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Telling Stories: Selections from Permanent Collection
Mark Tobey, Point of Intersection, 1949. Tempera on panel, 19 x 21 5/8 inches. Tacoma Art Museum , gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hollis Day.

TACOMA, WA.- Tacoma Art Museum will again have pieces from its permanent collection on display when Telling Stories: Selections from the Permanent Collection opens today. Partnered with Symphonic Poem: Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson and The Art of Eric Carle, Telling Stories resonates with Tacoma Art Museum’s fall theme of promoting literacy through art.

Telling Stories explores how artists capture the spirit and essence of narrative tales. Sections of the exhibition will be divided into character, represented by portraiture; setting, through landscape and still life; and plot development and resolution, through figurative works. The exhibition allows visitors tell the story of the artwork by writing the wall-label text. Twelve community members – from teachers to healthcare workers to teenagers – have been asked to kick off the project; answering “what part of the story does this image represent?” Every few months the wall labels will be replaced with new versions created from visitor submissions.

“The exhibition will also offer visitors the opportunity to make connections between visual images and the stories, characters, settings, and dramas they depict.” said Paula McArdle, curator of education for Tacoma Art Museum. “By asking visitors to answer the question, ’What part of the story does this image represent?’ we are encouraging them to explore and imagine the art in ways that may give new meaning to the piece.”

Telling Stories will include approximately forty pieces, many of which are visitor favorites. Highlights include well-known paintings such as Têtes de deux jeunes filles (also known as The Two Sisters) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Ballet in the Park by Everett Shinn. The exhibition will showcase Northwest art with works by Morris Graves, Mary Lee Hu, Jacob Lawrence, Joseph Park, Barbara Earl Thomas, and others. Eight works by Claire Cowie, Steve Davis, and Lucinda Parker are recent acquisitions that have never been on view.

“The works selected for Telling Stories showcase the strengths of the museum’s permanent collection,” said Rock Hushka, interim head of the curatorial department and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art. “The connecting thread of these very diverse works is how the images convey specific moments of a narrative.”

Telling Stories: Selections from the Permanent Collection is organized by Tacoma Art Museum and is on view for eighteen months.

Tacoma Art Museum connects people and builds community through art. The museum serves the diverse communities of the region through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. The museum’s five galleries display an array of top national shows, the best of Northwest art, creatively themed exhibitions, and historical retrospectives. In addition, there is an Education Wing for children, adults, and seniors with an art resource center, classroom, and studio for art making. Tacoma Art Museum is located in Tacoma’s Museum District, near the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum, and historic Union Station.

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