Debra Van Tuinen’s New Gallery Offering Light and Inspiration

Layers of blue, grey and silver leaf create deep and translucent layers that almost obscure the tiny boat in Debra Van Tuinen’s “Adrift” which is currently on view at her new gallery in downtown Olympia. The work, which seems to change from different angles, was created during the long months of the pandemic. For Van Tuinen, it reflects the crashing waves of confusion and deep sense of isolation many people struggled with and experienced in 2020.

With over a 40-year career as an artist, art teacher, and art supporter, Van Tuinen’s dedication to not only creating but sharing her work was not deterred by the limitations of the lockdown. The arrival of this new gallery, which opened in August of 2020, comes at an incredibly important time for art aficionados. Restricted from visiting museums, Van Tuinen’s work is viewable from the street through giant, light-filling windows as well as for private appointments. “I want people to be able to see my work and learn about what I do. You don’t have to be able to buy a piece,” said Van Tuinen.

Additionally, as travel restrictions limit explorations and adventures, it is through her work that new views can be found and savored. Focused on the personal exploration of landscape, many of these works can transport you
instantaneously to other places for that much needed change of scenery.

“Van Tuinen’s paintings possess radiance,” wrote LA art critic Doug Meyer. “They bask in the reflected light of a physical universe beyond the picture plane.”

She hopes to have a large grand opening to celebrate the new gallery and participate in the spring Art Walk in Olympia.

Eventually, she’d like to offer classes in the adjoining studio on encaustic techniques. Until then, Van Tuinen encourages people to walk by and enjoy the work on view.

With a career that has taken her art work around the world and included in private, corporate and museum collections, the Pacific Northwest is lucky to have an artist that remains grounded and accessible to anyone interested to enjoy the voyages of her work.

For Additional Information
Van Tuinen Art
vantuinenart.com

BY HILLARY RYAN

RAGS Boutique- Online Sale 2021

Beautiful jewelry, creative clothing, and distinctive accessories from more than 55 artists of local, regional, and national acclaim will be offered for sale at the RAGS boutique-style show. This 27th annual RAGS Wearable Art Sale and gallery competition will take place online March 14-21, 2021, and an exclusive presale will be available to donors March 12–13. Besides its “Marketplace” sale, RAGS also features a juried gallery of one-of-a-kind items, with the winners in several categories earning cash awards. Artist give one third of sales to RAGS to benefit the YWCA’s life-saving domestic violence intervention programs.  

Run by an all-volunteer guild and supported by local businesses and individuals, 100 percent of RAGS proceeds go directly to the YWCA.

“What makes RAGS a distinctive event? The blend of art, fashion, shopping, and fundraising for an important cause,” explains RAGS chair Mandi Webster-Martin. “Domestic violence is an all too familiar issue in our community. All of us — loyal shoppers, inspired artists and committed volunteers — believe that it is important to fund programs offering hope to families affected by domestic violence. The RAGS event offers an opportunity to support not only the YWCA, but the artists as well. Our artists are small business owners and many of them rely on events as their main source of income. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events in 2020 were canceled. 2021 in-person events remain uncertain, so we are happy we can offer this online alternative.”  

For more information about the 27th annual RAGS Wearable Art Show, visit RAGSWearableArt.org.

Celebrating Craft Visionary Lloyd Herman

Lloyd Herman, one of the leading authorities on the contemporary craft movement, has won the admiration and respect of art institutions both across the country and internationally.  Herman’s experiences have most recently inspired Northwest Designer Craftsmen to produce an exciting new documentary about his life and work promoting various crafts.

It’s easy to see why Herman was selected for the next Living Treasures video documentary. He was instrumental in the opening of the Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and soon afterwards became the gallery’s first director. The gallery featured unique exhibitions that showcased pieces from a variety of materials and drew in large crowds. Lloyd Herman’s success at the Renwick Gallery also brought with it many opportunities for his shows to travel to other countries, making him an instant emissary for American craft to audiences worldwide. From there, the Renwick Gallery was able to broaden its program into an international venue for craft and design. Lloyd was energized by the challenges that came with establishing a premiere venue for contemporary craft, and from 1972 to 1986 presented over 100 exhibitions to achieve his goal of having contemporary craft join its rightful place among the Smithsonian’s family of museums.

And his career didn’t slow down from there. After his time as director of the Renwick Gallery, he said that he “hit the ground running with about three exhibition proposals that I was unable to do at the Renwick.” Over the next ten years his expertise was in constant demand, from helping the Cartwright Gallery in Vancouver B.C. to become the Canadian Craft Museum in 1990, to becoming the acting senior curator for the planned Museum of Glass in Tacoma in 1998.

The documentary on his life is scheduled to be released just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, in honor of where this craftsman’s legacy all began! For more information, visit the Northwest Designer Craftsmen at nwdesignercraftsmen.org.

Important Links

Northwest Designer Craftsmen: Living Treasures Project

nwdesignercraftsmen.org

America’s Automotive Trust has a New Partner

America’s Automotive Trust is pleased to announce that the America On Wheels Museum has been welcomed into the Trust as one its members along with LeMay—America’s Car Museum and the RPM Foundation. Additionally, The NB Center for American Automotive Heritage has joined the trust as an affiliate organization.

”We are delighted to formally affiliate with The NB Center for American Automotive Heritage to further our mutual vision to secure America’s automotive heritage,” said David Madeira, Vice Chairman of America’s Automotive Trust. “That vision is the life passion of Nicola Bulgari, Vice Chairman of Italian luxury retailer, Bvlgari. The Center is testament to his efforts to secure that vision.”  Renowned for his collection of American cars, Bulgari has served on the Trust’s Board since 2003. Creating this partnership between the Trust and The NB Center is a culmination of the Board’s considerable planning and discussion.

An equally important aspect of the agreement is bringing the America On Wheels Museum into the Trust as a member entity. America On Wheels broad focus on transportation and its strong regional presence in the Mid-Atlantic region provide an important addition to the Trust. “America On Wheels provides the Trust an important physical presence in the East,” said Madeira, “This has enabled us to more successfully pursue our mission to promote automotive heritage efforts.”

This new partnership means that membership with America’s Automotive Trust has just become more valuable! Partnerships with these two new entities mean more benefits, new opportunities and, of course, more cars. Visit the Trust’s website for more information.

“South Sound Selects” Exhibit Open at TAM

If you’re looking for an artistic way to unwind and enjoy the community, be sure to visit South Sound Selects: Community Choices from the Collection, an exhibition at the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM). This has been the first exhibition to open at TAM since it closed in March 2020, due to the pandemic, and it features 27 guest curators from all over the South Sound community. In addition, TAM provides a new virtual museum experience for digital audiences.

“As we planned for the Museum’s reopening, we wanted to create something deeply connected to our community. The concept for this exhibition continues our exploration of providing a platform for promoting multiple voices and interpretations of artwork. We want to challenge the assumption that only museum curatorial commentary can provide appropriate perspective and elucidation,” noted David F. Setford, TAM Executive Director. “In addition, we understand that some people may be uncomfortable visiting the Museum in person, we are also proud to announce that this exhibition will be our first virtual experience and provide digital audiences an opportunity to see a TAM exhibition as never before.”  


South Sound Selects: Community Choices from the Collection include community members, as well as TAM staff and volunteers. The 27 guest curators are: Charlotte Basch; Peter Berkley; Jalen Calhoun; Meghan Crandall; Jean Farrington; Jon French; Van Gachnang; Jeremy Gregory; Gracea Hilsen; Jacqueline Justice; Josiah Justice; Jamari Littlejohn; Michele Livernash; Sophie Marie; Mason Manoa; Cat Mason; Victoria Miles; Lee Nelson; Eric Pannell; Dana Peregrine; Stephen Rue; Jamika Scott; Najai Smith; Elaine Stefanowicz; TAM’s Teen Art Council; Erika Washington; Kyle Willingham.

Guest curators selected 37 artworks from TAM’s permanent collection that were made from the 1920s to the 2010s. The work selected ranges from local art stars like Qwalsius-Shaun Peterson (Puyallup) and Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip), to internationally known artists like Jacob Lawrence and Carrie Mae Weems.


TAM worked with local photographer Jason Comerford, of Jason Comerford Photography (https://jasoncomerford.com/), to make 3D scans of each gallery with a Matterport Pro2 3D camera. The series of 134-megapixel 3D scans were stitched together to create a virtual version of the exhibition in the gallery which can be complimented with additional text or resources. The program allows for digital visitors to move throughout the virtual space which will be accessible through the TAM website.

“Since the start of quarantine, we have seen many museums using this platform, though it was designed for real estate, architects, engineering, and retail,” noted Setford. “TAM is proud to be able to share this new virtual exhibition experience as we continue to explore new ways to create connections in our community through art.”

Currently, Museum hours are 10am to 5pm, Friday through Sunday. The Museum Store is open during these hours as well, and welcomes up to five visitors at a time. For an engaging, artistic experience, don’t miss the South Sound Selects exhibition!

Robert Cray comes to Federal Way PAEC

Blues is the foundation of the music of Grammy Award winner Robert Cray. But it’s nearly impossible to limit his talent to one genre when his music is also influenced by traditional American rock, soul, jazz, gospel, funk and R&B.

“When I first started playing guitar, I wanted to be George Harrison. That is, until I heard Jimi Hendrix,” explains Cray. “After that, I wanted to be Albert Collins and Buddy Guy and B.B. King. And then there are singers like O.V. Wright and Bobby Blue Bland. It’s all mixed up in there. You just never know. I always attribute it to the music we grew up listening to and the radio back in the ’60s. It’s pretty wide open. It’s hard to put a tag on it.”

With five Grammys won, 15 nominations received, millions of record sales worldwide, and thousands of sold-out performances, Cray is considered one of the greatest guitarists of his generation. In 2011 he was credited by Rolling Stone with reinventing the blues with the release of his Strong Persuader album in 1986. Cray’s “distinct razor sharp guitar playing” on that album, the magazine wrote, “introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues.”

That same year, the rock blues icon was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, making him one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honor. The Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made the blues timeless through performance, documentation, and recording.

Robert Cray will bring his trademark sound and distinct style to the stage at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. With state-of-the-art acoustics, this intimate venue, seating only 700, is the perfect place to showcase Cray’s smooth vocals and expressive guitar solos. by Julie Leydelmeyer

For ticket information:

253.835.7010

Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center

31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S

Federal Way, WA 98003

Visit www.fwpaec.org

Tuner Cars Glow at America’s Car Museum

Seventeen cutting-edge passenger vehicles make up a new exhibit at America’s Car Museum, called “Tuners@ACM.” These modern cars are lightweight, personalized, and very technologically advanced. Tuner cars – just like the hot rods that preceded them in the 1940s and ’50s – have a history steeped in customization of engines, as well as chassis modification, suspension and structure, interiors, paint, and body. Changes range from mild to wild depending on the owner of the tuner car. Each owner is able to use the vehicle to express their own creativity and uniqueness.

“History has a way of repeating itself,” says the ACM Curator of Exhibitory, Scott Keller. “Just like early hot-rodders, the tuner subculture is primarily driven by young enthusiasts who look to convey their individuality through their automobiles.”

The tuner subculture Keller mentions, which traces its roots back to the 1970s, has since become a multibillion dollar industry and a beloved pastime for countless auto buffs. Tuners@ACM features some of the hottest examples of tuners– like APR’s RLMS, a 2018 VW Golf R homage to Touring Car Racing recently nominated as a Toyo Tires Top Build at SEMA.

“The automobile has ingrained itself as part of our society’s culture for more than 100 years,” Keller says. “Regardless of the canvas, the one thing that transcends time is that a car can truly be a work of art, limited only by the owner’s creativity. We are thrilled to be able to put such a display together for our visitors.”

The vehicles presented in Tuners@ACM are:

  • 1971 Datsun 240z
  • 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-X
  • 1972 Datsun 510
  • 1978 Toyota Cressida
  • 1982 Nissan 180sx
  • 1983 Mitsubishi Starion
  • 1992 Honda Civic Si
  • 1992 Mazda MX-5
  • 1999 Honda Civic Type-R
  • 2000 Audi S4
  • 2000 BMW M3 Wagon
  • 2003 Mitsubishi EVO
  • 2006 VW GTI
  • 2008 Nissan 350z
  • 2011 Subaru WRX STI
  • 2015 Nissan GTR
  • 2018 VW Golf R

For more information about other exhibits at America’s Car Museum, visit americascarmuseum.org.

Pantages Theater Returns to Historic Glory

Tacoma not only creates it also celebrates its artistic history.

Slated for the wrecking ball in the 1980s, the historic Pantages Theater located in downtown Tacoma had seen better days. Built in 1918 for vaudeville king Alexander Pantages as part of his theater empire, the beloved theater was in deep decline and neglect. Demonstrating true Tacoma grit, citizens rallied together and saved the performance space that became part of the City of Tacoma and later the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

Although the loss of this historic treasure had been adverted, recent patrons, staff and performers have all known that there was much more that needed to be done. Peeling paint, sound from the street and uncomfortable seats were indicators that changes needed to be made.

Completed this November, the most recent renovation returns the inside of the Pantages much closer to its original state and also consists of updates for the safety and comfort of today’s audiences and performers.

From the new color scheme, based on the forensic research of the 22 layers of paint, to the addition of rich decoration to the private boxes that feature rosettes and shells, the Pantages has returned to it’s former glory. Details that had previously been difficult to see have been revealed and the architectural elements have been enhanced.

Modern attendees will appreciate features such as wider seats, cup holders, a new center aisle, fewer stairways, new handrails and lighting. What patrons won’t see are the new seismic and safety updates that will preserve the theater’s structure and integrity should an earthquake hit. Additionally, the acoustics of the space have been greatly improved with the elimination of the carpeting that previously absorbed sound and newly built floors.

With the busy holiday season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to see for yourself the glorious Pantages while attending a live performance.  Come down to the Theater District and celebrate! Hilary Ryan

Image By: Justin John Ryan

 

A Centennial Celebration for Tacoma Little Theatre

Back in October 1918 a group of Tacoma residents gathered to form the local chapter of the Drama League of America. Its purpose was to study and promote theater and build community in the burgeoning city. The same year, the Port of Tacoma, Tacoma Kiwanis and the Tacoma News Tribune were established. So the civic-focused theater group was clearly part of something special that was transforming the town.

As the oldest community theater west of the Mississippi, Tacoma Little Theatre has been part of the lives of many local families over several generations. Throughout its history, the theater has been the starting ground for many local performers, including the magician Ray Gamble and the rock band Alice in Chains.

Recently the theater has received national and regional acclaim. In 2016 its production of Second Samuel by Pamela Parker was recognized by the American Association of Community Theatre as one of two outstanding productions in Washington state. And this year, TLT has been awarded the AMOCAT award for achievements by an arts organization.

Looking forward, TLT’s managing director Chris Serface notes some big changes are coming. “We are currently one-third of the way through our theater improvement plan, which includes new seats, new carpet and updated lighting and sound equipment. Most recently, we purchased an adjacent building, which has given the theater much-needed rehearsal and storage space as well as room to build sets.”

In addition, the theater’s lobby, which was state-of-the-art in the 1950s, will be the focus of an upcoming capital campaign to expand and update the space as well as renovate the restrooms.

“Tacoma Little Theatre exists because of our community,” says Serface. “We want everyone to feel welcome here. With continual support we hope to be sharing theater and creating community connections for decades to come.”

Join the celebration of this beloved, locally focused theater by seeing a show or two this season. Make plans to attend the 100th anniversary celebration in February 2019. The evening event will feature dinner along with songs and performances from the 1920s and ’30s. Tacoma’s oldest theater is a treasured gem. It reminds us of the power of arts to transform and unite us all.

HILLARY RYAN

For Additional Information
Tacoma Little Theatre
tacomalittletheatre.com

Experience the Wonder of the Nutcracker

As the holiday season gets under way, families are often looking for fun experiences that can become annual traditions. Going to see The Tacoma City Ballet perform The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut can be a great way to build enthusiasm for the holidays, while also introducing children to the joys of a live show experience.

The Tacoma City Ballet, under the leadership of Miss Erin Ceragioli, Executive and Artistic Director, is celebrating its 35th production of one of the most famous ballets in the world, The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut. This timeless holiday classic, first presented in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia, has entertained generations for well over a century.

The story of The Nutcracker, told in its entirety with the addition of The Tale of The Hard Nut, features the historical scenery and costumes first seen by audiences in 1892. Tacoma City Ballet creates a magnificent production filled with spectacular dancing, live orchestral music by the Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra, grand scenery and lavish costumes, sure to enchant your entire family this holiday season.

If taking kids to the ballet where the story is told entirely through dance – no talking or singing — seems daunting, here are a couple ways to prepare. The Nutcracker ballet is based on the story written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816 and there are plenty of picture books. Head to your local library or bookstore and find a version you like. Making The Nutcracker part of your bedtime story routine in the weeks leading up to the show will help your child become familiar with the story and be ready to see it interpreted through dance. Another thing you can do before you go to the show is to familiarize your child with the musical score. The Nutcracker ballet music was written by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a Russian composer renowned for his ballet scores. Download the soundtrack and play it often – in the car or during playtime.

Take your child to a Sugar Plum Tea prior to the performance for a snack and an opportunity to interact with dancers in costume — bring your camera — creating a connection that carries over to the performance and adds to the enjoyment of the experience for your child.

Plan to arrive to the ballet early so you can look through the program together and read the synopsis. This will let you know exactly how the Tacoma City Ballet is interpreting and presenting the story. Getting there early also allows you to enjoy the atmosphere of the venue.

Who knows, this could be the start of a magical holiday tradition to be carried on for generations to come. Happy holidays!

KELLY LENIHAN

Six performances 

  • Sat, Dec 15, 2pm
  • Sun, Dec 16, 2pm
  • Thu, Dec 20, 7:30pm
  • Fri, Dec 21, 7:30pm
  • Sat, Dec 22, 2pm
  • Sun, Dec 23, 2pm

Sugar Plum Teas

  • Sat, Dec 15, 1pm
  • Sun, Dec 16, 1pm
  • Sat, Dec 22, 1pm
  • Sun, Dec 23, 1pm

tickets

Federal Way Performing Arts & Events Center (PAEC)

31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way South, Federal Way, WA 98003

box Office: 253-835-7010, online: fwpaec.org

 

Nutcracker Suite for the littlest ones

December 8 and 9, 2pm

Broadway center for Performing Arts

901 Broadway, Tacoma

Box office: 253-591-5894, online: tacomaartslive.com