Elizabeth Kiesel, 16, took home a $10 cactus Sunday after touring workspaces of Tacoma artists.
“I wanted a $4,000 screen,” mom Julie Kiesel said with a laugh. “I didn’t get that.”
The pair spent Saturday and Sunday visiting many of the 39 locations and 60 artists and collaborative studios that hosted the 12th annual Tacoma Studio Tour.
Part of Tacoma Arts Month, the tour is one of the November events coordinated by the city designed to showcase local artists.
Tour stops featured demonstrations by the artists and, sometimes, activities for visitors.
“It’s just such a wonderful opportunity to see studios they’d otherwise never be able to see,” artist Lois Yoshida said from her workspace in the Merlino Art Center at Sixth and South Fawcett avenues.
Yoshida does sumi art, a type of ink painting, and works with watercolor and handmade papers. She said her studio has been a stop on the tour for many years.
“Since it started, it’s gotten much larger,” she said about the event. That may have spread out the traffic, she speculated. “This year’s pretty quiet for me.”
Diane Hansen, also a veteran of the tour, said it was a busier year than usual at the Bellaballs studio at 747 S. Fawcett Ave.
Visitors could decorate padlocks with nail polish at her workspace. The padlocks will be attached to her public art piece at South 25th and A streets. The installation, called “The Locks,” was commissioned by Sound Transit. Hansen said the idea is that when trains go overhead, the magnetic energy is transmitted to the locks and “makes all your dreams come true.”
The studio where Kiesel found her cactus, Moss and Mineral at 305 S. Ninth St., had its grand opening Saturday and Sunday.
Lisa Kinoshita said she was showing her own work (terrariums and jewelry) and pieces by about five other artists at the new space.
Visitors could plant starts in miniature pots to take home.
“This is also good for downtown businesses,” said Kinoshita, whose previous studios have been featured on the tour. “It’s good for the artists, but it’s also great for downtown.”
A bronze statue, inspired by dancers on stilts at the Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle years ago, was also featured at Moss and Mineral.
But the workspace of the sculptor wasn’t one of those on display Sunday.
“My studio is a mess,” artist Malcolm McLaren said, smiling. “There’s so many projects going on.”
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268
For more information about Tacoma Arts Month, visit artatworktacoma.com.