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Tacoma’s Metal-Urge Galvanizes Arts Community

Tacoma’s Metal-Urge Galvanizes Arts Community
Sept. 15, 2014

Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5160
Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054

Tacoma’s Metal-Urge Galvanizes Regional Arts Community

Metal-Urge, a citywide celebration of metal arts, explores the many ways that artists push this versatile and diverse medium. From Oct. 1 – Nov. 30, 31 Tacoma venues will feature metal-themed exhibits, workshops, lectures, festivals and more.

“Metal-Urge really embraces the many ways that metal is used as an art form, from sculpture and jewelry to cars and brass musical instruments,” said Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “More than 80 regional metal artists are exhibiting throughout the city, Tacoma Art Museum is bringing a major metals exhibit to town, and we welcome the 19th Annual Seattle Metals Guild Symposium to Tacoma for the first time.”

A list of events and exhibits is available at TacomaMetalUrge.com, and brochures are available in coffee shops and cultural venues around town.

Some Metal-Urge highlights include:

Metal-Urge Free Community Festival

Come out for a free, fun-filled afternoon of metal arts on Oct. 19 from noon – 3 p.m. at Tollefson Plaza (South 17th Street and Pacific Avenue). Below the majesty of Mary Coss’ site-specific public art installation, “Three Graces”, watch live sword fighting reenactments by Knights of Veritas, see a molten iron pour and create a scratch block with Tacoma Community College's sculpture department, and check out a blacksmithing demonstration with Lisa Geertson and Scott Szloch. Try your hand at making a textured metal charm with Tacoma Metal Arts Center and participate in some hands-on crafts with Tacoma Art Museum. Do all this while listening to steel drum music under the direction of Miho Takekawa and munching on refreshments from food trucks.

Protective Ornament: Contemporary Amulets to Armor

This exhibit at Tacoma Art Museum (1701 Pacific Ave.), running Oct. 18, 2014 – Feb. 1, 2015, showcases nearly 100 pieces—including helmets, brass knuckles, breastplates, aggressive or defensive jewelry, chain mail, amulets, talismans, and protective gear—designed to address issues of protection and empowerment in the face of everyday perils and social challenges. Ranging from protective hardware (physical fortification) and protective “software” (faith-based adornment), the array of contemporary works underlines the crucial safeguarding function of jewelry and other wearable ornaments. Organized by the National Ornamental Metal Museum Foundation, Inc., the exhibition was curated by Metalsmith magazine editor Suzanne Ramljak.

Seattle Metals Guild 19th Annual Northwest Jewelry & Metals Symposium

This metal arts symposium, held on Oct. 19 at the Washington State History Museum (1911 Pacific Ave.) features lectures by Metalsmith magazine editor Suzanne Ramljak, historian Stephen Fliegel, Vivian Beer, artist Jennifer Trask, jeweler Todd Pownell, and metalsmith Myra Mimlitsch-Gray. For more information, or to register, visit seattlemetalsguild.org/programs/symposium.

Metal-Urge is organized by the Tacoma Arts Commission and sponsored by Click! Cable TV and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.