Buy an Artist Coffee Day: Tuesdays with Riedener

By weeklyvolcano on November 21, 2006

It looked like potentially Claudia Riedener and I were the only Buy an Artist Coffee Day participants when we were in the Mandolin Café after lunch today.  While she had a latte, I had a pearl jasmine tea and an hour of dish on the state of art in Tacoma and projects afoot for Ixia Tile.

While Riedener isn’t going to be attending any opening gala festivities for Masa to view the public viewing her tile installations there (opening delayed until Nov. 30), she will be enjoying the food there a few days after the “grand” opening to help celebrate a friend’s birthday.  Her sneak peak at the menu left her impressed and anticipating, and her brief descriptions have me even more excited to see and taste the Masa experience.

The Can-Do project on Sixth Ave is well underway but not yet complete, and ideas for more public art are percolating even as she and I sip.  She lets me in on a couple of ideas involving a couple of institutions of learning â€" one that might be a way to beautify some very public (transport) spaces, and another that might be a collaboration with an institution of glass art, creating a “Gateway to the Ave.”  Hmmm.  Sounds very cool and very ambitious.

Yet another topic we discussed, one close to my heart, the state of the arts in T-Town. 
Yep, it’s a flourishing, cool scene. And yep, as with anything grass-roots and independent to it’s core, there are a couple of looming, ominous threats against this independence.

I look at it like this: our arts scene is like a kid on the cusp of adolescence.  It’s being pulled in different directions, trying to determine its identity.  There are a couple of key players who want to be strong-armed parents, and push this child into a specific direction. Fortunately, this kid has a crew of aunties and grandparents who are determined to let the identity of its scene be what it develops into. 

This semi-poetic thought has hit my mind  as the jasmine tea has steeped to maximum intensity, and the caffeine has hit my bloodstream.  The ambiance of the Mandolin will do that to you, I guess. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler