Paper nests and paper worlds, layers of letters, mounding monsters and a smooth, wooden moon-face – the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s annual best-of Art Award show at Fulcrum Gallery right now is a celebration of local art in its most tactile form.
This year’s award winner was Shaun Peterson, and the centerpiece of the show – though not, technically, situated in the center of it – is his commission from the Foundation, “Between Wolf and Moon.” It’s a stunningly carved circle of cedar – red on the outside, with a hand-braided rope on the rim, and pale on the inside, chiselled into a moon-like face of sleepy, watchful eyes mounted on a clear, sandblasted glass border. Based on a Puyallup legend of a son born to a human girl and a red star, the piece shows Peterson developing tremendously as an artist in skill and depth of expression.
Around the front gallery are past and present nominees, with work that’s often highly tactile. Holly Senn’s “Blackbird” is a cornucopia nest made of tangled, shredded book pages, a tunnel of type; Beautiful Angle lay their letterpress type in almost archeological layers in four posters of flaming reds and browns. Gabriel Brown creates tiny island-worlds out of paper – 3D cardboard terrain, fake grass and houses made of “ticky tacky” (actually, junk food packaging) just like in the ‘60s song. They float, blithely oblivious, in mid-air.
There’s some expected faces – Sean Alexander’s sorrowfully penciled duck, Chandler O’Leary’s watercolor of Frisko Freeze done in optimistic ‘50s colors, Kristin Giordano’s alien Qatar landscapes. There are also some newcomers, like Scott Haydn, capturing an adorable moment in a toddler’s grass-surrounded world.
And don’t miss a new creation from Fulcrum owner Oliver Doriss – magnified bone-like skulls, adorned with gold leaf and deathly bubbles, encapsulated in hand-sized glass paperweights. Nothing says Christmas like a glass skull, yes?
Open through Jan. 10 noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; also 3-8 p.m. Dec. 22 for the Gritty City Gift Fair. Free. 1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma. 253-250-0520, fulcrumtacoma.com