Friday, February 22, 2019

Raven and the Box of Daylight

Preston Singletary at Museum of Glass
By Alec Clayton
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Feb. 21, 2019
installation view of the exhibition with works in various media including blown and sand-cast glass, metal, neon lighting and video projections, all objects by Preston Singletary, courtesy of the artist.
Raven and the Box of Daylight at Museum of Glass is a dramatic presentation in glass art of one of the more enduring stories in the Tlingit tradition as created by internationally renowned artist Preston Singletary.
Singletary is a Tlingit American from the Pacific Northwest. He studied glass art in residencies in Sweden and studied under international glass artists in Vienna. His artworks are featured in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; British Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Seattle Art Museum; The Corning Museum of Glass, New York; and Heard Museum, Phoenix, and in other collections and exhibitions. He is known for combining traditional Native American art and imagery with modern glass art
As a youngster, Singletary listened to traditional stories passed down in the Tlingit culture as told by his great-grandparents. His work celebrates this Indigenous culture using Tlingit design principles with objects that incorporate elements from the natural world to tell stories and histories of individual families. 
Generations of Tlingit children have heard the story of Raven’s adventure, according to the exhibition curator,  Miranda Shkik Belarde-Lewis, a Tlingit/Zuni Indian. “The story of Raven releasing or ‘stealing’ the daylight is one of the most iconic stories of the Tlingit People of Southeast Alaska,” Belarde-Lewis says. “The Tlingit name for Raven is Yéil. Many people know the basic story, yet there are variations unique to specific villages and individual storytellers. We examined five of them, all from Tlingit storytellers. Each of the stories emphasizes different aspects of the same story.”
Raven leads visitors on a journey through the transformation of darkness into light. Different aspects of the Raven story are told through carved and cast glass sculptures of the animals, people, and land of the Tlingit people with music and video projections of water, trees and sky. Each individual piece is beautifully displayed with low lighting and highlights on each object. In one room of the museum the “ClanHouse” is depicted with two life-size human figures in Native garb and a long wooden shelf upon with are placed traditional vessels and sculptures of birds, fish and human figures. In the “WorldDaylight” room 10 busts of stately Indians are displayed on black sculpture stands with a projected backdrop of river, land and sky in brilliant tones of midnight blue. Each room theatrically displays aspects of or variations on the same story.
This is more than just an art exhibit; it is an immersive theatrical experience. No ending date has been set, but the show will run throughout 2019.
Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight , 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, through 2019,  $15 adults, $13 students and seniors, free for military and children 5 and younger, free Third Thursday from 5-8 p.m., Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, 253.272.4258,

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Alphabet Caper rescheduled

The Alphabet Caper has been rescheduled for March 3
See original post below

A staged reading at Olympia Family Theater

Ted Ryle and Miriam Sterlin will host a staged reading of their original musical, The Alphabet Caper one night only, Sunday, Feb. 10.

They hope to fill the OFT space with friends of the theater who can offer insights on how they can continue to shine it up! It's a work in progress. Theater people, they're seeking your input. "We’re hoping to produce this project in the next OFT season," Ryle says.

The play transpires in Halonah’s bedroom. She’s a whip-smart, super creative elementary-aged girl. The letters (most of the characters in the show) are a figment of her imagination, and an expression of her creative and emotional life. Everything is peachy in her playground - she and the letters are making up songs, X and Y are helping her with her algebra homework- nothing but good times. Until Halonah learns she is having a baby sister, and her well-ordered world is turned upside down. Things start to go sideways in the alphabet. The vowels revolt against the consonants. Then one of the letters disappears entirely, and the caper commences! 

From Ted Ryle:

Halonah loves letters, and the sounds they make. She just loves letters, and their twisty, turny shapes! “A, E, I love U, O yeah!” This magical, musical caper in two acts takes place in Halonah’s bedroom. Animation and live-action characters bring to life the Alphabetastics - a performing ensemble directly out of Halonah’s imagination. Halonah frolics with her frenetic, phonetic friends during most of the first act, exploring language and word play, figuring out her algebra homework with X and Y, and dancing the ‘Hopscotch, Hokey Pokey, Hand Jive’ with her favorite letter H, the female lead of the Alphabetastics.  

The alphabet is an expression of Halonah’s creative prowess, as well as a soothing salve when she is distressed - "All  you have to do is breathe." H sings to help her calm her nerves. Then, the world shakes, things fall out of place, and Halonah’s well-ordered, letter-filled universe is turned inside out when she learns she’s having a baby sister. Soon the roil of her emotions explodes in to chaos amongst the alphabet, vowels revolt against consonants, tension abounds, and then H disappears altogether, launching us in to the caper of the vanishing letter: "A malevolent deed! Are none of us safe?  Can someone please explain the disappearance of H?" 

Who is the alpha-culprit? Was it G, H’s neighbor? H modifies her, and sometime when H is around it’s as though G’s not even there! How about C, P or T? She modifies them too? Maybe it’s sticky fingers S.  He’s always pocketing things- ‘More, mine, plural, possessive!’  Then suspicion centers on the eccentric end of the alphabet. Is it the inquisitive W, who aspires to the ingenue role currently played by H.  Or X, who envies H, and misses being Halonah’s favorite letter, who loved her exotic, exceptional, mysterious ways. Y is the male lead of the alphabetastics.  Maybe it’s him. And then there’s Z, as suspicious as can be . . . and not much else to do at the end of the alphabet. 

This play looks to be a unique, highly interactive, fantastical experience for the whole family. Silliness, and numerous sight gags will play to the youngest among us. Abundant word-play will enrapture those in the midst of expanded language discovery, and the nuance of the alphabet world with relational drama and occasional entendre will engage the olders in our audience. 

We hope you can join us. Please bring little people, if you have any handy! 

The Alphabet Caper
March 3, 6 p.m. 
Olympia Family Theater
612 4th Ave E, Olympia, 360-570-1638.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Preview: Agnes of God, A Little Night Music and Angels in America,

By Alec Clayton
Published in The News Tribune, Feb. 15, 2019
from left: Maria Valenzuela as Dr. Livingstone, Cecilia Lews as Agnes and Laurie Sifford as Mother Miriam Ruth in Agnes of God at Tacoma Little Theatre, photo by Jason Ganwich of Ganwich Media.

From the snowy end of winter into the dawning of spring, Tacoma Theaters offer important and exciting modern theater.
At Dukesbay Theatre it is the taut mystery “Agnes of God” by John Pielmeier, starring Laurie Sifford as Mother Miriam Ruth, Maria Valenzuela as Dr. Livingstone and Cecilia Lewis as the novice Agnes, directed by Nyree Martinez. “Agnes” is the story of the young nun, Agnes, who gives birth and is accused of killing the baby. Agnes not only denies killing her child, she denies any knowledge of being pregnant or giving birth. Murder mystery or a question of faith? The question posed is: is it murder or is it a miracle.
"At first, ‘Agnes’ looks like just another murder mystery, but I am a believer in miracles,” said Dukesbay co-founder and show producer Aya Hashiguchi Clark. “I love how the story takes us on a journey of faith and hope alongside of the forensic tale." 
At Tacoma Little Theatre it is one of Steven Sonheim’s most popular if more difficult musicals, “A Little Night Music.” Winner of four Tony Awards, “Night Music” is the romantic tale of an aging actress, a married virgin, a sex-starved divinity student and a comical count in 1900 Sweden, with lush music including the ever-popular “Send in the Clowns.”
"We've been waiting for the right time to do a Sondheim, and our 100th year seemed the perfect time to bring back such a beautiful classic,” said TLT artistic director Chris Surface. “We had to write an appeal to the rights holder because the show is currently restricted. Thankfully, our perseverance paid off and we were awarded the rights."
TLT’s “Night Music” is directed by John Munn with Musical Director Deborah Lynn Armstrong and choreography by Lexi Barnett.

For a change of pace, Tacoma Musical Theater brings back “The Drowsy Chaperone,” winner of five Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards. This lively musical is a parody of 1920s musicals.

Finally, with a monumental effort, Lakewood Playhouse presents the epic two-part drama “Angels in America” by Tony Kushner. This rambling yet taut drama is a no-holds-barred look at the AIDS crisis in America, the gay community during the most frightening years of the crisis, and the political battles around the epidemic. This epic is presented in repertory with parts one and two on different nights and both on Sundays.
"We've never done two shows at the same time, in repertory, before, and choosing two massive productions like ‘Angels in America’ parts one and two has been a mammoth undertaking,” said Playhouse artistic director John Munn (yes, the same John Munn who is directing “A Little Night Music” at TLT.
Munn said, “My Stage Manager and Production Manager, Melissa Avril Harris, and myself have been working on the shows since last April. Our amazing actors have been in rehearsal for seven months, and our technical team has been supporting us every step of the way. We can't wait to share this landmark piece of epic theater with everyone starting March 22nd."


Agnes of God
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1-17
WHERE: Dukesbay Theater in the Merlino Arts Center, 508 S. Sixth Ave. #10, Tacoma

A Little Night Music
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8-31
WHERE: Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 North I St. Tacoma
INFORMATION: (253) 272-2281,

The Drowsy Chaperone
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, March March 22-April 14
WHERE: Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 6th Ave., Tacoma
INFORMATION: (253) 565-6867,

Angels in America
WHEN: part one 7 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday; part two 7 p.m. Thursday, Sunday, Feb. 22-March 17
WHERE: Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood
INFORMATION: (253) 588-0042,

Thursday, February 14, 2019

‘For Tacoma’ at Alma Mater

A new art venue for T-town
by Alec Clayton

“Old City Hall” performance piece by Gabriel Brown, photo by Travis Pranger

There’s a new art venue in Tacoma that has the wonderful advantage of being easily accessible to the public and open from early morning to late at night seven days a week. A collaboration between Tacoma Gallery, LLC (Jane and Jason Sobottka) and Alma Mater, the gallery space is the foyer area between Honey and Matriarch Lounge at Alma Mater.

The Sobottkas curated the opening show with help from Spaceworks’ 950 Gallery. Jason Sobottka said his aim in choosing artists for the show was to include a wide variety of media and style and to show
emerging and mid-career artists from the Tacoma area who “look like Tacoma” and “who may be underrepresented in the local (or national) arts scene.”
My initial impression upon walking into the foyer was that I was seeing representative works from freshman art majors — some clever, well-meaning and exciting ideas showing lots of heart but amateurish in execution, with a handful of exceptions, most noticeably works by Gabriel Brown and Becky Frehse, both of whom may be a little too successful to fit the stated criteria for this show.
Brown’s “Old City Hall” sits in the middle of the space and dominates in every conceivable way. It is a sculptural installation that once served as a performance piece.        The central figure is a mannequin placed inside a large replica of the tower on the old City Hall with arm, leg and head holes. On the floor in front of this is a sandwich board advertising “Hard Times Shoe Shines,” and scattered about this are tools of the shoe-shine trade plus photographs and a video played on a cell phone of the time when this piece was used as performance art, with a live person shining shoes inside the tower.  It is funny and inventive, an insightful commentary on the imbalance of power between rich and poor.
Frehse’s “A Rooster’s Crow,” acrylic and collage on canvas, is a striking picture of a coal-black rooster in an abstracted urban landscape. The bird itself looks like it is made from tar ladled on the surface. The surrounding imagery is a swirl of bright colors made from a twining wire and a scrap of sheet music and multi-colored ovals that float in and over the background. The texture is rough and gritty, and the swirling wire is a lyrical line that holds everything in place. The grittiness and the variety of imagery and mark-making within a unified whole captures and holds the viewer’s attention.
A few other pieces worthy of note are: Kris Crews’ dramatic photo of street musicians and a juggler and a bicyclist riding up the wall of a building; Chandler Woodfin’s “Heatwave,” in intricate and delicate watercolor with a flowing floral design; a group of four little twisted-wire sculptures of dancing figures by Chris Wooten called “Manic Dance”; and a portrait by Adika Bell of the writer James Baldwin painted in bright colors in a slap dash pop style with quotes from Baldwin’s writings, such as “Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.”
For Tacoma, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday., 7 a.m. to midnight Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 28, closing reception Feb. 21 6-9 p.m., Alma Mater 1322 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma,

Friday, February 8, 2019

Flora & Ulysses

A story with a capacious heart
by Alec Clayton
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Feb. 7, 2019
from left: Korja Giles, Ryan Martin Holmberg and Ted Ryle, photo by David Nowitz, courtesy Olympia Family Theatre

Flora & Ulysses, based on the children’s book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, is a children’s story that appeals to people of all ages. With phrases like “a capacious heart” and “loneliness makes us do terrible things," and such sophisticated concepts as temporary blindness caused by trauma and being a self-declared cynic as a way of hiding insecurity, the wit and wisdom of this play is beyond the grasp of many children. On the other hand, it has the virtue of not talking down to children, who might be wiser than we give them credit for. Plus, the wild antics of the actors on stage at Olympia Family Theater appeal to all children and the child in all of us.
Flora Belle Buckman (Korja Giles) is a 10-year-old girl whose parents are recently divorced. She loves comic books and wishes she could see thought bubbles above her head like in comics. Taking this clue as a guiding principle, scenic designer Martin Lee and scenic engineer David Nowitz filled the set with ads from the back pages of comic book and projected thought bubbles on that wall above the stage.
Flora rescues a squirrel that has been sucked up by a Ulysses vacuum cleaner and names the squirrel after the vacuum cleaner. Comic book super heroes get their powers because of some catastrophic accident, and Ulysses the squirrel is no exception; he gets super powers from being sucked up in the vacuum cleaner. His super powers include the ability to fly and write poetry, which he types out on Flora’s mother’s old manual typewriter. Her mother, Phyllis (Rynelle Bircher), is not a good writer; Ulysses is a better poet. Phyllis wants to get rid of Ulysses; she and Flora argue about it, and Flora decides to leave her mother and go live with her father, George (Ted Ryle).
Giles portrays Flora as loveable and sweet but sad and lonely. She subtly and wonderfully portrays the complexity of this character, a smart and loving child whose world has been rocked by the divorce of her parents.
Ulysses the squirrel is a hand puppet manipulated by Ryan Martin Holmberg who, OFT patrons will recall, was the puppeteer for Blubber the fish in Fishnapped. Holmberg’s wide-eyed expressions, jerky movements and histrionic pronouncements are hilarious. He does more than just operate a hand puppet; he becomes Ulysses. The audience goes wild when he makes Ulysses fly around the stage and up into the audience like some kind of crazed kamikaze pilot.
Ryle as father George is absolutely hilarious, proving once again that he has the comic talent of a Charlie Chaplin or a Buster Keaton.
For children, for their parents, and maybe especially for 10-year-old kids, Flora & Ulysses is highly recommended.
Flora & Ulysses, 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, through Feb. 17, $15 $20, Olympia Family Theater, 612 4th Ave E, Olympia, 360-570-1638.


Revisiting Tacoma Art Museum

Where we keep finding treasures
By Alec Clayton
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Feb. 7, 2019
 "Four Seasons - Indian Summer," archival pigment print on Sunset Fiber rag, by Wendy Red Star, gift of Loren Lipson, courtesy the artist
After visiting the new Benaroya Wing at Tacoma Art Museum for the second time, I wandered through the other galleries, which featured shows I had previously reviewed, and was delighted to see how much I enjoyed revisiting these shows. Which illustrates two important things about TAM: first, that exhibitions remain on view much longer than exhibitions in commercial galleries (a full year and a half, for instance, for American Artists in the American West) and second, the tremendous variety of art on exhibit in multiple galleries guarantees you’ll always find something to your liking no matter how your taste runs.
I admit to having biases. I was extremely skeptical when TAM opened the new wing featuring the Haub Family Collection of Western Art, and again when they opened the new Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Wing featuring glass art from Pilchuck. I was not anxious to see a bunch of cowboy-and-Indian art, and I figured Tacoma had quite enough glass art already, thank you very much. But I’m happy to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by much of the art in both those wings.
Currently, one large gallery is devoted to the quiet, contemplative and structurally strong black and white landscape photography of Terry Toedemeier  with photos of natural phenomena in, mostly, Oregon (and some in Washington). This show ends Feb. 17, so see it soon.
Not to be missed is “Current,” a 30-foot long glass sculpture by Martin Blank, installed in the museum lobby during the run of the opening exhibition of the Benaroya Wing. Blank is the artist who created the “Fluent Steps” in the reflecting pool at the Museum of Glass. “Current” is a series of rough aquamarine slabs of glass mounted on and behind metal strips and standing wood beams. It represents the flowing waters of Puget Sound. It is monumental and stunning due to the sparkling color of the glass, strong material contrasts and sheer size.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is an internationally-known Native American artist whose work will be shown for three months beginning March 9. Her “In the Footsteps of My Ancestors” references traditional Native American art but is also as thoroughly modern as a painting can be, with drawing and mark-making that call to mind Jean-Michel Basquiat, Willem de Kooning and Fay Jones, with hints of early Jackson Pollock before he started dripping paint.
Just opened are Animals: Wild and Captured in Bronze and Immigrant Artists and the American West, both drawn from the Haub Family Collection; and coming soon is Native Portraiture: Power and Perception, an exhibition that counters romanticized and idealized portraits of Native Americans by presenting portraits of American Indians by American Indians, opening Feb 10. Also coming soon in the Hub Wing are Winter in the West and Places to Call Home: Settlements in the West, both opening Feb. 17.
Multiple visits to Tacoma Art Museum are definitely in order.

Various exhibitions, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, check website for closing dates, $15 adults, $13 students and seniors, free for military and children 5 and younger, free Third Thursday from 5-8 p.m., Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, 253.272.4258,

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Notes on Olympia Little Theatre’s Men on Boats

by Alec Clayton

Back L-R: Kendra Malm as "Walter Henry (Old Shady) Powell", Andrea Weston-Smart as "Oramel (O.G.) Howland", Susana Bailén Acevedo as "Seneca Howland", Jesse Morrow as "John Wesley Powell", Shannon Agostinelli as "William Dunn", Heather R. Christopher as "John Colton Sumner"
Front L-R: Mariah Smith as "George Young Bradley", Amy Shephard as "William Robert Hawkins", Edith Campbell as "Andrew Hall" – photo by Hannah Eklund

Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by Hannah Eklund for Olympia Little Theatre is unlike anything ever seen on Olympia stages — with the possible exception of Playhouse Creatures performed by Theater Artists Olympia, with two of the same cast members, Heather Christopher and Jesse Morrow.
Men on Boats is the adventure tale of one-armed Civil War veteran Major John Wesley Powell (Morrow) and his band of cis-gendered, all-white, government-sanctioned explorers who were the first such men (cis-gendered, white and government-sanctioned) to travel down the Green and Colorado Rivers into the heart of the Grand Canyon.
The playwright specified that the cast should consist entirely of people who are not male and not all white. “I’m talking about racially diverse actors who are female-identifying, trans-identifying, genderfluid, and/or non-gender conforming,” she wrote in casting notes. Interestingly, there was little if any overt feminist or LGBTQ content in the script, but simply seeing these women actors, including a self-identified transgender woman and a Black woman, in the roles of macho, swaggering male adventurers makes a powerful and powerfully humorous point that is accented by the use of contemporary vernacular in a 19th century setting.
These men in real life — and the play is based on a true story — would never have used such modern phrases as “that sucks” and “that’s cool,” so when these actors say such things it points out the silliness of some of their preening and posturing, their unnecessary squabbles, and their pride in wanting to name mountains after themselves. It is a version of breaking the fourth wall for comic effect and it works beautifully.
The set designed by Michael Christopher is outstanding. Sets at OLT are typically little more than a backdrop and scattered furniture. Christopher’s set has multiple levels and a wonderful painting of the canyon walls created by Christopher with Eklund, Patrick Gilmore and Mariah Smith.
The play opens with the men standing in four boats (represented by wooden prows which they can lift and carry), rowing with all their might and shouting directions to each other such as warnings about rocks, rapids and waterfalls. They are loud — ear-splittingly loud — and they shout over each other so that the audience can’t clearly hear everything that is said. That is fine. No one needs to hear everything that’s said. Their shouting sets the exciting mood and establishes the aggressive masculinity of these nine brawny men.
Movements are synchronized in an abstract and balletic fashion. Every few minutes the action freezes long enough for each of the men in turn to introduce themselves.
Despite the comical digs at their masculine strutting, there is a lot of serious adventure as boats are capsized, precious provisions are lost, and the men argue among themselves.
The manner in which some of the actors pantomimed rowing the boats bothered me. Their hand movements were more like pedaling a bicycle than rowing a boat, and the moving of props by stage hands unfortunately takes the audience momentarily out of the action during almost every set stage. This is an unfortunate distraction that can’t be helped but could have been lessened.
The cast is outstanding. Morrow plays Major Powell as loud and proud with outsized strutting and posing. She sways her body side-to-side like a metronome when she moves. Christopher plays the proud John Colton Sumner with great intensity. Andrea Weston-Smart is terrific as Oramel (O.G.) Howland, and she doubles nicely as Chief Tsauwiat, an Indian who helps the men. Kendra Malm turns in what might well be her most accomplished job of acting yet as Powell’s quiet brother Walter Henry, known as Old Shady. He doesn’t say much, but he spits a lot and sings lovely plaintive tunes when the men are gathered around the campfire at night. Old Shady epitomized the strong but silent Western hero, and Malm nails the part.
Men on Boats is a theatrical experience that should not be missed.

Men on Boats
Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave NE, Olympia
7:25 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 1:55 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 17
(360) 786-9484,

Friday, February 1, 2019

Silent Salinity: after the dig

Art and Science meld at 950 Gallery
by Alec Clayton
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Jan. 31, 2019
untitled wall hanging construction by Mary Coss, photo by Alec Clayton
Hanging by the entrance to 950 Gallery is a work of art by Mary Coss that appears to be a jumble of words shaped from bent wire and suspended inside what looks like an old window frame. The words, mostly jumbled and unreadable, hang an inch or so in front of a flat white surface upon with the shadows of the letters are cast. The frame and the letters are encrusted with salt crystals looking somewhat like ice and water and somewhat like barnacles encrusted on a sunken ship.
The poem is unreadable. A few random words or phrases can be deciphered with intense concentration. One can make out the words “coagulate” and phrases such as “runs through clinched (unreadable).” It is mysterious, and the overall feeling is of sadness, loss and timelessness.
On the wall next to it is a printed poem by the artist, Mary Coss. It reads in part:
“Nightfall denies enfolding virgin waters,
tampered statistics drip
Melting rock turns to tears
Shadow sways life force to commodity
Coagulated around greed …”

The show is Silent Salinity: after the dig. It consists of constructed poetry like the above and common objects such as an old manual typewriter, a rotary phone, a broken suitcase and many another such object, all from an earlier time, probably prior to the 1960s. Everything is encrusted with crystalized salt. The objects purport to be recovered from an archeological dig or perhaps a ship wreck. These are artifacts from lives lost or at least from a way of life that is no longer.

Coss, a Seattle artist who has lived and traveled all over the world, uses sculpture, sound, projection and light to “weave social justice with visual arts,” according a statement on her website. She describes this installation as art and science melded in salt-encrusted artifacts. It is a dystopian landscape. “I use the language of metaphor to examine contemporary issues,” she writes. “Silent Salinity explores the relationship between water, global warming and culture. Through a two-year partnership with spatial ecologist Roger Fuller, I examined the dangerously increased salinity levels encroaching on local estuaries, and on consequently our freshwater re-sources.”
The word “silent” in the show title is apropos, as it evokes the silence one might encounter when exploring the undersea world. There is the feeling one should tip-toe through the gallery. You can almost hear air bubbles rising to the surface as you look at the artifacts of a not-too-distant past and wonder who wrote on this typewriter, did they write love letters to someone across the sea, or poetry or a novel that may have never been published; what did they carry in that battered old suitcase and from where to where to where?
And there are bones, three large bones, possibly a femur or a humerus, each on a small shelf.
Silent Salinity, 1-5 p.m. Thursdays (until 9 p.m. Third Thursday), or by appointment, through Feb. 21, 950 Gallery, 950 Pacific Ave. Suite 205, Tacoma, 253.627.2175,