I remember taking my daughter to Never Never Land at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma when she was young. It was run down at that point, but we enjoyed it in its woodland setting. This evening our family took the Once In A Lifetime Underground Tacoma Flashlight Tour, which was offered by Angela Jossy http://www.theangelajossy.com/artbus.htm. The tour included several wonderful sites including the entrance to the underground tunnel, the soon to be filled under the sidewalk space and several historic buildings. But to me, the highlight was the chance to see the Never Never Land figures again. They are stored in the basement of a historic building near fireman’s park and I have a vague impression that the exact location is a secret. The smell of basement combined with the layer of dust provided an eerie vibe and dear daughter was more than ready to go outside, but I was happy to stretch out the time and examine each figure.
The park was created in 1964 and by the late 2000s most of the figurines had been removed. The last of the structures in the park (the stack of books entrance and the shoe/slide) were demolished in the fall of 2010.
Dear husband and I arrived in Tacoma about 23 years ago today. I remember that we had a not very good Thanksgiving dinner on the road from our prior home in Texas, so I might be off a couple of days, but not much. One of the first things we saw as we drove into downtown, through a very different from today Tacoma, was this cheerful, colorful sculpture titled Locomotive Monument. The artist, Douglas Charles Granum, created the piece in 1988 to reflect Tacoma’s railroad heritage.
This Quetzalcoatl Mask in Tacoma’s Theater District (on Broadway between South 11th and South 13th) is a bronze, stainless steel and granite sculpture that represents an Aztec God (‘the feathered serpent or the rain god Tlaloc). There is another sculpture on the other side of the post. The artist is Doug Granum (http://www.douglasgranum.com/). He was also the sculptor for the Locomotive Monument, also downtown.
Wright’s Park is very lovely this time of year with all of the fall colors, though it was breezy and rather cool. Today I took a stroll through the park and stopped to admire the 1978 bronze sculpture titled Trilogy by artist Larry Anderson. It is located on an island in a duck pond. Larry Anderson graduated from Tacoma’s Lincoln High School.
Casa de Leche is located in the Gold Parking Lot near one of the main entrances to the Puyallup Fairgrounds. My Spanish is rusty (or almost non existant), but it seems to me that it translate to the house of milk. The fun cow shaped sculpture was created by Bruce and Shannon Anderson and is part of Puyallup’s Arts Downtown’s Permanent Art Collection. The Anderson’s website can be found here http://www.andersenstudios.com/index.html
It was a lovely day to walk Ruston Way with three of my friends. Along the way I stopped to photo the Tacoma Fallen Firefighters Memorial near the Lobster Shop on Ruston Way. The sculpture is called “Fully Involved” by Larry Perkins and it was dedicated in honor of those firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty in 2001. There are twelve names on the memorial with the most recent being from 1963. A plaque near the memorial tells me that the first volunteer fire company was formed in Tacoma in 1880 and the first paid fire department in 1889. The first African American firefighter joined the force in 1972 and the first woman firefighter in 1981.
At the corner of East Main and 3rd Street just off of the downtown area of Puyallup is Gandy Dancer by sculpture Jim Mattern. In doing a little research, it appears that the art piece had been in Port Orchard or that there are two of them. I’m betting on it having been moved. It is part of the Arts Downtown project. The sculpture features a rail worker and is well placed next to a rail line.
Three intertwining spires create a radiant and elegant design inspired by the early history of settlement in the Lakewood area. Speaking of his inspiration, artist Mark Calderon said, “To me [the campfire] represents the center for food, warmth and community – in a way, the hub of the settler’s existence. I want my sculpture to be attractive in the same way—a place that is comfortable and enlivening where people may gather and where community forms.”
I didn’t set out to make the Kitakyushu, Japan Monument at 3691 Rustin Way my new place of the day, but I found myself driving along Rustin Way enjoying the lovely weather and it just seemed like the thing to do! Kitakyushu was established as one of Tacoma’s sister cities in 1984 and this shiny sculpture was presented in 1989. The art piece shows a map with both Tacoma and Kitakyushu with an anchor in the middle.
Looking over information from the Port (see the link below) I found the imports/exports interesting. Our biggest export to Kitakyushu is cereals with a value of $203.1 million. The other top four exports are inorganic chemical and rare earth metals ($198.2 million), prepared vegetables, fruit, nuts ($167 million), oil seeds, miscellaneous grain, seed, fruit ($160.6 million) and meat and edible meat offal ($141.2 million).
Their largest import to us is vehicles and parts with a value of $2.4 billion and the next four are industrial machinery ($1.7 billion), electric machinery and electronics ($823.3 million), optic, photo, medical and surgical instruments ($276.9 million) and articles of iron or steel ($200.9 million). Seems a little lopsided to me!
After a quick lunch today in Olympia, I forced everybody to wait for me while I ran over to snap this photo! The concrete statue is called The Kiss and it is by Richard S. Beyer. The statue is located in Percival Landing.