The Gallery opens at Tacoma Community College

It hasn’t garnered nearly as much attention as this weekend’s opening of the Museum of Glass, but this past Friday, Tacoma Community College held a private grand opening reception for The Gallery.

Eating hors d’oeuvres and sipping wine, those in attendance celebrated the opening of the 2,000-square-foot, $300,000 state-funded capital project that provides space for student and faculty exhibition and the display of outside exhibits.

The opening of The Gallery ends Tacoma Community College’s more than 30 years without a designated space to exhibit art. It also provides students in the museum gallery operations program with a hands-on space in which to learn. The Gallery opened for a campus preview with a faculty art show in April.

Prior to the grand opening ceremony, tours of the renovated Giaudrone Fine Arts Building were conducted. The grand opening ceremony included a ribbon cutting and featured the conclusion of the Sixth Annual International Ceramics Symposium Exhibition.

The exhibit of works by international faculty and student ceramic artists included pieces of modern Turkish ceramics by Zehra Cobanli, chair of the ceramics department at Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey; Japanese ceramics by Professor Fumio Shimada of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music; works by Zheng Ning Tsinghua of the University, Beijing, China; and works by Tacoma Community College art faculty members Rick Mahaffey and Reid Ozaki and their students.

The exhibit provides students with an opportunity to see slide shows, as well as videos and demonstrations presented by visual artists.

Students from Turkey, Japan and Tacoma Community College attended the symposium.

As for The Gallery building itself, its unique shape and exterior aesthetic were created as an art form on its own.

When approaching the free-standing metal-clad building, its color and shape appear to change, with the exterior material changing colors depending on the lighting and angle from which it is viewed.

The wings of the building become visible from the east side of the building, but not the west, making the shape of the building appear to change.

Inside, the building has a diamond-polished black concrete floor, a good environment for displaying art.

The college’s long-range capital plans include the addition of a sculpture garden that will connect The Gallery and the Giaudrone Fine Arts Building.

The Gallery was designed by schacht-aslani architects of Seattle and constructed by Construction Enterprises and Contractors, Inc. of Tacoma.

The Gallery is located on the college’s main campus at 6501 South 19th Street, in front of Building 5. Parking is available in lot 2, just off 12th Street between Mildred and Pearl streets. Summer gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“Having an art facility on campus provides a cultural tie to the community at a time when the community is experiencing an art renaissance,” said Marlene Bosanko, dean for arts, humanities and social sciences.