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, #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

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:

IMG_2498-t.jpg

next:

next:

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...