“Spectral” by Elise Richman

Please join us for the opening of Spectral, new work by Elise Richman, opening Thursday, August 18, 5-8pm, at Matter: Tacoma made modern (821 Pacific Ave., Tacoma WA 98402).

Also on view – The Bold and the Black, abstract paintings by Selinda Sheridan; and original ceramics by Melissa Balch.

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SPECTRAL by Elise Richman

How does the intersection of light and matter produce the phenomenon of shimmering color seen in a butterfly’s wing? Spectral by Elise Richman explores this question in a model that reflects the dynamic interaction of light with the physical structure of matter on a nano level.

“The interplay between material form, environmental conditions and visual perception inform Spectral,” she says. “Repetition and transformation infuse the process of creating Spectral’s shimmering [3-D] forms from rectangular sheets of plastic. Multiple incised lines transform flat Dura Lar into dimensional angles.

“While these transparent forms have no inherent color they capture and are activated by light and color in the surrounding environment. Ever shifting reflections express a state of constant interaction,” as in the shifting glow of a blue morpho’s delicate wing. Our own capacity for optical perception, “as well as the interaction between matter and surrounding environments are integral to the manifestation of structural colors,” Richman explains.


Tacoma-based artist, Elise Richman

Elise Richman co-programs the Art+Sci Lecture Series at Tacoma Art Museum bringing together expert panels from the sciences and arts. She was a finalist for the 2015 Neddy Award, recipient of the 2014 Davis Teaching Award, and of the 2014 Foundation of Art Award ($7,500 prize from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation). An Associate Professor at the University of Puget Sound, she makes innovative, process-based paintings that explore elements of the material world and states of flux.

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In case you haven’t checked us out, Matter (821 Pacific Avenue) is the new design showroom shared by two contemporary furniture designers, birdloft ( and rePly ( yours truly, Moss + Mineral ( Open Saturdays noon-6, by chance and by appointment. More info at

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