Anywho, #11

Dearest g.g.-

I wish you lived closer because Tacoma is so good to me.

I would love to share its goodness with you, but, alas, you live so far, far away.

What would you experience? Well, on September 21st, myself and 9 other Tacoma based artists were honored. Yup. All of us together; everyone's artwork installed in one place at the Spaceworks Gallery.  First, we all were nominated--which was amazing--then each of us won a Foundation of Art Award from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation! So honored. And I have to say, Gabriel Brown, of Spaceworks Tacoma, did a fantastic job hanging my stuff at the gallery. It wasn't easy! For more information about this award and the AMAZING things the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation does for our community, go here:

The Spaceworks Gallery with my Strata Discs hung second to right in right window.

The Spaceworks Gallery with my Strata Discs hung second to right in right window.


What stuff?

Remember when I told you that I was going to Denmark this summer? Well, I did! My dear friend, Mette, in Denmark, has been chatting with me about creating artwork for her family's home since 2006. I know, long time--over 10 years! But this year we made it THE year!

The first leg of my trip included 3 nights stay in Reykjavik, Iceland at the Reykjavík City Hostel. What did I do the most: spent daily hours at the Laugardalslaug thermal pool, just a few minutes away from the hostel. Heaven, especially the pool with geothermal ocean water.

2006 was the last time I visited Iceland. I was with 5 other Icelandic relatives and, wow, Reykjavik has changed. There was so much more tourist this time around! Almost every sign was in English along with an Icelandic version, sometimes with the English version first. I also had trouble finding hand-knitted items that were actually crafted by Icelanders. After I mentioned this to Icelandic friends they confirmed my suspicions: most of the knitting is done outside of Iceland, by non-Icelanders outfitted with patterns to follow. I'm guessing, with little doubt, that the rate of return is higher this way. After hours of meandering searches, I did find a woman with hand-knitted items in the plaza on Austurstræti and Lækjargata. We had a wonderful conversation, once I told her where some of my Icelandic ancestors lived :) She informed me there were more tourists (mostly summertime) in Iceland than Icelanders. Very concerning. And I believed her.

Next, I spent 10 glorious days experiencing Mette's life, including her life with her two lovely children in Lyngby, a northern suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark. How did we meet? I lived with Mette and her family as an exchange student in 1988-89.

Mette and I in 1988 in downtown Copenhagen.

Mette and I in 1988 in downtown Copenhagen.

Mette and I in 2017 at the Queen's Castle in Copenhagen.

Mette and I in 2017 at the Queen's Castle in Copenhagen.

On this trip, the first time back since 1989, we walked, talked, biked, swam, ate, drank, and laughed. We jumped into her car and toured through Zealand, Funen, and Jutland visiting friends, camping, picnicking, walking, morning bathing in the ocean and laughing more.

Picnic on the side of the road, next to the Nakkebølle Fjord.

Picnic on the side of the road, next to the Nakkebølle Fjord.

Car camping at the Nørre Lyngvig Campground.

Car camping at the Nørre Lyngvig Campground.

Sunset picnic on the shore of the North Sea.

Sunset picnic on the shore of the North Sea.

Mette and I on top of the Nørre Lyngvig (lighthouse).

Mette and I on top of the Nørre Lyngvig (lighthouse).

Mette took a photo of me on the way down through the lighthouse interior.

Mette took a photo of me on the way down through the lighthouse interior.

So many coinkydinks happened each day that I soon was asking Mette, 'Did you plan that?' Then we'd break down, laughing and laughing. For example, while visiting Vadehavscentret in Ribe, Queen Margrethe II walked by, only about 1 foot away from us. She was museum touring with around 6 people and if Mette had not pointed out who she was I would have thought she was just another museum visitor. I'm SURE Mette planned it! It was a gorgeous place.

Something Mette definitely planned was a visit with her long known friends in Havnbjerg. After a beautiful evening of delicious drinks and food, their daughter, Sophia, a young, inspiring artist, asked if I'd like to draw with her. She had an elaborate water-soluble color pencil set and a soft colored bouquet she designed earlier that became our perfect still-life.

I have never been around a young person with such determination, such a hunger and willingness to learn. While we drew together she asked me why I did certain things--through translations from her supportive mother--and she never lost her concentration. Blown away by this person! Enjoyed every moment with this family.

Me, Sophie, and her mom, Stine.

Me, Sophie, and her mom, Stine.

Me and Sophie quietly drawing together.

Me and Sophie quietly drawing together.

Sophie and her younger sister, Ina, pose with Sophie's gorgeous artwork. AND she gifted it to me! A treasure!

Sophie and her younger sister, Ina, pose with Sophie's gorgeous artwork. AND she gifted it to me! A treasure!

I'd love to keep writing and describe what we did every day--the new Moesgaard Museum, MOMU, was amazing and the Louisiana was still as wonderful as in 1989-- and who I saw--like Mette's family, especially her dad who I haven't seen since 1989!-- but this would belabor our main travel abjective: in exchange for a flight to Iceland and Denmark, I will send Mette 5 of my Strata Discs.

And the award, with its show at the Spaceworks Gallery, prompted me to complete 4 of the 5 discs for the installation. Some even traveled with me on this trip!

Drawing in the evening on the discs I brought with me to Denmark.

Drawing in the evening on the discs I brought with me to Denmark.

Thank you, Mette, for a beautiful trip!!!!

Back home, I worked non-stop to complete the 4 discs for the show. Each one contains specific imagery to be included within their strata, symbolizing ideas precious to her and her children.

Strata Discs, Artist Statement:

I’m fascinated by soil.
The soil we walk upon is teeming with gazillions of tiny, unseen critters, with one gram containing as much as 5,000-7,000 bacteria species.
And most people don’t even realize it.
Most of my work revolves around those critters seen or unseen and the environment surrounding them. Each completed piece becomes a decomposing, creature-filled and impermanence abiding environment soon to crumble into soil. It’s what all matter eventually becomes--layers of history.
I like to imagine what a cross-section of this strata could contain—perhaps fictional frolicking creatures, colorful minerals, objects that have been disposed of or demolished, all of them past memories embedded within deposited layer.
Adding imagery.

Adding imagery.

More lines drawn with my favorite pens, Pigma MICRON.

More lines drawn with my favorite pens, Pigma MICRON.

Almost completed discs sitting next to uncompleted discs on my studio floor.

Almost completed discs sitting next to uncompleted discs on my studio floor.

The 4 finished Strata Discs hung in the Foundation of Art Award art installation:

Sunset , acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 14" X 14"

Sunset, acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 14" X 14"

Sky,  acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 8" X 8"

Sky, acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 8" X 8"

Sunrise,  acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 6" X 6"

Sunrise, acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 6" X 6"

Sunshine , acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 10" X 10"

Sunshine, acrylic/ aluminum leaf/ dutch metal leaf/ ink, 10" X 10"

Much love and happy travels,

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!

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, #5

Dearest g.g.-

How are you, Sweet-n-low? Has the weather changed for you there, as it has here in the Pacific Northwest? We’ve had freezing temperatures and days with low fog. So beautiful. Especially when walking and running. Running? Yup. Or, better yet, I should say, ‘rugging’—my more accurate combo for my running/jogging. I am again trying to get back into the running swing. It’s free, I feel free, and it realIy gets my heart pumping, all while managing to checking out my surroundings. My mantra: slow and easy= no injuries…or heart attacks. But a couple of days ago it was balmy, with wind. Now, nonstop rain. Who knows? Anywhos do!

Need some really exciting news? What could possibly be that exciting, you ask? Well, get ready, because it’s big. Big excitement. McMenamins, that robust Portland based hospitality company, is finally starting their rehab project on the old Tacoma Elks Temple building.

‘The Elks Temple was built in 1915-16 when fraternal organizations were an important part of the community and had the money to build beautiful buildings such as this one. It was designed by É. Frère Champney, a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, in the second Renaissance Revival style.
Adjacent to the building is a stairway called the “Spanish Steps” that winds up the hillside adjacent to the building. These steps, modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome, were rehabilitated in 2011 by a grant from WSDOT and the Federal Highway Transportation Enhancements program’

This is the same building that has been vacant and leaky since I was a kid. In fact, I don’t remember a time when it was actually a functioning club. And, more recently, it sat even longer after the McMenamins bought it—I think it has been something like 6 years or so. 6 years is a long time for a structure to sit, allowing it to continuing to ponder its years of neglect. Like so many buildings in Tacoma, while driving or walking by, you could swear you could hear it moaning a low despair.

Here is McMenamins’ new footage about their project:

The fact that it is still standing, though, points to the solidness of its construction (I have known a rumor for years that it has a swimming pool on one of the upper stories! What?!!!), which is one of the reasons I respect McMenamins’ business philosophy: they buy old, well built properties often facing unknown futures and refurbishes them to their yesteryear glory while installing a feasible business within. They work with what is there and build to functionality.

In 2009, Tacoma experienced a not so happy story, one that many Tacomans wish not to repeat. A neglected, six story, on the National Register of Historic Places, Burnham & Root building, the Luzon, was torn down despite its historical significance as an example of early architectural designs that led to the modern skyscraper-- it was one of the first buildings in America to have steel columns. What’s now in its place?  A parking lot. Yup. Still there, in all its UNIQUE (ha!) glory.

A local gallery had a show celebrating the Luzon right after the demolition. Here is a photo of the building before it was gone and the artwork I created, part of my Photo Extensions series—I used a photo I took of the building prior to its demolition and extended their colors across the surface.

The Luzon prior to demolition.

The Luzon prior to demolition.

My Luzon painting.

My Luzon painting.

So grateful this will not be the Elks Temple's storyline.

Another reason, speaking from a muralist's viewpoint, why I think this news is so grand is they are BIG supporters of hand-painted imagery on their walls. Pretty much on every practical surface. Do you know how rare this is? As you know, I have lots of attitude regarding the nonexistence of original art in people’s homes. My business is, of course, hand created so you'd think most of my clients would own other original art. You'd be surprised, as I am, that this is not always the case. These days buying a print (and I'm not referring to an artist signed and numbered piece--that's great because it means it's a limited edition...almost, kinda sort of close to an original), like a giclée print (I've had the unfortunate opportunity to inform many 'painting' purchasers that their 'painting' is NOT an original painting but rather a giclée print with clear gel smeared or brushed onto the surface to give it a hand painted, brushed texture...people, this is NOT real!), is so easy and CHEAP...or at least CHEAPER. We artists are having a hard time convincing art collectors to pay possibly a bit more and investigate a bit longer for that perfect, only-one-in-existence artwork. I commend those who do! There is even 'mural wallpaper' now. Oy vey! So the fact that McMenamins takes great care in investing in custom, hand painting makes me scream with joy!!! Welcome to town, I say!

And an additional stream of good news came last week. McMenamins is slated to take on the Old City Hall building too, which is located just below the Elks Temple and the Spanish Steps!!! It's another gorgeous building that's long overdue for some loving care. Yip-a-doodle! Looking forward to what McMenamins has planned!

Keep warm, dry and lovely.

Much love,

mindy jo


Anywho, #3

Dearest g.g.-

It's Friday the 13th and it is a very drizzly day here in Tacoma. Water is streaming down all of the windows, it's quite dark out even though it is the middle of the day and the wind is whipping through the streets. After the super hot summer we had in the Northwest, I had almost forgotten what our standard weather really looks like. So thankful I have somewhere to keep dry and warm. My thoughts always go to those without such shelter.

So today I am indoors working on designs, but Wednesday I was out helping a fellow artist, Diana Leigh Surma, with a public works mural she designed on Martin Luther King Way. I jumped at the idea because I love to paint and if I go for a spell when I'm not wielding a paint brush I get antsy.

Painting by number was a perfect remedy!

Diana, as with many of her projects, asks the community to come out and participate by helping her paint. She called this event: Color By Numbers Painting Party. A fantastic idea--and so well planned out! Her whole design was numbered and color coded so volunteers could easily figure out where to paint.

Here are the containers of colors, numbered:

And her design, drawn out into the wall and numbered. A detail photo:

It was a fun time. Met a gaggle of nice volunteers and had many enticing conversations from people walking by. I love the Hilltop of Tacoma!

Some of the other fellow friendly volunteers:

I did take pity on these brushes, though, since I could hear them crying. No, really! Ok, not really but..kind of? I still own, use and take care of the same brushes I've had for 22 years of business, so I could see these little beauties needed a bit of loving.  But before I added water to their mix and submerge them to soak, I admired their colorful random arrangement:

That's all for today--hope you are staying warm and dry wherever you are!

Much love,

mindy jo

Anywho, #2

Dearest g.g.-

Happy Friday!

Had an eye exam today and my eyes are still dilated, causing this note to appear blurry and me to ponder: after approximately 6.5 hours, how long does its effect last?

I've been back in Tacoma over a week, and you know what tickles me about this city? It's something that I neverpaid much attention to until I spent significant time away in other cities. As you know, I've done a fair amount of walking in every city I've lived in: it clears my head, is a great reward after crossing a few dos off of my to-dos list, lets me get an intimate view of my surroundings, design ideas tend to pop into my head when my feet are moving and it's an opportunity to greet other fellow humans along the way. But, this is what is fun about Tacoma. I, and others I walk with or pass by, predominantly walk IN the street when on neighborhood streets. Of course this isn't the case on busy or downtown streets but rather those with less traffic. Why, I've asked myself? Because sometimes there is a sidewalk, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes there had been one, and a owner removed it, or sometimes there never was one. No consistency. It's just easier to by-pass all of this start and stopping by hitting the street itself. Some non-walkers (and even a few of the dogs I've walked!) see this as annoying. Funny, huh?

Speaking of a city I've done extensive walking in, one of the projects I finished, since the last time we wrote, is a painted scenic backdrop for The Drunken City, a Theatre Vertigo production in Portland.  You might have caught the previously added photos I shot of the completed back wall (my blog's Scenic Painting entry), but now (so excited!) I have photos taken by Gary Norman! They all feature the play in action, WITH the actors!

Before I add them, though, here is some info I added onto my Facebook page about the play that you may not have seen:

LOVED working with these creative people! Thank you, especially to the inspiring Director, KL (Kelly) Cullom, for asking me to participate and trusting me and Kelsey Peake, for all of your thorough communication and support.

Also, a nod of thanks to Carl Hamilton for the amazing painted sidewalk and sky and the informative conversation.

Those involved in this production:

Written by: Adam Bock

Production team:
Director - KL Cullom
Stage Manager - Corey McCarey
Production Manager - Kelsey Peake
Set Designer - Matt Jones
Sound Designer - Richard Moore
Lighting Designer - Alexz Eccles
Costumes - KL Cullom
Props Designer - Matt Jones
Technical Director - Noah Phillips
Master Electrician - Alex Agnes
Artistic Liaison - Holly Wigmore

Eddie - R. David Wyllie
Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin
Marnie - Holly Wigmore
Melissa - Nicole Accuardi
Linda - Shawna Nordman
Bob - Tom Mounsey

October 23-November 21
Thursday - Saturday @ 7:30pm
Sunday @ 2:00pm, with additional 7:30pm performances on November 8 and November 15
Adult tickets are $20, Student tickets are $10
All Thursday performances are pay-what-you-will
Tickets at:

Show Sponsor: Cate Garrison

Now, here are the amazing photos!

The whole cast.  Linda  - Shawna Nordman,  Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi,  Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Bob -  Tom Mounsey,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore,  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babi

The whole cast. Linda - Shawna Nordman, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Bob - Tom Mounsey, Marnie - Holly Wigmore, Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babi

Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi,  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babi,  Linda  - Shawna Nordman, Mounsey,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babi, Linda - Shawna Nordman, Mounsey, Marnie - Holly Wigmore

Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi

Melissa - Nicole Accuardi

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi,   Linda  - Shawna Nordman

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Linda - Shawna Nordman

Marnie -  Holly Wigmore

Marnie - Holly Wigmore

Marnie -  Holly Wigmore and  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Marnie - Holly Wigmore and Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Linda  - Shawna Nordman , Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore,  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Linda - Shawna Nordman, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Marnie - Holly Wigmore, Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Eddie -  R. David Wyllie and  Linda  - Shawna Nordman

Eddie - R. David Wyllie and Linda - Shawna Nordman

Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore,  Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Linda  - Shawna Nordman

Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin, Marnie - Holly Wigmore, Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Linda - Shawna Nordman

Bob -  Tom Mounsey and  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore

Bob - Tom Mounsey and Marnie - Holly Wigmore

Great, right? Wish you had been in Portland to experience this first hand but I'm sure there will be other future opportunities for that!

Warm thoughts heading your way, my friend!

Much love,

mindy jo

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 (,,, and the people of Terrain, a hearty Spokane based arts event (

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

Current mural...

Last Wednesday I started a large scale exterior mural on one wall--the south side--of the Tahoma Associates building in downtown Tacoma. My mural is supported through the City of Tacoma's Mural Project in collaboration with Tahoma Associates and its surrounding community. Here are some of my building's community:

Sheila King, Ava King, Mark Bader and myself.

Sheila King, Ava King, Mark Bader and myself.

My wall and boom lift:

After three days of gridding out the wall and drawing in my design, the next day I started filling in color:




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.

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