Tag Archives: Woolworth Windows

Salmon Banners, Gabe Babcock’s Prints Help Improve Water

28 Jul


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.”


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.


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

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


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

Artscapes Span Delicate Deer to Monotonous Mechanics

21 Sep

“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.


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.


“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.


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.



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


Tacoma is a Rubik’s Cube

31 Dec

“Sides of the Town”: Thomas has transformed a T-shirt and sticker design into an art installation at the Woolworth Windows. Courtesy photo

Tacoma resembles a Rubik’s Cube to artist Dion Thomas. Like the world’s most popular 3-D puzzle whose colorful parts can be twisted into different configurations until it becomes a unified whole, Thomas sees his hometown as an entity thrumming with diversity, but capable of embracing “solidarity and individuality simultaneously.”


Artwork by Dion Thomas

Thomas’s vision of Tacoma is on view in an art installation called “Sides of the Town”, at the Woolworth Windows through March 17, 2016. His project focuses on six Tacoma neighborhoods: Eastide, Hilltop, Northend, Southend, Northeast and University Place, and the way these sectors relate to and also differ from one another as the city changes and grows.

“The intention of the piece is to show how dynamic, diverse – and at times polarizing – Tacoma is,” Thomas says. The six neighborhoods are portrayed through “representations of food, clothing and shelter…the most basic of human needs,” as well as recognizable signifiers from each area such as historic memorabilia and photographs. Displayed side by side inside the confines of a 20′-long window, each geographic slice’s unique distinctions jack up the richness of the whole.


Artist Dion Thomas

Thomas brings broad street-level knowledge of the city to the project. In addition to being an artist and videographer, he is a well-known community activist, and a youth mobilization specialist for the non-profit organization, Safe Streets. Previously, for a Spaceworks Creative Enterprise project he founded the Gallery of Ambition, a vibrant urban showcase for young artists and fashion designers in the Theater District. “Shoot the T”, a photographic competition sponsored by the gallery, invited the public to show their best shots of Tacoma and drew 2,500 submissions.

At the Gallery of Ambition, Thomas’s spot-on instincts as a designer emerged in a line of much-coveted, limited-edition T-shirts and hats that celebrated Tacoma’s diamond-in-the-rough persona. It was one of these boldly graphic designs, the black-and-white “Sides of the Town” tee that spawned the current project. He hopes the concept strikes a chord: “Whether you were born, raised or just moved here, it is important to claim Tacoma as your own….No matter what side [you’re from], it’s all the same town.

“Tacoma is just like a Rubik’s Cube because it is always changing and we are still trying to figure out how all the parts fit together.”  -By Lisa Kinoshita

Dion Thomas at the Woolworth Windows, S. 11th & Broadway, through March 17, 2016.


Artifice Trumps Nature in Two New Artscapes

26 Jan
Reflections through a window: Anastasia Zielinski's "Bright Light Heavy".

Reflections through a window: Anastasia Zielinski’s “Bright Light Heavy”.

We all know Aristotle’s famous saw, “Art imitates life.” But more intriguing is how he finishes the thought: “Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies.” Thus begins the debate on how artists imitate, reproduce and alter reality, and fill in the gaps with their own aesthetic DNA. Continue reading

Spaceworks Announces 5 New Artscapes Installations

23 Dec

On Display December 31, 2014 – April 16, 2015

Five new Artscapes installations are currently being installed in the old Woolworth storefront windows (corner of 11th & Broadway), and the Tacoma Post Office Building display cases (1102 A Street). The projects will debut during Tacoma’s First Night celebration on New Year’s Eve! The artists selected for this round include Barbara De Pirro, Jennifer Chin, Elise Konscek, Anastasia Zielinski, and a group exhibition titled “GENERIS 01T: ZIP CODE” curated by Susan Surface. This marks the 14th round of commissioned exhibitions brought to you by Spaceworks Tacoma.

Here are details on each installation:

Anastasia Zielinski creates a visual experience!

Anastasia Zielinski creates a visual experience! On the corner of 11th & Broadway, a large Woolworth window is bustling with golds, silvers, shimmering fabrics, and shattered mirrors by artist Anastasia Zielinski. Since relocating to the Pacific Northwest, Anastasia has been focused on creating worlds through texture and color, transforming spaces with paper, fabric, and found objects. She states “I am more interested in producing an experience than a product. I understand the world through light, color, texture and surface and explore these elements equally in my work. I aspire to make work that instigates a moment of pause from the everyday, and creates a sense of joy.”

Barbara De Pirro displays an evolving sculpture titled "Metamorphosis"

In the next window down, Barbara De Pirro displays an evolving installation comprised of a series of sculptural forms, each representing a metamorphosis, a transformation from the humble into the exceptional. As nature creates life cell by cell, so De Pirro creates these sculptures. Reclaiming hundreds of plastic bottles, she begins by hand cutting each into individual shapes; stitching, threading and weaving them together until a multifaceted, organic structure takes shape.

"Sneak Peak" by Elise Koncsek invites you to peer inside to discover the worlds within.

The pair of northernmost Woolworth windows on Broadway includes an interactive installation by Elise Koncsek inviting viewers to peek inside a series of glowing peep holes at the secret worlds inside. “Come take a sneak peek into my imagined worlds of surreality. Who lives here? Which way is up?” asks Elise.


The Woolworth window facing Commerce Street features a group exhibition titled GENERIS 01T: ZIP CODE including text by Hozoji Matheson-Margullis, with photography by Evan Soto and Michael Vahrenwald. This exhibition is curated by Susan Surface, who recently organized a group show (Oct. 2014) in Brooklyn titled “GENERIS 01b: COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION” that intentionally included artists from Brooklyn and Tacoma. More information at www.generis.co

Finally, in the Tacoma Post Office Building display cases are vibrant abstract paintings and zoologically inspired drawings by Tacoma artist Jennifer Chin. The paintings are from a series titled “My Dreams Are Blue” about which she states: “Dreams are ethereal; the harder I try to remember them the quicker they slip from my grasp. I may remember vague shapes or perhaps a theme, but in the end it is like reaching through water into a field of distortion for small bits of meaning and folly…and yet I always try…” The drawings are from a series titled “Micro Zoo” about which Jennifer states: “The zoo is a place we go to see the unusual. Elephants, tigers, and bears surprise us with their exotic presence. MicroZoo turns scale on its head, magnifying micro terrestrial alien beasts for your viewing pleasure.”

Finally, in the Tacoma Post Office Building display cases are vibrant abstract paintings and zoologically inspired drawings by Tacoma artist Jennifer Chin. The paintings are from a series titled “My Dreams Are Blue” about which she states: “Dreams are ethereal; the harder I try to remember them the quicker they slip from my grasp. I may remember vague shapes or perhaps a theme, but in the end it is like reaching through water into a field of distortion for small bits of meaning and folly…and yet I always try…” The drawings are from a series titled “Micro Zoo” about which Jennifer states: “The zoo is a place we go to see the unusual. Elephants, tigers, and bears surprise us with their exotic presence. MicroZoo turns scale on its head, magnifying micro terrestrial alien beasts for your viewing pleasure.”

Artscapes applications were selected by a team of talented and devoted panelists: Lisa Kinoshita, Artist/Curator, Owner, Moss + Mineral; Nick Butler, Artist at Turtledust Media; Mindy Barker, Owner, Mindy Barker Designs; Ron J Lagman, Film Director, Tacoma Arts Commissioner; Kyle Dillehay, Art Instructor at Tacoma Community College; Dane Meyer, Dane Gregory Meyer Photography and Tacoma Arts Commissioner; Naomi Strom-Avila, Cultural Arts Specialist for the Tacoma Arts Program; and Frank Terrill, Artifact Restorer and Senior Engineer at the Tacoma Planning & Development Services Division.

Locations and support for Spaceworks Tacoma Artscapes are provided by property owners A Street Associates LLC, Power Property Consultants, and AT&T; funders include the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the City of Tacoma, the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts and Ovation TV.

Celebrate “Walk Tacoma Day” with the Public Art Walk

13 Jun
The Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project comes into bloom, perfectly complementing the colorful sculptures by Elizabeth Conner.

The Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project comes into bloom, perfectly complementing the colorful sculptures by Elizabeth Conner.

Celebrate “Walk Tacoma Day” by joining Elizabeth Conner, Pacific Avenue Streetscape Artist and Downtown On the Go on the Walk Tacoma Public Art Walk, Wednesday, June 18, 2014 from 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. The 1.2 mile walk, sponsored by Spaceworks Tacoma.  The walk starts at Fireman’s Park at 7th and Pacific Avenue. Learn the stories behind Tacoma’s many art installations, including Spaceworks and the interactive rain garden art along Pacific Avenue. After a short trip back on the Link, participants are invited to stay for a social at The Forum at 6:30 p.m., sponsored by TrueBlue Inc. which includes light appetizers, drinks, and giveaways!  There is no need to pre-register for the event, simply join Downtown On the Go at the meeting spot. Continue reading

Don’t Miss it, 20th Annual RAGS Event!

28 Feb


The RAGS Guild wanted to go big this year.  After all, it is the 20th Anniversary of of the RAGS Wearable Art Sale and Gallery which has raised over $1,000,000 for the YWCA throughout its history!  So they applied to Spaceworks and currently have a large installation in two Woolworth windows displaying the work of over 35 artists and designers.  This fantastic display raises public awareness of the event and all that it stands for. Continue reading

Lunchtime Art Talk in Woolworth Window, By Acataphasia Grey

30 Jan
Bring your lunch, discuss Natural History and Arts!

Bring your lunch, discuss Natural History and Arts!

WHO: Artist Acataphasia (“Cat”) Grey – and you!
WHAT: Brown bag Lunch de la Mort (“Lunch of Death”)
WHEN: Noon-1pm, Jan. 31
WHERE: Inside Cat’s art installation at the Woolworth Windows, corner of 11th & Commerce
Bring your lunch and step inside an Artscapes installation! Talk about natural history with artist Cat Grey, and discuss her macabre new work, Spiderhorse. It will be standing room only inside the Woolworth window, but you will leave with a bone, feather or fluffy souvenir to take home. Bring a sack lunch, an open mind and all your questions about all things dead!

Acataphasia is a teeming wealth of knowledge on the science, politics, and artistry of all things dead.

This exhibit is filled with skulls, bones, quills, furs, feathers, and antlers from numerous animal species, exotic and local.   


Acataphasia is a teeming wealth of knowledge on the science, politics, and artistry of all things dead.




October Artscapes Events

1 Oct

Save the Date!
October 17, 2013 
Two Spaceworks Tacoma Artscapes events

You are cordially invited to join Spaceworks Tacoma for two art events that are sure to bring inspiration and enjoyment! For October’s Third Thursday Art Walk, we encourage you to get downtown and visit two Artscapes project sites. At 11th and Commerce you will find Priscilla Dobler and at 11th and A Street you will find Scott Scoggin. Here are the details:

"Whew!" a pop up gallery event Oct. 17

“Whew!” a pop up gallery event Oct. 17

Whew! A Pop Up Gallery Event
Third Thursday October 17, 2013
Artist present all day, live music 7:30 pm
Old Post Office, 1102 A St. (lobby)

Scott Scoggin will be showing some work at the downtown post office (1102 A Street Tacoma) October 17th.  The work will include limited edition silkscreened prints, a couple paper sculptures and other visual things.  He will be there all day long, however things will really get going when Kye Alfred Hillig plays in the evening probably around 7:30. Snacks and refreshments will be provided and casual attire is encouraged.  Click here for further details.

Scott’s event and exhibition is made possible by: Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP), Spaceworks Tacoma, A Street Associates LLC, Pat Rhodes and Power Property Consultants, John Hunt.

5 day window performance Oct 14-18

5 day window performance Oct 14-18

Culture Looming
October 14-18, 2013
5-day continuous performance, artist present day/night
Woolworth Window at 11th & Commerce

A simple stark white installation will be transformed with color by Priscilla Dobler during this 5 day continuous performance, all day and night, with her floor loom and colorful cotton threads.  The woven pieces she creates during this performance will be given away to the homeless, available for sale to passersby, or left in the window for the remainder of the exhibition.


%d bloggers like this: