery. Machine Loop depicts machinery and motion in a bold, visceral, repetitive display. Weirdly – hypnotically – the power of the film lies in its monotony; one just can’t stop watching to see whether the loop of the title is a closed one.

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Image from “Machine Loop” by Isaac Olsen.

Machine Loop is on display at the world’s smallest gallery through Nov. 17th, 2016.
 Olsen uses an original score and animation, and has applied graffiti-esque painting around the outside of the Tollbooth kiosk. He is a Tacoma-based filmmaker, documentarian, animator and pragmatist whose films include Ich hunger (2013), and Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble (2014).  -Lisa Kinoshita

Check out “Looking forward, Looking backward” by Eva Funderburgh, and “Machine Loop” by Isaac Olsen, at S. 11th & Broadway through Nov. 17, 2016.

 

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“Machine Loop” grumbles on inside the Tollbooth, the world’s smallest gallery. Spaceworks photo

 

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