Tacoma is a city with a number of unusually alluring art exhibition spaces (Seymour Conservatory; the historic downtown post office; Karpeles Manuscript Museum; the retro Woolworth Windows, to name but a few). But for all-out charisma, the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum on Tacoma’s working waterfront has few peers. This summer, I have the honor of curating a special exhibition at the Seaport: WUNDERKAMMER: Artifacts, False Memories and Projections, opening July 16, 5:30-7:30, during the Third Thursday Art Walk.
The Renaissance wunderkammer (cabinet of curiosities) was a gallery of natural specimens, cultural artifacts, scientific instruments, anthropological objects, and unclassifiable oddities amassed by seafaring explorers for European royalty. The contents of such galleries (many of them hoaxes) offered a microcosm of lands just appearing on the map of the known world. In this show, 17 contemporary artists envision art and objects for a wunderkammer of the digital age, a time when boundaries have been all but exhausted. Or have they? Please join us at an artists reception on July 16, 5:30-7:30 for Justin Gibbens, Marc Dombrosky/Shannon Eakins, Chuck Iffland, Alice Di Certo/Kyle Dillehay, Steve Jensen, Alexander Keyes, Lisa Kinoshita, Nicholas Nyland, Jenny Pohlman/Sabrina Knowles, Holly Senn, Jessica Spring, Brent Watanabe, Mishele Dupree Winter, and Robert Zinkevich. This kickoff event to the annual Maritime Fest (July 18-19) features live music and refreshments, and it’s FREE. 705 Dock Street, down the road from the Museum of Glass. Show runs through August 30. Details here. ~Lisa Kinoshita
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NOW on view at Moss + Mineral: This Fragile World, ceramic works by Nicholas Nyland and Yuki Nakamura. A sense of fragility framed with joyous color resonates through this show featuring objects by two of the area’s most acclaimed clay artists. Please join us for an artists’ reception on Saturday, June 20, 3-6pm. Nakamura’s work is on exhibit through June 20; Nyland’s through July 18.
Nyland, an accomplished painter and a finalist for the 2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Award at Portland Art Museum is known for his manhandled clay forms – some functional, some not – that writhe and drip with luscious color. Abstract yet curiously animated, his pieces explore the intersection between sculpture and painting.
Educated in Tokyo, Nakamura is the recipient of awards including a Pollock-Krasner Grant; she creates life-size forms of common objects (notably, porcelain light bulbs and soccer balls) that elevate their simple subject matter to the iconic.
Both artists are past recipients of the prestigious Artist Trust Fellowship.
Also showing – ikebana artist and basket weaver Marcia Mahaffey, presenting cane-wrapped river rocks created with techniques she has adapted from Japanese basket weaving.
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At Moss + Mineral, our current room vignette is about mid-century cool, exemplified by a powerful, thickly-encrusted portrait painting by Ohm-Cederberg. Check out our new mid-century walnut hutch perfect for displaying the odd collection, swank leather swivel chairs updated with low-profile styling, and juicy-colored ceramics by Seattle studio, KriKri.
Meanwhile, on the jewelry front – congratulations to Matthew Coté, one of the most talented metalsmiths I know, for being accepted into the masters program at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. Matthew was awarded the sole slot the university offered this year. He is also the recipient of a 2015 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program grant to work on a show that will open at Moss + Mineral on July 25. This young, wildly talented artist is the creator of immaculately detailed jewelry pieces that articulate his ideas on pop culture to politics. Just a few years ago, we became acquainted when he was working at Old Navy and the post office to support his studies(!). Today, he creates engraved enamels that are causing quite a stir with their technical mastery and provocative narratives. We can’t wait to see the work he has on deck! See you soon, Lisa
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