Show with MAE, this Saturday

What is MAE?

Madera Architectural Elements (MAE) is a collective of Pacific Northwest artisans all of whom design and fabricate exceptional building components and furnishings. Members include: Ixia Tile – custom ceramic tile, Shape 3 – custom metal and artwork, Mindy Barker – mural and painter, Pacific Rim Tapestries – contemporary tapestry, Turner Furniture and Upholstery – upholstered furniture, Lynn DiNino – concrete and mixed media artist, Burnett Forge – artist blacksmith, Jennevieve Schlemmer - architectural mosaics, Steve Lawler – reFurniture, Diane Roberts - fused/stained glass, Christopher Hoppin - mixed media artist, Northwest Refinishing - wood refinishing, and Madera Fine Decorative Furnishings – furniture and cabinetry, Two Ravens Studio- metal casting, Design Tech Artglass- glass. Future participants will also include a custom blown glass sink and lighting fabricator and cabinet refinishing.
“What we’re creating is one-stop-shopping location for all of your architectural element needs,” said Madera owner Carlos Taylor-Swanson. “Whether you’re a homeowner or designer you’ll be able to visit our showroom and see what is new and exciting in contemporary furnishings and artisan-made building components,” he added.
The showroom, located in downtown Tacoma, will be open to the public Monday through Friday and by appointment. Each artisan-member will also use the showroom as a meeting place for clients.

August 5, 2010 at 1:20pm

Peepshow coming to Tacoma's Puyallup Avenue

This preview photo includes the work of MAE artists: Jennifer Weddermann-Hay (mirror), Jennevieve Schlemmer (peacock), chess table by Diane Roberts, pillows by Cecelia Blomberg, lamp by Carlos Taylor-Swanson and silhouette cut-outs by guest artist Wade Ma


"Is ... Is that a peephole?" you whisper under your breath, halting your walking tour of Tacoma. You look left, then right. It definitely looks like a peephole.

Supporting your body weight with your hand you peer through the hole, drilled into a building along Puyallup Avenue. Your eyes adjust. You believe you're gazing at ... yes, it's some sort of boudoir. Yes, most certainly - with carefully posed shadows and selectively chosen props occupying a brightly illuminated but shallow space surrounded by mood lighting. The tightly staged vignette in a single scene suggesting a certain narrative and thematic possibility, but resists being reduced to one storyline.

You pull away from the peephole. Then lean back into it. You repeat several times. "This is bizarre," you think to yourself.

A bit dizzy, you carefully continue down the sidewalk only to stop again a few feet later when your eye catches a space full of... what? Seriously? chastity belts!?! This is getting ridiculous.

"Good lord," you say to no one in particular. "What is going down in my city?"

And then you remember reading this post. Ah, yes. The Madera Architectural Elements artists are behind the boudoir vignettes, combing their artisan interior and exterior building skills into single scenes as part of the Don't Look group show. And the chastity belts are actually another round of the Denied art shows at Mineral gallery, with new artists - the original of which drew rave reviews last summer as Entrance Denied at the same gallery.

You turn the corner onto Pacific Avenue and head north, processing what you've seen. You've peeped into ladies dressing rooms. You've ogled ladies underwear. On an unrelated note, you also saw a young couple making out at the Sound Transit stop across the srteet.

Then you come to a halt - having reached some sort of epiphanic conclusion over what you have witnessed. And an opportunity has presented itself. You slowly spell out your thoughts for all to see in Tollefson Plaza.

Don't Look

Saturday, Aug. 14-Sept. 14 anytime from the sidewalk
Preview events: Saturday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday Aug. 19, 5-8 p.m.
Gallery 301, 301 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma

Access Denied

Saturday, Aug. 14-Sept. 14 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
Preview events: Saturday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday Aug. 19, 5-8 p.m.
Mineral, 301 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma