We were a little beside ourselves waiting to see the official 1oth anniversary Art at Work swag created by noted designer Art Chantry. Chantry is legend in these parts; his poster art was plastered all over Seattle during the glory days of punk rock, and later, grunge (he designed album covers for Hole and Nirvana). He is known for art that scratches the eyeballs and cerebral lobes with its rough graphics and text collaged together in unexpected, sometimes shocking combination. It’s art that announces itself with a scream, not a whisper. Currently, a retrospective of his work, Parkland is Burning, is on exhibit at Fulcrum Gallery through November 17.
To celebrate Art at Work, Chantry took a different tack. He chose retro imagery, a local mantra (“You’ll Like Tacoma”) and a vintage palette to adorn keepsakes that bespeak an earlier chapter of T-town history. The objects possess a simple, gritty, perhaps deceptive sweetness, much like our hometown. Our favorite is the “floaty pen,” in aqua or black, featuring a woman diver jackknifing into clear, vertical depths. But there’s more – refrigerator magnets, rub-on tattoos, keychains and posters – all featuring iconic images such as drive-in signs and diesel-wheezing trucks from Tacoma’s rough-and-ready past.
Don’t miss your chance to celebrate Art at Work’s 10th birthday with a free keepsake by Art Chantry. The artist’s work has graced the walls of the Seattle Art Museum, the Smithsonian, the Louvre, MoMA, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – wouldn’t you like it casually laying around your place? The swag will be available at the Art at Work Opening Party on November 3, 6-8:30p.m, at the Museum of Glass. Very limited quantities will also be available during the open-studio tour, November 5-6, at participating artists’ studios.