Tacoma Arts Month – Tacoma Studio Tour – October 2022 – The Suburban Times

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The door to our Studio Tour of the FS Harmon building.

The brochure arrived by post. I never saw it. I received an email from my friend Chris telling me about the art show two days before the event. When I told Peg about it, she said, “Yeah. Were going.”

Peg and I made a few wrong turns, but eventually saw the sign for Steele Street and turned into the parking lot. If I had known it was just off Center Street in Nalley Valley, I would have known exactly where it was. I lived just a little up the hill on Ferry Street. From kindergarten through fourth grade, I attended Stanley Elementary School. At the time, Peg probably lived less than a mile away, up the hill from Snake Lake.

Charles Wright Academy


Layla Elizabeth Mitchell, creator of a collage of pickle jars turned into greeting cards.

We walked up the stairs to FS Harmon and through the yellow door we walked up the stairs and stopped for a moment to have a look, and the small but interested crowd. And who was at the top of the stairs? Chris Parent and his friend Layla Elisabeth Mitchell.

Layla has laid out her printed collage with a colorful jar of pickles on the table. She says they’re for when life isn’t a bowl of cherries. His template for the collage design was a jar of canned pickles given to him by a friend. She also had a sketchbook with examples of how she comes up with ideas and puts them together. Layla was friendly too. How fitting that she and Chris Parent stood side by side and greeted guests at the exhibits. They are actually neighbors.

DuPont Museum


Chris and I have known each other since high school in Clover Park, but we have mostly crossed paths for social occasions, crossing paths on many paths. She is currently working with copper. She buys copper sheets, cuts them to the size she wants and rolls over the pieces for an interesting texture. Then she makes comparisons and studies of colors representing the action. She also makes wonderful non-figurative images from tea bags.

We went to the first room to see Elayne Vogel’s unique particular necklaces. The combinations, elements and colors are magnificent. Next to her was the Lady of the Crown, Teresa Owens. Peg was looking for her because they had been together at the calligraphy guild in Tacoma years ago. Peg still has a pin from Teresa’s pearl days. She had a display of embellished paper crowns appropriate for any child and whimsical adult.

Pierce College

Photographer Duncan James Livingston had a selection of his photographs from different places in Tacoma. His shot of the sun breaking through the cloudy sky above the giant globe in Thea Foss Park along the seafront esplanade on Dock Street is unusual. It looks like bold lighting is hitting the North Pole. Livingston also has a nice photo of a tall ship moored in Commencement Bay. It must have been during a Tall Ship event as there are sailors furling the sails on two spars from a mast. A beautiful and interesting shot. Both were available as postcards in the lobby where Chris and Layla were.

I love Becky Frehse’s illustrations. I like the top image and Peg likes the pink at the end. Entering the next area, we were amazed by its violin pieces. Frehse had covered the violins with fabric, paper, paint and other objects, securing them to large branches. There were many rooms in both halls. They are colorful, idiosyncratic and captivating.

Ed Selden carpet one

As a fine arts student at the University of Puget Sound, I really enjoy painting. This fence graffiti caught my eye.

Whenever you have the opportunity to visit an art exhibition, take it. You never know what you’ll find. We not only found friends/artists to chat with, but I was introduced to a woman who is a fan of our articles in The Suburban Times. . . and it is always pleasant to discover.

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