Anywho, #13

Dearest g.g.-

Another update from earlier in the year---the new Gig Harbor Fred Meyer is open, up, and running smooth. When you check out, lookup. That's my finished 45' mural!

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Cross Section revolves around one core element - a slice of a tree. Building off themes of nature, water and Gig Harbor’s past and present, all surrounding images are connected and echo off the growth rings. Its outward movement is reminiscent of sound waves, water ripples, or waves traveling on a still bay. The deer, octopus and harbor seal gaze outward, inviting you to investigate within the design - to voyage from Gig Harbor’s forest to its underwater environment and back up to its beaches.

AND, more currently, my "Yes" mural was featured in July's SEATTLE MAGAZINE! A two page spread even! Here is the digital version so you can check it out at your leisure:

http://www.seattlemag.com/arts-and-culture/seattle-artists-and-tacomas-homegrown-creatives-are-growing-buzzworthy-south-sound

Much love,

mindy jo

 

 

Anywho, #12

Dearest g.g.-

Hi there!

A few updates: the finished discs for Mette! They now live happily in Denmark.

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Much love,

mindy jo

Anywho, #10

Dearest g.g.-

Hi! In 2015 I was accepted to create a design for Tacoma's Traffic Box Wrap Program. In August 2016, two of the 44 boxes chosen for wraps were covered with my design. Here is the one on McCarver & Ruston:

Tacoma News Tribune Arts Reporter, Rosemary Ponnekanti, wrote this article and created this video about this Tacoma project...and I'm in the video!

http://www.thenewstribune.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article94435687.html

Much love,

mindy jo

 

Anywho, #8

Dearest g.g.-

Hi, I'm back! Last June I headed home, to my beautiful birthplace of Tacoma, after a five month substitute teacher stint in Nome, Alaska. My Nome adventures culminated with a pause in a five year period of living and learning in several different cities, including, besides Nome, also Portland and Seattle.

So what adventures was I involved in between the summer of 2016 and now, summer of 2017?

Let me start with last summer. As I reached the ground in Seatac last June--after leaving the ground in Nome, AK--I, happily, had a project awaiting: I was chosen by the Cedar River Clinic (14th and Martin Luther King, Jr Way in Tacoma), through the Tacoma Murals Project, to design and complete a 16’ x 81’ mural on the exterior of their building. Out-of-my-skin excitement!!!

Cedar River Clinics offer woman-centered health care, along with LGBTQ care, and have a persistent weekly protester presence at their clinic creating neighborhood unease. Grateful for the Hilltop community’s patience, especially with the protesters, and the Hilltop's support, the clinic desired to show their appreciation through this mural.

After meeting with Cedar River Clinics, the Hilltop Business Association, the Hilltop Action Coalition, and surrounding businesses, 3 issues stood out: 1) the desire for more color in their community 2) more of the natural world represented and 3) organic shapes to soften the hard edge of urban structure.

Considering their collective thoughts regarding the mural site’s past, present and future, I designed a mural depicting colorful fabric flowing across the wall, past two sets of painted trompe l'oeil windows, breaking down the rigid lines of urban structure. Its twisting and turning bonds together the different “colors” of the Hilltop neighborhood, representing the LGBTQ community, different religions, ethnicity and gender, until eventually transforming into big, same color filled flowers.

Here is its development:

The different color options:

The final chosen design and color combination by Cedar River Clinics and the surrounding community:

The wall before painting. Photo by Teriscovkya Smith.

Jesse Peterson, my awesome assistant; he was terrific and so much fun! The Tacoma Murals Project assigned him to this project to gain his own experience of mural making.

A view of him, and also the wall after I sketched out the design, while I looked down from the scaffolding:

Scaffolding and the start of painting.

Friends visit. And pose.

Me, while painting. The mornings were cold as August and September advanced.

There are many treasured memories during my time painting this mural, wonderful friends that came to visit me and many friendships that were forged, but Henry's almost daily check-ins were golden. Here he is after giving me a hat on which he crocheted an added blue do-rag. It was even in the colors of the mural! So honored! From then on, that hat joined me on the scaffolding everyday. If you look closely, while in front of the mural, you might find his initials (HDW); I embedded them somewhere in the mural. Can you find them?

Jesse holding flags I made. One day a woman came dancing by and gave me these flags. They had a printed image I was not familiar with so I repainted them to look like my signature. They, along with Henry's hat, became our scaffolding mascots!

The final look!

Will write you with more very soon!

Much love,

mindy jo

 

Anywho, #7

Dearest g.g.-

Wow, how fast a year swings by. Hope 2016 was good to you! It was full of personal development and challenge, but also great love and understanding.

As a recap, January of last year I got on a plane and landed in Nome, Alaska to teach reading to 7th and 8th graders at Nome-Beltz Jr/Sr High School. Super steep learning curve for me, but, heck, I thought, I can hack being on the hot seat for 5 months, right? Right! I did it! It WAS hot, but as with all things uncomfortable, I learned a ton.  About myself.  About Alaska and native culture (was especially blown away by some of my student's dancing). About teaching. About 13 thru 15 year old humans. About public speaking. About how much teachers dedicate their whole lives to teaching, not just the hours they are in the school building but also through their weekends, evenings and vacations.

One such teacher is Teriscovkya Smith, aka 'Smitty', writing teach extraordinaire. I've known her since high school, I consider my sister, and is the one who got me out to Nome. She told me about Nome Beltz's heavy need for a substitute teacher to step in for a teacher going on maternity leave. She housed me, drove me around, advised me, supported me, introduced me to The Walking Dead and backed me every day. What am I trying to say? Pretty much, if she hadn't been around, I would have not climbed that curve and would probably have been burned by the heat.  Thank you, T!  

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Here she is in all her cuteness and me, well, forgive me, I was COLD! That's supposed to happen when you snowmobile for hours, right?

What was my favorite part with my students? The last two weeks of school and the art each student created for an assignment Teriscovkya designed for both her classes and mine during that time. My room was full of art supplies, left from past art classes, so I let my students experiment and come up with art pieces that illustrated what they wanted for their futures, along with writing from 'Smitty's' class about music.

Here are some of the results:

 A street in Nome:

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The 2016 Iditorod, which finishes in Nome:

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And a little photo series I call "Reclining Nome Nude" which I did with fellow teacher, I mean, model, Susanne Thomas.

This one is "Reclining Nome Nude On Pallet"

"Reclining Nome Nude On Ice"

"Reclining Nome Nude On Log"

Thank you, Nome!!!!!

Anywho, #1

Dearest g.g.-

Hello, my dear! It's been so long since we last corresponded. I've really missed our back-and-forth notes, they brighten my day. I often see things or experience some new/old music, books or thought and I am bursting to tell you about it.

Now I will.

The biggest news is that I have now fully (ok, there may still be SOME reservations) accepted my vagabond ways. I really don't call anywhere home but my heart (and mailing address) is still in Tacoma, WA, the place of my birth and where the glut of my family, friends, and business conspirators reside. This is the town where my business was born and raised, so a majority of my contacts are here and in Seattle. But this hasn't stopped me from riding the rails! I now have fellow art lover contacts in Portland and in Spokane. Actually, if I dive deep into why I have the need to ramble, it's my quest to figure out the unique pulse of each city I take sporadic refuge in that bubbles to the surface. That and, like a Portland friend describes me, I'm akin to the butterfly: I don't land in one spot for long, fluttering here to there, and then back again, unwilling (at least at this point) to settle in one area.

Changing environments also provides me with inspiration. I've been apart of some fantastic projects since we last wrote (some of them are documented on my website-take a look!) and I have met some really wonderfully talented humans along the way...for example, the theatre people in Portland (http://thirdrailrep.org/, http://www.cohoproductions.org/, http://petensemble.org/frontpage/frontpage/, http://www.theatrevertigo.org/) and the people of Terrain, a hearty Spokane based arts event (http://terrainspokane.com/).

I think I will call it a night, but I promise to write more soon.

I'll leave you with a pen design I recently finished:

Please sleep sweet, ok?

Much love,

mindy jo

Open house!!!

Still working on completing the artwork I am creating on some of its walls and ceilings, but Erika and Kevin Eckert, Build LLC and I would like to invite all of our friends, family and colleagues to join us for an open house on Sunday, July 20th between 3-6 PM.

Address: 1027 NE 72nd St, Seattle, WA 98115

 Detail on one ceiling

Detail on one ceiling

More photos to come!!

A gift!

I received a gift: a book of Third Rail Repertory member's/cast's favorite Portland places and activities, after the performance yesterday (handcrafted by the beautiful and incredibly talented, Amy Frankel). I LOVE it! And the show...impressed beyond words!

Thank you, Dave Bodin, Gavin Christensen, Spencer Conway, Don Crossley, Nick Erickson, Amy Frankel, Kelly Godell, Kylie Clark Johnson, Isaac Lamb, Rebecca Lingafelter (yes, dinner @ your place!!!), Amy Newman, Maureen Porter, Karen Trumbo, Rolland Walsh, and Scott Yarbough for your Portland tips!

So touched!

Third Rail Repertory Theatre

I was lucky enough to work with Amy Frankel on a lobby installation for Third Rail's production of NOISES OFF. This is a photo of the backs of the 4 "doors" I painted with Third Rail's logo. 

Went to the production yesterday and the installation looks FANTASTIC and the theater goers are heartily participating by opening the doors to see what's inside. 

AND the production is spellbinding...I am so impressed by the set, the lighting, the costumes, and especially the acting!!! Blown away!

Here's a link, 

http://www.thirdrailrep.org

Artist statement: collaborative mural on 11th and Market, Tacoma, WA

Humans, Join Us!™

By Mindy Barker and Kristin Giordano

Hey you! Yes, you, "driving" by in your car, texting. Notice the air quotes around "driving?" Don’t you know the dangers of texting while driving? I think Werner Herzog just did a documentary about it. You don’t know Werner Herzog? You should really look him up on Netflix™. The Criterion Collection® put out an entire box set of his films. You will not believe the scene with the tiny monkeys in Aguirre, Wrath of God.™

Sorry, I lost my train of thought for a sec. I was talking about danger, texting, and driving. Because there are alternatives. Have you ever considered the pleasures of bipedal locomotion? We have! The best way to begin walking is to find yourself an excellent pair of shoes. They should be comfortable, but please--try to be a bit stylish. You’re in public now. It is not okay to wear your pajamas to the store, and slippers are not shoes. You know who you are.

But seriously, have you ever seen a cuter bunch of baby chickens? One of them is wearing a helmet. By this time, you have probably gotten distracted and clicked on the YouTube™ cat video your cousin put on Facebook™. You really need to stop messing with your phone while you drive. You're becoming a menace. And you really shouldn’t hold a No-whip Mocha Frappuccino® and an iPhone™ while operating a motor vehicle, especially a stick shift. That's probably why the baby chicken has to wear a helmet all the time.

I see that you are now scrolling through the photo gallery on Flickr™ of cute animals in mugs. I mean, a baby hedgehog IN A MUG! That is literally the cutest thing ever. OMG, totes adorbs! Wait, no way, there’s one with two baby bunnies IN THE SAME MUG! WATCH FOR THE PEDESTRIAN!!!!! Jeez, you really need to focus.

If you take a break from looking at the hilarious thing George “Sulu” Takai just posted to Twitter™, you might notice that there is a large lemur on a skateboard on the side of a building downtown. That is horrendous! Oops, I meant to type “hilarious.” Stupid auto-correct! You know, you really shouldn’t try to post it to Instagram™ while you’re driving. But, oh, wait, never mind, you just did. No worries! But you should really pull over if you want to get the one of the meerkats in sneakers. It could totally go viral. For, like, 2 seconds.

 

 

 

Mural: 11th and Market

Last June, Tacoma put out a call for artists to submit proposals for the Artscapes Program:

Spaceworks Tacoma and Downtown On The Go (DOTG) are teaming up to facilitate new Artscapes for the building walls at 11th and Market in downtown Tacoma.

We are seeking artist(s), artist teams and/or community groups to transform the current “Chalk Walls” into temporary 2-dimensional, site-specific installations (Artscapes) with a theme of transportation. Artists are asked to submit proposals that will create a space that adds to the livability of downtown and positively reflects living, moving, or being downtown Tacoma.

Here's a photo of the "Chalk Walls" project. The wood panels are the surface to be painted for this call:

Kristin Giordano and I decide to tackle this challenge. Here is our initial proposed idea: 

We are accepted!!! 

The city also accepts Jeremy Gregory's design and decides to have us share the building, giving one side to Kristin and I and the other to Jeremy. We are tickled! 

Jeremy graciously takes the hilly side of the building. Thank you! 

Here's our new revised design for the Market St. side of the building:

At this point of the design process, the design didn't have the "ground" indicated but on the actual final mural it will be added. 

After our specified basecoat color was painted, this is what the site looked like before we began:

Time to measure. And measure. The polar bear and the "Humans, Join Us!" became the center to measure from:

After hours of working with FedEx on 19th (thank you manager Vicky and the super fantastic Jeremiah...thanks for not shouting, "No more! We never EVER want to see you both again!". Kristin even brought them donuts as a peace offering but both Vicky and Jeremiah were not working. Nice thought, though, Kristin!) to produce our images and hours of gluing these images together, here is where the application of our design began:

First to be painted, "Humans, Join Us!" second, the polar bear is adhered.

Next the meerkats...

A high (Hi!) fashion/Tacoma action shot of Kristin!!!!

The team. An attentive passerby noticed I was standing in the middle of the street with my camera and tripod, running back to Kristin to get a photo of us together once they were set. She kindly offered to take over. Phew! She only got one honk of warning from one impatient car driver. 

The cats are added.

photo: Lisa Kinoshita

Painting in the "ground".

photo: Lisa Kinoshita

The "ground" is now in place.

More to come...

My lanterns are hung!

Come visit the Tacoma Design Collective's showroom! I have just hung some of my handmade lanterns in the window and they are all lit up...come look in the day or come at night. Very festive! 

On each paper lantern I have embedded photos I have personally taken and then added a hand painted design to connect all the photos. Each one is completely different from the other. There are three sizes and also two different paper lantern formations, one a random rib pattern... the other more consistent, to choose between. All reasonably priced for that perfect present for your loved one!

Is there more work to purchase in the showroom from the other Tacoma Design Collective members?

Yes!!! Please visit this website to learn about other artisans represented by the Tacoma Design Collective.

http://www.tacomadesigncollective.com/

What is the Tacoma Design Collective?

Tacoma Design Collective is the premiere North End Design + Build creative team. The brainchild of President Scott Neste, the Tacoma Design Collective was formed in January 2011 to build on the collaborative and creative strengths of its members including Weddermann Architecture, SE Construction, Details BUY Design and Neste’s own Minor Details. 

Where is the showroom?

2603 North Proctor, Tacoma, WA 98407

253.468.4965