Swan Creek Food Forest art exhibit opens Aug. 27

swancreekart1Experience ephemeral art: transitory and drawn from nature

Ditch your stereotypical notions about what constitutes visual art. At least for now. What’s coming up in August in Metro Parks Tacoma’s Swan Creek Park has nothing to do with oil on canvas, bronze or even photography.

This is art derived from nature, in concert with its surroundings and similarly evanescent. On behalf of Metro Parks, artist and curator Lisa Kinoshita has put together a temporary exhibit that will explore the park landscape from the points of view of more than 15 regional artists plus students from Tacoma School of the Arts. The show is titled “Art, Edibles & Sustainable Culture.”

Free opening day events run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Aug. 27. The event is in the Swan Creek Food Forest, a one-acre, perennial landscape of edible plants. To get there, enter Swan Creek Park near the intersection of East 42nd Street and East Roosevelt Avenue On the south side of the entrance is a community garden; the Food Forest is south of that.

Unlike typical museum exhibitions, with works on pedestals or hanging in frames, the art in this show will be integrated in the park landscape. Preliminary sketches and photographs include sculptures and installations built of logs, branches, stones and seed cones. Some carpet the ground, others emerge from it. Visitors are invited to tour the 373-acre park, which features a network of pedestrian trails as well as a 50-acre, mountain-bike trail system.

The show is scheduled to run through Oct. 31, and because most of the works are designed to disintegrate over time, organizers fully expect the viewing experience in August to differ from the fall. “It will be interesting to see what happens to these sculptures over time,” said Mary Tuttle, Metro Parks manager of districtwide programs.

Among the planned works is a piece created by students of artist Terri Placentia, an instructor at the Tacoma School of the Arts.

During the opening day event, you’re invited to join in a drum circle and listen to presentations from a mushroom expert, a master gardener and an expert in permaculture, the cultivation of self-sustaining, edible plants.

This project is made possible in part by a Make a Splash grant from the City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services Department.

Jennifer Bennett
Gabriel Brown
Kate Cendejas
Elizabeth Gahan
Acataphasia Grey
Lisa Kinoshita
Tim Norris + April Norris
Nicholas Nyland
Deanna Pindell + Polly Thurston
Miranda Pollitz
Terri Placentia + School of the Arts
Carlos Taylor-Swanson
Anthony Kosnjek

  • What: “Art, Edibles & Sustainable Culture” opening event
  • Where: Swan Creek Park Food Forest, East 42nd Street and East Roosevelt Avenue. From Portland Ave., turn on East 44th St. into the entrance of the Salishan community. Drive east to East Roosevelt, turn left at the T, drive 2 blocks and turn right on East 42nd into the parking lot.
  • When: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Aug. 27. Show runs through Oct. 31.
  • Cost: Free
  • Schedule:
    • 10:00 am – Hey kids, want to make art in the forest? Join artist Kate Cendejas as she crafts giant carrots onsite from wood rounds, tree limbs and brush! Meet up at the gazebo by the community garden then walk to the art site.
    • 10:30 am – Permaculture expert Ulysses expert gives a talk on “What is a Food Forest?” Meet at the gazebo by the parking lot and community garden.
    • 11:00 am – Drum circle with Phil Harty! Drum and handshakes will be provided to the public to participate.
    • 1 pm – Local mushroom expert Daniel Heath gives a talk on “Stalking the Mighty Mushroom”. Meet at the gazebo by the parking lot and community garden.
  • Website: metroparkstacoma.org




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