ART: COLORED by Chris Jordan OPEN 12/29
My friend and fine artist, Chris Jordan, has arguably the most important work to be seen by our audience. Chris as a person is popular yet polite and well respected, and that respect stems from both his upbringing and a few passions that he could never let die that's he's been fortunate enough to pass onto others. Chris is part of a prominent family that owns and operates a church in Tacoma's historic Hilltop neighborhood. Chris is also a teacher of the art to youth throughout Tacoma inside and outside of programs he has been recruited for and helped put together. He is a community leaders in other ways as a leader and original member of Tacoma Action, a group of individuals actively fighting for Black Americans in Tacoma and habitually forming open narrative and dialog we need to happen to combat injustices. And he is an artist, a talent honed and an idea unseen. He's humble to a fault in the face on popularity and privilege traits you don't find in many gifted artists these days.
12/29 Chris is bringing an idea nearly a decade in the making to life. A full gallery showcase tucked inside a portion of what was once Tacoma's Carpenter Building and featuring Black poets and artist from the US and abroad as well as his own work. Now I'm not sure if the word was already out but I have been a fan of Chris's skill set. He's the kind of artist who eventually gets to do art for free because of people with the means to do so around him will become so enamored with his abilities and personality they'll make sure he maintains a creative lifestyle. He's true to his passion you a point where you feel compelled to take him serious.
So I was honored when a couple of week's back he asked me to stop by and take a first look at what is to come. I was immediately blown away l, the magnitude alone was enough to "wow" me. Full walls, floor to ceiling in a dim florescent lit auditorium space full of color and design detail that is literally invisible to the untrained eye, in what feels like the back of the building. It not as though Chris has never done mural work before but paired with the intricate technique he chose to tackle for this project - this is a first for the seasoned artist. The murals are inverted art pieces. Each one blending into another while filling it own panel of the walls lining the auditorium Chris has decided to wrap by hand with negative drawings that seem to teeter on abstract until inverted via a camera feature or proper lighting. It is breathtaking and confusing, straight forward and backwards all at the same time. Due to it be unfinished, at the time, I could not put my finger on the content but I felt a storyline being built and imagined it running beginning to end from the Southwest corner of the room to the mid point of East wall. I continued to see how that could play into other art, 3D pieces and a variety of canvas sizes as other visual destinations in the space. Considering how long Chris has been dealing with the logistics of this showcase it seems like that should be the story told and underlining theme of the night...the journey of "COLORED" and I'm sure in a lot of ways it will be just that even it isn't the artist intention. Viewing the space as a work space first was a cool perspective and I can't thank Chris enough for the experience. His vision to utilize all the space for me says everything about how grand the exhibit will be and how grand Chris intended for it to be.
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