In the name of art

In the past 14 weeks I’ve had the pleasure of creating art in a local park with some of Tacoma’s finest artists.? Each has a style that is unique and utterly impressive.? I’m not a formally trained artist and my personal style is vastly different than those who can create masterpieces on the sidewalk.? In fact I don’t consider myself in the same league as the majority of the participating artists.? But they welcome me and don’t make fun of me too much.? I’ve even been so lucky as to win a few times.? Not so sure how, but I have.

This being said I’ve had the opportunity to watch one of my favorite Tacoma artists in action over the past few weeks.? Mainly in this episode where he drew right above me.? This isn’t to single one artist out over the others because frankly I was very impressed with Andrea and Stowe’s showing at the Lark last night.? Well done.? But Lance Kagey does a kind of art that I connect with.? Maybe it’s a little outsider and that’s how I feel in this group of artists.? Maybe it’s the way he goes about distributing his art in a guerrilla fashion about town.? Whatever it is, I’m impressed.

Months ago Tacoma Chickadee introduced me to Beautiful Angle when she asked me to design posters for Tacoma Gardens (whatever happened to that btw?).? She thought we (I) could do them in a Victory Garden meets Beautiful Angle style.? She sent me the link to Beautiful Angle and I spent hours looking at the posters they had made and papered all over Tacoma in the past 5 years.? I was hooked.

To give you a background on BA, it is run by two local guys, Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn.? They create these posters, run roughly 120 of them on a vintage letterpress in Lance’s basement and wheatpaste and staple 80-90 of them all over downtown Tacoma.? Then they sell the rest.? These posters have become a hot local collectors item and are very hard to find.? If you find one out in public you are welcome to take one assuming you know how to removed a wheatpasted poster.? If you are lucky you’ll find one stapled up.

I’ve studied BA posters in the past few months.? To me, as an artist, they are inspirational.? But last night my interaction with Beautiful Angle leaps out of the computer screen into real life.

Last night was third Thursday.? The third Thursday of every month our museums and galleries (there are tons) open to the public for free.? There are art shows in every gallery (again there are tons).? Musical acts perform in various places and awesome lectures are given.? Last night it just so happened that Lance Kagey was giving a lecture on Typography and the History of the World.? Something after my own heart.? So I attended.? Before the lecture started we stopped to have dinner with some friends at Puget Sound Pizza.? As I was driving to PSP I was stopped at a light and spied with my little eye a BA poster on a What’s Happening kiosk, wheatpasted.? Damn.

As I was walking up to PSP I turned around and noticed that there was another one stapled to a telephone pole outside the restaurant.? After confirming it was in fact a BA poster I rushed out the door, ran across the street and shimmied the pole to retrieve my find.? Yes, I shimmied a pole.? There was nearly a photo of it, but Kevin couldn’t get his camera out fast enough.? I also learned that there was one on the front door of the Elk’s Lodge, but you had to go through a bit of a construction zone to get it.? I thought one was enough.

I attended the lecture, listened to Deborah Page, and checked out the Gods & Monsters show and then was ready for home.? I ambled down the street with Tacoma Chickadee and her young-lings toward the car and thought what the hell…? The Elk’s Lodge is right there, might as well.? Problem was I had to go down the Spanish Steps (at 8:30 at night, not a smart move) and snag the poster from high up on the door.? Successful in my endeavor I headed back up the steps to my car.? On the way up the steps I was so worried to get past the drug dealers and to my car without getting mugged that I wasn’t paying attention and tripped.? I sliced my toe open on the concrete steps and was accosted by a junkie wondering if I was Dawn.? But I got my poster.

Now I have to figure out how to explain to the manicurist that she can still do my pedicure and that there is not gaping hole in my big toe.? Just ignore that and let me relax will you.? I earned it.

4 Comment

  1. I knew you’d go back! So sorry about your toe, I suppose I am partially to blame.

    You may flog me appropriately when next we meet.

  2. What? No photo of the treasures?

  3. There was nearly a photo of it, but Kevin couldn?t get his camera out fast enough.

    Great story.

    I wouldn’t have missed the shot though. 🙂

  4. […] they let me play and it makes me feel included. ?I also mentioned a couple of guys that started a guerilla art movement in Tacoma called Beautiful Angle. ?It just so happens that one of the chalk artists was invited to […]

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