Tag Archives: Laurie Cinotto

Spaceworks Artists in the News

24 Nov

Cinotto's studio mates, Nigel and Mimsey Frost. Photo: L. Cinotto

A sea of hand-made objects by Laurie Cinotto

Tacoma crafting wizard Laurie Cinotto is on her way to New York. Cinotto won a coveted spot at the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale in New York City, garnering the most votes out of eight finalists along the way. Cinotto’s meticulous handmades, including witty corsages and boutonnières, and beautiful crepe paper bouquets, secured her a slot at the famous showcase. When she’s not creating fabulous adornments for jacket lapels, or for tabletops, the artist runs a local feline adoption program, The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee (and she raised a whopping $49,000 for the Humane Society last summer). See how Cinotto’s furry studio mates contribute to the creative process at www.lalalaurie.com.

The War Experience Project, an exhibition organized by artist and Iraq veteran, Rick Lawson, was the subject of a special edition of the KBTC program, Northwest Now, recorded earlier this month (check listings for rebroadcast times). Because of its unique mission of helping veterans to tell their stories through art (using uniforms as a canvas), and its relevance to the Puget Sound military community, the WEP has received extensive media coverage since it opened on Nov. 11. More than 50 uniforms are on display at the gallery at 906 Broadway. Lawson will conduct on-site painting workshops for vets through mid-Feb. 2011. Hours: Wed. – Sat., 10am – 5pm; Sun., noon – 5pm. Information at (347) 927-3708, or contact rick@warep.com.

First-round Spaceworks artist Gretchen Bennett, who created a dusky tribute to Tacoma at the Woolworth Building, was shortlisted in Sept. for a Genius Award by the Seattle alternative weekly, The Stranger. It was Bennett’s second nomination for the $5,000 award, and only the latest recognition in a year that has included a showing of drawings in the Seattle Art Museum exhibition, Kurt, an homage to Kurt Cobain.

"Jack's Epitaph" (detail), by Lisa Kinoshita

Lisa Kinoshita‘s sculpture, What You Own, Owns You, is on view at the Tacoma Art Museum through Jan. 16, 2011. The Tacoma artist has been nominated for the Portland Art Museum’s second Contemporary Northwest Art Awards (formerly the Oregon Biennial). Five to eight artists working in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana or Wyoming, will be honored with a museum exhibition and catalog next year. Recipients will be announced in Jan. 2011.

Two Spaceworks artists whose work deals with our increasingly dystopic relationship to the planet, are recipients of 2010 Artist Trust GAP grants. Walla Walla artist Michelle Acuff received a $1,500 award to publish a catalog of sculptural works that explore “our tenuous liaison to the natural world.” Acuff’s work addresses the high price of consumer consumption as measured in the ubiquitous, poisonous substances used in industrial mass production. Her distortions of the natural world, such as in the blue deer (at right), inhabit a plane that is both saccharine and surreal.

Shelton-based artist Barbara De Pirro has been Resident Artist at the Museum of Glass in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Her 2010 Artist Trust GAP Grant, in the amount of $1,500, is providing support for new projects and public works. Artist Trust describes De Pirro’s work as “biomorphic sculptural forms and installations that subtlety express her ecological concerns. Designs conceived in her observations of nature are constructed reusing unnatural, reclaimed materials, and then placed in the world where they can be investigated and contemplated. This deliberate juxtaposition between form and material opens the door for subtle but infinite metaphorical meaning.” Find out more at depirro.com.

A Ben Hirschkoff cloudscape made of construction materials.

Artists Ben Hirschkoff and Alyson Piskorowski have been selected to create installations for the pilot program of Storefronts Seattle, a project of Shunpike modeled after Spaceworks Tacoma, and implemented in Pioneer Square and the International District. Hirschkoff will enliven his storefront exhibit with existing building materials, utilizing the vernacular of construction to create a large-scale sculpture. Piskorowski continues her elegant investigations into the geometry of space with the creation of flowing patterns in paper that engage passersby. Both installations will be on display from Dec. 2010 to Feb. 2011.

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.

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