The Flea

Join me and my friends this Saturday 12pm @ The Flea.


The Flea is a Tacoma gem, a diamond in the rough and a needle in a haystack all at the same time. Tucked in between The Alley Cat Lounge and Emerald leaves Dispensary on 6th Ave. This may be the smallest retail venue art gallery in the city by far. The inside has the square footage of a Volkswagen bus, just big enough for a dedicated patron, and the limited capacity is perfect for today’s social distancing requirements.

What truly makes this venue so unique is its accessibility for both for the artist and the citizens of Tacoma. It’s an eternal “Pop Up” of talent constantly showcasing local artists on a day to day basis, you never know what you might find. Whether presenting paintings, prints, sculpture or Tacoma fashions the steady rotation of artists and designers embody the spirit and identity of our city.

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Know Your Ropes

Know Your RopesKnow Your Ropes is a self guided walking tour delineated by a continuous “rope” graphic painted on the sidewalk. This path creatively winds its way through a neighborhood introducing participants to unique often overlooked areas of their community. Along the twists and turns of this “rope” there are a series of mariner knots depicted in the classic “Book of Knots” style. Each of these mariner knots serve as an interactive node, where a participant can access additional information relative to the theme of the route. The objective is to introduce residents to new areas of their community effectively “tying it together”, additionally it offers insight into the unique “gems” each neighborhood has to offer.

My team-mates on this Project were Sean Alexander, Rebeca Solverson, and Anneka Olsen. We were able to secure a “Walkability” grant offered by the health department which partially funded the Know Your Ropes project. My initial plan was to cut all the stencils cut out of eight by four sheets of plywood. Preliminary calculations indicated that a one mile circuit of stenciled rope was going to require spraying an eight foot stencil six hundred sixty times. The challenges of executing a project of this scale suddenly hit me and this particular revelation added a dark and bitter element to the entire project.

One evening I was lamenting my situation over a couple of beers. The thought of being responsible spraying 660 stencils was weighing heavily on my heart. It was at this moment that my drinking companion Dylan Betz floated the concept of a circular stencil. A circular stencil!?! This was the breakthrough I needed. Suddenly building a mechanical stenciling machine was much more attractive than the sum of the entire project. So I set to work engineering the Dylan Betz Unlimited – Rope Machine-.

The final project is so much larger than myself. I couldn’t make this happen without the assistance and expertise Of Sean, Anneka and Rebeca. There were meetings with the city about paint and permitting. Sean’s company AM Independent was responsible for the branding and website. Also the development and programing of the guided tours was something I never would have considered in the original concept. It rounds out the project in in such a way, giving it depth and breath, ant truly marrying it with the community.

The Know Your Ropes visual walking tour system was developed by myself and can be applied to any neighborhood or business district. This system uses temporary marking paint to create imagery and will naturally fade in a couple of months. If you have interest in hosting a visual walking tour in your area please contact Oliver Doriss

Components necessary to execute the Know Your Ropes sidewalk mural.

The installation of the entire mural took two and one half days, consumed 96 cans of paint and is 1.5 miles in length.

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The launch party was a tremendous success. Michael Sullivan lead our first hosted walk.

For more information about Know Your Ropes and future scheduled walking tours please visit the official Know Your Ropes website.

 

The Know Your Ropes visual walking tour system was developed by myself and can be applied to any neighborhood or business district. This system uses temporary marking paint to create imagery and will naturally fade in a couple of months. If you have interest in hosting a visual walking tour in your area please contact Oliver Doriss

 

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NW Art Now @ Tacoma Art Museum

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I am pleased to announce my participation in the NW Art Now exhibition hosted by the Tacoma Art Museum. It is an honor to be showing alongside so many of my good friends and peers. The piece I am presenting for this display is titled Alpine Panel – Study, it is a more intimate version of an earlier piece Alpine Panel. The show runs from May 14th to September 4th 2016

NW ART NOW @ TAM: social reflections within contemporary art

Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) debuts new and recent works by 24 regional artists in NW Art Now @ TAM, opening May 14. This exhibition highlights the current moment in Northwest visual arts with works that illuminate and respond to the social and environmental forces shaping our regional identity. Through their work, artists reveal tensions, provoke, delight, and inspire us to understand the challenging and urgent concerns of today. See how those themes appear in contemporary art through this special exhibition, on view through September 4, 2016.

“For the past 40 years, TAM has conducted regular surveys of contemporary art in the Northwest. We are proud that TAM takes on this important role to survey the art of our time and of our region,” said Stephanie Stebich, Executive Director at TAM.

Although the frequency and titles of TAM’s regional survey exhibitions has varied, the focus has remained constant – showcasing the achievements and advances made by artists working in the Northwest. Artists, curators, collectors, arts instructors, students, and art fans eagerly look forward to the surveys. You’d need to visit 24 art studios from Boise to Walla Walla and Seattle to Portland to see all of the works that NW Art Now @ TAM brings together in one stop in Tacoma.

How does a regional visual arts survey come together? Last winter, TAM issued an open call to artists, inviting them to submit digital images along with written statements about their work. Nearly 300 artists responded. This is a juried exhibition, meaning that the applications were reviewed and narrowed based on how the artworks and practices reflected the themes and goals of the exhibition. The co-curators then visited the studios or conference called each of the semi-finalists. The resulting show includes 24 artists and 47 works in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, craft-based work, as well as conceptual, performance, installation, and digital projects. Eleven of the original works will be on view for the very first time.

“It is fascinating to see how artists reach beyond the region and bring deep knowledge of contemporary art from around the world into their practices. They are raising the bar in really important ways,” observed Rock Hushka, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum. “These artists are changing our expectations about the role of art in shaping Northwest identity.”

The exhibition is co-curated by Hushka and Juan Roselione-Valadez, Director of the Rubell Family Collection (RFC), Contemporary Arts Foundation, in Miami, Florida. One of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections, the RFC actively acquires and champions emerging artists working at the forefront of contemporary art. In addition to his work with the RFC, Roselione-Valadez has worked with some of the most prominent American and international artists, and is intimately familiar with the current trends of contemporary art, bringing broad and detailed background on current practices to this regional selection process. TAM frequently adds expertise and fresh perspectives from around the country, and has brought in art museum curators and scholars from New York City; Houston; Miami; Vancouver, BC; and other locations. Through this process the museum provides in-depth introductions to help specialists outside of our region become familiar with Northwest artists.

“I am extremely grateful for my time spent conversing with these compelling and generous artists in their studios and homes,” shared Roselione-Valadez. “Witnessing their process and listening to and seeing manifestations of their acute awareness of all that is working and all that is broken within the region, country, and world has left an indelible mark on me and the way I understand art, society, survival and our relationship to others and the environment.”

A few examples of the variety of interesting artworks in this exhibition include: Seattle artist Dylan Neuwirth’s 2014 Just Be Your Selfie is a large-scale neon installation that TAM will install under the canopy along Pacific Avenue, and which was much enjoyed during its previous installation in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Section of the I-705, on a Wednesday, for Electric Piano is an audio and video projection project by Portland artist Lou Watson, derived from the patterns of traffic along I-705 as filmed from the museum’s rooftop. Seattle’s Joey Veltkamp is crafting his largest work to date for this exhibition, a quilt project titled Life is Beautiful. Sculptor Humaira Abid from Renton will present a talk at the museum on June 1 at noon, as part of TAM’s free Lunch and Learn series. Hushka noted the remarkable number of Tacoma artists in the show who are creating notable work, including: Oliver Doriss, Christopher Paul Jordan, Jeremy Mangan, Asia Tail, Jamie Marie Waelchli, and John Sutton of SuttonBeresCuller who was born in Tacoma and today lives in Seattle.

NW Art Now @ TAM is an opportunity to see art history in the making, with fresh creative works inspired by regional artists’ reactions to the considerations of identity, social justice, and environmental stewardship. For more information, call TAM at 253-272-4258 or visit www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.

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Alpine Panel

Alpine Panel is a seven part installation comprised of cast glass elements that float just off the wall. The milky blue translucency allows light to flow through each piece illuminating an intimate composition of ferns and branches. These botanical vignettes are created through my signature casting process using locally sourced vegetation. Sterling silver accents and iridescent earth tones compliment the chilly glacial blues completing the work. The assembled composition ultimately forms a segmented alpine tree line with the ridge of Mt. Rainier in the distance evoking the same spatial dynamics of our grand North West landscape.

Alpine Panel is part of the Permanent Collection of Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma Washington
It is installed in the lobby on the fourth floor of the new Rainier Pavilion

 

 

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