In the retail equivalent of ice skating’s double-axel, triple-Salchow, local design store Matter is making a bold leap, changing its name to Minka, and starting its own eponymous product line. “It makes sense,” says Lisa Kinoshita, who co-owns the store with new business and creative partner, Nicholas Nyland. “The store has undergone recent changes, with co-founders Jeff Libby and Adrienne Wicks departing to pursue business in a bigger building that will also house their woodshop. Steve Lawler [another co-founder] is moving his work studio into their space, where he will also have a dedicated showroom for his rePly Furniture.” At Minka, Kinoshita and Nyland will continue to sell the artisanal furnishings, jewelry and craft they are known for plus new offerings. Kinoshita has designed jewelry under the name Moss + Mineral (originally, Mineral) for 14 years; Nyland is introducing a new housewares and furnishings line called “Object Lesson. The two plan to join forces to produce” a Minka line of “high-quality, artist-designed objects for the home, and to wear. “Our sensibilities really complement each other, it’s exciting,” said Kinoshita.
To celebrate, Minka is throwing a Meet the Makers Popup this Saturday, June 17, 4 to 8 p.m. Nyland has activated the upstairs gallery with his high-pop aesthetic: huge, hand-painted floor pillows (think Matisse in Venice), Moroccan throw rugs, primitive candlesticks, and ceramic plates that will light up any table.
He is a fine artist whose work has been shown at Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park, and many other venues. He has a showing of 2-D paintings on canvas at Minka, in addition to the painted-pillow seating.
Downstairs, Minka welcomes new artists: inside the art vitrine (that’s a fancy name for display case), a dramatic dungeness crab fight is being staged by Tacoma sculptor and public artist, Ed Kroupa. The bronze crab sculptures are extraordinarily detailed, pincers poised for battle.
Meet the Makers Popup will also feature one-off jewelry by local designers. Minka’s new wearable art section features architectural metalsmithing by Jennifer Lawrence Bennett; “chunkalicious” ethnographic jewelry by Harriet McNamara; mod, loomed-and-beaded neck rings by Saya Moriyasu; urban jewels by “Best of Seattle Magazine” star, Regina Chang, and a “smattering” of pieces by Kinoshita.
One-of-a-kind furniture dominates the main floor artists include Steve Lawler, Carlos Taylor-Swanson, Splice/Scott Cormier, Scott Neste and James Haskett. Minka has an impressive showing of ceramics by Melissa Balch and Andrew Deem, paintings by Jeremy Mangan, traditional prints by Arts & Crafts Press, and topographic prints by “Tim + April.”
Minka is located at 821 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-961-5220. Hours: Friday noon to 5, Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.
Dave R. Davison, firstname.lastname@example.org