Back to Arts

Opposites attract

Just like the Paula Abdul song suggests, opposites like Andrea Trenbeath and James Tucker go well together

"Wolves" by Andrea Trenbeath and James Tucker

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

If you haven't heard of Andrea Trenbeath and James Tucker, you will. Whether you walk by a werewolf growling at you from a wall, or run into some of their planned digital media collaborations, the artistic duo has set out to shake up their own artistic endeavors as well as the Tacoma art scene.

Separately, Trenbeath and Tucker are both artists in their own right, but in very different mediums and in very different arenas. Where Tucker has worked largely in digital media, animation and web design, Trenbeath has worked in more traditional artistic fields like painting and illustration. About a year and a half ago, Tucker decided to pursue more personal artwork, but lacked a connection to the art world. He had met one artist - Andrea Trenbeath - years before and her artwork had struck him. So he looked her up. She lacked a marketing background and a connection to media-driven creativity.

"We kind of wanted to be where the other was," adds Trenbeath. "(James is) more commercial art and mainstream entertainment, and he wants to get more into doing his own painting and into the fine art. And I want to get where he is."

Together, Trenbeath and Tucker share skill sets and knowledge with each other, and deliver artwork with a collaborative twist, which most recently meant Tucker taking Trenbeath's werewolf sketches and putting his own slant on them. Trenbeath's werewolves are, frankly, amazing - bold lines and a viciousness rarely seen in the realms of fine art. They make my episodes of True Blood seem full of puppies and kittens. Tucker's tweaks give these beasts a robotic edge. These pieces were the focus of their work at Tacoma Art Place and lead directly into their work at Art on the Ave this week.

"One of the reasons I chose the werewolves is because they're so incredibly ferocious," says Tucker. "It's so difficult to make a robot ferocious. Robots just look kind of sinister, not really savage. I want to connect with that savagery in the robotic form."

"I never thought really to take the comic work I did and paint it. I loved doing werewolves, but I had always only used them for concept art. I'd never really painted them, but that's what we've been doing," says Trenbeath.

In the future, Trenbeath and Tucker will continue to push each other's boundaries, work with other area artists and otherwise branch out. For now, werewolves, but they mean to aim far beyond the wolf. With each exhibit, they plan to add new dimensions to their collaboration.

"To try to present all this work in one place is not enough," says Tucker. "We need a comprehensive approach."

Until July 2, Trenbeath and Tucker had several pieces of artwork at Tacoma Art Place. They have also had a show at Jazzbones for several weeks, which will be available for viewing during Art on the Ave on July 10. Venture into the revamped upstairs gallery space at Jazzbones to see it. As a special treat at Art on the Ave, Tucker and Trenbeath will work together on a large-scale piece, each starting with the same composition, but each giving it their own unique look - organic vs. robotic - meeting in the middle and connecting their two worlds. After the festival, some of their work will stay on display at Jazzbones throughout July. It seems likely some of their badass werewolf art will be among these pieces. The duo also has tentative plans to do some animation work at Jazzbones, involving framed 42-inch plasma or LCD screens with animations running continuously.

As they work together, they also seek to shake up the art world here in Tacoma, which they both note tends toward being insular. They hope to reach out beyond the people already involved in the art community - to create pieces that will speak to people that may not currently find appeal in art at all.

"I'm not trying to draw people into the art community; I'm drawing the art community into the people," says Tucker. "There are more people than there are (just within the) art community. These are the blue-collar worker guys, the guys who work in a warehouse and go to O'Malley's to have a Bud Light and wings - that's the guy. If you can connect with that guy, you have succeeded. Art shouldn't just be for the super-eclectic. It shouldn't just be for people who can afford it. Art is everywhere."

[Jazzbones, Andrea Trenbeath and James Tucker, through July 31, during club hours, Jazzbones, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

Read next close


Ten days of Pride

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search