Jeremy says, “The shapes loosely represent different modes of transportation and commuters. Imagine, organic shapes connecting with each other at points that spider web into other connections. This network of connections star-bursts continuously, creating a mapping of transportation.
Jeremy Gregory / A to B
11th Street side of 953 Market St. Building
September 2, 2013 – February 1, 2014
There’s a new and noteworthy art venue shaking up downtown Tacoma: The Market and South 11th Street Building. In a joint initiative in June, Spaceworks and transportation advocate Downtown on the Go invited local artists to submit ideas for transforming the exterior of this long-vacant building into an outdoor exhibition space that would engage downtown commuters and pedestrians alike.
Just three months later, the results are overwhelming: three wall-size murals – by Jeremy Gregory, the creative duo of Kristin Giordano and Mindy Barker, and a team of artist-poets from Write@253 – have invigorated a drab gray block into a vibrant urban landmark that has passersby circling for a second look.
With a skin of art and poetry wrapping around three sides (the fourth is shared with an adjacent building), the vintage structure is akin to an architectural Rubik’s cube, inviting inspection from most any angle. The literary and visual artists were commissioned to create art on a transportation theme, but the writers were invited to expand beyond transportation to write about life on the busy streets of Tacoma.
On South 11th Street, Jeremy Gregory looks to other galaxies for an antidote to man’s fossil-fuel follies in a mural entitled A to B. This super-smooth duo-tone painting marks an elegant departure from the magazine comics and illustration, and raw street-habitué puppets, he is known for.
“It’s about movement, A to B,” he says in a phone conversation. But not the kind devised by your friendly local department of transportation. The public routing in this painting infers airstreams based on mathematics and computer circuitry – an unimpeded higher intelligence – rather than primitive traffic grids.
Gregory’s aliens are painted in black silhouette on a smog-colored background; the scene has such fluidity it seems the beings could simply float over toxic emissions and outmoded traffic snarls. “The shapes loosely represent different [types] of transportation and commuters,” he says. “Imagine organic shapes connecting with each other at points that spiderweb into other connections. This network…starbursts continuously, creating a mapping” of unhindered movement. A repeating coin shape echoes an interstellar wormhole, a transportation hub, or a subway token.