Art at Work kicks off (with cake!)

By weeklyvolcano on November 2, 2006

Jeans and suits, gowns and fishnets, and the most adorable yellow dress, ever shared the Tacoma Art Museum for the 5th Anniversary Celebration of Art at Work, er, celebration.

In typical Tacoma fashion, all types of people came together to celebrate Tacoma’s success in fostering accessible art.

I chatted with James Hume, Claudia Riedener, and Bret Lyon, and then I supped (loosely speaking) with the mayor, Bill Baarsma.  He was dining like a hunted, hungry man; I asked him if this was his first meal of the day, too? And he responded, wryly, “it’s lunch.”

We all congregated in the projection room and the mayor, now fed, handed out the AMOCAT awards. Laura and Matt Eklund received the artist award for their work producing festivals like the Urban Art Festival and two Art in the Park “Under the Trees” festivals.  Laura, with the most delightfully infectious laugh in Tacoma, accepted the award, and in a classy move, invited Linda Honeck and Johanna Gardner to join her on stage.  She gave props to Honeck and Gardner expressing nothing she and Matt do could have happened without their huge efforts.  Classy.

Next, Paul and Josephine Zmolek, who received the Outreach Award, stated that Tacoma hadn’t rated as a place to settle until they almost accidentally made a visit here.  They fell in love â€" who wouldn’t â€" and created Barefoot Studios, with its contemporary dance and fringe theater.

Not quite so fringe were the works of the Sixth Avenue Business District who’ve been aiding in neighborhood accessibility through public art.

Yummy-looking chocolate cake was passed out as I chatted with Amy McBride, wunderkind of the accessible art revolution, and I once again realized why I think Tacoma is so darn groovy: our people rock! â€" Jessica Corey Butler