The pamphlet came in the mail. I never saw it. I got an email from my friend Chris who told me about the art show two days before the event. When I mentioned it to Peg, she said “Yes. We’re going.”
Peg and I made a couple of wrong turns, but eventually saw the sign for Steele Street and turned into the parking lot. If I had known it was just off Center Street in Nalley Valley, I would have known exactly where it was. I lived just a little bit up the hill on Ferry Street. From Kindergarten through the fourth grade I attended Stanley Elementary School. At the time Peg probably lived less than a mile away, up the hill from Snake Lake.
We climbed the stairs at F.S. Harmon and through the yellow door, went up the stairs and paused a moment to take a look, as well at the small but interested crowd. And who was at the top of the stairs? Chris Parent and her friend Layla Elisabeth Mitchell.
Layla laid out her printed, collage with a colorful jar of pickles on the table. She says that they are for when the times when life isn’t a bowl of cherries. Her model for the collage design was a jar of home-canned pickles given to her by a friend. She also had a sketch book with samples of how she comes up with the ideas and assembles them. Layla was friendly, too. How appropriate that she and Chris Parent were side by side and welcoming the guests into the exhibits. They are actually neighbors.
Chris and I have known each other since high school at Clover Park, but we’ve mostly just intersected for social occasions, crossing on many paths. She currently works with copper. She buys sheets of copper, cuts them to the size she wants and drives over the pieces for interesting texture. Then she makes connections and color studies representing action. She also does wonderful non-representational images out of tea-bags.
We went into the first room to see Elayne Vogel’s one of a kind idiosyncratic necklaces. The combinations, items and colors are wonderful. Next to her was the Crown Lady, Teresa Owens. Peg was looking for her because they had been in Tacoma Calligraphy Guild together years ago. Peg still has a pin from Teresa’s beading era. She had a display of embellished paper crowns appropriate for any child and any whimsical adult.
Photographer Duncan James Livingston had a selection of his photographs of different Tacoma locations. His shot of the sun piercing the cloudy sky over the giant globe at Thea Foss Park along the waterfront esplanade on Dock Street is unusual. It looks as if a lighting bold is hitting the North Pole. Livingston also has a beautiful shot of a tall ship berthed in Commencement Bay. It must have been during a Tall Ship event because it has sailors furling the sails on two spars of a mast. A beautiful and interesting shot. Both of these were available as postcards in the foyer where Chris and Layla were.
I love the artwork by Becky Frehse. I like the top image and Peg loves the pinkish one at the end. As we went into the next area, we were struck with wonder by her fiddle pieces. Frehse had covered fiddles with fabric, paper, paint and other items, mounting them on large branches. There were numerous pieces throughout the two rooms. They’re colorful, idiosyncratic and captivating.
As a fine arts student from the University of Puget Sound, I really like painting. This Fence graffiti caught my eye.
Any time you have the opportunity to visit an art show, take it. You never know what you’ll find. We not only found friends/artists to chat with, but I was introduced to a woman who is a fan of our articles in The Suburban Times . . . and that’s always nice to discover.