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41 artists welcome you to their studios

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The handy little booklet the Tacoma Arts Commission put out for the Studio Tours — Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11 — says that at each of the 41 artist studios and three schools on the tour visitors can pick up a card with a picture of the artist’s work. If you collect all of the cards, the booklet informs us, you can build a house of cards.

The cards are neat mementos, but if you try to visit that many studios in two days all you’ll have time to do is grab the cards and run. If you want to take time to actually view the art and visit with the artists and watch demonstrations, or take part in the many hands-on demonstrations, I would recommend no more than four studios a day.

Following are a few examples of what you can see and do on the tour.

Carlos Taylor-Swanson makes decorative and veneered wood furniture from exotic woods. “It can be like a sculpture you can sit on or a painting you can set your wine glass on,” Taylor-Swanson says. There will be some finished pieces and some examples of the materials used — wood from around the world. Taylor-Swanson also will do live demonstrations in his studio at 2210 Court A.

Lois Yoshida works with sumi and other media such as watercolor “to capture the essence or spirit of a subject — to create an image in as few spontaneous brushstrokes as possible.”

Her studio is in the Merlino Arts Center at 508 Sixth Ave.

“I thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge of sumi painting with others,” Yoshida says. “With even an introductory knowledge of sumi painting, you will be able to significantly increase your appreciation of this art form. I encourage and welcome people to stop by if they would like to learn about sumi painting while viewing the paintings in my studio.”

Lynn Di Nino welcomes visitors to her studio at 2313 N. 29th St. “If people come to my studio they will see three giant (7 and 8 feet long) Jackson\'s chameleons in blue, turquoise and lime green made out of wire mesh and colored concrete. They will also get to see the real great blue heron that sits in a redwood tree visible from my studio. These chameleons (the concrete ones) are being installed at Children\'s Hospital in Seattle in mid-November. As usual, I will talk about how this work is created.”

Becky Frehse\'s studio is filled to the gills with stuff that awaits inclusion in one of her mixed-media pieces.  She will have one of her painting tables open for visitors to try their hand at selecting and attaching materials together into a composition to take home. How about that? You make it, and you get to keep it at no charge. Many of her small pieces will be for sale. Her major work is on exhibit at the University Gallery at Pacific Lutheran University through Sunday, Nov. 16. Her studio is upstairs at 2926 S. Steele St. off Center Street.

Printmaker and installation artist Janet Marcavage says, “My recent series of ‘molecular portraits’ synthesize the languages of printmaking and genetics. These portrait images of family and friends are constructed of printed, colored dots. Working with dots traditionally found in halftone patterns for commercial and photographic printing processes, I re-present the dots as the four nucleotides that are found in DNA. These ‘likenesses’ comment on how our current technology-based culture affects perception and visual language. The subject’s clothing is embossed in the paper to form a relief with the printed molecules. The prints are made using a labor-intensive hand printing process involving four lithographic plates and one embossment plate.”

Marcavage will give an interactive embossing demonstration at 1:30 p.m. each day of the tour in her studio at 1601 S. Adams St.

Painter Sharika Roland invites visitors to her Jet Artist Cooperative studio at 1901 S. Jefferson. Her ink paintings are all on the subject of women. She will be showing a film of herself doing an entire painting from blank canvas to finished work. “The DVD will be shown all day long, and I will be there to answer any questions. My studio space is amazing, and it is across from the Swiss. What could be better than that? I am bringing down several paintings from Artforte to show and sell during this tour.”

In addition to these and many other artists on the tour, art studios such as Tacoma School of the Arts, Tacoma Community College and University of Puget Sound will be open to the public.

The tour brochure and maps can be downloaded on the Tacoma Culture Web site at

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