Trail To Western American Art: Checking in with the Tacoma Art Museum

By Alec Clayton on September 17, 2014

Construction of the new Tacoma Art Museum wing featuring the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art is in the final stages and the grand opening is set for Nov. 15, 2014. Leading up to the big opening, the museum continues to build enticing art experiences. The walls of the galleries are finished and have been painted a fresh white color; the new maple floors have just been finished; lighting is installed and will be customized for each gallery over the next two months. The new entry portal on Pacific Avenue with its tall bronze-framed glass doors has already opened, and new art already on view includes Andy Warhol's "Little Red Book #135," Rick Bartow's "A Mask For My Brother's Worry" and Sherry Markovitz's "Eternal Vigilance" from the ongoing "Northwest in the West" exhibition. Her sculpture is an amazing paper mache and fiberglass moose head finished in oil paint, acrylic, beads and sequins.

The museum store is operating a pop-up shop in the newly expanded lobby. The cafe is operating a snack bar on the third floor mezzanine, as construction of a new store space and restaurant renovation is ongoing.

Olson Kundig Architects assisted with the pedestal design for the Pamela Mayer Sculpture Gallery. TAM is now hard at work constructing the pedestals in house.

Julie Speidel's sculpture, "Kinetic Repose," will be installed in front of the new glass vestibule entrance on the museum's parking lot level. Speidel affectionately calls the largest sculptural component, at 13 feet tall, "Big Red" for its painted red surface.

Laura Fry, Haub curator of Western American Art, continues her development of the inaugural exhibition of the Haub Family Collection. She is planning to include approximately 130-140 works from the collection of 295. The inaugural exhibition will be titled "Art of the American West: The Haub Family Collection."

Watch this space every Wednesday for updates leading to the grand opening.

TACOMA ART MUSEUM, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. third Thursday, 1501 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $8-$10, 5 and younger free, 253.627.6031