Arts & Entertainment: Diverse art reflects the character of a city

This is the third in a series spotlighting portable artworks recently acquired by the City of Tacoma for the Municipal Art Collection. A diverse selection of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works by 15 regional artists was selected for purchase through 1 percent for art funds. (Parts one and two in this series can be found in the Jan. 4 and Jan. 11 editions of Tacoma Weekly.)

Bret Lyon created “Movement No. 39,” part of his Piano Series, after receiving a commission “to make a piece of furniture out of a family’s treasured piano. It was during that process of taking the piano apart that I started experimenting with the interesting innards of the piano.”

Reclaimed and recycled material holds a special interest for the artist: “In 2000, I began a series of work using scraps of eliminated items from the process of making art. These same items were then reintroduced into the process from which they were eliminated.” The result: art that is equally or more compelling in its second life than its first.

In “Watching the Watcher” by Thomas Stream, a brilliantly colored raptor in an ornate headgear is an allegory for the Aleut hunter.

“The Aleut headgear was believed to have magical powers that could transform the wearer into a mighty hunter. It hid his human identity, and at the same time endowed him with special vision. He could transform himself into an animal to create a bond of intimacy and a relationship with the animal.” Stream said the concept of transformation from human to animal through the magical hat illustrates how the Aleutian people and wild creatures share powerful qualities of strength, sensitivity, playfulness and resourcefulness to thrive in a sometimes-harsh environment.

Close observation of the qualities of water and light resulted in Eva Skold Westerlind‘s photograph, “Lake Washington 23, Anableps Series.” “The perspective from the surface of the lake and the distorted forms that water and light create fascinate me,” she said. She captured the image of Lake Washington from Denny Park in Seattle.

“Anteroom,” an oil-on-canvas by Jennifer Frohwerk, is part of a series exploring the theme of how individuals relate to physical sites undergoing construction.

“The female figure is based on [a] friend who modeled for me at her apartment located in the South Lake Union neighborhood in Seattle. She is contemplating the new condo construction across the street. The scaffolding is visible outside the window.”

Reprinted with permission of Tacoma Arts.


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