SUZY STUMP: HERBAN CAFÃ‰ TO REOPEN >>>
The Herban CafÃ©â€™s temporary closure a month ago may have freaked some Tacomans, especially coupled with the closing of Shakabrah Java and Stadium Bistro, but the Sixth Avenue cafÃ©â€™s reopening the morning of Sunday, Oct. 26 will restore faith in the local restaurant scene, and give another boost to the local art scene.
I've said it several times before, but it's still worth noting again: There's never been a stronger art season in Tacoma than the one we just experienced. Besides the growing gallery scene and strong shows at the museums, art became active and visible to those who might not normally care. Every Friday at noon, for 29 weeks in a row now and counting, the Frost Park Chalk Challenge has consumed the small patch of park in downtown Tacoma that is its namesake with chalk artists, bloggers, media types and average onlookers. Businesspeople ate their lunch and browsed. Pierce Transit riders stopped and pointed. The Tacoma blogs burst with chalk art photos, comments and, yes, votes every week to determine a winner.
When the Herban CafÃ© reopens Sunday, it will showcase a new chef, and a Frost Park Chalk Challenge retrospective art show on its walls. The Frost Park Chalk Challenge retrospective will be shown the night before and curated by illustrator James Stowe.
Three weeks after Tacoma artist R.R. Anderson introduced chalk art competitions to the Friday lunch get-togethers at Frost Park, Stowe began to apply his chalk to the parkâ€™s pavement, grabbing several first place prizes along the way, including Chalk Challenge No. 16, which resulted in a solo art show to be hung at the Herban CafÃ©.
â€œOriginally it was meant to be a solo show with a catered opening, but I am an illustrator by trade and do not really have many gallery ready pieces,â€ explains Stowe. â€œSo, I decided to share my show with the rest of the Frost Park chalkies and turn it into a celebratory retrospective type show that everyone could contribute to.â€
The Frost Park Retrospective Gathering and Art Show will be Saturday, Oct. 25 from 7 to 10 p.m., with a private gathering an hour before Herban CafÃ©â€™s doors open to the public. Herban CafÃ© owners Steve and Gretchen Nogler will provide free appetizers with beer and wine for sale.
Stowe invited past Frost Park Chalk-Off contestants including R.R. Anderson, Andrea Lowen, Dawn Fortner, Mark Monlux â€" to recreate one of their past entries. He has also invited anyone with pictures taken at Frost Park to frame and hang prints at the show. Naturally, Stowe will also contribute his talents to the retrospective.
â€œI'm a transplant and had never been to the Pacific Northwest before excepting the job here, so I knew only a handful of local people and virtually no artists. Participating in the Chalk-Offs has really opened Tacoma up to me. I've met great people, incredibly talented local artists and made several good friends,â€ says Stowe.
[Herban CafÃ©, Saturday, Oct. 25, 7-10 p.m., no cover, 2602 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.0170]
LINK: Vote for your favorite chalker