Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Exploring Art Through Observation and Action at Tacoma Art Museum

Vibrant Chihuly Glass Art at Tacoma Art Museum
Vibrant and intricate Chihuly Glass Art
The Tacoma Art Museum lives right on the other side of the Chihuly Bridge of Glass from the Museum of Glass. The proximity of the two provides for a lovely day of igniting your creative flame! With a mission of connecting people through art, the TAM infuses engaging exhibits with elements inspiring full sensory exploration.


Lovely winter western scenescape at Tacoma Art Musem
Loved the snow cover in this winter Western painting.
We explored the Haub Family Collection of Western Art first. Wow! My breath was certainly taken away by the landscapes! I immediately noted that the museum is not overly cluttered. Compared to other art museums I have visited, I actually had room to breathe and appreciate the art.

Western landscape inviting us on an adventure at TAM.
This painting seems to invite us on an adventure!
In 2015, True West recognized TAM as one of the best museums for Western Art and it is easy to see why! The pieces chosen seem quite dynamic--almost like the West is speaking directly to you like in the painting above. Of course, we would not be visiting the West without encountering a bison would we? Love the sculpture below!

Bronze bison sculpture at the Tacoma Museum of Art
Hello, Mr. Bison!
As part of promoting the exploration of creative expression, the museum affords a few opportunities for engaging yourself. In the (Re)Presenting Native Americans Gallery, visitors are challenged to discover how experiencing the art of the American West has changed them and to draw depictions of each other. Quite a fun little experiment and something that can easily be replicated as a boredom buster when the kids are off of school!


Richard Rhodes' Stone Wave provides a not-to-be-missed moment. When visiting the museum, be sure to take the opportunity to view the exhibit from various vantage points and windows. Rhodes constructed the sculpture from 650 500-year-old pavers from China--in China! The sculpture was then taken apart and reassembled in Tacoma Pretty intriguing! The glass floats on the sculpture are the work of Dale Chihuly.

Stone Wave by Richard Rhodes at Tacoma Museum of Art
Whimsical combination of art!
Tacoma-born Dale Chihuly recognizes the influence his hometown has had on his work. The internationally recognized glass artist has donated many pieces to provide a retrospective on his career and to amaze visitors!

Dale Chihuly glass art at Tacoma Museum of Art
Many Dale Chihuly treasures to enjoy!
The NW Art Now gallery highlights artists in the Pacific Northwest. Really a fabulous way to take in current talents reacting to the world we live in. My favorite---Pendleton blankets enhanced with oil sticks!
Brilliant Pendleton blanket art at TAM
Brilliant art!
In addition to exhibits, TAM also hosts events with local artists including Art Maker Faires where local artists are able to demo their talents and creations! TAM does a magnificent job of reaching out to the community. Various art shows highlighting different populations and organizations, camps and classes and more help the community actively engage.

We were treated to an interesting visiting exhibit: Edvard Munch and the Sea. We typically think of The Scream when we hear of Munch. So, I was particularly intrigued by the Norwegian seascapes.

Evuard Munch seascape at Tacoma Museum of Art
Edvard Munch seascape from traveling exhibit.
But, who could resist taking in Andy Warhol's screen print of The Scream!

The Scream Andy Warhol Screen Print
Ahhhhhhh!
Our visit to the Tacoma Museum of Art left us with a renewed appreciation for the creative spirit and our own ingenuity inspired. We loved exploring art created in the Pacific Northwest and collections from throughout the world. The museum's support and dedication to local creativity will encourage makers for years to come. An adventure of inspiration!

Things to know:
  • TAM's gift shop is home to many products that are made in the U.S.A. including . TAM is always trying to add more products. When you visit, ask the store manager and she will gladly explain the products to you.
  • If available, be sure to go upstairs and take a peek of the view from the terrace. The sky was pretty cloudy during our visit but we could make out a bit of Mt. Rainier. 
  • If you happen to visit during a Third Thursday, evening visits are FREE 5PM-8PM.
  • Check for FREE Audio Tours that you can download for some of the exhibits. Don't forget your earbuds for your phone!
**Thank you to Travel Tacoma for hosting our visit! Complimentary admission was provided to bring you this review!

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