Back to Arts

The Gallery hosts top show

'14th Annual Juried Local Art Exhibition' at Tacoma Community College

“The Salon - Blue Boy,” painting by William Turner. Photo courtesy Tacoma Community College

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

The annual juried art exhibition at Tacoma Community College is usually a sampling of much of the best art created by South Sound artists. There is always admirable art to be seen, and this year is no exception; there are works worthy of admiration by such artists as Lois Beck, Susan Christian, Andrea L. Erickson, Fumiko Kimura, Becky Knold, Mary McCann, C.J. Swanson, David Noah Giles and many more - 41 total.

On the downside there is far too much that is trite and predictable - sweet little statuettes, nice but uninspired landscapes and safe abstractions.

Lois Beck's little monoprint "Voodoo" comprises a pair of concentric circles in soft, sandpapery, dull pink on a dark reddish field intersected by linear black shapes. It is simple and direct, with a sophisticated play of contrasting shapes and marks. It reminds me a lot of a drawing by Robert Motherwell I once saw, but much softer and less gutsy than any Motherwell.

Susan Christian's "House Boat" is an abstract painting on old sticks that have been glued together. It has the weathered look of an old fence or barn or, befitting the title, a houseboat that has been left out of the water for generations. The rugged texture and dull colors and one little red splotch dead-center make for an attractive configuration of shapes and colors. What more can you ask of a painting?

Marquita L. Hunt is showing two landscapes in acrylic on canvas, one much better than the other. The best of these is the smaller one, a thin, vertical painting of trees and a field of grass with a mountain in the background. The larger one, with similar subject matter, is not as well unified. The trees and grasses separate in this one like puzzle pieces that don't quite fit; whereas the smaller one, despite dividing the space into two clearly separate areas, holds together as a single image. I like her autumnal colors and Cezannesque choppy brushstrokes.

Mary McCann's "Precambrian Collision" is a dramatic mountain scene with low clouds, intense color and an enjoyable variety of brushstrokes and scratches. I saw this one earlier this year in a show in Olympia. I loved it then and still do, but in this setting it loses some of the power I saw in the smaller show.

Had I been selecting show winners, I would have given the top awards to David W. Murdach and William Turner.

Murdock is represented by two sculptural pieces, one free-standing and one a wall-hanging piece. Both are - if I may coin a phrase - steampunk rococo. Not a style I usually go for, but these pieces are funny, inventive, outlandishly decorative, and beautifully crafted. "Scalia, the Broccoli Man" is a relief sculpture of a floral pattern hanging on the wall and surrounded by gilded columns and pipes, and there is a gavel and a little man who looks to be made out of broccoli, with cartoonish white hands. His "Wall Street" is a free-standing carousel with music box. Instead of horses, this carousel has clowns, a pig, a bear, a silver frog, and Merlin the mythical magician. It is even more elaborately decorative than "Scalia." It's like Jeff Koons meets Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Turner's "The Salon - Blue Boy" also harkens back to rococo art, specifically Gainborough's "Blue Boy" with a bit of Vermeer thrown in for good measure. But stylistically it is more like a Matisse interior scene, but grittier.

"14th Annual Juried Local Art Exhibition", noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, through Oct. 28, The Gallery at Tacoma Community College, Building 5A, entrance off South 12th Street between Pearl and Mildred, Tacoma, visitor parking in Lot G

Read next close


Unvarnished honesty

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search