For 10 years now, Beautiful Angle has created handcrafted letterpress posters. Once a month, these posters get wheat-pasted and stapled in locations around downtown Tacoma in what the two men responsible - graphic designer Lance Kagey and writer Tom Llewellyn - like to call "guerrilla art."
Beautiful Angle's annual holiday party will combine with the opening of their latest show - The Mystery/Myth Folio - with grand results. The annual poster sale gives you, humble gift seeker, a chance to own a piece of the guerrilla action. All proceeds from the poster sale go to Campus MLK's Write 253 program, a free, nonprofit community writing center that aims to help students K-12 with homework, especially writing homework. The evening will feature live music by Kye Alfred Hillig and beer by master brewer Mike Hillis of Grit City Brewing Company. Beautiful Angle's usual holiday party is pretty damn awesome; to celebrate 10 years of a beautiful thing, this year's will be one hell of a party.
The holiday party and exhibit opening will be at Fulcrum Gallery Friday night at 7 p.m.
After the party, The Mystery/Myth Folio will remain on display at Fulcrum until Dec. 19. What exactly is so mysterious about this folio, you might ask? Quite literally, this collection explores Tacoma's mythical and mystical origins.
"Imagine that a holy book was written, with Tacoma as the holy land within it," says Llewellyn. "These posters and the related content of the portfolio are a collection of artifacts from that history. The contents are reverent and irreverent. Some of the characters in the story are based on recognizable Tacoma street people. Landmarks are re-imagined as mysterious, mystical places. The end result is weird, deep, funny, serious, and the most ambitious thing Beautiful Angle has taken on so far."
Individual posters lampoon and praise, jeer and cheer, and often offer tongue-in-cheek commentary on Tacoma. What will you see when you enter the world of mystery and myth? You will discover that the lions of Wright Park are there to guard certain paradise. That it is entirely possible to liken Tacoma's City Hall to the Tower of Babel. You'll learn some interesting trivia. You'll learn some history. And then you'll wonder if these things are entirely factual or if Beautiful Angle is spinning a yarn here and there.
Go forth, young reader. Go to the Main Library's Northwest Room of historical documents and find your truth.
Ten years into this project, Kagey and Llewellen are still going strong. "We started this thing with this idea of doing it in a built-to-last way. It worked," says Llewellen. "We've been stapling and wheat pasting almost every month for the last ten years. Every now and then we've gotten it right. We've met dozens and dozens of great writers and artists through this project. We've made friends through the project. We like to think we've become part of Tacoma's patina. We've ruined hundreds of dollars in clothing, due to ink stains. And so far, we haven't been arrested."
FULCRUM GALLERY, FRIDAY, NOV. 30, 7 P.M., FREE ADMISSION, POSTERS FOR SALE, 1308 S. MARTIN LUTHER KING, TACOMA, 253.250.0520