A handpicked collection of local artists will gather at The Mix on July 1 for an evening of food, music, revelry and most of all – art appreciation. A total of 14 artists working in a variety of media will have their art on view and for sale, ranging from paintings and photography to jewelry and sculpture. The public is invited to come out to enjoy the evening and take some art home to help Tacoma maintain its vibrant creative scene as some commercial galleries in town close their doors for good.
Titled and themed “THE END,” Tacoma artist Julian Peña is organizing the event. About the theme, Peña said: “It contradicts the exploding art culture in Tacoma. While galleries are closing, there’s still a thriving art community. The reason why I wanted to do this group show is to bring the community together to show that anyone can sell art professionally – they just have to work hard at it.”
Peña noted the recent closure of Tacoma’s William Traver Gallery as just one example of the ebb and flow of commercial art galleries in the city. Through events like “THE END,” Peña said he’s aiming to show that art remains alive and well in T-Town. “It just needs to be brought out more. The economy is really affecting the arts business, so it’s up to the artists and anyone into the arts to keep pushing forward and challenging Tacoma to promote the arts.”
Peña said that the concept of “THE END” also gives the participating artists a broad freedom to work with, and during this month’s Art at The Mix on June 27 the community will be given the chance to see how the artists interpreted this theme prior to the July 1 “THE END” event. On the last Wednesday of each month, Peña holds Art at The Mix when anyone can come join in to create art, see art and talk about art. This month’s will be live critique of the art that will show at “THE END.”
“It will be nice for the artists themselves to get insight into being in the art business,” Peña explained. “It will give them encouragement and motivation to do art professionally if they want to.”
Artists showing at “THE END” are: Julian Peña, Arrie Arredondo, Anique Zimmer, Daniel Sandoval, Jordan Renteria, Heather Rowland, Dani Neitzelt, Sarah Pacino, K.T. Breen, Tanita Rosscady, Kelsi Finney, Shelly Ann Snyder, Tim Mansen and Paige DuCharme Pettibon.
During the event, there will be a nice selection of free specialty cheeses and artisan cured meats to nibble on, along with $2 wine tastings. DJ Guldi will spin music that is art gallery appropriate with a contemporary vibe.
In addition to holding Art at The Mix every month, Peña dedicates the majority of his time to his own art education and promoting other artists in town. Just this year he won South Sound Magazine’s 2012 Best Artist of the South Sound and last year he won Best Painting at Tacoma Community College's annual Student Show at The Gallery on campus. Peña has earned six scholarships (four of which are art scholarships), participated in several group exhibitions, and already organized his own solo exhibition “CMYK” at The Mix in 2011.
“THE END” is open to guests 21 and over only. The Mix is located at 635 St. Helens Ave. Learn more about Peña, his art and his efforts to really Tacoma’s artistic troops at www.julianpena.com.