Trail To Western American Art: Painted walls, "Big Red," Celebrity Cake Studio and metal coming to Tacoma Art Museum

By Alec Clayton on October 8, 2014

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another installment of "Trail To Western American Art," our weekly update on the progress of Tacoma Art Museum's new wing featuring the Haub Family Collection of Western Art, which will officially open Nov. 15 with a huge shindig.

Julie Speidel's brightly colored sculpture "Kinetic Repose" will be installed on the parking level near the new glass vestibule entrance of the Tacoma Art Museum in preparation for the big opening. The sculpture comprises 10 pieces, including three benches for seating. The tallest component, nicknamed "Big Red," is more than 14 feet high. Speidel's work references the region's geologic history. She says, "I seek to arouse curiosity and wonder through forming a link from our particular time and place to a larger history reaching back to geological time."

This is sweet: TAM has partnered with Celebrity Cake Studio to provide cupcakes for the Nov. 15 grand opening, and the Weekly Volcano will sponsor entertainment for the day.

Painting in the Haub Family Galleries is underway, and we're told the walls are taking on a beautiful range of hues, while Museum preparator Ben Wildenhaus and Haub curator Laura Fry continue their work on the gallery layout. Meanwhile, work on the Museum lobby wall that fronts the TAM Store is underway. A series of tall sliding glass doors will be installed. The doors can be moved to the side to completely open these spaces to the lobby, supporting a lively lobby experience.

As the museum prepares for the grand opening they it also prepares for the Protective Ornament exhibition, opening Oct. 18; for various events associated with the city of Tacoma's "Metal-Urge"; and for the 10th anniversary of the Dia De Los Muertos Community Festival. Protective Ornament: Contemporary Amulets to Armor will showcase approximately 80 wearable works in metal, including helmets, brass knuckles, breastplates, chain mail, amulets, talismans and protective gear.

TACOMA ART MUSEUM, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. third Thursday, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $8-$10, 5 and younger free, 253.627.6031


Sellen Construction dangles the keys

Checking in with the Tacoma Art Museum

Colors, video, improved store at Tacoma Art Museum