Sometimes the way art is presented in Tacoma is as innovative as the art itself.
Perhaps the best summation of the industrious attitude of Tacoma artists is Beautiful Angle. Created in 2002 by artists Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn, Beautiful Angle began as a guerrilla art movement that papered walls and telephone poles with handmade poster art. Rather than scold the itinerant [and technically illegal] artists as vandals, the City of Tacoma gave them a two-year grant in 2011 to produce The Tacoma Folio, a limited-edition anthology of their work.
Using a vintage, hand-cranked letterpress, the duo still churns out about 120 original 15-by-24-inch posters each month, about 80 of which are either wheatpasted or stapled to locations all around the city. The rest are sold. Today, every new poster is eagerly awaited by collectors who pluck them from walls and poles almost as fast as the artists can hang them. For those not keen on traipsing around town, their posters are for sale on their website, beautifulangle.homestead.com.
So, the next time you’re in Tacoma and looking for examples of cutting-edge art, just look around at the telephone poles and alley walls. Searching out such hidden gems is half the fun.