Capital Mall Unveils New Large-Scale Art Mural

Capital Mall makes a big statement with the installation of a 1,400 square-foot outdoor mural between Century Theatres and Old Navy. Representing Capital Mall’s commitment to the local community, this mural, appropriately titled “Water & Land,” highlights the bountiful natural resources found in Thurston County. Specifically, the South-facing wall depicts ingredients found in water (oysters, halibut, salmon, kelp, etc.), and the East-facing wall depicts ingredients foraged from the land (strawberries, mushrooms, honey, etc.). This imagery is illustrated in loose, gestural graphics, patterns and overlays, with an organic, handmade “makers” feel. The colors are bold, bright and modern, yet refined to a limited color palette with slight vintage feel. The composition relies heavily on layering and interaction as the artist wanted to reflect its vibrant Pacific Northwest-theme.


Washington state native, Sarah Robbins, designed and painted the mural in early September. “Art has a huge role in a building community. I think there’s ways that it can bring people together,” explains Robbins about the project. With the launch of the center’s LIVE LOC-OLY initiative, Capital Mall’s goal is to highlight locally owned stores, showcase restaurants using locally sourced ingredients, and provide space for unique uses such as the recent grand opening of the newest branch of Timberland Regional Library. This community focused mural colorfully aligns with that vision.

“We are listening to our local community and their needs,” explains Stefanie Cicerello, marketing and business development manager at Capital Mall. “We love providing shopping and dining opportunities to our community and constantly strive to make that experience enjoyable. One of the ways we can do this is to showcase local artists and take a holistic approach to our role in the community. This mural celebrates the agriculture and flavor profiles of Olympia and the surrounding area.”

About the Artist:
Sarah Robbins is an illustrator, painter and designer living and working in Seattle, WA. As a Jill-of-all trades when it comes to art, she is not tied to any particular style or medium. She uses imagery, patterns, typography and color to create work, and strives to make something unique and custom for every project. Sarah prides herself on making classic pieces that can work on multiple levels straddling the line between specificity and ambiguity, often allowing room for people to interject their own thoughts and experiences into the work. Sarah believes it is important to create pieces that can amplify the voices and stories of others, not just her own.

For more information
Website: https://sarah-robbins.com
Instagram: @sarah_robbins

For more information about Capital Mall, visit our website at www.capitalmallolympia.com.

Imagine Van Gogh: Coming to the Tacoma Armory

In 2008, Annabelle Mauger crafted her very first immersive Van Gogh exhibition and, in the last few years, the finalized project has become an incredible hit. Imagine Van Gogh, the Original Exhibition in Image Totale© sold over 500,000 tickets across Canada in 2020 alone. The exhibit will be presenting stunning renditions of Van Gogh’s classic artwork in over 200 of his paintings brought to life in a breathtaking immersive experience. Mauger and Julien Baron, renowned for their work at Cathédrale d’Images in Les Baux-de-Provence, France, are no strangers to the immersive art world — in fact, they are pioneers of the medium. Since 2016, the duo have developed and expanded Image Totale© to create a truly emotionally cathartic experience for visitors.

In order to create such a unique exhibition, Mauger and Baron used warping techniques to adapt the surface to the projected image, releasing the art being trapped inside of the canvas. “The choice of images, the way they are positioned, their rhythm and their association with the music all compose this original creation conceived by Annabelle Mauger and developed with Julien Baron.”

Online reservations for Imagine Van Gogh are encouraged, as admission is based on timed-entry and tickets are sure to sell out quickly! Each ticket is valid for one person, with no re-entry permitted and they are nonrefundable. The exhibition is open at the Tacoma Armory from December 18, 2021 to January 30, 2022, with shortened hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

For Additional Information and Tickets
tacomaartslive.org

MARTINA PRESTON

New Orleans Cajun & Zydeco: Shake Down the House in Olympia

As we usher in the colder weather, things are heating up at the Washington Center for Performing Arts with a double bill performance featuring the best in Cajun and Zydeco music on October 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience bring the sounds of New Orleans to Olympia. “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!”

For the past 40 years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has been making some of the most potent and popular Cajun music on the planet. Born out of the rich Acadian ancestry of its members, and created and driven by bandleader Michael Doucet, BeauSoleil is notorious for bringing even the most staid audience to its feet. Their distinctive sound derives from the distilled spirits of New Orleans jazz, blues rock, folk, swamp pop, Zydeco, country and bluegrass. Since becoming the first Cajun band to win a Grammy with “L’amour Ou La Folie” and then a second Grammy in 2010 with “Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,” BeauSoleil has garnered many accolades, including twelve Grammy nominations.

Similarly, Terrance Simien , two-time Grammy award-winning artist and eighth generation Louisiana Creole, has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is – and is not. Simien, and his talented band, has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. He and his bandmates have performed over 9000 concerts and toured millions of miles to over 45 countries during their eventful career.

The combination of these two award-winning bands proves to be a real barn burner, bringing attendees out of their seats for clapping and stomping to a night of musical delights that will long be remembered.

For Additional Information and Tickets
washingtoncenter.org

MORGAN LUCAS

From Musicals to Backcountry Bayou – Live Performance is Back!

Steep Canyon Rangers

For months, the stage lights have been dark, the green rooms have been empty, and box offices have stood silent as performing arts venues were closed during the pandemic. Actors, singers, musicians, dancers, magicians and performers of all kinds got creative and offered virtual plays and performances, but they were all simply passing the time until they could be with a live audience again. Come fall we can all rejoice in the return to in-person performances throughout the South Sound. From musicals to backcountry bayou, live performance is back!

In Olympia, the Harlequin will be performing three plays in repertory this fall— Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, and Until the Flood by Pulitzer Prize Finalist Dael Orlandersmith. At the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Boogie from the Bayou, a New Orleans zydeco musical performance is scheduled for late October.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Tacoma’s offerings include Steep Canyon Rangers, a Grammy Award-winning bluegrass sextet, and the play Tribes, which won the 2012 New York Drama Critics Circle Award presented by Tacoma Arts Live. At the grand dame of Tacoma’s theatre scene, the Tacoma Little Theatre, you can find two classics: Terms of Endearment and Clue: On Stage. In Tacoma’s West End they are warming up their vocal cords and stretching out their hipscs-inspired production called All Shook Up, a modern rock ’n roll take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Just to the north, the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center will be presenting a wide array of acts including performances by Irish balladeers The High Kings, Grammy-winning guitarist and singer Robert Cray, country music singer Josh Gracin, and classic rock cover band The Hit Men.

Robert Cray

Circle the weekend of November 5 and 6 to make sure you get a seat to enjoy the feeling of shared laughter. Tacoma Arts Live will be presenting the ever-popular David Sedaris, known best for his appearances on the radio show This American Life. American comedy legend Yakov Smirnoff will make a rare appearance at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center.

Before you know it, Christmas songs will be playing in every store, so take a moment to check out the holiday offerings planned for the South Sound which include A Christmas Carol (Harlequin), The Wizard of Oz (Tacoma Little Theatre), and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party (Tacoma Arts Live).

So no matter what your preference, there is plenty to pick from this fall from the South Sound’s performing arts venues. See you at the theatre!

For Additional Information and Tickets
harlequinproductions.org
washingtoncenter.org
tacomaartslive.org
tacomalittletheatre.com
tmp.org
fwpaec.org

HILLARY RYAN

TAM Luncheon

Always progressive and forward thinking, Tacoma Art Museum hosted their Spring Luncheon on May 13. This was one of the first in-person fundraisers in our community since the start of the pandemic.

The event raised a total of $37,275 to support the initiatives of the Museum as well as exhibitions, installations, educational programs and membership programs.

APCC Celebrates 25th Anniversary

It was 1996 and Patsy Suh O’Connell was searching for a way to honor her recently deceased father. She decided to create a nonprofit that honored his Korean heritage. She brought together a small group of citizens representing three generations of Americans from Asian and Pacific Islander heritage and through their vision, Asia Pacific Cultural Center was formed.

APCC, located on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma, represents 47 countries and cultures and offers programs and services honoring their distinct artistry, business protocols, history, and social practices. The organization also offers a variety of educational, cultural, and language programs throughout the year that are divided into three categories.

Cultural Program Events and Activities, including an annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration, are held at the Tacoma Dome. An authentic Polynesian luau, a Korean Chuseok festival and Samoa Cultural Week are some of the many activities that make up the first category. The second category is APCC Youth Programs and Activities which ranges from summer learning programs to the Promised Leaders of Tomorrow program that assists local Asian and Polynesian students in reaching their goal of graduating. Food support programs, vaccination clinics and a wide variety of community support programs make up the final category of Outreach Activities and Projects.

To commemorate 25 years, APCC is hosting a 25th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, November 6 from 6-9 p.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. Attendees will enjoy delicious food, music, and a special presentation from students of Kunjang University in South Korea as well as learn about APCC’s new building project. Tickets for the Anniversary Celebration can be purchased by contacting APCC at 253.383.3900.

Asia Pacific Cultural Center is a not-for-profit formed in 1996 with the mission to bridge communities and generations through art, culture, education, and business. It serves as an interactive cultural crossroads between local and international communities.

For Additional Information and Tickets
apcc96.org

LYNN CASTLE

Symphony Tacoma Turns 75!

The 2021-2022 season will be the Diamond Anniversary Season for Symphony Tacoma (ST) as they celebrate the legacy of the first 75 years. With a spotlight on composers such as Patrice Rushen, Joseph de Bologne, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Vivian Fung, and David Ludwig, audiences will also enjoy the works of Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Beethoven and other great artists. Season subscriptions are available and single tickets are on sale now.

“Symphony Tacoma is delighted to be able to once again gather with audiences to share the richness of one of the most exciting and longest-living performance media. While we have awaited this return with great anticipation, our online programming held us through a difficult time, and I wish to thank everyone for watching from home and sustaining us this last year,” said Executive Director Karina Bharne.

Symphony Tacoma has been an anchor performing arts institution in the community. Started as a volunteer orchestra in 1946, it evolved into a professional orchestra whose leaders have been willing to break traditional barriers and truly be an orchestra of the community. For 20 years, Symphony Tacoma was led by Maestro Harvey Felder, one of only a few Black conductors leading mid-sized orchestras at the time. And with Sarah Ioannides as the current music director, the Symphony is among a small percentage of orchestras in the nation led by a woman. But the Symphony sees that their work is not over.

“Up until now, our focus on fostering inclusivity has been on educational efforts serving students in Title I schools. Gradually we are infusing new and different voices into other areas—from world premieres with socially impactful themes to presenting music from young, female and BIPOC composers and guest artists,” stated Bharne.

During its COVID closure, the Symphony produced a variety of virtual performances which can be found on their YouTube page. One of these productions is a preview of Tacoma Method, an opera composed by PLU professor Dr. Gregory Youtz and developed in conjunction with Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation that is centered around the expulsion of the Chinese population from Tacoma in the late 1800s. ST had planned to perform the opera in November 2020, but it was postponed due to COVID-19. The virtual program presents three dramatic arias performed by New York mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn as a glimpse into the full story which will premiere in a future season.

“I look forward to celebrating this important milestone with a season that reaches further and invites the future of classical music to engulf you with deep inspiration, reflection and passion,” noted Music Director Sarah Ioannides.

HILLARY RYAN

For Additional Information and Tickets
symphoonytacoma.org

National Geographic Live at WCPA

National Geographic Live, National Geographic’s touring speaker series, and The Washington Center for the Performing Arts are proud to announce “Pink Boots & a Machete” with primatologist and conservationist Dr. Mireya Mayor The event will take place at 7:30pm, Thursday, September 16, 2021, at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.  

Dr. Mireya Mayor’s exploits have earned her the nickname “the female Indiana Jones,” but the fashion-loving anthropologist always packs an accessory Harrison Ford’s character never would: a black dress — “should an unforeseen occasion arise.”

A former NFL cheerleader, daughter of Cuban immigrants, and mother of six, Mayor followed her unlikely dreams. In short order, she became a respected primatologist, audacious explorer, National Science Foundation Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, and an Emmy Award-nominated wildlife correspondent for the National Geographic Channel. She is also the author of Pink Boots & a Machete (National Geographic Books). 

Mayor’s adventures have taken her—armed with little more than a backpack, notebooks, and hiking boots—to some of the wildest and most remote places on earth. She’s survived poisonous insect bites, been charged by gorillas, and chased by elephants. She’s also drunk cow blood in Tanzania, shared a raw goat kidney with the Maasai warriors of Africa, and ingested leaves to calm down an angry 400-pound silverback gorilla in Congo.

On expedition in Madagascar, Mayor co-discovered a rare new species of mouse lemur, believed to be the world’s smallest primate. Her discovery inspired the prime minister of Madagascar to establish a national park to help protect the new species, conserving the 10 percent that remains of the African island nation’s once vast forest.

Mayor divides her time between research in the rainforests of Madagascar, lecturing at schools and universities across the country, and traveling the world as a wildlife correspondent. She lives with her husband, six children, 11 chickens, dog, rooster, and an ever-growing menagerie of other animals.

National Geographic Live is the live events division of National Geographic. With a broad roster of talent including renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers and adventurers, National Geographic Live’s critically acclaimed programs have connected with audiences worldwide for over a century. Currently, National Geographic Live events are held in a variety of cities around the world, including, Seattle, Tampa, Los Angeles, and Calgary. In each of these cities, speakers share behind-the-scenes stories from the front lines of exploration onstage alongside stunning imagery and gripping footage. For more information, visit natgeolive.com.

For tickets and information, please call 360-753-8586 or visit washingtoncenter.org

Debra Van Tuinen’s New Gallery

Layers of blue, grey and silver leaf create deep and translucent layers that almost obscure the tiny boat in Debra Van Tuinen’s “Adrift” which is currently on view at her new gallery in downtown Olympia. The work, which seems to change from different angles, was created during the long months of the pandemic. For Van Tuinen, it reflects the crashing waves of confusion and deep sense of isolation many people struggled with and experienced in 2020.

With over a 40-year career as an artist, art teacher, and art supporter, Van Tuinen’s dedication to not only creating but sharing her work was not deterred by the limitations of the lockdown. The arrival of this new gallery, which opened in August of 2020, comes at an incredibly important time for art aficionados. Restricted from visiting museums, Van Tuinen’s work is viewable from the street through giant, light-filling windows as well as for private appointments. “I want people to be able to see my work and learn about what I do. You don’t have to be able to buy a piece,” said Van Tuinen.

Additionally, as travel restrictions limit explorations and adventures, it is through her work that new views can be found and savored. Focused on the personal exploration of landscape, many of these works can transport you
instantaneously to other places for that much needed change of scenery.

“Van Tuinen’s paintings possess radiance,” wrote LA art critic Doug Meyer. “They bask in the reflected light of a physical universe beyond the picture plane.”

She hopes to have a large grand opening to celebrate the new gallery and participate in the spring Art Walk in Olympia.

Eventually, she’d like to offer classes in the adjoining studio on encaustic techniques. Until then, Van Tuinen encourages people to walk by and enjoy the work on view.

With a career that has taken her art work around the world and included in private, corporate and museum collections, the Pacific Northwest is lucky to have an artist that remains grounded and accessible to anyone interested to enjoy the voyages of her work.

For Additional Information
Van Tuinen Art
vantuinenart.com

BY HILLARY RYAN

IN THE SPIRIT Festival This Saturday

The summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of incredible festivals to be enjoyed before fall arrives! This week, we are looking towards the annual IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market and Northwest Native Festival. The festival will be held in person on Saturday, August 7, from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM in the Tacoma Museum District. This beloved summer tradition celebrates the diverse Native cultures of our region and is hosted by the Washington State History MuseumTacoma Art Museum, and Museum of Glass. The indoor/outdoor event is free and open to the public, including free admission to all three museums.

IN THE SPIRIT festival guests can see exhibitions featuring Native artists in the museums; talk with artist vendors and shop for original art, jewelry, textiles, and other hand-crafted products; participate in art-making activities at all three museums; watch artists work in the Hot Shop at MOG; and enjoy cultural musicians and dancers in the outdoor amphitheater at the History Museum. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the TAM Cafe, and the Price Family (Navajo/Port Gamble S’Klallam) will sell their famous fry bread tacos at the History Museum.

Indigenous dance, music, and artist demonstrations are a festival highlight. The Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers (Haida and Tlingit) have participated every year since IN THE SPIRIT began 16 years ago (with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic). Returning favorites also include musician Vince Redhouse (Navajo) on Navajo flute and Rona Yellow Robe (Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy, Montana), an award-winning flute player and vocalist. Artist Raya Friday (Lummi Nation) will be on deck in MOG’s Hot Shop, creating with molten glass. ”I’d like to give a big hysh’qe to the big three museums of Tacoma – MOG TAM, WSHM – for carving a space and amplifying the voices of Indigenous artists like myself. Thank you for the opportunity,” Friday shared.

“The museums have been working with Native artists, curators, and community members through the IN THE SPIRIT Advisory Committee to develop a gathering where our visitors and artists can safely reconnect and celebrate in person,” said Molly Wilmoth, lead program manager at the Washington State Historical Society. “We are grateful for all of the talented artists and vendors who are participating both in-person and virtually. Along with the outdoor arts market and cultural performances, we welcome guests to view the exhibitions in the museums, including the 16th annual IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition at the History Museum. Visitors can vote in the gallery for the coveted People’s Choice awards.”

“Last year, the IN THE SPIRIT festival went fully online and was extended for a month-long period,” added Amelia Layton, public programs manager at Tacoma Art Museum. “We’re thrilled to be back in person this year to support Native artists. We’re also continuing with some online programming. The August 7 in-person festival is accompanied by an online arts market and several virtual programs that run July 30 through September 3, so we can provide even greater access to the outstanding Native artists of our region.”

Be sure to mark your calendars for the annual festival this Saturday!