Like metal to magnets, art enthusiasts throughout the region will be drawn to Tacoma Art Museum
and Tollefson Plaza on Friday, July 31, to experience the headliner event of Metal-Urge. Organized by the City of Tacoma, Metal-Urge is the citywide celebration of the metal arts involving 23 venues and more than 100 artists, presented in conjunction with Tacoma Art Museum’s two major summer exhibitions, Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection, and Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden.
The City of Tacoma and Tacoma Art Museum are partnering to present the Metal-Urge Free Community Festival, an evening of fun for the entire community. The event features free museum admission, handbell ringers, dance performances, gallery scavenger hunts, robots, a molten aluminum pour, and the third annual Iron Artist Competition.
This year’s Iron Artist Competition challenges pre-selected individuals and teams to create a work of wearable art made out of surprise materials that are not unveiled until the 60-minute competition begins. At the conclusion of the competition finished works will be modeled in a procession down the plaza ramp. Two winners will be determined, one by jurors and a second by popular vote.
“We are excited to have 20 new teams competing for the Iron Artist title this year,” said Paula McArdle, Director of Education and Audience Development for Tacoma Art Museum. “In this third year of the challenge, we’re seeing more professional artists join the fray. We can look forward to a heated competition capped by a fashion show that’s certain to be one of Metal-Urge’s greatest moments this summer.”
Other activities during the three-hour festival include a molten aluminum pour led by Tacoma Community College instructor Kyle Dillehay, which will give participants the opportunity to take home their own aluminum tile. Metro Dance will be performing outside with the SOTAbots—robots designed by students from Tacoma School of the Arts. The robots will be available for visitors to operate. Inside the museum, the whimsical sounds of the Rainier Ringers Handbell Ensemble will fill the lobby. Art making for all ages led by guest artists will take place in the museum studios, and an adventure-packed scavenger hunt will take participants on a journey throughout the museum galleries.