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!

New Aquarium Showcases Local Artists

Starting this summer, visitors to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium will be treated not only to a new state-of-the-art marine experience when the new Pacific Seas Aquarium opens, but also to breathtaking art installations featuring two Pacific Northwest artists.

The $51.6 million project, led by Metro Parks Tacoma, is funded by the One Percent for Public Art program. As the name suggests, this program earmarks 1 percent of all public works project budgets for the creation of public art. The new aquarium was approved by voters in 2014 as part of the $198 million Metro Parks Tacoma bond. These additions to PDZA are projected to boost attendance at the beloved Pierce County destination, which annually sees over 700,000 visitors.

Maria Jost, Tacoma-based illustrator and Tacoma Public Schools’ Science and Math Institute science teacher, will be creating a marine-inspired mural for installation in the aquarium’s Tidal Touch Zone. This zone is an engaging space offering hands-on and up-close experiences for people of all ages. Jost’s work has been seen in many Tacoma locations and was commissioned by Tacoma Makes for the 2014 edition of the Tacoma Playing Cards.

In addition, Seattle glass artist Kait Rhoads created a glass jellyfish that will be suspended in the atrium just past the 250,000-gallon Baja Bay habitat. This habitat will be home to green sea turtles, scalloped hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays and other warmwater species. Rhoads’ work has been featured in museum and gallery exhibitions across the U.S. and internationally. For this, her first permanent public art piece, she collaborated with PDZA’s jellyfish aquarist Dr. Chad Widmer, the hot shop team at the Museum of Glass and students from Hilltop Artists.

Choosing to highlight the talents of local artists for these important art installations in the new aquarium is evidence of the richness of cultural life in the Northwest. When you plan your visit, make sure you have a chance to appreciate all the beauty of this new South Sound gem.

HILARY RYAN

For additional information:
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 North Pearl St, Tacoma
253.591.5337
pdza.org

Healing in Flames at the Museum of Glass

Healing in flames

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healing In Flames
September 30, 2015— April 24, 2016
Organized by Museum of Glass

In 2013 Museum of Glass piloted a new program called Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire. Led by glass instructors, soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Warrior Transition Battalion learned about glass through hands-on experiences. This exhibition will display work made by soldiers in their classes during Spring and Summer 2015. The display will celebrate the accomplishments of these soldiers, and will provide information about the importance of art in therapy and healing.
during Spring and Summer 2015. The display will celebrate the accomplishments of these soldiers, and will provide information about the importance of art in therapy and healing.

Most of the soldiers and veterans who have contributed to the creation of Healing In Flames served in Iraq or Afghanistan at least once; many have served multiple tours of duty. This exhibition gives voice to their personal and shared experience while being deployed. The experience of creating this exhibition has enabled the soldiers and veterans to explore their shared experience and their personal feelings about war, military life, and cultural differences by creating works that represent their most profound
memories. Additionally, the exhibition will highlight a few pieces that are more lighthearted and are representational of the basic glass working skills acquired during their participation in the program.