Friday, September 17, 2010

TAM Docents: Unique,Interactive Exhibition Celebrates Tacoma and Museum's 75th Year

Hello Docents-

Please read below for more information on the upcoming exhibition Mighty Tacoma: Photographic Portrait 2010. I suspect that we will need to think creatively about how to tour this exhibition. Also, we are going to have some tours scheduled with several groups who are English as a Second Language (ESL) that will provide translators (I see that as a plus since it will take more time to get through the exhibition!)

Thank you for all that you do for Tacoma Art Museum and have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Best regards,



Jana Wennstrom
Manager of Public and Volunteer Programs

T: 253.272.4258 x3030



1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402


September 16, 2010

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Lisa McKeown, Communications Coordinator, 253.272.4258 x3047,


Unique, Interactive Exhibition Celebrates Tacoma and Museum’s 75th Year
Mighty Tacoma: Photographic Portrait 2010 opens October 21


(Tacoma, WA) – For 75 years Tacoma has supported and embraced Tacoma Art Museum. Over those years, Tacoma has grown into its own. October 21, 2010 through April 24, 2011 the museum celebrates the city’s diverse community as they open the exhibition Mighty Tacoma: Photographic Portrait 2010.


This exhibition, organized by Tacoma Art Museum, will fill the gallery with the faces and places of Tacoma and will include interactive components that allow everyone to share their portraits and photographs of the City of Destiny. Visitors will be able to pose for a portrait taken by artists-in-residence. Those images then become part of the exhibition in a digital portrait collection in the gallery.


Mighty Tacoma also reflects the beauty and resilience of Tacoma’s community and neighborhoods through the museum’s Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages. Tacoma Art Museum is inviting people to add their photos of Tacoma to the museum’s Flickr group. Other interactive elements include geotagging local neighborhoods on the museum’s Google Map, Tacoma-specific Twitter and Facebook challenges, and the chance to collect 13 Tacoma postcards created by local artists that will become available as each month of the exhibition unfolds.


The exhibition also includes recent photographs of Tacoma by artists Morgain Bailey, Victoria Bjoklund, Nealy Blau, Timothy Bostelle, Andy Campbell, Stephen Cysewski, Gary Lappier, Kevin Lidtka, Barbara Smith, and Gordon Swetland. Additionally, 13 Tacoma-based artists have recreated the Picture Tacoma postcard project, which will include free postcards by different artists for visitors to the gallery each month. Lastly, the museum has commissioned artists to make new works inspired by the city and its residents. Photographers Doug Keyes, Bill Jacobson, and Matika Wilbur, and filmmaker Vanessa Renwick have begun their creative engagement with the city. Each month the museum will highlight the new addition to the gallery.


“The city of Tacoma is blessed with an extraordinarily beautiful natural setting and a rich history, and the citizens of Tacoma appreciate and protect both. Yet, the remarkable thing is that these have rarely been explored as sources of artistic inspiration. One of our goals with Mighty Tacoma is to offer a moment to consider our city as a treasure and a source of pride,” says Rock Hushka, Curator of Northwest and Contemporary Art. “The recent photographs will document the people and terrain of the city of 2010 for future generations.”


Tacoma Art Museum is partnering with Tacoma Community House to provide access and translation for underserved members of local communities, including foreign-language tours in Spanish, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Cambodian. Both organizations will also work with those communities to create art projects with local teens and to examine the question “What is Community?” In addition to this key partnership, the museum is also working with teens and young adults from Tacoma School of the Arts, Lincoln Center, Oasis Youth Center, Boys and Girls Clubs, Evergreen State College Tacoma, and local mentorship and foster care groups to facilitate special opportunities for youth to express their ideas and feelings about community through photography and video projects.


In commemoration of the museum’s 75th anniversary, it has created a stellar line-up of exhibitions. Both The Movement of Impressionism: Europe, America, and the Northwest (on view through February 6, 2011) and Edo to Tacoma: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Collection (on view through February 13, 2011) highlight Tacoma Art Museum’s strong collection of international, American, and local artwork. Mighty Tacoma delves into the interactive and experimental while it pays tribute to the museum’s connection to the local community. In keeping with its mission, the museum is also bringing in a major, nationally touring exhibition, American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell (on view February 26-May 30, 2011).


“We invite visitors to come and literally make themselves a part of Tacoma Art Museum with Mighty Tacoma,” said Stephanie S. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “This exhibition gives us the chance to document where we and the museum are today as we look to where we can be in the future.”


On Third Thursday, October 21, the museum celebrates its 75th birthday and the opening of the Mighty Tacoma exhibition. In honor of the museum’s birthday, there will be a suggested admission price of 75-cents. Throughout the day, visitors will be the first to have their portraits taken and added to the exhibition walls. Visitors also have the chance to create postcards showcasing their Tacoma and to speak their minds about Tacoma for 7.5 seconds in the museum’s Tacoma 7.5 video project.


For Free Third Thursday from 5-8 pm, local artists whose work hangs in the gallery will be available to discuss their work. Created especially for Mighty Tacoma, there will be a special-edition Mighty Tacoma Ale hand-crafted by Harmon Brewery and a beer garden at the museum. The museum is also offering a limited-edition I am Mighty Tacoma VIP Pass that includes a range of discounts to be used on October 21 and beyond.


Programs and Events related to Mighty Tacoma: Photographic Portrait 2010:

·         Mighty Tacoma Art Museum: 75 Years and Counting–A Community Celebration
Third Thursday, October 21, 10 am-8 pm
Join us as we celebrate both the city of Tacoma and Tacoma Art Museum’s 75th birthday.

·         Mighty Tacoma: More Than Just Art on the Walls
Wednesday, October 27, 10:30 am
Curator Rock Hushka shares the inspiration for this innovative exhibition.

·         Going Digital: Making the Most of Your Digital Camera
Saturday, October 30, 12–3 pm
Learn how to use your camera’s features and then take a photo safari in and around Tacoma Art Museum.

·         Tacoma’s Mighty History
First Thursdays, November 2010–April 2011, 11:30 am
In partnership with the Tacoma Historical Society, Tacoma historians discuss the city’s history.

·         Concert: Sax and the City
Saturday, November 13, 2 pm
Local saxophonist Erik Steighner performs Northwest compositions, including works from Tacoma composers.

·         The Mighty Teen: Voices from Teens around Tacoma
Third Thursday, December 16
See, hear, and share your own perspective about being a teenager in the Tacoma community.


For more information about the Mighty Tacoma exhibition or its related programs and events, visit


Mighty Tacoma: Photographic Portrait 2010 is generously sponsored by the MetLife Foundation. Additional support provided by the Key Foundation, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, and Union Bank. In partnership with Tacoma Community House.

About Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma Art Museum connects people and builds community through art. The museum serves the diverse communities of the region through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. The museum’s five galleries display an array of major national shows, the best of Northwest art, creatively themed exhibitions, and historical retrospectives. In addition, there is an Education Wing for children, adults, and seniors with an art resource center, classroom, and studio for art making. Tacoma Art Museum is located in Tacoma’s Museum District, near the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum, and historic Union Station.

HOURS                    Wednesday–Sunday 10 am–5 pm, Third Thursdays 10 am–8 pm
ADMISSION            Adult $9, Student/Military/Senior (65+) $8, Family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18).

Children 5 and under free. Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free.

CONTACT              253.272.4258,,

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