RR Anderson, DIY Cultural Arts Specialist

Mar. 13, 2008 at 9:01pm

PODCAST: Jen Graves on Tacomic Illustrators of Future

Tacoma's Own Art Critic from Seattle's The Stranger

Tacoma's most famous art crititc makes a special trip down I5 to review the children's entries in the Tacomic Party's Illustrator of the Future Guest Tacomic Jury Show winners for the latest edition of her visual art Stranger Podcast!

Composition Master: Izabella Gonzalez Saunders Composition Master: Izabella Gonzalez Saunders

Most Innovative: Anonymous Most Innovative: Anonymous

Best Design: Anonymous Best Design: Anonymous

Color Master: Abby Lawver Color Master: Abby Lawver

Best In Show: Joe Izenman Best In Show: Joe Izenman

comments [15]  |  posted under art, audio podcast, cartoons, childrens art, tacoma, tacomic


by tacomachickadee on 3/13/2008 @ 9:54pm
"This is great."

by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2008 @ 10:08pm
RR Anderson
Jen Graves really came through for Tacoma on this one.

by Erik on 3/13/2008 @ 10:16pm
These kids pictures really get the attention they deserve and more. Nice work.

by ensie on 3/13/2008 @ 10:31pm
"I see thumbs...!"

Really excellent analysis. I like how she compared the Tacoma art standard to Seattle's. It really gives Tacoma artists something to work toward. ;)

by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2008 @ 11:09pm
I though she was kind to do it after the scathing she received from the folks over at exit133 perhaps kid art is a topic seattle and tacoma can both focus on to heal the rift so to speak.

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 12:02am
Here is Jean Graves (graves?) last TNT column before leaving to the Stranger.

From hearing her podcast review, it looks as if, she has not changed her ways at all.

From the December 18, 2005 article:

I can’t count the number of times that artists bemoaned in private the prevalent attitude that any shred of serious, new or remotely challenging work belonged in Seattle, not here....

When hundreds of plastic heads released at the top of the Ninth Street hill refused to roll down it because of a miscalculation, “Figure Head Roll” became pandemonium, a frightful but exhilarating alternative to the intended cheeky symbolism.

When winds tore through the reflective light panels designed to evoke the ghosts of demolished buildings on Pacific Avenue, the original pain of the historic destruction was affectingly repeated.

And when those artworks went awry, there was something Tacoman in it. This isn’t a place where culture has an easy and safe existence. Every so often, the work is better for it.


by izenmania on 3/14/2008 @ 7:36am
My personal favorite moment:

"The beards are very good. The bowtie going into the chin is... interesting..."

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 11:12am
How about the conclusion that your drawing was good for Tacoma but Seattle not so much?

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 11:16am
Mr. Urbanist, are you trying to stir things up?

by izenmania on 3/14/2008 @ 11:34am
It's what Erik does... he's like Tacoma's very own giant whisk. Or something.

I must confess, I only listened to about half of mine before leaving for work this morning.

by Jake on 3/14/2008 @ 12:24pm
The love fest continues here: www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=...

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 5:45pm
interesting email exchange for your amusement...

Paul Zmolek:


Is this real or just another R.R. Anderson hoax?


RR Anderson:

Seems pretty dead on from what I've listened to...
however if this is another childish hoax, I am just as much a victim.

I believe in making art, not trouble.

your humble servant,

Jen Graves:

Oh, it's real. I see thumbs, I see rabbits, I see ... Iranian women in burkas!

Holy crap that is funny.

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 5:51pm
Nice article Jake. Sounds like the MOG needed to catch a ride on the clue train.

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 9:09pm
The love fest continues here:

Yes. She was mean to Tacoma in this one. However, I have to admit she was right about the MOG:

What a difference a year—and, more deeply, a new direction—makes. Along with dropping its pretentious surname, the museum has dropped its patronizing attitude and embraced glass and Tacoma. It has begun a permanent collection, hired its first staff curator (the job was left gaping for years), and kept its link to contemporary art—last spring I'd been trying to see a show by electronic artist Jim Campbell—while genuinely focusing on glass. Art is scheduled to return to the pools by fall.

Locals and visitors to Tacoma alike go to the Museum of Glass to see......glass. A few years ago, all of the decent glass was on the bridge and going in was a big disappointment to people. They kept coming up to the counter in the front asking "where is the glass?" How sad.

Finally, they are focusing on glass which they should have years ago.

by Erik on 3/16/2008 @ 5:35pm
Just to finish off the story here, here is Derek Young's (via Exit 133) analysis of Jean Graves' swan song in the TNT back when he expressed a bit more of his opinion online:

Jen Graves’ last column for the TNT was published yesterday as a rambling analysis of the Tacoma arts scene. Personally I thought it should’ve ended after the third paragraph.

Tacoma’s arts scene has grown tremendously since Ms. Graves started at the TNT. Its art and its artists have become much more interesting

...I want to hear more celebrating. Toward the end of the column Ms. Graves points out that she has been “discouraged when artistic decisions were based in organizational fear of extinction, unexamined convention or artistic or social self-importance.” This has been my exact criticism of Ms. Graves’ articles over the last few years. She was no longer reporting about the arts scene in Tacoma. She had become part of it – part of its politics, its subculture, and its management. Even in her last column she took shots at her most popular institutional targets. It’s time to move on.

Maybe with Josi Callan leaving the Museum of Glass she has decided there isn’t enough interesting criticism in this town.



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RR Anderson is one of the most curious characters in the UFO lore and the history of underground cartooning. He fought bizarre underground beings in the caves of Alaska, was wounded by a laser before it was invented, and had a background with the clandestine branch of the Tacoma Cartoonists Society.

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