Spark Grants seek to connect and impact the Greater Tacoma community in as many ways possible - from tools to literature! Along with Tacoma Tool Library, another recent Spark recipient is Creative Colloquy Crawl. On October 7 this inaugural literary event will gather more than 30 local writers in 9 venues across Tacoma for a night of local literary immersion. The Crawl will provide an exciting opportunity to meet local authors, connect with the written word, and celebrate the South Sound’s rich talent. The line-up of genres is as diverse as Spark grantees themselves, including young adult, science fiction, fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, poetic prose and the list goes on!
Nestled along the waterfront of Gig Harbor is a hidden treasure awaiting exploration by young and old alike. My trek across the Narrows with my 5-year-old daughter was to join the Gig Harbor community in celebrating the unveiling of a new addition to the front of the Harbor History Museum, The Big Catch. This labor of love is a fantastic bronze statue, recently completed by local sculptor Douglas C. Granum. Originally in two dimensions in the form of a 1909 photo taken by celebrated photographer Asahel Curtis, the fisherman and his enormous prize have been brought to life anew to glint in the sunlight and celebrate Gig Harbor’s fishing heritage.
I have lived in Tacoma, WA for the last three years. My academic background includes studies in Architecture, Art and Political Science. In Summer 2013, I completed the Artist Trust EDGE Professional Development Program for Visual Artists. Shortly after completing the program, I earned a private commission in Philadelphia, funds from which allowed me to secure my first long term studio space at the Jet Artists Coop.
Erika Rier is a fine artist and illustrator. She learned to sew when she was 6, crochet when she was 7, knit when she was 8, embroider when she was 10, and weave when she was 16. She works in textiles regularly and they feature heavily in her work. Writing was her first love and although she no longer writes poetry, she still secretly writes young adult fiction. Erika now resides in Tacoma with her husband, daughter, cat, and two dogs, after having lived in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, NYC, and Arizona.
Gabriel Brown is an artist, garbologist, and shoe cobbler from Spokane, Washington. As an artist, Brown has exhibited at the Northwest Museum of Art & Culture, Redline Art Center Denver, Korea National University of the Arts, and throughout community centers, street corners, and public restrooms. As a garbologist, Brown has conducted a ten-year artistic examination on garbage and consumerism, leading workshops, lecturing, and enacting satirical street performances. As a cobbler, Brown took his very first job in a shoe repair shop, shining shoes at the age of 15. He slowly learned the skills of the trade, and continues the practice to this day. Brown holds a Master's Degree in Fine Art from Washington State University, and has taught visual arts courses at Washington State University, Kaplan University (online), and Seabury Middle School. Currently he works for Spaceworks Tacoma, a program that fills vacant spaces with art and creative enterprise in Tacoma, Washington.
Tacoma native Jeremy Gregory was born an artist. Ever since graduating from the Art Institute in Seattle, his art has only grown. Jeremy’s passion involves embracing a wide range of media, creating for any type of inspiration or application. Currently, Jeremy is involved in a few stop-motion projects with his pose-able puppets called “The Believables”, as well as showing illustrations at various venues. In between studio time, volunteer time, and eating to survive time, Jeremy can be found teaching graphic arts in downtown Tacoma at School of the Arts (SOTA). As time presses on, Jeremy continues to grow within the art community.
“Every aspect of my life revolves around art. Doing what I love and being able to stay in a child-like frame of mind while creating professional level work is what I strive for,” shares Jeremy.
Daniel Martin is a cross-disciplinary artist and community organizer who has designed and executed many campaigns of guerrilla and commissioned street-based art. He has sold artwork in galleries and at fundraiser auctions, and has been featured in group exhibitions throughout the Puget Sound area. The site-specific and temporary nature of some of his work has gone viral and has been embraced both locally and internationally. His installations use approachable and unexpected materials to bring moments of connectivity, vibrancy and mystery to public spaces that are forgotten or underutilized. By dispersing variations on a general theme throughout an area, the work reveals itself to the public like a colorful city-wide art-filled Easter egg hunt. The overall theme and drive behind Daniel's public expression is to enhance the viewer's sense of larger patterns and currents of transformation in community and environment.
Originally from Tacoma, Karen has taught and exhibited her work at a wide range of locations, both locally and nationally. Her exhibitions include a solo show at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in California, and group exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum Gallery, Catherine Persons Gallery, Sande Webster Gallery in Philadelphia, SCA Contemporary in New Mexico, and a forthcoming exhibition at Arts West in Seattle. Between 2000 and 2014 she taught courses ranging from foundation level classes to advanced painting and art history at various colleges and universities across the country including: Tacoma Community College, University of Puget Sound, Olympic College and Philadelphia University. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where she graduated with a degree in painting and printmaking, and a BA in painting from Central Washington University.
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