THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>
Friday: Cloudy, hi 44, lo 38
Saturday: Partly sunny with a shower, hi 43, lo 34
Sunday: Partly sunny, hi 40, lo 32
>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 28: BRIDLE SHOW
I read that it takes an average of two hours to create one inch of horsehair hitching, the art of twisting and knotting horse tail hairs in to intricate and detailed patterns and designs, often in the form of wearable art, horse bridles or decoration.
The process is so tedious and time consuming, that most of the folks still producing this fine art are found in prison, where, for many, there is no end to the hours in a day. While a handful of prisons have adopted the art, specifically, state prisoners in Deer Lodge, Mont. (MSP) have garnished praise for their craftsmanship and dedication to keeping the art alive.
This Friday, local artist Lisa Kinoshita presents Bridle Show at Fulcrum Gallery, where she will discuss her experience with the inmates of MSP and share the meticulous process of horsehair hitching which passed through more than a century of inmates. Prisoners are allowed to sell their art in the gift shop, often bringing in thousands of dollars while preserving the craft and providing a sense of self-worth.
"Hitching inside prison is a very special privilege, and inmates have to buy their own materials and do it in their limited free time, after their chores," explains Kinoshita. "The administrative staff says it helps calm the atmosphere, reduce tension and build inmates' self-confidence. I was very impressed by the fortitude of the artists I met."
Kinoshita has also done collaboration work with a few of the prisoners and has taken up the art of leather working as a parallel to the hitching.
"I had wanted to learn hitching, but eventually realized that - short of committing a serious crime in Montana - it would take too long for me to really learn the craft," she says. "So, I took up leather working instead - I'm a scant beginner - which also has centuries of history behind it, and is madly beautiful. The bridle in the show took 450 ft. of kangaroo leather to make, and I can't wait to start the next piece." - Nikki McCoy
- Fulcrum Gallery, 5 p.m., free, 1308 S. MLK Way, Tacoma
>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 28: IMMIGRANT PILGRIM
"Amocat is a great spot to see music because they have a room that's isolated from the rest of the venue that has great acoustics, tons of places to sit and it's right in front of a storefront window so people look in as performers are playing. They don't host a lot of music but when they do, they do it very well." This is the praise that Patrick Galactic gives the venue space where he and Chris Nunley will play Friday evening as Immigrant Pilgrim, where the two incorporate acoustic guitar with electro beats and atmosphere. "It's a lush sound, haunted almost," says Galactic. Adam Hendricks, a veteran singer-songwriter will be opening the show with his distinct brand of psychedelic folk-blues and handcrafted ales will be flowing all night. The show is free and all ages. - NM
- Amocat Cafe, 5:30 p.m., free, 625 St. Helen's Ave, Tacoma, 253.242.3370
>>> FRIDAY. DEC. 28-TUESDAY, JAN. 1: MODEL TRAIN FESTIVAL
There are some hobbies better kept to yourself. You know, the ones you do alone in your basement late at night. And then there are some truly cool hobbies, like model railroads. These should be celebrated and dragged out in the open for all to admire. This is why the Model Train Festival, downtown Tacoma's biggest model railroad exposition (taking into account, of course, the relatively small size of the subjects at hand because they are, of course, models), is being held through Jan. 1, instead of like, a half hour. This gives you plenty of time to enjoy every floor of the Washington State History Museum filled with operating modular layouts. — Weekly Volcano
- Washington State History Museum, through Jan. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.3500
>>> FRIDAY. DEC. 28-SUNDAY, DEC. 30: A CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL GUIDE
After 17 years of Stardust holiday schmaltz-fests, Harlequin director Linda Whitney outsourced her holiday revue-writing to James Hindman and Ray Roderick of Miracle or 2 Productions, authors of 2003's A Christmas Survival Guide. From a critical standpoint, it's a welcome change; especially since this anthology's aimed squarely at cynical adults weary of the hustle, bustle, and rabid commercialism of 21st-century holidays. It plays to the Whitneys' principal strengths: live pop music, technical design and intelligence (in no particular order). It also introduces diminutive spitfire Amy Shephard, newly returned from grad school at Exeter, to the Harlequin stage, where she joins revue regulars Antonía Darlene and Christian Doyle. — Christian Carvajal
Read Christian Carvajal's full review of A Christmas Survival Guide in the Weekly Volcano's Arts section.
- Harlequin Productions, through Dec. 30, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $25-$38, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.786.0151
>>> SATURDAY. DEC. 29: COMIC BOOKS SIGNING
Nerdy Stuffs is just that. It's store full of nerdy stuff, especially comic books. Join other nerds for Nerdy Stuff's first-ever comic book signing. Dang, I just wrote "nerd" four times. Make that five. Anyway, this Saturday, Tim Seeley - creator of Image Comics hit, Hack/Slash, as well as co-contributor of many others including GI Joe, Love Bunny and Mr. Hell - will be in-store for a signing and meet and greet. Also present will be Chuck Messinger, author of Stink, and local writer Marie Frances, who wrote the successful Night Hawk. Steve Frank, who wrote the horror cult comic, Zombies Vs. Cheerleaders and Nathan "Rock" Quarry, famed UFC and MMA Fighter and creator of Zombie Cage Fighter will also be there. A Q & A will be available for all the nerdy fans as well as special signed prints. - NM
- Nerdy Stuffs, 1-4 p.m., free admission, 115 176th St., Spanaway, 253.267.1850
>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 29: RETRO SKATE NIGHT
Go old school in Puyallup Saturday at another Retro Skate Night at Tiffany's Skate Inn. Retro is all the rage these days, from Atari to tube socks, and Retro Skate Nights at Tiffany's - featuring tunes from the '70s, '80s and '90s - are probably better than both of those things. Get funky from 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. — WV
- Tiffany's Skate Inn, 7-10 p.m., $7, 113 N Meridian, Puyallup, 253.848.1153
WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO
CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
My only plans this weekend are to read, hit the gym (to burn all those holiday carbs), and spend some gift card money. Thanks, Santa!
ALEC CLAYTON Arts Critic
I think I'm going to try and set a record for sleeping.
NIKKI MCCOY Feature Writer
A little reading, a lot of writing and a possible stop by the Pig Bar Saturday night to see the Illustrious Danny play. Oh, and a coin toss to see whether we should put my cat down because he keeps pissing on my bed, the crotchety old man orange tabby that he is.
JOSH RIZEBERG Music Columnist
Friday, Beanz & Rize will be guests on Screwed Loose Radio, a successful syndicated hip-hop show put-on by Diggs Bozon. The show is on NWCZradio.com & gojuiceradio.com. Just to make sure ya know, Beanz & Rize is my new hip-hop group with MC Coo Beanz. Our self-titled album is out now on bandcamp and we have three sweet videos on YouTube. Get-hip! Have a good weekend Family!
JACKIE FENDER Food Writer
Nothing interesting here. Serving up breakfast goodies over the weekend, sleeping, reading and writing. Riveting I know.
JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Friday and Saturday, the husband, two year old and I will be DRIVING home from Denver. Hopefully the boy will do as well on his drive TO Denver as he does home. A highlight along the way will be to stop at a gas station outside of Twin Falls to pet the alpacas and buy more chips and snacks. Sunday we will go to church and then do N O T H I N G the rest of the day (well, other than watch football).
NIC LEONARD Music Writer
Unfortunately all I'm doing this weekend is working.
ROCKFORD ROWLEY All-Ages Music Columnist
This weekend a friend and I will be apartment hunting in downtown Tacoma. Hoping for hardwood floors and a great view! And I will of course be sniffing out some good live music in north end.
LINK: Even more local events that we recommend
LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar