KFnet in T-Town

Jul. 16, 2012 at 7:40am

Rapid-fire Review: 2012 Art on the Ave

The Good

  • Great $5 deals at local restaurants.
  • Lots of good music going on at the various stages.
  • Artists like James Stowe, James Allan Tucker, and Andrea Trenbeath drawing on that car!
  • Santa! (anyone else see him wandering around?)

The Bad

  • For an event with "Art" in it's name there wasn't nearly enough art actually happening. Public canvases! Art from recycled pop bottles! Murals!
  • Music stage location and/or scheduling meant the Jazzbones stage would drown out the smaller one at Medi's.
  • The Museum of Glass mobile hot shop was too far off the main street -- should've been front and center.
  • Too wide a lane for walking -- should've had booths more centered on street. If this is for emergency vehicle access too bad! I was up at the West Seattle fair the day before and the smaller streets there had the booths right in the middle.


  • Keep the dense music stage spacing but stagger the bands at each.
  • Require non-art vendors (like Click! or SoundTransit) to hire artists to make or give stuff away at their booths.
  • Music like the car drawing in front of the Jazzbones stage, do something active in front of every stage to bring people to the music and art in action.

comments [27]  |  posted under art, events, review, tacoma


by KevinFreitas on 7/18/2012 @ 7:04am
Any other critiques that might help even organizers in Tacoma do us proud and not accept less than the best?

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 7:12am
Extremely quiet pre-event marketing this year...

by fredo on 7/18/2012 @ 7:32am
I like the dress up nature of the event,

the saggy pants, the hoodys, the carefully arranged mullets and old guy pony tails, the undershirts on morbidly obese attendees and the always popular "just got done landscaping and didn't have time to shower" look.

Bravo 6th Ave! :)

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 7:57am
So Fredo wants a dress code? I agree!

by NineInchNachos on 7/18/2012 @ 9:16am
I didn't even realize it was happening this year!

by Melissa on 7/18/2012 @ 9:22am
There's not enough real art to call it Art on the Ave - Perhaps, Consumerism on the Ave would better fit. I'd much prefer seeing more artists there. I actually gave up going now, it's always the same and just not enough real art to deal with the hassle of going. 

by thriceallamerican on 7/18/2012 @ 9:49am
Funny you mention that, fredo. As a resident of the neighborhood, landscaping and then heading to the festival is actually pretty common for me.

by KevinFreitas on 7/18/2012 @ 11:04am
Totally agree @Melissa. Just plain pisses me off to see an event like this degrade over time rather than become better. I haven't enjoyed it since 2007 or so. If money is the issue then shrink the event size and focus on quality rather than quantity. Art should be everywhere you look -- both being sold AND happening.

Demand better, Tacoma!

by Melissa on 7/18/2012 @ 11:14am
I remember one year, long ago, there was a decent-sized collection of art cars, folks with giant puppets going through the crowd, and other interesting things. It's too bad that kind of thing didn't continue. 

by Non Sequitur on 7/18/2012 @ 11:20am
Problem is, 94.7% of the arts people can't afford the fees to be a performer or a vendor.

How about this:
If you preform, it's a $5 fee to perform there. If you are a vendor who is an artist, $10 to get your table/booth. If you're a retail vendor, normal fees apply.

by seejane on 7/18/2012 @ 1:44pm
I agree, MORE ART! And more marketing too. Did anyone see the poster? I bet there was a different font used for each line.... Publisher rocks!!!

by seejane on 7/18/2012 @ 1:47pm
My husband did well selling wooden bowls this year. The booth fee was lots higher this year so we were worried.

by NineInchNachos on 7/18/2012 @ 3:15pm
naked body paint art bicycle race down the ave? 

make it happen! 

by NineInchNachos on 7/18/2012 @ 3:16pm
next year i'm totally crashing this event with my art cart.

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 3:22pm
Do you think art on the ave would have you arrested for doing art without paying first?

by NineInchNachos on 7/18/2012 @ 3:57pm
an artist getting hauled away from art on the ave would be performance art and thus compound the awesomeness.

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 4:00pm
Was there ever a "chalk-off" at art on the ave.?

by NineInchNachos on 7/18/2012 @ 4:02pm
next year.  no permission will be asked.

by ixia on 7/20/2012 @ 12:56pm
I volunteered to bring at least 10 tile artisans to take part, with tile making demonstrations and a show . Got turned down.  

by NineInchNachos on 7/20/2012 @ 1:30pm

by fredo on 7/20/2012 @ 2:20pm

they should have had ixia tile people there. those would be Tacoma artisans. sorry ixia  

by ixia on 7/20/2012 @ 3:18pm
No problem. I was not upset at all about not volunteering this year. It's simply sad to see what happened to Art On The Ave.

by fredo on 7/20/2012 @ 5:44pm

Ixia and tile go together and let's make sure you are included in the future. Lot's of us have wives who want kitchen remodels and these tiles can add a distinctive touch as you know.

by KevinFreitas on 7/20/2012 @ 6:36pm
Wow, that's too bad @ixia. Would've been a great addition to an otherwise mediocre event. Time to re-boot for next year. New format, new layout, new organizers.

by jenyum on 7/22/2012 @ 10:06am
A tile demonstration would have rocked.  The food is always great, and more actual local food than you ever see at Taste of Tacoma, but there really was very little in the way of art.
Grant Center for the Expressive Arts (the neighborhood elementary) always has a booth, I bet they'd be willing to partner with local artists/artisans because it can be difficult to staff it during the summer. 
Last year it was crazy popular because of the whole Vicci Martinez/The Voice thing.  Maybe the organizers didn't think promotion was necessary.

by AOA2013 on 4/2/2013 @ 1:07am
Hey Everyone,

All of your suggestions and feedback are 100% valid. I felt the same way about Art on the Ave, that the art was pretty much gone. So I got involved this year (2013), and along with others who believe in this festival and want to see it be a shining example of local art, entertainment, creativity and tasty food, we are putting the ART back in Art on the Ave.

I am the Vendor Coordinator for Art on the Ave 2013 (that encompasses demonstration artists like the tile that was mentioned by ixia).

It is a focus this year to have 8-10 Artist in Action areas that showcase art being created live, right there on the street, for all to see, be intrigued by and want to know and experience more.

In addition to all of this wonderful live art happening, we are focused on having more interactive experiences for children and adults at Art on the Ave this year.
Right next to the Artist in Action areas, there will be ACE areas (art-child experience), a hands-on kid area where our young ones can try their hand at making art just like the artists.

If you are an artist or a vendor, please email me vendorsaoa@on6thave.com

The goal is to provide so much awesome art all around that there won't be enough time in the day to get to see, hear, taste, and experience all of it in one day.

Hooray for Tacoma, Community, Art and Volunteering for the good of all.

Jennifer Johnson

If you want to see things change, get involved. It takes many hands to make something great.

by KevinFreitas on 4/2/2013 @ 1:19pm
Great news and thanks for your efforts/energy! AOA will be better for it. I hope to make it by this year!


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!

Advantage: Tacoma

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