Invoke the Muse

Jennifer Chushcoff has photographed the 9 muses of her life in an endearing, and interactive exhibit titled “Invoke the Muse” which fits wonderfully in the display cases of downtown’s Old Post Office.

Streetside Artscape:
 Jennifer Chushcoff  / Invoke the Muse

Tacoma Post Office Building (Main Hall), 1102 A Street
May 15 2014 – August 21 2014


“Invoke the Muse” is a portrait gallery of Chushcoff’s personal mentors – women from a range of ages and backgrounds who represent the nine muses that preside over the arts and sciences in Greek mythology: history, epic poetry, song, love poetry, tragedy, sacred song/hymns, dance, comedy, and astronomy.

The loss of one of her real-life mentors to cancer inspired the series: “I created this project with her in mind, and for the many friends in my life who are sources of inspiration. I hope that ‘Invoke the Muse’ allows everyone to consider the people that motivate and guide them, and to thank them before it’s too late.” To this end she is inviting the public to participate in her project three ways: by mailing those thoughts via free postcards she has supplied at the TPOB exhibit; by tacking a note to the display board at the opening June 19; or, by mailing cards directly to her (P.O. Box 999, Tacoma, WA 98401) to be included on the bulletin board and on her Facebook page as part of the exhibit.

Chushcoff is a photographer and mixed media artist; she often blends encaustic with her photographs to create a tactile image. She photographed the women in their work settings or at her studio, with the exception of two (in Brazil and Arkansas) who she shot via Skype. She says that inspiration strikes across all fields, not just the arts. “The original nine Greek muses represented all arts and sciences. Everyone is involved in some way. I meet so many people that look at my work and say something like, ‘Wish I was creative.’ I tell them, you are! You quilt! You tell great jokes! You garden! You research! Right now, everybody either has a muse that they haven’t acknowledged or they need to find one…”

“The single most important thing I’ve learned about making art, whether it’s writing or dancing or solving mathematical equations, is perseverance. You’ve got to show up and do the work, even if it feels as if your muse has abandoned you. Keep going. She’ll return, and you’ll be amazed at what she brings you.