Tacoma Urbanist

Jul. 1, 2008 at 12:22am

3 Steps to Painlessly Save Helm Gallery From Closure

Its sometimes difficult to know when a Tacoma business is in danger of closing. 

Not so with The Helm Gallery.

Here are their pleas for help they posted at Blackwater Cafe.  The Helm is essentially selling prints to bring in much needed funds: "The Helm is completely out of money and is in serious risk of closing."

Here's how the print and written messages from The Helm are set out:

1.  Buy The Helm Fundraiser Print

Essentially, The Helm is selling prints as a fund raiser which will be available at The Helm, Blackwater and Tacoma Art Supply.   Make sure to buy your print and make your friends and family members buy a print as well.

2.  Attend The Urban Xchange Fashion Show Fund raiser Featuring LupinGoddess

Julie Bennett, sponsor of Episode IX and owner of Urban Xchange, will be holding a fashion show fund raiser on Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 5th, at 720 CT C in Opera Alley. 

For the event, Julie has pulled out all of the stops and has managed to recruit Andrea Trenbeth Lowen to model in the show.  Andrea is currently the leader in the Frost Park Chalk Offs having secured 4 wins to date and the demands on her time are understandably increasing.

No word whether Urban Xchange ad fashion model Stowe will share the runway with Andrea after having edged her out in the competition for the Urban Xchange ad campaign.  If Stowe does model in the show, I hope he and Andrea can put aside some of the competitiveness they engage in at Frost Park for the benefit of the fashion show and fund raiser.

At any rate, here's a chance to see Andrea when she is not in the midst of battling a dozen other chalk artits, covered with charcoal, and bleeding on the pavement.  I hear she cleans up well.

Update: Stowe has confirmed he will be in the Fashion Show. 

See below.

Andrea will also be showing some of her customized jewelry there as well some of which she wears while competing at Frost Park.  Here's a cell phone shot of the Laura Hanan with one of Andrea's famed necklaces she bought.

3.  Attend the Frost Park Blowout Art Show and Party

Andrew Fry reminded me today that all stories need milestones or chapters.

The time is approaching to declare the "Best Illustrator in the Universe in Tacoma" for Spring and Summer of 2008 with a full blown art show and party.  Why not have it at The Helm?

There are a lot of details to work out.  However, a party in August could work pretty well.  

comments [12]  |  posted under tacoma


by drizell on 7/1/2008 @ 7:38am
Hmm, so this is the infamous poster that everyone will be trying to get their hands on. $50 bucks is pretty reasonable.

It's ironic that these artist types can create such beautiful art yet have such poor penmanship. Maybe that's a call for help in itself: "We're too poor to spend $0.15 on ink from our printer to print out a legible message."

by NineInchNachos on 7/1/2008 @ 9:13am
handwritten messages are impregnated with humanity. This is a very serious matter that transcends Microsoft word

by morgan on 7/1/2008 @ 9:35am
Great ideas! I think they could be on to something with a limited Tacoma print. I hope they consider doing a group show featuring limited Tacoma prints. With that they could even branch out and have an online gallery such as the brilliant Tiny Showcase website (which even features a former Tacoma artist, Josh Keyes.)

by Erik on 7/1/2008 @ 1:31pm
Great ideas! I think they could be on to something with a limited Tacoma print.

Yeah, I think it is going to work pretty well for a short term solution. Yet, they need to consider other uses for the space in the longer term to be sustainable I think.

Selling memberships might also help.

by Erik on 7/1/2008 @ 1:36pm
Here's what the fashion show may look something like depending if Stowe and Andrea share the catwalk / runway or not:


(Photo by Dave Poole/zastica.com)

by escaping slave on 7/1/2008 @ 2:46pm
Lots of art festivals going on in the summer. Will they be selling any of the prints there? Lots of tourists and visitors come to those, and with them comes their money. Not all locals in a working class town like T-Town can afford $50 for something they can look at for free when they pass it daily.

by jamesstoweart on 7/1/2008 @ 3:12pm
I am only going to say this once...

and then I am never going to speak of it again...

I'd probably do it.

That is all.

by Erik on 7/1/2008 @ 4:01pm
I'd probably do it.


Very cool! Thanks for confirming your performance there. Remember, its for the benefit of the "arts."

Geesh. I might have to go now.

Now, if we can only get RR Anderson to model:

Power Blogging Thermal Armorâ„¢

"Pacific Northwest Power Blogging Thermal Armorâ„¢ is designed for the heaviest of web design / webmastering skills and keeps body temperature comfortable at minimal heart beats and physical movements."


Then we could save The Helm for sure.

This is going to make for a sizzling catwalk and potentially one the best fashion shows ever in Tacoma.

High drama.

by morgan on 7/1/2008 @ 4:19pm
Re: $50

This is why I like the idea of Tiny Showcase - affordable ($30), small (8x10), and limited. Plus with an online model, The Helm could become more portable until the market supports a fulltime physical gallery space.

by urbanX on 7/1/2008 @ 7:16pm
psssst. here is the inside scoop on the night of art, music and fashion we are planning....due to our adoring love for the helm, this will be our biggest production to date-perhaps ever.... They only wish they had these kind of fashion shows in seattle!
You were mesmerized by House of Kublah Kahn... did back flips for our fashion carnival but TacomaOpolis will be out of this world....
see you there.
in the secret location at 729 court C in opera alley. Saturday, July 5th 8-11pm. Because T-town loves a good party and we love T-town.
PS/ maybe we will just paint stowe silver and put him on a pedastel...

by Erik on 7/2/2008 @ 12:39am
Here's the flyer and fashion message, and call to Tacomans Julie Bennett of Urban Xchange sent out:

You were mesmerized by House of Kublah Kahn...did backflips for The Tacoma Fashion Carnival, and now, we present our biggest production to date! We might never have an event of this magnitude again....

The evening will be a celebration of Tacoma Arts and Tall ships with invites going out to the international sailor crews on board all 30 ships.

Loads of gorgeous models, indie designers and stylists, Live painting, multimedia exhibits, collage and music performers, including the unique and eclectic sounds of Moon struck and haircuts to the glam rock sounds of Fairest is as the Fairest do all in an intimate performance setting.

....and he's big in Seattle, but happens to be from Tacoma, local Electrorash DJ David Wolf! He will be spinning the fashion show and mixing up something to make Tacoma dance into a frenzy!

Full size:


by Erik on 7/2/2008 @ 1:35pm
Archived picture of local dignitaries at The Helm on opening day: