Tag Archives: fly

Analog Tacoma

18 Jul

"Dandelion," silver gelatin print by Jennifer Adams.

Artist Jennifer Adams recently described her work in an online interview as “analog, tender, fragile, simple. For my photography, I tend to use natural light, everyday subjects and simple, toy cameras. My other work favors old papers and book pages, simple text and fragile textures.” She finds compelling subject matter in her hometown of Tacoma, a place with time-worn edges and industrial districts, and whose famous “grit” may mask unvarnished moments awaiting discovery.

Adams is presenting Landscapes, an exhibition of photographs commissioned by Spaceworks Tacoma at the Woolworth Building, opening July 15. In keeping with the “analog” tone of the installation, she will display the photographs clipped onto a clothesline – a nostalgic symbol that bespeaks the rituals of 1950’s and ’60’s suburban America. Many of the photographs were shot with a plastic toy camera, called a Holga, that she favors for its soft, dream-like effects. The photos, while taken locally, do “not necessarily depict iconic Tacoma locations,” she says.

A silver gelatin print by Jennifer Adams

Adams is a photography instructor and an entrepreneur, in addition to being a studio artist. She earned her entrepreneurial chops with the ongoing, indie craft fair, Tacoma is for Lovers. In 2010, she designed the Spaceworks pop shop, fly, where she rocked the hip-and-homespun product lines of Tacoma artists. She has been a visiting artist at the Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass, and a freelance photographer for Sub-Pop Records. This year, Adams was nominated for the Foundation of Art Award from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, rewarding artistic talent and contribution to the creative community. Landscapes, the Woolworth Building, 11th & Broadway, July 15 – October 31, 2011.

‘fly’ Rises Again

11 Dec

Huladay greetings by Jessica Spring of Springtide Press. Photo courtesy of 'fly.'

fly, Tacoma headquarters for the best in artist-designed products, has reopened in a new location at King’s Books (218 Saint Helens Ave.), just in time for the holidays. And we’re so relieved, because now we can proceed with our strategy of doing all our holiday shopping in one place (we’re not lazy, we just recognize a beautifully edited emporium – one offering high-quality, unique and reasonably priced items – when we see one).

fly moved out of its original location on Broadway several weeks ago, after a fire at the next-door Subway caused smoke damage. The new location, in the former rare-books room at King’s, is a more fortuitous fit for the artists’ showcase. The room is a fraction of the size of the old space, and offers a more focused setting for the original designs on display. fly features some of the finest letterpress art in town, and we can’t think of a more apt place for it to be shown, than next to the tomes at King’s (which is under new ownership – congratulations, Sweet Pea Flaherty).

'fly' owner Jennifer Adams cradles a wiener dog by artist Mirka Hokkanen

For those lucky dogs who are shopping for the 12 days of Christmas, or some variation thereof, fly proprietor Jennifer Adams offers mind-boggling choices, including Tacoma is for Lovers hoodies, felted acorns by Miranda Pollitz, glass baby heads by Oliver Doriss, stylish togs for the under-5 set by Lindsey Barnes, block-printed napkins and dishtowels by cabinet 713 (Jessica Bender), and jewelry by Wendy Gordon and Connie DeBruler. You’ll find letterpress art including feminist postcards by Jessica Spring (Springtide Press), prints and coasters by uncommon envelope and black dog designs, screen prints by Slide Sideways, and many more items sure to delight. Take a peek at flytacomafly.blogspot.com. fly, at King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave.

Laurie Cinotto’s Ephemera

8 Oct

Paper fantasy by Laurie Cinotto. Photo: L. Cinotto

Laurie Cinotto crafts beautiful objects from paper. Her nostalgic bouquets of delicate crepe blossoms, whimsical three-dimensional paper garlands, and miniature birdcage lantern ornaments suggest the handiwork of some nimble-fingered Victorian doyenne channeled through Martha Stewart. Indeed, one of Cinotto’s original paper-and-fabric-flower wedding bouquets landed last year in the pages of Martha Stewart Living (she has also appeared as a guest artist on Martha’s Weddings blog). Her contemporary collection of sweet collectibles is available locally at fly, a boutique that sells artists’ products on Broadway.

The Tacoma-based artist operated her own floral event business for a decade (creating extraordinary, strangely beautiful arrangements, as this writer can attest), but quit in 2009 to turn to crafting fulltime. “Floral work is hard work, and it’s stressful, too,” she says. “Fresh flowers are perishable, so it’s always a race against time when you’re working with them.” Trading in hothouse flowers for the more permanent variety she found herself making helped eliminate stress and stimulate the creative process. What’s more, “As soon as I made the commitment, so many amazing opportunities started rolling in the door. Things I had been dreaming about for years started happening.”

Birdcage paper lanterns. Photo: L. Cinotto

Two of Cinotto’s most popular creations are her corsages and boutonnières – small, poetic assemblages designed from fabric with all the trimmings: ribbon, feathers, tiny birds, buttons, even real starfish. These aren’t your mom’s prom corsage, or the lapel flower your dad assigned to his best man. “Every piece is carefully taped, wired and stitched,” she says. “I don’t take shortcuts when it comes to craftsmanship. Each composition is carefully considered, and I pay great attention to detail.” She credits much of the pieces’ nostalgic charm to the vintage materials she scours for at thrift stores, antique shops and estate sales.

Cinotto is currently working on a book and paper flowers kit for Barnes & Noble, due out in 2011. She teaches crafting classes at her home studio (information at www.lalalaurie.com), runs an Etsy site (www.etsy.com/shop/lalalaurie), and participates in local events such as the popular craft fair, Tacoma is for Lovers. You can find her work at fly, 904 Broadway, open Thurs., Fri. & Sat. 12-5.

Spaceworks Artists Events

9 Aug
Summertime. With a slew of art sales and events taking place every weekend, we’d be immobilized by the choices if we didn’t have tips on the most interesting people and places to see. A sure bet: three Spaceworks pop-up stores that have been working it to fill their spaces with artfully crafted goods, and a gallery exhibit of chastity belts by artists (more on that later).

The dog days of summer

“I’m starting to feel at home in the downtown space, as is Gracie [the milkbone-flipping chocolate labrador] who has been doing some napping outside the shop in the sunshine,” says Pottery Annex owner, Susan Thompson. “The four hours in the afternoon that I’m here fly by and without the distractions at home, I’m finding I’m getting some real work done. Another thing that I love about the space is all the natural light.  My tools and equipment at home are in the basement, and though I’m lucky to have that space, it is dark and cold. I have sold some pots and enjoyed visiting with curious drop-ins so all in all my first week has been pleasant.” On Aug. 20-21, Thompson will host the Fourth Annual Summer Sale of Pottery at her home studio in Tacoma, featuring eight clay artists. Click on http://www.susanskiln.blogspot.com for details. Or visit The Pottery Annex, 913 Pacific Ave. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1-5p.m.

Last week, Jennifer Adams had a soft opening for her store, fly, at 904 Broadway. This was huge news for fans of Tacoma is for Lovers, Adams’ brainchild and a much-loved event for connoisseurs of indie and D-I-Y design. We love the goods by local artists including Mirka Hokkanen and Laurie Cinotto and will be making fly a frequent stop. Call for hours: 253.314.8358.

Affordable temptations line the shelves at fly

Driving down Pacific Ave. one night, we were thrilled to see Tiffanie Peters’ boutique, Chiffon, glowing like a beacon of indie fashion, with a full selection of styles hanging on the walls like the art that it is. Peters has a long-distance commute to Tacoma from Shelton – besides working a daytime job – so Chiffon truly defines “labor of love.” We heard the siren’s call of her fantastic sterling silver necklaces – as big as airy, jangly bibs – and were glad, in a way, the shop was closed. At least until pay day. Chiffon, 915 Pacific Ave., Thurs.-Sun. 11-6. http://www.tiffaniepeters.com.

Neon chastity belt with motion sensor by Galen McCarty Turner, 2009

Meanwhile, at Mineral (not a pop-up store, but a fixture at 301 Puyallup Ave. in the Dome District), owner and Spaceworks artist Lisa Kinoshita is setting up Access Denied: the 2010 Exhibit of Chastity Belts by Artists. Kinoshita says this year’s array of entries is “highly stimulating” and a “fantastic showcase for Northwest artists who looked at chastity from every conceivable angle, except the obvious one.” Look for wit and exceptional craftsmanship at this highly anticipated event, staged in a newly enlarged gallery space. Two preview events: Aug. 14, 11-5 and Aug. 19, 5-10; show runs through Oct. 9, 2010. Mineral, 301 Puyallup Ave. – Suite A, Tacoma, 253/250-7745. Summer hours: Thurs., Fri., Sat. 12-5. http://www.lisakinoshita.com. Running concurrently with Access Denied in the 301 Building (in Suite B), is Don’t Look, a boudoir vignette by Madera Architectural Elements (MAE), whose members are all Northwest artisans and fine craftsmen. For information on MAE, contact Lynn DiNino at 253/396-0774; lynndin@msn.com. In Suite C is the Val Persoon Gallery, featuring watercolor (www.valpersoon.com).

It’s going to be a hot summer.

Eat, Play, Rove – the Block Party Wrap-up

5 Aug

When Spaceworks Tacoma threw out the welcome mat for its July 29 Block Party, art lovers set their cultural GPS for Theater on the Square and a celebration of the art exhibits and pop-up stores opening downtown. Shorts and sunglasses were de rigeur as the mixer kicked off with a full lineup of live entertainment on the outdoor stage, fresh catered noshes and a beer garden in which to ponder all of the above (City Council members David Boe and Marty Campbell were among those convening in the outdoor amber hall). Lucky for those who missed the neighborhood shindig, most of the art will be on display through late September.

Judi Hyman takes a break from art-seeing

We started our art walk at the corner of 950 Pacific Ave. where Bloodlines, a luminous installation by Mary Coss, Pamela Hom and June Sekiguchi forms the metaphorical heart of the art beat. This magnum opus is actually three separate works in one, intertwined seamlessly around issues of cultural and creative inheritance – and the holiness of the human body. It’s a lot to digest at one sitting (we’ve already planned a return visit). Down the street at 913 and 915 Pacific Ave., two pop-up stores opened their doors for business: at The Pottery Annex, clay artist Susan Thompson spun magic at the wheel between ringing up sales and chatting to enthusiasts about her fabulous, functional vessels. Next door, at Chiffon, fashion designer Tiffanie Peters was still unpacking boxes from her collection – but no problem, visitors simply pawed at her beautiful, hand-made jewelry, displayed like works of art on the wall.

Bloodlines, a luminous meditation on the human body and mortality, at 950 Pacific Ave.

At 1114  Pacific Ave., filmmaker Isaac Olsen, photographer Joshua Everson and textile artist Meghan Lancaster held court in their new digs inside a bank building converted into a collaborative studio of gi-normous dimensions. The space features a spiral staircase, a shiny vault, a kitchen, corporate meeting rooms – everything except a Guy Friday. Not surprisingly, it is taking the artists some time to configure and utilize the space, though they gamely welcomed visitors on opening night. Stay tuned.

Live music, dance and spoken word poetry energized the crowd at Theater on the Square. The Warehouse provided musical acts including HAIL, a rock band made up of SOTA students; Luke Stevens, Makeup Monsters and Travis Barker. The musicians were still going strong as the sun went down. A hearty performance by Shakespeare in the Parking Lot left no question as to whether 9th & Broadway was the place to be or not to be. Meanwhile, writer/director Aaron Flett and assistant director Cassie Lindberg mingled with visitors on the set of Jesus 4 Less at 906 Broadway. The two were slipping mock bookcovers over some of the thousands of old books there (the movie’s setting is the inside of a Christian bookstore), in order to avoid copyright infringement. The film is being shot in the ornate interior of a former Moroccan furnishings store, an irony that was not lost on us.

Cassi Lindberg and Aaron Flett on the set of Jesus 4 Less

Where would a block party be without food? There were audible ah’s from people nibbling the free-of-charge gourmet pupus made by Affairs Catering, and life-giving iced tea provided by Tobin and Maureen of the Mad Hat. We were slowly melting from the heat when we ran into Jeff the Ice Cream Man, whose bike-powered cart was stuffed with the most fascinating ice creams we’ve ever encountered, including pico de gallo with chili (both freezing and blistering at the same time), and a creamy concoction the world has been waiting for, called “Ice Cream in a Tube.” Refreshed, we headed for the Woolworth Building to check out five installations by Zeit-Bike, meadow starts with ‘p,’ Joseph Songco, Gretchen Bennett and Lisa Kinoshita. These installations cover a lot of ground: eco-friendly bikes, deconstructive photography, Tacoma history, doomed bears, the interrelationship of art and play. Making a circuit of the large storefront windows, we thought about what an excellent art venue a department store makes, and how Woolworth‘s, the grand five-and-dime, is as always a most satisfying place to look at art.

Retail therapy at Jennifer Adams' store, fly

There were young people sitting on the ground listening intently to HAIL as we headed for three installations on Broadway. We viewed Ben Hirschkoff‘s work, which situates a translucent cloud inside a window; Tory Franklin‘s jewel-like rendering of the Russian fairytale, The Firebird; and Michelle Acuff‘s blue deer immobilized inside a raw, dystopic modern world. About this time we had a strange feeling. It was exciting to look at so much interesting art – and yet, we were beginning to feel as if we’d just consumed a six-course meal, heavy on the aesthetics, and it was now time for a digestif. So, it was with pleasure we ended up at Jennifer Adams‘ pop-up store, fly, for a dose of retail therapy. We were revived by Adams’ finely edited selection of artist products including squid boxer shorts by Kelsey Parkhurst, Stella Crumpton carryalls made from automotive vinyl, Slide Sideways paper products, and Ashley Mimura feather headbands and hairclips. New items are arriving weekly, so it’s wise to check in often.

HAIL takes the mainstage at the Block Party

Most inspiring to see was Tacoma’s legion of talented artists out in force: poets, painters, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, actors, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, and designers. These people, of varied ages and background, are reimagining our vision of downtown by changing what-ifs into what-is. It takes energy, drive and untold buckets of elbow grease to realize a visionary concept that can shift the outlook of an urbanscape. The Block Party offered a tantalizing glimpse of what happens when creative ideas are given legs. Many thanks to those who came out to show support!

‘fly’ craft boutique coming soon

10 Jun

“Craft” means different things to different people. To Jennifer Adams, an artist, teacher, mom and creative entrepreneur, it encompasses everything from beauty, utility and re-use to irony and eclecticism. Later this month, Adams is opening fly, an indie craft boutique at a Spaceworks Tacoma location to be determined.

Fans of renegade craft, and all things DIY, may already know Adams from her popular craft fair, “Tacoma is for Lovers,” founded in 2008. “This opportunity with Spaceworks Tacoma will allow me to expand the limits of the one-day fair,” she explains.

Jennifer Adams is expanding her craft fair model with an experimental retail gallery opening soon. Photo: Virginia Bunker

While she is still confirming the roster of artists who will exhibit at fly, Adams says that several will be favorites from TIFL: boutonnieres and corsages by Laurie Cinotto, jewelry by Miranda Pollitz, overdyed vintage napkins by Jessica Bender, and embroidered patches from Shannon Eakins, to name just a few.

Adams promises an assortment of handmade craft that you won’t see anywhere else. Mostly locally made craft—but not always. “The big thing is uniqueness and quality: I’m going to be picky,” she says. “And I’ve been hoping to get a kids’ line going, so we’ll see about that.”

Laurie Cinotto, an artist who makes pins, bouttonieres and corsages out of ribbon, felt and spun cotton, will be among the featured artists at fly boutique. Photo: Laurie Cinotto

As opening day approaches Adams has a lot on her plate, but she seems to handle it all with humor and to enjoy the hectic pace. Running an experimental retail gallery may even give her a chance to sit down for a second. She’s planning a casual hang-out area with a couch and a table in the back of the space where she, and other artists who work at the store, can focus on ongoing projects and be productive.

A big smile crosses her face as she maps-out the vision: “I have all of these ideas that will move forward as soon as I get the keys and start setting up. I can’t wait.”

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