KFnet in T-Town

Jan. 22, 2009 at 8:53am

Monkeyshines at it again

Look for a glass ball near you

Monkeyshines are at it again this Chinese New Year and will be placing more glass balls than ever around town to celebrate and delight those who find them. I rode along last year during the placement of balls and truly enjoyed seeing this magic happen and this year there will be about three times more commemorative balls placed around town. The catch? They're not deploying on the actual new year (which is Jan. 26) this time around so people won't know when they'll pop up.

Happy hunting and feel free to post pictures of your finds here! Here's the press release:

Ms. Monkey
(253) 222-0716

600 Hand-blown Glass Balls to be Hidden in Tacoma for Chinese New Year

Tacoma, WA, January 22 - For the sixth year in a row, Monkeyshines, Tacoma's anonymous glass art project, will be placing  hand-blown glass balls throughout the streets and neighborhoods of Tacoma sometime around the date of Chinese New Year. But thanks to a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission, this year will feature a distribution of approximately 600 glass balls--three times as large as any previous year.

Monkeyshines first became a news item in 2004, when they gave away more than 200 glass balls in honor of the Chinese Year of the Monkey. The next year, in honor of the Chinese Year of the Rooster, 300 glass medallions emblazoned with the profile of a rooster were hidden throughout Tacoma . 2006, 2007 and 2008 saw glass balls stamped with the profile of a dog a boar and a rat, respectively.

In honor of The Year of the Ox, this year's balls are stamped with an ox's image. The artworks will be hidden throughout the city sometime around Chinese New Year, but Monkeyshines won't give a specific date or time. "The last few years, we've had a little trouble with people hanging out on Chinese New Year's Eve and taking more than one ball," said a Monkeyshines artist. "This time, we're keeping the distribution schedule a secret to give more people a chance to find one of these surprises." For 2009, the new year's day falls on Monday, January 26.The balls are meant to be gifts for whoever finds them. The artists and participants who hide the balls try to vary the locations to keep the chance of finding one a true surprise. On previous years, the balls were spotted on local beaches, in the branches of trees, throughout downtown, and in clever spots in many Tacoma neighborhoods.

"Oxen are steady, honest, gentle and reliable," said a Monkeyshines spokesperson. "They're also seen as a sign of prosperity. I think nearly all of us are really longing for almost everything on that list, making the ox the ideal symbol for the coming year." In conjunction with the glass art, local poster artists Beautiful Angle created an ox-themed poster, featuring the words, "It's good and today could get even better," in reference to a recent front-page News Tribune headline that said, "It's bad--and today could get even worse." Monkeyshines representatives want to be clear that the glass balls are meant to be found, taken home, and shared with friends. "This is an art project that is of, by, and for our community," said one of the lead participants.

Monkeyshines is not an organization. It is a slightly-crazed art project that may or may not occur again. Keep looking in the low-growing branches of trees for more information.

comments [10]  |  posted under chinese new year, monkeyshines, tacoma


by fredo on 1/22/2009 @ 10:51am
Will the regular contributors to feedTacoma get some advance notice so they won't have look so hard to find their balls?

by Dave_L on 1/22/2009 @ 11:32am
I found a boar one a few times back and later that day saw lots of people looking for more for themselves and for their kids. I was wondering if they might get a little tricky with distribution, now that more people are on to the game. More fair, I guess. Though I'll probably read about it here first.

by KevinFreitas on 1/25/2009 @ 11:16pm
BUMP. Go get 'em folks! Pictures soon to follow and make sure to post pics of your finds here. Happy Monkeyshines hunting!

by beerandhotdogs on 1/26/2009 @ 9:03am
Struck out again this year. Myself, wife, and child woke at 5, flashlights in hand and set out. Saw people at Firemen's Park downtown looking, and they wouldn't acknowledge our 'good mornings', instead just looking at us blankly. Met a nice man in Memorial Park who told us about his being a chef in Seattle. The sand at Titlow was frozen...never saw that before. 3.5 hours later we were empty handed, but it was nice to explore the city at that hour.

Best Quote: "If monkeys are so smart, why can't they remember to put these globes in the same spot every year?"


by Dave_L on 1/26/2009 @ 9:44am
Yeah. Shortly after Kevin's bump I went down to a cool spot where a few years ago I had correctly predicted I'd find one C, and no luck. I checked one or two places nearby but same. Of course there were a lot of people out already looking, and I saw a lot of the same cars driving all around. The carload of dudes in the Volvo were always a block ahead of me. (I thought they were distributing, but they were probably collecting.) One couple in a Suburban had found two. I quickly gave up and enjoyed a beer with Randy Sparks whom I noticed was at Paddy's where Joe was covering a Sunday shift. I'm curious what percentage get taken in the first hours by the early lookers and hoarders.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/26/2009 @ 9:48am
"Will the regular contributors to feedTacoma get some advance notice so they won't have look so hard to find their balls?"-Fredo

Best quote ever.

by KevinFreitas on 1/26/2009 @ 10:41am
I know in my car we chose very few cliche locations for our floats so keep your eyes out 'cause hopefully the other distributors did the same to spread the monkeyshines love a bit more this year.

by Dave_L on 1/26/2009 @ 12:34pm
Great. Don't give any clues, but I'm looking forward to eventually hearing where where the more far-reaching balls may be found, after those cliche locations and neighborhoods are scoured. They were reportedly distributed all over Tacoma, which is cool. And I'm sure some aren't as out-in-the-open as others.
Crenshaw/Fredo, I was going to say how the cold temperature may be hindering the search, but I won't.

by scout on 1/26/2009 @ 1:35pm
Dave L. you have a dirty mind....

by MarkMonlux on 1/26/2009 @ 6:52pm
I found a Monkeyshine ball today at the Fern Hill Library. It was tucked in a corner right next to the book drop off. I couldn't believe my luck. If you know the area, there are two schools, and a busline with the library very prominent on that corner. Others must have surely noticed the ball dropping off books. Surely some student with vandalism in their soul would have seen it by now as it was well after 4pm. I was so please with my find that I didn't think to check out the small park in the Fern Hill Historic District. I guess I will take peak tomorrow.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

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