If you’re downtown this week, you’ll see some groovy art going up in the Woolworths Windows. The latest Spaceworks installations make excellent use of the window’s tall, flat interior space by colorful imagery punched through with ironic commentary.
In the center window Kelly June Mitchell has created a Warhol-worthy 3D mural of pink paper flowers. From softly sculptural tissue paper to flat, hard-edged paper to hand-painted petals, they make a garden of bubble-gum, powder pink and fuschia, like a giant bed for the goddess Lakshmi. And then, through their centers, come punching ceramic fists. Lifesize, with skin folds and corpse-like color, the hands make gestures from fingers-crossed to “where’s the pinky,” in a bizarre sign-language that disrupts the heady tropical rush with almost violently surreal reality – truly, as the title says, a “Memento Mori.”
Next door, in the window on South 11th Street, Elizabeth Gahan hangs bunting made from cut-up political signs in “Color Wave.” Squares and diamonds, in a palette from navy-white to red-orange, are strung in checkered chains like oversize birthday decorations. In an age of make-your-own vintage items, they’re the ultimate in reclaiming, an ironic comment on electioneering. Or maybe this is how you decorate your post-election party? Whichever, it’s a whole lot of fun, and suits the space perfectly.
Coming in the northerly window is an intriguing wooden terrain by Nathan Braunfeld; down on Commerce Street a bland white textile hanging by Priscilla Dobler will gradually be joined by ongoing weavings in color; the artist herself will be weaving live in the window Oct. 14-18, inviting passers-by inside to talk and buy smaller pieces. Most of the woven work will be given to the homeless.
Other Spaceworks Artscapes installations inclues Jeremy Gregory’s eye-catching mural on the 11th Street side of the 953 Market St. building – kind of cartoon meets modernist meets Native Northwest – and an in-progress poetry-based mural for Write@253 on the alley side. On the Market Street side, Kristin Giordano and Mindy Barker’s confrontational polar bears and lemurs in “Humans Join Us!” look unfortunately more like an ad for the zoo.
The Woolworth Windows are located at South 11th Street at Broadway and Commerce Street. They’re on view 24/7 through October. spaceworkstacoma.wordpress.com
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568 email@example.com