Tag Archives: Dion Thomas

Tacoma Studio Tour 2017- Spaceworks Participants

12 Oct

On October 14 & 15, 2017, you are invited inside the working studios of 70 local artists to learn about the artistic process, ask questions, and purchase one-of-a-kind creations. Plus, you can even win some fabulous items hand-crafted by a selection of artists on the tour just for getting your Studio Tour Passport stamped at each studio address you visit. All studios will feature demonstrations or will have hands-on activities for visitors. It’s family friendly and free!

Check out TacomaArtsMonth.com for the full list of artists, schedule, your Tacoma Studio Tour Passport, and an interactive map where you can plot your own custom tour course.

Pick up your passport at Spaceworks Gallery, or any Studio Tour locations. You’ll find artist details, and contact information, as well as Studio Tour Passport. Get 8 or more stamps to enter drawing for prizes made by local artists.

Studios are open 11am – 5pm. We encourage you to bring cash or check for any purchases you would like to make.

Here’s a short list of some of the artists and entrepreneurs that have worked with Spaceworks over the years, although there’s much more to see: Continue reading

Come to NEON to Build a Brighter Tacoma

2 Jun

spaceworks neon 2016 PR

On June 10th, 2017, Spaceworks will be hosting its annual fundraiser NEON, offering an opportunity to dress up, and enjoy a party of colors and creativity. Live art and entertainment will fill the evening at Tin Can Alley while attendees win local art and small business experiences in auctions, raffles, and games.

Spaceworks Tacoma invites you to

NEON: Spaceworks Annual Fundraiser
June 10th, 2017, 6PM (5PM – VIP Happy Hour)

Tickets: $40 general admission or $125 VIP (couples’ discount available)
Please join us in Creative Cocktail Attire pinterest icon


Tin Can Alley
2620 E G St, Tacoma, WA 98421
Event Contact: Kate Monthy 253.682.1741 x102

“Spaceworks is an innovative program that is helping to build up the creative and entrepreneurial landscape in our city,” says program manager Heather Joy. The program began in 2010 as a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. She says that people still rave about last year’s event and that this year’s NEON will be even better.

Related Post: Why Neon? by Lisa Fruichantie

Spaceworks Neon 2016 1

Naomi and JP Strom-Avila enjoy the live auction under the neon lights made by Galen Turner at NEON 2016. Photo by Scott Haydon.

“This year NEON will be stepped up a notch in terms of performance,” says Joy. “For example, we booked a local band The Happy Sinners for VIP Happy Hour entertainment. But we also have a fun surprise in store. Our mystery musical guests will be a crowd favorite for sure as well as the drag queens selling raffle tickets!” Continue reading

2016: Year in Photos

29 Dec

2016 quickly ramped up to be an exciting ride of cultural activities and business opportunities, bringing many new things. Spaceworks had a landmark year! We doubled the capacity of our Creative Enterprise program, invited the public to ‘Fish Tank’ where entrepreneurs made business pitches to a panel of experts, launched the Spaceworks Gallery on the corner of 11th & Commerce, hosted our 1st inaugural auction/fundraiser NEON, and added 3 new staff members!  This look back at the many events in which Spaceworks took part shows a very active year. Tacoma is what we make it, let’s keep making it vibrant.

High Blood Exhibit Boils Down Issues of Race, Gender, Sexuality & Politics.

9 Nov

high-blood-promoUnder installation in the Spaceworks Gallery is a provocative and thought-provoking new exhibit titled HIGH BLOOD, curated by The Cultureshock Collective. The artists use various formats including painting, photography, video and mixed media installation to examine how race, sex/gender, politics and heritage weave through their daily lives and mold their identities.

Anida Yoeu Ali, The Red Chador, 3-panel window mural, 89 x 51.5 in, 89 x 85.75 in, 89 x 51.5 in.

Anida Yoeu Ali, “The Red Chador”, 3-panel window mural, 89 x 51.5 in, 89 x 85.75 in, 89 x 51.5 in.

Continue reading

Tacoma is a Rubik’s Cube

31 Dec

“Sides of the Town”: Thomas has transformed a T-shirt and sticker design into an art installation at the Woolworth Windows. Courtesy photo

Tacoma resembles a Rubik’s Cube to artist Dion Thomas. Like the world’s most popular 3-D puzzle whose colorful parts can be twisted into different configurations until it becomes a unified whole, Thomas sees his hometown as an entity thrumming with diversity, but capable of embracing “solidarity and individuality simultaneously.”


Artwork by Dion Thomas

Thomas’s vision of Tacoma is on view in an art installation called “Sides of the Town”, at the Woolworth Windows through March 17, 2016. His project focuses on six Tacoma neighborhoods: Eastide, Hilltop, Northend, Southend, Northeast and University Place, and the way these sectors relate to and also differ from one another as the city changes and grows.

“The intention of the piece is to show how dynamic, diverse – and at times polarizing – Tacoma is,” Thomas says. The six neighborhoods are portrayed through “representations of food, clothing and shelter…the most basic of human needs,” as well as recognizable signifiers from each area such as historic memorabilia and photographs. Displayed side by side inside the confines of a 20′-long window, each geographic slice’s unique distinctions jack up the richness of the whole.


Artist Dion Thomas

Thomas brings broad street-level knowledge of the city to the project. In addition to being an artist and videographer, he is a well-known community activist, and a youth mobilization specialist for the non-profit organization, Safe Streets. Previously, for a Spaceworks Creative Enterprise project he founded the Gallery of Ambition, a vibrant urban showcase for young artists and fashion designers in the Theater District. “Shoot the T”, a photographic competition sponsored by the gallery, invited the public to show their best shots of Tacoma and drew 2,500 submissions.

At the Gallery of Ambition, Thomas’s spot-on instincts as a designer emerged in a line of much-coveted, limited-edition T-shirts and hats that celebrated Tacoma’s diamond-in-the-rough persona. It was one of these boldly graphic designs, the black-and-white “Sides of the Town” tee that spawned the current project. He hopes the concept strikes a chord: “Whether you were born, raised or just moved here, it is important to claim Tacoma as your own….No matter what side [you’re from], it’s all the same town.

“Tacoma is just like a Rubik’s Cube because it is always changing and we are still trying to figure out how all the parts fit together.”  -By Lisa Kinoshita

Dion Thomas at the Woolworth Windows, S. 11th & Broadway, through March 17, 2016.


New Graduates: the Spaceworks Training Program

9 Jul

The latest round of Spaceworks participants in conversation with a panel of Spaceworks alumni including (from left) Darcy Anderson of Tinkertopia, Alison Bryan of Modern Cottage Company, JD Elquist of The Elquists, Dion Thomas of the Gallery of Ambition, and Taylor Woodruff of Grit City Grindhouse.

There was electricity in the air on the final night of the Spaceworks Creative Enterprise Training Program!

First, the latest round of participants to join Spaceworks presented their innovative project ideas.  In lighting fast 3 minute presentations they each gave an overview of their business model, strategy, and philosophy.  Great ideas were resonating throughout the room.  Many participants had exciting news about their store’s GRAND OPENINGS, lease signings, potential leads on spaces, plus two projects that were able to lease their own space without Spaceworks’ help.

Next, Spaceworks steering committee member David Schroedel facilitated a panel discussion withSpaceworks alumni including Darcy Anderson of Continue reading

Gallery of Ambition Clearance Sale

28 May

Before, and after of the Gallery of Ambition

Thursday, May 29, 11-5pm
Friday, May 30, 11-6pm
313 S. 9th, Tacoma, WA

Dion Thomas joined Spaceworks last year and moved his business, the Gallery of Ambition, into a new storefront space at 313 S. 9th.  The gallery features artwork alongside apparel all created by local designers/artists.  This clearance sale will be a chance to catch some deals, and will be your last opportunity to see the space.  The Gallery of Ambition is officially closing its storefront doors and moving to a more mobile business model.  You can still find them by shopping online, and looking for them at regional shows, markets, and pop-up events.

So come by this Thursday or Friday, and support the Gallery of Ambition along with all of the local artists and designers that it represents.

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