TACOMA – It is the last chance to see Tacoma Art Museum’s special exhibition South Sound Selects: Community Choices from the Collection, closing on Sunday, May 30, 2021. This unique exhibition, which opened virtually in November 2020 and later to the general public in April 2021, broadens the curatorial voice at TAM by highlighting works from the Museum’s collection as chosen by 27 community members.
“We wanted to create something deeply connected to our community. The concept for this exhibition continues our exploration of providing a platform for promoting multiple voices and interpretations of artwork. We want to challenge the assumption that only museum curatorial commentary can provide appropriate perspective and elucidation,” noted David F. Setford, TAM’s Executive Director.
Amplifying Community Voices
TAM is rethinking whose voices appear in the galleries and recognizes the need to include a variety of viewpoints in our presentations. TAM invited people from our South Sound community to select what they wanted to see displayed from the collection. There were no specific parameters or rules; the guest curators simply selected works they wanted to show. Each curator was also given the opportunity to provide a written response about their selection, another way to share more perspectives about the artwork on view.
South Sound Selects: Community Choices from the Collection included community members, TAM staff, and volunteers. The 27 curators were: Charlotte Basch; Peter Berkley; Jalen Calhoun; Meghan Crandall; Jean Farrington; Jon French; Van Gachnang; Jeremy Gregory; Gracea Hilsen; Jacqueline Justice; Josiah Justice; Jamari Littlejohn; Michele Livernash; Sophie Marie; Mason Manoa; Cat Mason; Victoria Miles; Lee Nelson; Eric Pannell; Dana Peregrine; Stephen Rue; Jamika Scott; Najai Smith; Elaine Stefanowicz; TAM’s Teen Art Council; Erika Washington; and Kyle Willingham.
Guest curators selected 37 artworks from TAM’s permanent collection made from the 1920s to the 2010s. The work selected includes Northwest artists like Qwalsius – Shaun Peterson (Puyallup) and Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) as well as internationally known artists like Jacob Lawrence and Carrie Mae Weems. The works explore a variety of interests from reflections on place to race to the impacts of COVID-19. In the exhibition, visitors will see artworks that are regularly displayed and works that are rarely on view.
TAM is grateful to all the guest curators for their participation, insights, and voices.
South Sound Selects: Community Choices from the Collection can be viewed online anytime or in-person at TAM, Friday – Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm through Sunday, May 30.