Saturday, November 26, 2011
Recently I had the opportunity to do an art installation in an empty store front in downtown Tacoma. If you're not from this area, you might not know that Tacoma and Seattle have a little rivalry going. Seattlites think we have the market cornered on all things urbane and cultural, while Tacoma is a simple industrial city. To put it bluntly, Seattlites can be big snobs sometimes. Some of that elitism must have worn off on me a little because I have to say I was surprised (pleasantly) by the amount of support the arts receive in Tacoma. Every time I turned a corner downtown, there was more public art to see. It was great to spend some time down there and wander around downtown and rediscover a great city.
As for the installation itself, the experience was a good one, but also stressful. Stressful because I had to squeeze it in on the weekend after working all week at my new and somewhat overwhelming job. I have to say the experience made me want to work even harder for the days when I will be able to support myself solely through my art, until then there will be a lot of squeezing things in on the weekend. When I arrived at the space, I was temporarily taken aback by how raw it was. I'm not totally sure what the space was in its past life because pretty much everything was stripped away. It was dark and dusty and I had no idea how I was going to hang my trees from ceilings that were at least 20 feet high. Even the wallboard was ripped off the walls, exposing solid concrete, which made drilling into them impossible. At that moment I was so grateful that I had a parent with me who morally supports this craziness. My mom and I were able to find a solution, but building that solution took an entire day itself. After that first day I was beset by a streak of annoying inconveniences that taken by themselves wouldn't be too bad, but altogether they set me back quite a bit. Ran out of this, couldn't find the right that, that sort of stuff. But, as you can see from the pictures, I managed to finish it and I learned so much from the experience.
The piece is entitled "Infringing Forest" and is about 11 feet high and 15 feet wide. The trees are acetone image transfers on rice paper. The figures on the ground are a person, a raven, a bear, and a chipmunk, made from clay. The sun is made from fallen leaves. If you happen to be around Tacoma and want to see my installation or are interested in seeing the other great work that is a part of Spaceworks Tacoma, comment or send me an email and I'll give the address.