Category Archives: Art — there is art here!

Floating Life Forms, Art in Tacoma

It has been a summer for seal. Every time I have dined on the waterfront, I see their little heads pop up. When I took my very first kayaking adventure, there was a harbor seal nearby. And there they were at the Vancouver Aquarium. And yesterday I found their likeness on some new to me art titled Floating Life forms at 1515 Dock Street. The seals are joined with other aquatic life in a series of six bronze balls by Tacoma artist Ed Kroupa. The News Tribune article tells me that “The Tacoma Arts Commission in 2012 selected Kroupa through its Public Art: In Depth program, which teaches local artists how to make art for the public rather than solely go off their own creative vision.”

The craftsmanship is really worth seeing in person and I love that my city values the arts. There is a fascinating video showing how the art was made and more of Ed Kroupa’s works can be found here.

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Art in the Hilltop

I went back to the Red Elm Café to visit with an old friend and now a new friend. While there I noticed this terrific artwork on the wall of the Basket Nook On MLK Way between South 10th and South 11th. I suspect that the art is temporary until somebody develops the lot and considering the good things that are happening I’m guessing new construction will happen sooner than later. But for now I’m enjoying it.

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Dear Daughter got hitched: Deer Lake Park, Burnaby

Dear daughter and her fella needed a marriage license, so much of Monday, June 26, was devoted to paperwork, but we still took some time to check out Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. I had it in my head that I would see large topiary in the shape of animals, but we never did find the large bird I was expecting. For the record, that was my fault for not being ready with a map and not having wifi. We did get a glimpse of a topiary carousal horse and found this great insect.  The joy of the park was the stunning view of part of a city skyline over the lake and the lush greenery. While strolling around we also we enjoyed the very friendly Canada geese with their gawky teenagers (in geese years). And there was some delightful art and unusual plants.

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Dear daughter got hitched: The World’s Largest Tin Soldier

The Google Maps review said “If you’re looking for a large tin man or a fan of roadside attractions then this won’t disappoint“. I mean, really… there are people that wouldn’t go out of their way to see the World’s Largest Tin Soldier? Dear husband and I found the art piece in New Westminster, Canada along a quayside walk. The soldier is about 32′ in height and was constructed by the Sheet Metal Workers International Association. It holds the Guiness World Records Book title for the largest tin soldier. As important as the soldier is the lovely boardwalk area, restaurant and stores surrounding it.

There are also some photos of the surrounding area in the lovely evening light. We also stopped at the Mid Century Modern Home (mid-century modern furniture and other items) and had a delectable meal at The Boathouse.


 

An adventure with the Big Duck

So the World’s Largest Rubber Duck floated into Tacoma this weekend and of course I had to go see it. So I grabbed dear daughter and her friend and off we went. I was expecting a difficult time getting to the duck which is part of the Festival of Sails, but it was a breeze. We found a marvelous parking spot in the free parking garages near Freighthouse Square and the Link came along right away. We hopped off at the Union Station stop and walked down to the waterfront. There was a short line to gain entry to the metal walkway to the docks, but I had advanced tickets, so that went well too. We had a grand time exploring most of the historic ships and taking photos of the huge duck “Mama Duck” which is six stories high. Doing some research I learned that the duck was created by artist Florentijn Hofman from The Netherlands. In addition to US stops it has also appeared in Australia, Taiwan, China, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and elsewhere.

Really it was a great deal of fun. When we went to leave we found a long line to go up the metal walkway, but the line wasn’t moving. The word quickly spread that there was an electrical concern (maybe fire) and the ramp, which was the only way on or off the docks, was closed. The ships on display were without power, making me concerned for the big duck which was set up with a electric propeller fan. So while most folks waited patiently in line, the three of us went back to explore some more and hang out in comfort. In the end the city’s fire boat pulled up at the other end of the dock providing a pathway (evacuation route) to the shore, though that jump at the end was a pretty big one! Happily there were some nice guys to offer a helping hand.


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Natives at the Pacific Bonsai Museum

Dear daughter and I went to revisit the Himalayan Blue Poppies at the Weyerhaeuser Rhododendron Gardens in Federal Way before they completely faded away for the season. In the United States, these poppies only grow in parts of New England, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, so we are lucky.

While we were they we checked out the adjoining Pacific Bonsai Museum, which we had been through a half dozen times. This time though there was a really great exhibit titled Natives. Per the brochure “each display in Natives is a composition of four artists — the bonsai artists, the kusamono artist (Young Choe), the ceramicist (Victoria Chamberlain) and the visual artist (Iuna Tinta)”. In case you don’t know (I didn’t) a kusamono artist creates potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique pots or trays. So each display has a bonsai, a companion kusamono (accent), the ceramic art (often using minerals from the depicted region) and a visual piece of art, all of which are centered around a particular place. It is a marvelous exhibit and worth some real time. The exhibit runs from April 8- October 8, 2017 and more information can be found here.

And, of course, there are some photos of the blue poppies and other foliage from the gardens.

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Lewis and Clark, End of the Trail in Seaside Oregon

The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled 4,000 miles over 18 months to reach this place on the Pacific Ocean. This statue by Stanley Wanlass commemorates Lewis and Clark as well as Seaman, the Newfoundland dog that traveled with the expedition. At first I thought it odd that the statue faced away from most of the traffic, but of course it makes sense, Lewis and Clark are looking west!


It was our first time in Seaside Oregon and dear husband proclaimed it much like Atlantic City, NJ. Well, perhaps the Atlantic City years ago prior to gambling being legal there! The downtown area was full of stores, restaurants and hotels. Even the beach had a good number of folks on it, though they were sensibly wearing coats and rain gear. Mostly I just walked since I had our dog, Lilly, with me and she isn’t welcome in the establishments for the most part.

 

Artist & Craftsman Supply Tacoma

The Artist & Craftsman Supply Store at 612 St. Helens in the Antique Row area of Tacoma opened in November 2016. Dear husband and I finally made our way down there and really we were very impressed. Dear husband has been in many an art supply store, but he declared this to be the best stocked that he has ever seen. We picked up some Easter basket stuffers, a book, some paint and some photo-transfer sheets. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and I’m positive we’ll be back.

Artists & Craftsman is an employee owned company with  many stores, mostly along the country’s coasts. There is a website for the company. The Tacoma Artist & Craftsman store has a Facebook Page with information on upcoming events and sales. Educators receive a 10% discount.

The building, constructed in 1928, was originally the Wagner Motors Building with Silas E. Nelsen as the architect. It was the dealership for Studebaker – Erskine. It continued to have an automobile orientation until 1949 when it became a carpet distributor. I remember it being the Mandarin Antiques Store. Artist and Craftsman occupies most of the lower level of the building.

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Update one week later. It finally stopped raining for a few minutes and I got a photo of the outside of the building.

 

Principia, the world’s largest Foucault pendulum

The Oregon Convention Center features some wonderful public art and one of my favorites is Principia, the world’s largest Foucault Pendulum. The Convention Center’s art guide says this about the piece “The dramatic Foucalt pendulum hangs from the north tower and swings across a 40’ halo of suspended gilded rays. Directly below, a 40’ blue terrazzo floor is inlaid with brass rings and colored stone “planets” depicting a fantasy solar system.”. It is a beautiful creation and I suspect that many people don’t notice it gently swaying over head nor the terrazzo floor underfoot.

Very short videos can be seen here and here. A brief explanation of the history and importance of the Foucault Pendulum can be found on Wikipedia. A fun way to see the art is to go to the convention center’s 360 page and look at the Exhibit Space, Pre-conference Halls A & B.


Holladay Park, Portland

Holladay Park at the NE 11th Ave & Holladay St. in Portland, Oregon is named after its creator, Benjamin Holladay who was “a sharpster, a con man, and a rake” according to the City of Portland Parks and Recreation Department. The park occupies an entire city block and features three cast-bronze sculptures by artist Tad Savinar and a spouting fountain (I just got caught once!) designed by designed by Tim Clemen and Murase Associates.

There is a video of the fountains here.

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