Arts & Entertainment

Panel on Contemporary Native American Art featuring Wendy Red Star, John Feodorov, Sara Siestreem, and Corwin Clairmont: Wednesday, December 9th, 11:00-1:00 pm in the 2nd floor Recital Hall of the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Mon, 11/30/2015 - 5:07pm


Wendy Red Star is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. Red Star received her B.F.A. from Montana State University-Bozeman and her M.F.A from UCLA in 2006. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her exhibitions include shows at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Hallie Ford Museum, The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship 2009, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Missoula Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian-New York, Portland Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bockley Gallery, and Haw Contemporary gallery. She has been a visiting lecturer at a range of respected institutions, including The Banff Centre, CalArts, National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Portland State University, Dartmouth Hood Museum, Figge Art Museum, Fairhaven College, Fine Artworks Center-Provincetown, and I.D.E.A. Space-Colorado College.


john feodorov with sharkflute150Born in Los Angeles of mixed Navajo (Diné) and Euro-American heritage, John Feodorov grew up in the suburbs of Southern California while making annual visits to his family’s land near Whitehorse, NM. The time he spent with his mother and grandparents on their homestead near the Anasazi ruins at Chaco Canyon continues to inform and impact his work.

John has been called a conceptual artist, a political artist, as well as a Native American artist, but he is still not sure how to define what he does. His work includes painting, drawing, assemblage, installation, video, music and songwriting. He also has engaged in experimental performance in the past, but not lately. Currently, he writes and performs with his art/pop band, The Almost Faithful.

John’s work as been widely exhibited and has been featured in several publications; most recently in Time and Time Again, by Lucy R. Lippard, and Manifestations, edited by Dr. Nancy Marie Mithlo.  He was also featured in the first season of the PBS  series, “Art 21: Art for the 21st Century”.

John has also worked with the Seattle-based afterschool arts program, Artscorps, and served as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Seattle. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Fairhaven College.



Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos and American, 1976-) is from the Umpqua River Valley in South Western Oregon. She grew up in Portland, Oregon. She is a Master Artist and Educator. She comes from a family of professional artists and educators and her training in both fields began in the home. Siestreem graduated Phi Kappa Phi with a BS from PSU in 2005. She earned an MFA with distinction from Pratt Art Institute in 2007. Siestreem is the weaving student of Greg Archuleta, Greg Robinson, and Nan MacDonald. She is represented by Augen Gallery in Portland and her work has been shown in museums and figures in prestigious private and public collections nationally.

Her studio work is multi-disciplinary. Her primary language is painting, but she also works in photography, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, video, and traditional weaving.

She teaches Foundations in Studio Arts and Indigenous Studies at PSU and Traditional Weaving Practices for The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. She works as a consultant and free lance educator for museums and cultural groups regionally. Siestreem also serves various youth organizations and individuals in the role of mentor, workshop leader, promoter, public speaker and volunteer.

She lives and works exclusively in the arts in Portland, Oregon.


Corwin (Corky) Clairmont is a contemporary artist and enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.   Living in Los Angeles, Corky  pursued a contemporary exhibiting artist career as well as teaching and becoming department head of  printmaking at the Otis/Parsons Art Institute located in Los Angeles, Ca. Upon his return to Montana in 1984, Corky began administrative work at the newly credited Salish Kootenai College located in Pablo, Montana on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Reservation.  This included the creation of the SKC  Fine Arts Department and art degree program. Through work as a printmaker, conceptual and installation artist, Corky’s images   discuss and explore situations or issues that effect tribal people such as sovereignty, colonization, giving a cultural and historical perspective.   Corky’s artwork has been exhibited through out the United States and in several Countries including Germany Norway, New Zealand, France, and most recently at the US Embassy located in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.  Awards have included Ford and National Endowment of the Arts, the Eiteljorg Fellowship Award, and the 2008 Montana Governors Award for Visual Arts.  He currently serves on the State Board of the Montana Arts Council.



Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Slow but Steady Wins the Race

Sherwood Press - Sat, 11/28/2015 - 12:16pm

We’re now in high gear producing perks for our Indiegogo campaign and will start shipping several this coming week. We are nearly at $16,000 of our stretch goal of $19,000!

Our window restoration guy Dave King has taken measurements of the window, probed the wall below for rot, and is getting ready to start the process. It’s hard to believe that we can already get this important work done with the money raised so far. The campaign success also means that The Nutcracker tree can be safely and hopefully creatively removed.

Now we’re really dreaming that we can also install the french drain, repair the siding, and then paint next summer. Help us keep our campaign buoyed-up by sharing with your friends!

Visit our Indiegogo Campaign! Ends on December 14th!

Almost at $16,000! thank_you Poster Perk! Bonus Perk for all contributions $25 and over. Seaside Alphabet Notebook perk! Every contributor gets their name on a copper tag. Wood Type Monogram Notebook perk!
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Staged Reading of WRECKS at Tacoma Little Theatre

South Sound Arts - Sat, 11/28/2015 - 7:14am
For one night only, Tacoma Little Theatre will present Neil LaBute's Wrecks as a staged reading.

Wrecks is the story of a man coming to terms with the death of his wife, and the dark secret that brought them together. The revelations in his internal monologue are woven into his more general disapproving commentary on a culture too prone to public confession and emotional display. (What we, the audience, are hearing is what’s happening inside his head.) As befits a character whose story has parallels with a certain Greek myth, he speaks occasionally of the role of “the happenstance of life” and “the way the universe likes to play it.”

Tickets for the December 3 performance at 7:30 p.m. are $10.00 for non TLT Members, and FREE for those who are members. Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling our Box Office at (253) 272-2281.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Tis the Season

South Sound Arts - Fri, 11/27/2015 - 7:53am

A Holiday Theater Roundup
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 25, 2015
Liam Loughridge as Raphie in A Christmas Story at Tacoma Little Theatre. Photo by Dennis K Photography.December is upon us, and that means a smorgasbord of Christmas stories at area theaters, but not so much the tried and true holiday sentimentality that’s usually trotted out. There are some twists on the usual holiday fare this year, including a holiday whodunit and the traditional A Christmas Carolpresented as a one-man show.The holiday whodunit is The Game’s Afoot! Or Holmes for the Holidays, a comedic murder mystery at Olympia Little Theatre written by Ken Ludwig, the celebrated writer of Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, directed by Kathryn Beall, 7:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 1:55 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27-Dec. 20,Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave., NE, Olympia, in Federal Way once again thrills audiences of all ages with a traditional British Panto, this one a repeat of their hugely popular and outlandish version of Sleeping Beauty, with rocking popular music, and screamingly wicked humor aimed at children and adults, through Dec. 20The Knutzen Family Theatre 3200 SW Dash Point Road, Federal  Way, Tacoma’s exciting new fringe company Tacoma Actors Repertory Theatre is producing A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story as a one-man show using Charles Dickens’ original script and performance notes narrated by Byron Tidwell. There will be four performances only at 2 and 8 p.m., Nov. 19 and 20, Tacoma Armory, 715 South 11th St., Tacoma. Tickets are available online at Giles (as Lucy) and  Isaac McKenzie Sullivan (as Charlie Brown) in A Charlie Brown Christmas at Olympia Family Theater. Photo credit: Dinea DePhotoOlympia Family Theater is doing the ever-popular A Charlie Brown Christmas 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27- Dec. 20 (Dec. 20 matinee sold out). 612 4th Ave E., Olympia, For something completely different, The Changing Scene Theatre Northwest, presents David Sedaris' irreverent holiday one-man show, The Santaland Diaries about a starving actor in New York City who reluctantly takes a job as an elf at Macy's. This one is recommended for ages 16 and older due to mature themes and language.  It runs Dec. 3, 6, 10 and 13 at 8 p.m. at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. TMP is also doing A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dec. 19-24. 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, tradition can’t be ignored, and to prove it, Tacoma Little Theatreis proud to present the holiday show that sends everyone right back to their most prized childhood memories, A Christmas Story, Jean Shepherd's touching and hilarious tale of Ralphi’s quest for a Red Ryder BB gun. You know the story, it’s the one with the tongue to the lightpole and the lamp with the lady leg. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27-Dec. 20, 210 North I St., Tacoma, finally, Harlequin Productions is doing its 20th installment of their original, locally written and hugely popular Stardust Christmas series. This one, The Stardust Christmas Dazzle, is a popular music extravaganza set in Manhattan’s Stardust Club in 1959. Nov. 27-Dec. 31 State Theater, 202 E. 4th Ave.,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Joe Batt “In the Cloud’ at Tacoma Community College

South Sound Arts - Fri, 11/27/2015 - 7:40am

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 25, 2015 Installation view of Joe Batt’s ‘In the Cloud.’ Photo by Rachel Payne.South Puget Sound Community College art professor Joe Batt has created a world of charcoal, wood and ceramic adults and children, mostly children.  Digital media have taken control of their lives — a comically surrealist world not too far removed from the world most of us live in today. I’ve seen bits and pieces of this world in exhibitions at SPSCC and Tacoma Community College and a full-scale installation at Salon Refu a year ago this month, but never have I seen his In the Cloudworld presented as such a complete environment as in his current installation at the gallery at TCC.The first thing to greet the eye upon entering the gallery is a life-size drawing in charcoal on paper of a group of young girls standing behind a rope line, hanging on, leaning to the right and looking to the left. They are strange looking girls, staring wide-eyed in fear or wonderment at something not yet seen as if waiting for the first part of a parade to arrive. Hanging from the ceiling above them is a satellite in orbit rendered in charcoal and pastel on a cut-out wood shape. The satellite casts a double shadow on the empty white wall to the left in front of which stands a strange little ceramic child wearing large futuristic goggles.Behind this entry the gallery opens up to a profusion of similar drawings and sculptures of children and young adults captured by their electronic media, many talking on smart phones or holding tablets in hand, many wearing these goggles or visors (somewhat like the one Jordi on Star Trek wore, only larger). The ceramic children stand or sit on sculpture stands. Two of them are on a tall ladder reaching out toward the satellite just above them, and there are more cut-out paper drawings on the wall. The space is filled with them. It’s almost claustrophobic. It’s a futuristic environment the viewers do not so much look at as immerse themselves into. It is frightening and comical, and perhaps all too true to the world we live in.Iinstallation view of Joe Batt’s ‘In the Cloud.’ Photo by Rachel Payne.The drawn and sculpted human figures have an almost primitive, “outsider” quality. Charcoal and pastel are the perfect graphic media for the sketchy drawing on the overhanging satellites, which have the surface quality of paint on weathered boards but with a sweet glow that comes from the natural wood color shining through.  On one wall there is a set of three digital collages that are different in technique and appearance than everything else in the installation, even though the same strange children and satellites can be seen. The description, “digital collage” on the wall labels is insufficient to explain. They seem to be photographs of Batt’s drawings and sculptures along with photographs of live models, digitally collaged together in transparent layers. Everything is in soft focus, and the overall coloring is gray. There is a dreamy quality to these pieces. Despite their striking differences from the rest of the show, they fit quite well because of the tonality and imagery..It is a breathtaking installation. I get the feeling that with this show Batt has taken this theme as far as it can go and will now have to look toward finding a new direction for his art. I look forward to seeing what he does next.
Joe Batt In the Cloud, noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, through Dec. 11, Tacoma Community College Building 5A, entrance off South 12th Street between Pearl and Mildred, Tacoma, visitor parking in Lot G.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia’s Story Slam

South Sound Arts - Sat, 11/21/2015 - 11:24am

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 19, 2015Elizabeth Lord hosts StoryOly Story Slam, photo by Austin C. LangStoryOly premiered its monthly Story Slam Tuesday of last week with a dozen funny, poignant, and in at least once instant harrowing stories told by local storytellers. StoryOly is a project of Olympia Actor’s League, hosted by Elizabeth Lord and produced by Amy Shephard. Community members come together every month to share and tell stories based on a specific theme. The theme for this premiere events was “First Time.”Storytellers put their names in a hat and are picked one by one, to take the stage. Ten featured stories are scored by a team of judges selected from the audience. There is one winner each month, and the winners will face off in a Grand Slam Championship next September.Last night they broke their own rules — nice start, StoryOly — by allowing one extra story plus an “icebreaker” tale by professional storyteller Sam Miller, who told a funny tale about his father getting a haircut every day. It took young Sam years to figure out what his father was really doing with his so-called haircutter.First contestant up for the evening was Devin Felix, a Mormon kid who told about learning from another first grade kid in school that you could flash a middle finger but it didn’t “count” if you held a thumb up behind the offensive finger. His story was about what happened when he demonstrated his revelation to the entire school. Like Miller’s story before him, Felix’s tale turned out to be a touching father-and-son story.Ingrid Bond talked about being a military kid and seeing an otherworldly light in Santa Fe.Robert Perez-Rosales told all about his first kiss and all the many failures to connect with the opposite sex as he was growing up an extremely shy kid. The story rang true, and the audience reaction indicated that many listeners must have had similar experiences in their childhoods.Rebecca Hom’s first time had a surprise ending, as all of us in the audience fell for her intended purpose of making us think she was leading up to her first sexual experience.Next came Paul Current who told about finding out his first girlfriend worked in a brothel. His story was hilarious and possibly made up, which is against the rules since all stories are supposed to be true. I thought it should have been the overall winner; but the judges didn’t agree.Cameron Comb told another first-kiss story. It was a first same-sex kiss story preceded by a first opposite-sex kiss story, and Comb said the latter was by far the best, not to denigrate poor Chip, who gave it his best.Brian McCracken’s story about demonstrating at the Democratic National Convention was interesting but a little disjointed.Billie Mazzei told a harrowing story about having a potentially fatal accident the first time she ever drove alone. It was a powerful story with lighthearted relief at the end.Ned Hayes told about his days as a chaplain in a hospital and how an art appreciation class helped him possibly save a wounded soldier.Michelle Murray once worked as a funeral director and embalmer. She told about a time they almost buried the wrong body.And finally, Heidi (didn’t get her last name) told about daydreaming as a child and how it led to work as a librarian and helped her discover the power of stories — a fitting story to end the night.The judges gave the highest score to Felix for his middle finger story. The next OlyStory Slam will be Dec. 15 with the theme “Tis the Season.” Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5. Half of all proceeds are donated to Safe Place Olympia.StoryOly’s Story Slam, 6-8 p.m. every third Thursday, Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N, Olympia,
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

A Murder for Old Time’s Sake

South Sound Arts - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 8:16am

Photo, from left: Stephanie Nace, Harrison Fry and Vanessa Postil in A Murder for Old Times’ Sake. Courtesy Open Road Productions. Musical Murder Mystery at Pellegrino’s Event Center!Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 19, 2015
Rob Taylor (left) and
Kyle Henick.
Courtesy Open Road Productions.Presented by Pellegrino’s Italian Kitchen and Open Road Productions, A Murder for Old Time’s Sake is a musical murder mystery dinner theater extravaganza that just might have you laughing so hard you spit out your Tuscan Pork Loin (or Parsnip Steak Marsala). It’s funny, it’s got great music, and a complicated mystery plot that you, the audience, will be asked to solve. And to top it all off, it comes with a three-course dinner from executive chef Sam Pellegrino.I attended a dress rehearsal the night before opening night and came away thinking this is the funniest of the three dinner theaters I’ve seen at Pellegrino’s. It’s the 20th reunion of the South Pattersfield High School class of 1995, and gathered together is a quintet of former lovers and enemies plus the school principal. There’s Biff (Kyle Henick), the class clown, football hero and bully; Nancy (Vanessa Postil), Biff’s ex-wife who also “like-likes” David (Rob Taylor), the class nerd who invented a self-cleaning toilet and became fabulously wealthy — take that, Biff, for giving me that swirly. And there’s Lucy (Stephanie Nace), who was nobody special in high school and is now a famous mystery writer whose latest novel, Murder Comes to High School, eerily mirrors what is about to happen at the reunion; and Billy (Harrison Fry), class president and most likely to succeed, who ends up as the janitor at South Pattersfield High. Finally, there’s the drunken, idiotic school principal, Horace McGuffin (Dennis Rolly). from left: Stephanie Nace, Harrison Fry and Vanessa Postil in A Murder for Old Times’ Sake. Courtesy Open Road Productions.Right after a great rocking song. “It’s Biff” sung by Henick, somebody gets murdered. One of the five survivors must be the murderer, and it’s up to them, with the help of the audience, to figure out who did it. In the process, we’re treated to more great music and comedy plus a couple of spoof commercials.The entire ensemble is outstanding — good actors and singers, with the bonus that physically they’re even cast to type, not that we even know what any of them look like, but they certainly look the way I would picture them. It was an especially enjoyable treat to see Henick, an actor I have seen only once before, and it was great to see Nace back on stage again after a long hiatus. Rolly and Taylor were both solid, and this is the best acting I’ve yet seen from Fry.If some of the music is reminiscent of Harlequin’s A Rock and Roll Twelfth Night, it’s because some of them are adaptations of songs from that show and were written by the same composer and lyricist, Scot Whitney and Bruce Whitney, with lyrics for three new songs written by Daven Tillinghast. The band is the Wildwood Orchestra, led by Brad Schrandt (keyboard), with David Broyles (guitar), Cameron Arneson (bass) and Andy Garnes.There are repeated intermissions during which second and third courses and dessert are served, and during which cast members wander through the audience in character so audience members can quiz them in order to suss out the killer. Audience members can fill out a sleuth sheet with their guesses about who the murderer is and how and why he or she did it. There are prizes awarded from those.A Murder for Old Time’s Sake was written by Andrew Gordon and directed by Jeff Painter. Including dinner and intermissions, it runs a little more than three enjoyable hours.A Murder for Old Time’s Sake, Nov. 20-21 at 7 p.m., $45 general seating, $55 front table seating, Pellegrino’s Event Center, 5757 Littlerock Rd SW, Tumwater, tickets online at

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Susan Christian’s Sticks at Salon Refu

South Sound Arts - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 2:34pm

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 19, 2015
“The Date” by Susan Christian, courtesy of Salon Refu
Susan Christian paints patterns on sticks, and then she props them against walls or lays them on floors or puts them together in relatively rectangular shapes and hangs them like traditional modernist paintings. She’s even been known to take photos of them lodged among branches in trees. To some people, that may seem simplistic and childish, and perhaps it is; or perhaps it is as radical as when Duchamp bought a urinal and entered it in an art exhibition under the title “Fountain,” or as radical as when Frank Stella started making paintings in odd geometric shapes. Christian’s first public showing of her stick paintings were at Batdorf & Bronson’s Coffee House in Olympia last April. Now she is showing a few of the paintings from that show plus many more in her own gallery, Salon Refu. I have to quote from the “artist’s statement” from this show. It’s too good not to: “In the summer of 2013 I went to a plein-air painting workshop taught by Helen O’Toole in Kathy Gore-Fuss’s garden. I love these workshops, though I don’t do plein-air painting. On the first morning, as I sat there not painting anything, Kathy handed me a little foot-long stick. I painted the stick white. Then I painted a red line on it. Then I went hunting for another stick, and so on.” There’s a little painting in her current show called “Bird” that fits that description. There’s a little red splinter of wood partially broken off along the top edge that looks dangerous. It also looks like a feather. I wonder if it could be the one that started it all.  One of the things that keeps her sticks from being too outlandish (art should always be at least a little outlandish) is that the patterns she paints on them are almost classically balanced with carefully chosen color combinations, but in many of them some little something is skewed — not quite fitting with the regularity of the patterns. It’s as if the artist makes a mistake on purpose to prove she’s human.  For instance, “Sail” is made of 13 horizontal strips of lattice glued together in a rectangular configuration. They are painted with subtle variations of gray-blue and a dull yellow. One strip slightly above center is darker than the others, and evenly spaced across its width are black dots. And then way up at the top and slightly off center is one more black dot that seems to have escaped from the chorus line of dots in the center.   Many of the patterns she paints are diagonals or zig-zags that overlap or repeat in nuanced ways that lend the pieces both unity and variety of form.  “Maesta,” is a long horizontal painted in soft of gray with a purple tint and — all modulated and restful. And then it is disrupted by two square blocks of wood stuck on with heavy globs of paint.  In one of the front windows stands a curtain-like array of painted vertical strips of wood, and along one wall a group of arched sticks like tightly drawn bows, mostly yellow, braced between the floor and ceiling. One gets the feeling they might spring loose and go shooting across the gallery at any moment. High on another wall hangs a heavy piece called “Sebago Lake” that looks like a crosscut saw. The radical positioning of this one resonates and contrasts with another stick that lies on the floor against the opposite wall.Most of her works are horizontally oriented. One vertical piece called “Tall” with an emphatic blue line down the middle looks more like sculpture than painting, even though it hangs against the wall. I can imagine people thinking this show is playful, insubstantial, and not very serious. But that playful, what-the-heck aspect is deceptive. This is art of a high order.     Susan Christian at Salon Refu, Thursday-Sunday 2-6 p.m., and by appointment. Through Nov. 28, closed Thanksgiving, 114 N. Capitol Way, Olympia,
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Sensations That Announce the Future

South Sound Arts - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 10:59am

Intriguing but difficult show at The Evergreen State College Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 12, 2015
“Souvenir,” cabon pigment print by Amjad Faur, courtesy of PDX Contemporary Art and the artist.The latest exhibition in the art gallery at The Evergreen State College takes concentration and thought to comprehend. It is not a show that can be easily enjoyed for its beauty alone but one that stimulates deep thought from those willing to put forth the effort. It is called Sensations That Announce the Future. It showcases artworks created by and chosen by TESC students and faculty based on the book Thinking in an Emergency by Elaine Scarry, and it posits the theory that art can look at patterns in the present and the past and intuit the future. A gallery handout, uncredited but presumable written by faculty member Shaw Osha, who organized the show and has a series of eight paintings in it, says, “Art shifts our perspective so we can perceive current circumstances differently. Art makes visible the subterranean ‘forces of chaos’ we contend with every day.”I have to admit that I had a hard time understanding a lot of the works and seeing how they relate to the stated themes, possibly because I have not read the book that purportedly inspired them all.For such a conceptual and future-oriented show, Osha’s contributions look surprisingly like paintings from the early 20th century Ash Can School, but with looser and more expressive brushstrokes and less clear definition of form. Her eight small paintings, which are not shown together but are scattered throughout the gallery, are street scenes with people. The setting might be the TESC campus, but that is hard to tell because there are few recognizable details. The colors are lush and soft, and figures and backgrounds bleed into one another. In one of her paintings the co-mingling of figure and ground is so extreme that the walking man, a shirtless figure facing away from the viewer, all but vanishes. The plaza or sidewalk and buildings and trees can be seen through his body. In another there is a man walking on what is probably “Red Square” on campus. The brushstrokes across his head and hair are so broad that they merge into the autumn leaves on the tree behind him. The ground he stands on is orange and tan, and as bright as glowing embers in a campfire — a treatment of the sidewalk that is common in all of her paintings. I don’t get the meaning of this series of paintings, but from a purely formal point of view they are outstanding. I would be proud to own any one of them.  In Steffani Jemison’s video, “Personal,” the setting is a street scene with a mural picturing Barack Obama and Desmond Tutu. A large black man walks back and forth in front of it, seemingly unsure of where he wants to go. Perhaps he is waiting from something or someone. Cars drive by, quickly, going backwards. Other pedestrians pass by, also going backwards. The scene then changes to a park scene where a man walks endlessly in a circle. Is the film making the point that we are walking blindly and backwards into the future? It is funny and perhaps prophetic.I loved C. Davida Ingram’s “Conjures & the Mermaid,” a selection of three photographs and a poem printed on three panels. The first line of the poem is “Here Lies the Nigress,” and the photos of the “Nigress,” are of a black woman seated in one photo and lying down in the other two. A dark, shadowy figure sits or lies in front of her in one of the photos; cushions on a bed replicate the shadow figure in the other; and in the third, something indistinguishable and mysterious stands in for the shadow figure. These are dramatic and attractive photos, and as with much good art, the images and the poem relate to each other but not overtly.There are some fabulously dramatic black-and-white photos of storm clouds by Joan Livingstone.Naima Lowe’s “Thirty-nine questions for white people,” notes in ink on notecards with brown paper wrapping and tied with ribbon, give whites and blacks much to think about, especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.There is much more to this show, much of it difficult but most of it intriguing.
Sensations That Announce the Future, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday,, through Dec. 2, The Evergreen State College Gallery, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Library 1st floor, Olympia, 360.867.5125
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Review: A Comedy of Errors at Lakewood Playhouse

South Sound Arts - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 3:59pm

Published in The News Tribune, Nov. 13, 2015Ben Stahl as Antipholus and Frank Roberts as Dromio
Jodie Chapin as Adriana and Ben Stahl as Antipholu. Photos by Kate Paterno-Lick Director Kristie Worthey and the Lakewood Playhouse took a bold risk in presenting Shakespeare’s “A Comedy of Errors” as a contemporary comedy set in Portland, Ore., with a large cast filled with fresh young faces. Messing with Shakespeare is nothing new; he’s the most messed-with playwright in history. His plays are nearly always edited and it is not uncommon to update them to modern times. Sometimes it works, and probably more often than not it doesn’t. Sadly, Lakewood Playhouse’s bold experiment does not. In the crowd scenes with mostly young and inexperienced actors portraying street performers and other “Keep Portland Weird” hippie characters, they are loud, clichéd almost to the point of offensive, and not particularly funny. I don’t think this is because of the age of the actors; the director simply didn’t pull it off.Many of the principle characters, by contrast, are excellent, most notably Ben Stahl as Antipholus and Jodie Chapin as Adriana.“A Comedy of Errors” is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, and critics generally consider it one of his least successful. Even the director of this productions seems to agree, stating in her program notes, “… while it might not be his wittiest or cleverest play, it does portend word play and scenarios in plays to come; a peek into his creative process.” It has been suggested that in this play Shakespeare tried out many of the plot lines and tropes perfected in his later comedies such as “Twelfth Night,” a grown-up and more sophisticated version of this earlier play.This version plays on the supposed friendly competition between Portland and Seattle. Aegeon (Cameron Waters), a building developer of Seattle whose new project in Portland is slated to be killed, begs the mayor (Chris Johnstone) for one day to raise money to save the project.  Meanwhile, his son Antipholus of Seattle (Stahl), comes to Portland where his long-lost twin brother Antipholus of Portland is a bike shop owner. The identically named identical twins have identical twin slaves, both named Dromio (Frank Roberts, with Waters doubling as one of the Dromios when they’re on stage at the same time). In typical Shakespearean fashion, everybody confuses the two sets of twins, including the Portland Antipholus’s wife, Adriana (Chapin) and her sister, Luciana (Nastassia Reynolds), whom the Seattle Antipholus falls in love with.Roberts is outstanding portraying two very different characters, the two Dromios. Likewise, Stahl shows great versatility and a wide range of facial and bodily expressions as Antipholus and Antipholus. Most outstanding and a beginning actor who should be destined for good things is Chapin as Adriana. Seldom have I seen an actor so thoroughly understand a character and become that character so convincingly. The scene where she seduces the twin she thinks is her husband is comic gold, played amazingly well by both Chapin and Stahl. Chapin is also loveable, sassy and funny in a scene on roller skates.Kudos to Bret Carr for the wonderful set design with the in-joke advertising signs and the flying, cut-out Portland bridges and skylines.Despite clever word play and funny local references, and despite excellent acting by the main characters, I felt in the end that I had just watched a lampoon of Shakespeare written and produced by high schoolers.
  WHAT: A Comedy of Errors WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through Nov. 29WHERE: Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., LakewoodTICKETS: $25.00, $22.00 military, $21.00 seniors and $19.00 students/educators, pay what you can INFORMATION: 253-588-0042,
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

C. Davida Ingram: Wednesday, November 18th, 11:30-1:00 pm in the 2nd floor Recital Hall of the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 11:23am
 C. Davida Ingram: Wednesday, November 18th,
11:30-1:00 pm in the 2nd floor Recital Hall of the COM Building
C.-Davida-Ingram-1 Artist and writer C. Davida Ingram uses intensive collaborations to explore society and community. She is a self-described “cultural worker” whose creation takes many forms: performances, installations, photographs, videos and private performance art. Community is at the heart of all her work, as well as queer theory, gender politics and race. Her audiences can be many or one: For her project Come Hungry, 10 years in the making, she invited white men into her home and cooked for them, “which was a way for me to have a disarming conversation about white male supremacy.” She’s worked at the Seattle Art Museum, Gage Academy of Art, Video Machete, Insight Arts and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center and she’s a co-founder of the Seattle People of Color Salon. Last spring she curated Stereo*type* at LxWxH, featuring text-based pieces focused on poetics, type and typography that outlined and expanded upon racial identities.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Have you read the Freedom Trilogy?

South Sound Arts - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 9:39am

 It’s time for me to toot my own horn again and tell you about a trio of books you really should read if you haven’t already. They’re my books. I could probably come up with all kinds of non-ulterior, non-self-aggrandizing reasons for posting this, but the truth is I just want to sell a bunch of books.
The Freedom Trilogy is my proudest accomplishment as a writer to date. In it I created a fictional town near the Mississippi Gulf Coast, invented a history for the town going back to the Civil War, and populated the town with idiosyncratic characters that I hope you will love (and in some cases hate).
In the first book, The Backside of Nowhere, David Lawrence, a famous movie star, returns to his hometown in the swampy coastlands to reconnect with the family he left behind twenty years earlier—a sweet mother he loves and an autocratic father he can’t stand. A massive hurricane hits the coast, and David is trapped in his father’s house with his parents and with an old girlfriend he still loves and a bitter enemy from high school days.
"(Clayton's) storytelling at times faintly echoes the nostalgia-laced prose of fellow Mississippian Eudora Welty but mixes in snappy dialogue, revelatory flashbacks, and episodic plotting, from the novel's opening car crash sequence to the near-cataclysmic closing scenes." - D. Cloyce Smith, review
In a flashback to the 1980s, David has a run-in with two juvenile criminals, Sonny Staples and Malcolm Ashton. Two decades later Sonny and Malcolm reappear as major characters in the second book.
In the second book, Return to Freedom, Malcolm and Sonny and their families move into adjacent apartments in a new condo built by David Lawrence after the hurricane. Both Malcolm and Sonny are now ex-convicts trying to rebuild their lives. Malcolm is struggling with an alcoholic wife and three disturbed teenage children; Sonny has become an evangelical preacher with an attraction for young girls.
"The town of Freedom becomes very real on the page and one can tell that Clayton sees every location intimately. Clayton knows every detail from the street signs to what cigarettes that Bo, the night cook at the diner, is smoking. This gives the effect that we are truly emerged in his world."- Joshua Swainston, review
The third book, Visual Liberties, ties up most, but definitely not all, of the twisted family conflicts of the first two books. Malcolm Ashton’s daughter, Molly, is now a college freshman majoring in art. She is drawn to a charismatic art professor who has a reputation for seducing the most vulnerable of his female students (a more sophisticated version of Sonny Staples). She is also attracted to her classmate, Frances Gossing, an artistic genius whose social skills are non-existant. And the unscrupulous preacher, Sonny Staples tries to reform his evil ways with help from an unexpected source—a lesbian couple that runs a local hamburger joint.
“A sweeping family drama and contemporary parable of art, love and meaning from America's own bard of the Gulf Coast, Alec Clayton. Grounded in Clayton's familiar world of Freedom, Mississippi, Clayton's latest novel sparkles with finely observed insight, sharp wit and complicated relationships.” – Ned Hayes, review
The three books of The Freedom Trilogy can be ordered from your local bookstores or from
Learn more at Mud Flat Press , and please tell your friends.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Vaudeville Comes to Olympia Again

South Sound Arts - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 8:07am

9th Annual Lord Franzannian’s Royal Olympian Vaudeville Show
Lord Franzannian’s Royal Olympian Vaudeville Show is better than coffee in a cup of any color. It’s almost as good as the Sox winning the World Series and another Super Bowl victory for the Seahawks. Born out of old fashioned minstrel shows (minus the blackface) and the original vaudeville of the early 1900’s, Lord Franzannian’s is silly, funny, risqué and downright amazing. It song and dance, contortionists, mimes, jokes, and acrobatic feats of incredible inventiveness.Elizabeth Lord is the founder and director of this entertainment bonanza, and she plays the part of host Lord Franzannian, who is more circus ringmaster than emcee. She welcomes everyone, tells them when it’s time to take a break and time to go home; and otherwise turns it over to a troupe of talented entertainers, including a band comprised of banjoist Jemmy Joe and bassist and kazooist (is that a word?) Al (ison) Metheny.Hey, I didn’t make up those names; they did. And speaking of names, John and the Punishers, minus the Punishers, does a whole standup routine based on punning names like Nick, who is barely on time. It starts off clever and funny, but he beats it to death.And who knew there were contortionists in Olympia? Not just one, but two: Jakob Tiger and Josephine. They perform separately, and it is painful to watch what they do with their bodies.And there is burlesque—not one, not two, but three strip tease acts. I know that some modern burlesque performers don’t like to be called strippers, but it seems fitting here because at least two of them are lampoons on traditional strip tease. Zsa Zsa Bordeaux is rhythmical, languorous and sexy in a more traditional burlesque dance number. Momo La Vein’s “Sloppy Shimmy Burlesque” is a comedy routine with stripping that is laugh-out-loud funny despite poking fun at drunks. (Drunks are really not funny; they are sad at best.) The third burlesque number is a male stripper called Bananas Foster who comes out in an outlandish, futuristic costume and wielding a ray gun fashioned out of a dildo. He is funny and raunchy, and sexy despite having a not-at-all-Chippendale body.Three of the really outstanding highlights of the show are the trio of performances by the duo of Jessica and Daniel Pitherin, who do a kind of hand jive with hands and feet, drumming in intricate rhythm patterns on various parts of their bodies, table, floor and plastic cups. They are amazing.The Lenticulars, Jean and Fred, do an impossible-to-describe movement routine that combines mime, dance, contortion and rubber faces with clown makeup that is touching, sweet, and breathtaking in its originality.Former Olympian now living in exile in Seattle Josh Anderson does a sad but funny song with hints of Gilbert and Sullivan about his tragic attempts at dating, and he revives his popular role as Saul Tannenbaum for a little tap dance number.With 20 acts over a two-hour span, with a short intermission, I can’t include all of them here, so let me just mention two others: Cat Light Year’s spectacular “Electric Boogie” and Cody Hayman and Gabriella Miklulas’s “Cody Goes to the Doctor,” which will leave you crying with laughter if you don’t throw up first.Lord Franzannian’s Royal Olympian Vaudeville Show is a benefit for Big Show City, a local non-profit performing arts organization (learn more about BSC at
This weekend is your last chance:Nov. 13 at 8 p.m.Nov. 14 at 8 and 10 p.m.Special performance for all ages Nov. 15 at 4 p.m.Tickets Price: $15-$25 at the door (however, no one will be turned away at the door for lack of funds). Appropriate for audiences over the age of 16. Special Youth Audience Show Ticket Price. *4pm Matinee on November 15th: 15 years of age or under: $7.00.  Tickets available at door night of show, or to RESERVE A SEAT buy a ticket online at
Where: The Midnight Sun Performance Space 113 N. Columbia Street in downtown Olympia, WA.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment


Sherwood Press - Wed, 11/11/2015 - 10:56am

And now on to our stretch goals!

restore_revive_rejoice_stretch Sailing_past

Thank you, Olympia, friends, family, and supporters of all kinds from all places! We are absolutely thrilled and immensely grateful to you for supporting our restoration campaign!

Our stretch goal is $19k. We are already over 75% of the way there, and contributions are still rolling in. So we are becoming more hopeful that this restoration can be more fully realized, with a drainage system, siding repairs and a glorious layer of protective PAINT!

We still have great perks available, and will come out with a few more during the rest of our campaign, has another 34 days to go.  We’re going to take a slower approach for the next month, but rest assured, we are still going to drive hard at our final goal, because the press building needs it, and our future depends on the press!

Stay tuned for more!

Visit our campaign on Indiegogo!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Noxious Fumes 7″ (Perennial)

K Records - Mon, 11/09/2015 - 3:04pm
In the mid-80s the underground scene in Olympia and Tacoma, WA was vibrant and wild. The Tropicana (Olympia) and Community World Theater (Tacoma) were the centers of the action; artists Girl Trouble, Young Pioneers, Melvins, Beat Happening, Wimps, U-Men, rocked it hardcore. None of them though were as HARD CORE as Tacoma’s Noxious Fumes who […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

A Nice Olympian Article about our Indiegogo Campaign!

Sherwood Press - Sun, 11/08/2015 - 7:46pm

Today we spent an hour and a half with Rolf Boone, staff writer for the Olympian, and Steve Bloom, Olympian photographer. We had a great time chatting about the press and I probably kept them far longer than they intended, but they seemed to enjoy their time at the press. Here is the resulting article!

After 75 years, The Sherwood Press in Olympia seeks funds to for key upgrades, repairs

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Night of the Iguana at Dukesbay Theater

South Sound Arts - Thu, 11/05/2015 - 2:37pm

Rarely produced Tennessee Williams play hits the mark
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 5, 2015Malcolm J West as Nanno and Ellen Peters as Hannah, photo by Jason Ganwich.Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana, now playing at Dukesbay Theater, is not an easy play to watch. It is tough, complicated, and riveting, with a fascinating cast of characters, few of whom are nice people but a few of whom — notably the defrocked Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon (played by Mark Peterson), who is likeable despite being a oft’ disgusting human being.Locked out of his church, Shannon is in Mexico where he works as a tour guide for a second-rate company.  He is caught having sex with Charlotte (Chevi Chung), an underage girl. Stranding his tour group, women from a Baptist college in Texas, he takes refuge in a run-down hotel run by his old friend, the recently widowed and outrageously lusty Maxine Faulk (Stephanie Leeper). Stephanie Leeper as Maxine,Ellen Peters as Hannah, and Mark Peterson as The Rev. Shannon, photo by Jason Ganwich.A middle-aged artist, Hannah Jelkes (Ellen Peters), shows up pushing her 97-year-old grandfather Nonno (Malcolm J. West) in a wheelchair. Billed as the world’s oldest living poet, Nonno recites poetry for tips when he can remember the lines, and Hannah sells watercolors and charcoal portraits wherever they go. Maxine’s Costa Verde Hotel seems to be their last refuge after they’ve been refused lodging at every other hotel. They’re flat broke. Hannah and Shannon become friends during their wild night in the hotel — despite helping Maxine keep him imprisoned and hog-tied in a hammock, ostensibly for his own good.The set designed by Burton Yuen is gorgeous thanks in large part to Jennifer York’s great faux painting of floors and walls. The only problem with that is according to Williams’ script, the Costa Verde is a shabby hotel, which would be much more fitting.Under the able direction of Dukesbay co-founder Randy Clark, the acting is superb. Peterson is commanding, sometimes funny and often pitiable as the complex defrocked priest. West, known to Dukesbay audiences for his outstanding performance as the chauffeur in Driving Miss Daisy, turns in another award-worthy performance as the elderly poet, Nonno. Peters underplays Hannah Jelks with controlled energy. The audience senses great reserves of strength underneath her quiet demeanor. Leeper’s brazen performance seemed overly dramatic to me, but that’s precisely the kind of character she was playing. Maggie Knott, superb in the supporting role as Miss Judith Fellowes, has been a behind-the-scenes force in South Sound theater for years. This is her first time on stage in a long time, and she inhabits the role like a seasoned pro.From the beginning, multiculturalism has been a strong part of Dukesbay’s mission. In their production of The Night of the  Iguana black men, Peterson and West, play characters traditionally play by white actors, and Chung is multiethnic. Quoting from promotional material sent out by the company: “Williams might not have originally imagined his play in this way, but incorporating actors from various backgrounds brings home the universality of loneliness, redemption and the need for honest human contact.”

The Night Of the Iguana, Friday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. through Nov. 15, no performance Nov. 13, $15, Dukesbay Theater, Merlino Arts Center, 508 S. Sixth Ave., Tacoma,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Healing With Flames

South Sound Arts - Thu, 11/05/2015 - 2:26pm

Art by Iraq and Afghanistan Vets at MOG
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 5, 2015
"Nasty Surprise Underfoot," blown glass, sand, boots, collection of Museum of Glass, photo by Duncan Price. On a shelf in the Museum of Glass lobby stand boots in sand. Underneath lies a glass art rendition of a red, white and blue improvised explosive device. The wall label explaining the art says, “You never know. Step one way and you’re safe. Step another and you’re not. Happenstance. Luck of the draw. A good day or a really, really bad one.”The art described above is "Nasty Surprise Underfoot" by the Hot Shop Heroes Team and is part of the exhibition Healing With Flames.In 2013, Museum of Glass introduced Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire. This partnership with the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord serves soldiers with the most complex and devastating physical and mental injuries. Most recently, the classes have expanded to serve soldiers outside of the WTB and veterans. They are offered two eight-week classes in glassblowing and flameworking. The current exhibition features work from students in this past summer’s classes.“Most of the artists have served a tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan at least once, and many have served multiple tours. Healing With Flames gives voice to their personal and shared experiences while being deployed and deals with their feelings about war, military life, and cultural differences,” says a Museum of Glass spokesperson.An unidentified student in the classes was quoted in the press release: "This class awakened a previously hidden joy in creating things by hand. I was able to actually feel something other than numb." All works in the exhibition are displayed in the lobby area with detailed wall labels which explain the art, as well as the soldiers’ experiences in war and back home in the classes. Among the more moving pieces are “The Final Goodbye,” the traditional memorial to soldiers lost in battle, with boots, helmet and dog tags, and a rifle made of clear glass and stuffed with shell casings, and “Taste of Blood and Tears,” an abstract red glass teardrop inside a blue glass teardrop representing the tragic loss of life and limbs.  Both of these are collaborative efforts from the Hot Shop Heroes Team.Another piece by the team that is well executed and fascinating is “Mortal Combat,” a sculpted glass scorpion and a sculpted glass camel spider facing each other in battle in the sand. The label explains: “As a way to relieve boredom in the desert, some soldiers would put a camel spider and a scorpion in a box and the creatures fight to the death.”MOG spokesperson Alex Carr told me there have been more than 160 participants in the program so far, with more to come as it is an ongoing program.“Hot Shop Heroes is absolutely one of the most important and life-changing programs presented by Museum of Glass,” says Bonnie Wright, curator of education and community engagement. “Healing in Flames presents an opportunity for the public to learn about this amazing program and the overwhelming positive effect art has on healing.”The program is sponsored by the Joint Base Lewis McChord Office of Morale, Wellness and Recreation; Northwest Military; KUOW-FM; and The Ranger/Volcano.Healing With Flames, Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through March 2016, $12-$15, members free, Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street Tacoma.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment


Sherwood Press - Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:45pm
Nearly at $10K! Unbelievable!  every contributor's name on a copper tag. "The Nutcracker". Yes, the press is the nut.

I’m just so thrilled to have such a positive update about our Indiegogo campaign: The Sherwood Press 75 Year Restoration Fund. We launched last friday and thanks to 118 wonderful friends and supporters, we are now just dollars away from reaching the $10,000 mark! Thank you everyone who has helped bring us to this point and all those who intend to take us further!

I’m pretty sure than everyone who launches a fundraising campaign feels a mixture of fear, doubt, embarrassment, humility, excitement, and hopefulness. I did. I was really worried that repairs aren’t “sexy” enough to stimulate people’s generosity. I’m so glad to say I am wrong! I like to think we have a great story and great perks, too. But what we really have are great friends and community here in Olympia, and a supportive community of letterpress printers, designers and enthusiasts who are giving our campaign this unexpected lift.

The next big goal is to raise enough to remove “The Nutcracker”. This enormous fir tree has lived a wonderful life here at the press, but it has to go. You can see that it now stands less than an inch away from the eaves of the press building. And the roots are already crushing our bathroom. We have lots of great ideas for the large amount of wood that will come of this tree, and will be planting more seedlings to help compensate the loss of this beloved tree.

I am in the process of hanging a copper tag for every single contributor to our campaign. My hand is quite sore from writing everyone’s name deeply into the copper. This “Garland of Well-Wishers” is hanging over the window that we are NOW ABLE TO RESTORE because of the campaign. and once it is, we will take the garland outside and hang it in the memorial garden I built for Jocelyn back in the spring of 2004, and every name will wave and rustle among the trees from now on. Soon you will be able to not only visit your name in the garden, but visit the new window and the spruced-up building, ready for the next 25 years!

Thank you everyone!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Lisa Blas: Tuesday, November 10th, 10:30-12 noon in the 2nd floor Recital Hall of the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 4:56pm

Lisa Blas - 11.10.2015Lisa Blas is a visual artist of Guamanian / Italian-American descent working in painting,
collage, photography, and installation. Based in New York, she draws from art history,
nature, and current events to reflect on specific cultural and political legacies, past and
present. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, while living and working in Los
Angeles, Washington, DC, Lille, France and Brussels, Belgium during the years of 2001
– 2012. Concurrent with exhibiting her work, Blas has taught across disciplines in Fine
Art and Art History at the undergraduate and graduate level, with a special focus on the museum and historical archives. Recent solo exhibitions are LISA BLAS / Still Lifes, Sometimes Repeated at Rossicontemporary, Brussels, LISA BLAS / As if pruning a tree, after Matisse at Musée Matisse, Cateau-Cambrésis, France, and group exhibitions A Particular Kind of Solitude: An exhibition inspired by the writings of Robert Walser at the Elizabeth Street Garden, New York, and Sensations That Announce The Future at Evergreen College Gallery, Olympia, Washington. She is currently working on a project for the forthcoming issue of Public Art Dialogue: The Dilemma of Public Art’s Permanence, to be published in winter 2016.
B.A. 1996 University of Southern California / Political Science
M.F.A. 2001 Claremont Graduate University / Painting

Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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