The AMOCAT Arts Awards recognize those in our community who provide distinctive contributions to the arts. The honorees work hard to support and build our community by innovating in artistic excellence.
From 2004 to 2012, AMOCAT recipients were nominated and selected by the Tacoma Arts Commission. In 2013, the Tacoma Arts Commission collected nominations from the public and selected one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee's community impact as well as the quality of work being done by the nominee.
There are three categories for recognition: Community Outreach by an Individual, Community Outreach by an Organization, and Arts Patron. Each exhibits vision, dedication, and action in creating a lively arts community in Tacoma.
2013 Arts Patron
Erivan and Helga Haub and family
In 2012, Tacoma Art Museum announced a major donation by Erivan and Helga Haub and family of 280 outstanding works of Western American art along with endowment funds for the care of the collection and funds for a 16,000 square foot museum expansion.
The Haub family gift of a world-class art collection will have a truly lasting legacy on the Tacoma community and greater region, elevating Tacoma’s reputation as a cultural destination. As the only Western American art collection of this caliber in the Pacific Northwest, the Haub family gift will provide an entirely new dimension of cultural offerings to our region, enhancing the appeal of Tacoma as a tourist destination and calling new attention to the diversity and prominence of Tacoma’s many cultural offerings.
“As the history of the Northwest is inextricably imbedded within the history of the greater West, the Haub Collection will strengthen the meaning, value, and historical perspectives of Northwest art within the broader art historical context of American art,” said Stephanie Stebich, Executive Director of Tacoma Art Museum.
Erivan and Helga Haub began collecting Western American art in 1984, and have since amassed one of the most important collections in private hands. Their passion for the West has helped shape their artistic choices, which chronicle the land, people, wildlife, and history of the great American West.
The collection features outstanding works that capture the spirit of the American West including the work of significant historic Western painters such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, E. Martin Hennings, and Ernest Blumenschein. The collection also contains works by notable modernist painters, including Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as more contemporary artists such as John Clymer, Tom Lovell, Bill Schenck, and Clyde Aspevig. The works range in date from the 1820s to the present.
Originally from Germany, Erivan and Helga Haub have had close personal and business ties to the Pacific Northwest and specifically Tacoma, where their three sons were born. Their family business, The Tengelmann Group, is an international company with diversified retail and investment operations in Europe and North America. Their love and passion for the American West inspired the Haub family to become fervent collectors of Western American Art over the last 30 years.
2013 Community Outreach by an Organization
Puget Sound Book Artists
Since 2010, Puget Sound Book Artists has been carrying out its mission to create a spirit of community among book artists and those who love books. The organization has exhibited a deep and ongoing commitment to creating a welcoming and educational community for book artists of all skill levels to collaborate and share their work with the public.
Perhaps the most publicly visible work of PSBA is its annual juried book arts exhibition, which continues to grow each year. “There are limited venues for book arts to be displayed so we feel strongly about the opportunity to showcase the book arts,” said Rochelle Monner, president of PSBA.
PSBA strives to increase educational opportunities for individuals as well as foster excellence by bringing book arts experts to Tacoma for lectures and workshops. Past workshops have included making paper with nationally known artist Velma Bolyard, learning about the business of art with Laura Russell of 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, and book design with Kevin Steele. Lecturers have included Shawn Sheehy, one of the world’s leading pop-up book designers, and Diane Stemper, whose work connects art and science.
Professional development also comes from within PSBA’s membership. Members work collaboratively in preparing and reviewing artist statements and offering advice, thus providing a foundation for artists to move forward in their careers. Together they have self-published three exhibition catalogs and through the collective support of PSBA, many of the members have had their books picked up by artist book dealers or have been published in books, including the recently released 500 Handmade Books, Volume 2, published by Lark Press, 2013.
PSBA in the making
The development of Puget Sound Book Artists was contingent upon a dedicated community of individuals and organizations being in the right place at the right time.
In May of 2006, an informal group of book artists under the leadership of Rochelle Monner and Lynne Farren were invited to discuss the future of book arts in the Tacoma area. This informal network of artists was then invited to participate in the 2008 Wayzgooze letterpress and book arts festival at King’s Books, organized by Sweetpea Flaherty and Jessica Spring.
In 2008, Jane Carlin became the Director of Collins Memorial Library at University of Puget Sound, bringing with her a connection with the book arts from her work as the Design and Art Librarian at the University of Cincinnati. Collins Library hosted its first formal exhibit of books arts, the work of Holly A. Senn, that same year. This was followed by a visit to Collins Library by artists’ book dealers Bill and Vicky Stewart. The event was packed and full of energy and this meeting provided the spark that ignited the formation of the PSBA. In 2010, PSBA formally launched itself with an exhibition of work by nationally recognized book artist Sheeren La Plantz at Collins Library.
2013 Community Outreach by an Individual
“You know that quote ‘Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life’? I have two jobs like that,” said David Domkoski.
Mr. Domkoski is a theater artist who has been acting and directing since high school. After graduating from SUNY Geneseo he moved to Tacoma with friends and began The Performance Circle in Gig Harbor. Since that time he has directed for Tacoma Little Theater, Lakewood Playhouse, Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Tacoma Community College, Tacoma Repertory Theater, and Tacoma School of the Arts, where he served as an Adjunct Artist in Theater for several years.
In 2012, Mr. Domkoski created Assemblage Theater to produce provocative, quirky and challenging plays, including Pericles Snowdon’s Bluebeard and Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus, that explore the endless possibilities of live theater. These plays celebrate language and engage, inspire, entertain and challenge audiences.
As the Community Relations Manager for the Tacoma Public Library since 1987, Mr. Domkoski is responsible for the Handforth Gallery - featuring the work of local, regional and nation visual artists. The gallery is accessible to everyone; there is no admission fee or expectation of a purchase. Many people encounter the art unintentionally and delightfully during their library visit. Over the years the gallery has shown work by Alfredo Arreguin, Jacob Lawrence, Bradford Washburn, Mary Randlett, Beautiful Angle, and the Ames Bros' Pearl Jam posters.
When the Main Library reopened in 1990, Mr. Domkoski began efforts to bring literary and performing arts to the community through the library - featuring book talks by major American authors including Ray Bradbury, David McCullough, Sherman Alexie, Sara Peretsky, Timothy Egan, and many others. Through Mr. Domkoski’s tireless work, patrons can come to the library to enjoy concerts by classical guitarists, brass bands, street musicians and buskers, jazz and marimba ensembles, and mandolin orchestras. All events are free and open to the public. In 2001, this outreach branched into a community-wide reading program - Tacoma Reads Together - with programs and events designed to engage the community in conversations around important issues.
“For me, it has been and always will be connecting people to good stories, however they are told,” said Mr. Domkoski. “I have the best job in the world.”
Past AMOCAT Arts Award Recipients