Tag Archives: Oliver Doriss

Award and Exhibit Honoring Pierce County Artists, Join us for Opening Reception

13 Sep

Left: “Strata Discs” by Mindy Barker. Right: “White Ashes 2” by Kenji Stoll. Photo by Kris Crews.


Join us for the opening reception of the 2017 GTCF Foundation of Art Award Exhibit. The award winners will be present, along with live music, appetizers, and the premiere of a video highlighting past award recipients sharing stories and lessons from working as artists in Pierce County.

Third Thursday, September 21, 2017
5 PM – 9 PM – Free and Open to Public
Spaceworks Gallery
950 Pacific Ave. Suite 205, 
Tacoma WA
Event on Facebook

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this award, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation has honored ten Pierce County visual artists with a prize, and opportunity to participate in the 2017 exhibit. On display at the Spaceworks Gallery, the exhibit includes artworks from this year’s winners, along with all the past winners. The exhibit runs September 4th through October 19th, 2017.

More Exhibit Information

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2014 Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party & AMOCAT Arts Awards

26 Sep

Presented by the Tacoma Arts Commission and Spaceworks Tacoma


Thursday, October 2, 6-9pm
Tacoma Post Office Building
Awards start 7:45, Post Hall (4th floor)

Get out and have some fun while helping us kick off Tacoma Arts Month in style. Enjoy a stellar line-up of entertainment, art exhibitions, appetizers, dessert, and no-host bar. Help us honor the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Award winners and funding recipients. It’s all free and open to the public – pack up the family, invite your friends and come help us celebrate!  RSVP here, find it on Facebook, or just show on up.


Experience this giant line-up of happening in the newly-renovated Tacoma Post Office Building and help us honor the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Award winners and funding recipients.

The night’s arts and entertainment includes:
• Music by Speed Queen
• Exhibits of work by Jessica Spring and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Foundation of Art Award honorees
• Pop-up exhibits of work by Beautiful Angle, Isaac Olsen, Alice Di Certo, Kristin Giordano, The C.L.A.W., and Poly Rev
• Okinawa Taiko Drums
• Tintype photo booth by Kyle Dillehay
• Mini-theater performances by Working Class Theater
• Open studios of Abby Kok, Alana Tamminga, and Katlyn Hubner
• Trash Fashion Runway by Tinkertopia and Friends
• Poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo
• Screenings of short films by Kat Ogden, Nick Butler, Kris Crews, Kate Walker, and The Grand Cinema

2014 AMOCAT Arts Awards, starts at 7:45 in Post Hall (4th floor):

Arts Patron – ArtsFund
Community Outreach by an Organization – Asia Pacific Cultural Center
Community Outreach by an Individual – Jessica Spring

2014 Tacoma Arts Commission funding recipients:
Arts Anchor Fund
The Grand Cinema, Hilltop Artists, Museum of Glass, Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma Opera, Tacoma Symphony, Tacoma Youth Symphony Association

Arts Projects
Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, DASH Center for the Arts, Fab-5, Fort Nisqually Foundation, King’s Bookstore, Local Life, Monkeyshines, MLKBallet, Northwest Repertory Singers, Classical Tuesdays in Old Town, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Second City Chamber Series, Sister City Council of Tacoma, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Maritime Fest, the BareFoot Collective, University of Puget Sound, Washington State Historical Society

Tacoma Artist Initiative Program
Sean Alexander, Carla Barragan, Bill Colby, Alice Di Certo, Kyle Dillehay, David Domkoski, Oliver Doriss, Josie Emmons Turner, Sarah Gilbert, Erin Guinup, Meghan Mitchell, Mark Monlux, Kat Ogden, Scott Scoggin, Erik Steighner, Noah Struthers

Event Sponsors
Click! Cable TV, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Tacoma Weekly, Northwest Public Radio, KPLU, Weekly Volcano, Premier Media Group, Exit133

Questions? Inquiries? 
Call Naomi Strom-Avila 253.591.5191

It’s True – Artists Invigorate Neighborhoods

24 Feb

Tuesday was a hot night for Fabitat, Fab-5‘s super-tight creative lab on the Hilltop – and for Spaceworks Tacoma. The event was an exceptionally cheery fundraiser: hard to believe, but Fab-5 has been at it for 12 years mentoring local youth in the creative arts, and this was their first call for support, ever. Not only that, but the busy studio at 1316 Martin Luther King Way, which they occupied via a Spaceworks residency in 2011 and recently signed the lease for, is the team’s first-ever homebase. The Five’s dedication and leadership in igniting young minds through the visual and performing arts is the stuff urban dreams are made of. Attendees at Tuesday night’s event jostled to pledge support (you can make a donation here), and to sign the group’s door, graffiti-style.

Musician Nate Dybevik is an expert in piano restoration. Photo courtesy of Nate Dybevik.

At Spaceworks, such win-win situations (free space for creative entrepreneurs = potential paying tenants for landlords) are always cause for celebration. Fab-5 is but one of several Hilltop artists-in-residence who in the past year have activated a once dormant commercial zone and seeded the area around the Fulcrum Gallery with fresh life. Nate Dybevik also recently signed the dotted line and gained a permanent address for his “piano museum” (he is a musician who rebuilds pianos) and music studio. During its tenure, Toy Boat Theatre performed a miraculous facelift on a sterile office space, drew new audiences to the neighborhood with six months of high-caliber drama, and left an indelible mark before moving on.

We thought it was time to catch up with these Spaceworks alums and hear about their experiences in their own words.

* * * * *

The transformation of the 1300 block of “Hilltopia” in 2011 wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the Marie Thorp Wilson Trust, owners of the Thorp Building (where two of the four original. rent-free residency spaces are now leased by Fab-5 and Dybevik). According to Thorp family member Jeanette Sorenson, while the Trust’s intention has been to sell the Thorp Building, “It has been a blessing to have [it] occupied, especially by groups that appreciate the opportunity to try their wings at a business venture….By opening the building to the Spaceworks program, [it] has changed from a vacant, cold building to a lively, warm building that shows its true character.”

Sorenson admits to initial hesitation about the venture. But “after interviewing Rebecca [Solverson] and Amy [McBride, City of Tacoma Arts Administrator], it became clear that this would be a good way to occupy the trust building along with helping the K Street community grow in a positive way.” Sorenson’s family ties to Tacoma run deep: as a young man her grandfather, Theodore Martin Thorp, followed his cousin, Thea Foss, from Wisconsin to Tacoma. In 1967, her father, Bud (“Blind Man”) Thorp, “built the Thorp Building on property he had purchased when he was discharged from the Army Air Corps, a decorated airman.” Spaceworks is grateful to help usher in a new wave of activity at the Thorp Building.

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Spaceworks Moves to Tacoma’s Hilltop

22 Jun

Four new Spaceworks studios are opening next to the Fulcrum Gallery (at right).

Not unlike the gangly adolescent with a grinning mouthful of orthodontia who grows up to become a self-created, self-owning supermodel, the Hilltop in Tacoma has the kind of raw potential that local denizens may someday brag about having “discovered.” It is a transitional neighborhood with breathtaking views, history-rich architecture, an urban vibe and two of the city’s hippest outposts – the Fulcrum Gallery and 1022 South (a bar the New York Times calls “home to some of the most fascinating apothecary cocktail work on the West Coast”). It is also a city sector earmarked for revitalization efforts. Located  just a few miles south of downtown, the Hilltop is a happening place waiting to happen.

Members of Fab-5 and Toy Boat Theatre have a work party. L to R: Chris Jordan, Josh Bornstein, Jen Davis, Alex Smith, Katie Lowery, Kenji Stoll, Eddie Sumlin, Davon White.

That goal may be inching closer: Four vacant retail storefronts on the Hilltop have just been added to the Spaceworks program of exhibition/residency spaces. Located in a building adjacent to the Fulcrum Gallery at 1308 Martin Luther King Way (for years the lone embodiment of the Hilltop “art scene”), the new additions will encourage the critical mass needed to create a more thriving, diverse scene.

Owned by the Marie Thorp Wilson Trust, the brick building at 1310-1316 MLK Way houses four spacious studios which will be available for three-to-six month terms, rent-free, to Spaceworks participants. It is the kind of open, unfinished project space artists salivate over. The aim of Spaceworks is to enable the creation of dynamic art exhibitions, performances and residencies in urban storefronts, a process which benefits property owners by activating vacant spaces and ultimately making them more attractive to potential renters and buyers.

A studio in the making.

Trust spokesperson and Thorp family member Jeanette Sorensen is a relative of one of Tacoma’s founding families (her grandfather, Theodore Thorp of Hudson, Wisconsin, followed his cousin, Thea Foss, to settle out West), and says she is a newcomer to the arts. Fulcrum owner Oliver Dorris first floated the idea of opening her building to Spaceworks, she says; then after meeting with the project administrators, “it appeared to be a wonderful program that would give life to our building and an opportunity to help the arts in Tacoma.” Through Sorensen’s generosity, a strip of the Hilltop will become a dynamic point of interest through artistic enterprise. So far, the artists slated for residencies in her building include the Toy Boat Theatre, creative consortium Fab-5 and musician Nate Dybevik. Continue reading

‘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.

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