Saturday I saw the second half of the Michael Kenna exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum. If you haven’t seen his work, I recommend it. He’s a landscape photographer who still works in film, and creates long exposures, so his landscapes are moody, but perfectly composed and with a zen-like quality of mystery and peace.


Before they were tourist destinations, he spent ~20 years photographing concentration camps all around Europe. He gave all the negs and the rights to the photos to various cultural organizations in Europe. For a pro photographer to give the rights to his photos, it’s a huge statement. The exhibit contains these and his landcape photos.


I then went to the Museum of Glass, which has all new exhbits. They have an annual exhibit from SAMA, the Society of American Mosaic Artists. This ain’t yer grandma’s mosaics. My mom had created a mosaic on a coffee table when I was a kid, and I still wish I had it. It consisted of 1″ tiles, and I remember loving the many varied colors.


But these mosaics are nothing I’ve ever seen. These are sculptures, that incorporate three dimensionality, texture, as well as concept. Used in the mosaics are rocks, broken bottles, hand-made ceramic buttons, wood, as well as the classic glass, marble, etc. The level of detail is amazing. I apologize for not naming the artists. I was a bit wiped from the Kenna exhibit, and realized I’d need to come back soon for another go at the mosaic exhibit, and when I do I’ll make notes on the artists names. There are two other exhibits of local glass artists which are also worth another look.


I also indulged myself and created a glass fusion tile. I can’t wait to get it back – they send it to you after it’s been fired via mail. I’d prepared, looking at my fusion photos and choosing one to use as the basis. I realized when I was drawing it out that it was too complicated, so I just took a bunch of small pieces of glass and came up with something that was like the original, but something that would work with the glass pieces. Quite fun.


If you are in the Seattle/Tacoma area, I cannot recommend the Kenna and the mosaic exhibits enough.