Around the Corner: B2 Fine Arts Presents “Bathers of the Sun, Bathers of the Moon”

Flyer for the exhibition.

Flyer for the exhibition.


They’re closed until Tuesday, but if you’re already planning to be near Seventh Avenue and Saint Helens for the Block Party on Saturday you might want to check out B2 Fine Arts Gallery across the street in the old News Tribune building.

The eclectic exhibit features colorful abstract representative paintings by artist Leonardo Lanzolla, ambitious prints by Mary Pacios, and inspiring recycled tile mosaics by Jennifer Kuhns.

I much enjoyed the stunning visuals Lanzolla’s work provides. The hot, steamy imagery radiates from the canvas.

Local gal Jennifer Kuhns’ mosaics are enchanting and shiny. They are further proof that discarded materials can be used for amazing art.

I was probably most blown-away by the giant prints made by Mary Pacios. Some of which were made with six foot woodblocks! Her portraits of goddesses of the sun and moon were particularly impressive.

Be sure to check out the exhibit on display Tuesday through Sunday until August 10.

Link to Google Maps location of gallery.
711 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402

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Hangin’ with Kawika to Talk Tacoma Pride

Since I’ve been adding more to this blog lately, I thought I’d throw a few questions at my bar buddy downstairs Kawika. This guy has been a big part of organizing this year’s block party on St. Helens between 6th and 7th Avenue. Attendance last year was projected to be as much as 7,000… and Cazwell wasn’t even there!

Old Buddies with Cazwell

I heard Kawika was friends with Cazwell back in the day. When I asked him about it earlier he said he had spent time partying and being a club kid up in Seattle. There, he saw Cazwell perform as the opening act for a band called Fannypack at Neumos.

Place for Seattleites to Chill for a Day

Kawika sees Tacoma Pride as a relaxed party for Seattleites and suburbanites alike to attend. The plan is to serve Delegat’s wine. Kawika says half the proceeds are going to fight for marriage equality, “it’s not such a problem here anymore, but it’s still going on other places.”

Extra Queens

New queens have been added to the lineup–they’re not mentioned in the flyer: Olivia Lagarce and Donatella Howe. Kawika said they’re scheduled to be on from 5 to 6 p.m.

When talking about the queens, Kawika mentioned “Alexa Manila is an empress.” She’s spent a lot of time performing with contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, especially last year’s winner from Seattle: Jinkx Monsoon.

There has been a crash pad/dressing room secured in the historic Webster building during the show.

Parking Tips

You’re probably wondering where you might put a car in Tacoma while you visit for Pride… besides the obvious taking a bus or train to Tacoma Dome Station which also offers free parking and light rail service. Broadway St. offers a lot of options, especially by party mansion David’s on Broadway. Kawika recommended parking on Market next to Tacoma Comedy Club. He also mentioned using the secured parking at Pacific Plaza by the IGA, which is near the light rail station.

If you need a cab it doesn’t get any better than the local Aloha Cab Company: (253) 428-9999, assuming you wouldn’t just take the light rail to the Best Western at the Tacoma Dome.

Google Maps directions from the Block Party to Tacoma Dome Station.

Favorite Cazwell Tune?

Haha! Kawika immediately names “It’s All Over Your Face.” Cazwell’s early hit featuring Amanda Lepore. He was surprised to see his old buddy’s track featured in Not Another Gay Movie–which was only the beginning.

For more info check out their website at: http://tacomapride.org/pride_block_party
For more of a family affair, check out Out in the Park.
Oh and guess where to find out more about other Tacoma Pride Events? It’s here: http://tacomapride.org/

It’s good to be proud.

Tacoma Pride Festival is coming up, featuring almost two weeks of fun events put on by the community. I can’t think of anything else in Tacoma that goes on for that long at so many different and important spots in the city. Things are going on at City Hall, Wright Park, The Grand Cinema, King’s Books, and plenty more that you can find listed at tacomapridefestival.org.

The Mix Block Party 2011

The Mix Block Party 2011, taken by me.

The big day is Saturday, July 14. I plan on at least doing Out in the Park and The Mix Block Party as far as Pride is concerned. I’m not really sure what to expect at the park, there’s no alcohol/beer garden type of thing allowed in Wright Park. Benjii Bittle, a Pride organizer who works for the Broadway Center, said it was going to be family friendly plus drag queens. This I gotta see!

The Mix Block Party should be a blast. Road signs are already out warning motorists that St. Helens Ave. will be closed. I asked Randy and Adam at The Mix if they were ready, they sounded pretty confident and then turned it around to me and asked, “are YOU ready?” Now I’m not sure!

I’m excited that JD Elquist will be emceeing the event. I was kind of curious why a straight guy, although quite dapper, is hosting such a big Pride event. He told me it’s because he’s hosted events at The Mix before with his DJ buddies like DJ Broam that were quite successful. I also think being a part of such a big event in the city brings him one step closer to his plan of taking it over.

Poster designed by Travis Pranger.

Apparently members of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be there. My guesses are Shangela because she’s going to be performing at The Deltan Club and Shannel because she’ll be in town at her friend’s shop, London Couture. We’ll see!

The event at London Couture is recently announced and I’m pretty excited about it. Shannel will be officiating gay weddings with faux certificates. It’s ten bucks but that’ll get you cupcakes, champagne and other neat bonuses like tickets to a Deltan Club show.

Unfortunately those tickets won’t be eligible for use at their sold-out show later that night featuring Shangela, Seattle’s Mama Tits, and a long list of other amazing performers. If you already grabbed your tickets, know that I’m jealous of you.

I’m really excited that City Hall will be such a big part of the event, thanks to City Council member Ryan Mello. The raising of the rainbow flag on the Municipal Building is kind of a big deal. One better than the Space Needle! The gathering happening at B2 Fine Arts Gallery afterwards should be a hoot. Hopefully this will get the word out about Referendum 74 and WA can be the first state to establish marriage equality with a popular vote.

On the 19th, sweet pea flaherty and my librarian boyfriend, Matt, are hosting an event at King’s Books called “Queering Your Bookshelf”. Details are still being hammered out, when I heard they might include graphic novels like Love and Rockets, Wandering Son, and Batwoman: Elegy, I suggested they include Fantagraphics’ new anthology No Straight Lines (keep in mind that this is coming from a guy who volunteers for this publisher’s marketing department).

No Straight Lines comes out the day of the “Queering Your Bookshelf” discussion.

The Grand Cinema is also showing a trio of interesting films. I think the one I’m most excited about is “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”. The way Philip Cowan (the Grand’s Executive Director) described it to me made it sound like an old Ed Wood film.

I know I’m leaving out details about some really awesome events, and I’m sure there’s some I haven’t even heard of and I’m totally missing out. Check out the festival’s website for more information and be sure to ask your friends what they’re doing!