Special Projects

Spaceworks provides opportunities to artists and creative entrepreneurs to produce unique, short-term events and installations in unique spaces around Tacoma. These opportunities become available to Spaceworks at unpredictable and random moments in time. Past projects have included a one-night-only art exhibit, a month-long theatrical residency, a three-month occupation for a band’s album recording, and a six-month artist residency.

China Lake Juxto by Matthew Olds -– Installation View at 1120 Pacific Avenue, 1st floor, May 2015
China Lake Juxto by Matthew Olds -– Installation View at 1120 Pacific Avenue, 1st floor, May 2015



Featured Special Projects

Glaciers of Wisdom
Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson produced a short film based on interviews with elders in the neighborhood about their experiences navigating the streetscape and what functions would make the neighborhood most accessible and welcoming to them.

Hilltop Hoodwitch
Jasmine Brown

Equipped with a divination board alongside a myriad props and antique serums, Jasmine Brown’s Hilltop Hoodwitch project probes the fears of gentrification to better understand the challenges Hilltop locals are experiencing and gain insights into their magical solutions.

The Last Supper
Tiffanny Hammonds

Tiffanny Hammonds conducts a series of in depth interviews with elders in the neighborhoods church going community. Her project ‘The Last Supper’ provides meals and groceries to respondents in exchange for their feedback on their visions for Hilltop streetscape.

MLK Dreams in the Cold
Matamatanonofo Porter

Matamatanonofo uses impromptu interviews to gain insight about the streetscape through the eyes of people experiencing homelessness. She offers creatively crafted care packages to people who have an interest in sharing their experiences or ideas about the future of the Hilltop streetscape.

The Reintroduction of BAD
Whitney Brady

A combination of flash-mob style awareness building and neighborhood canvassing, Whitney Brady’s grassroots campaign uses the element of surprise to generate dialogue with neighborhood residents who may not be aware of the impact the link light rail will have on the MLK streetscape.

Unity in the Community
Gwen Jones

Gwen Jones does neighborhood canvassing and one-on-one interviews asking folks about their relationship to Hilltop and their visions for the future of the community.

Gerardo Peña

A brightly colored 20 foot piñata at the heart of People’s Park during the Hilltop Street Fair was an unexpected attraction drawing children of all ages to reimagine public space.

Artistic License Department
Gillian Nordlund

The Artistic License Dept. exists as a service to the public. Inspired by an obvious play on words its intentions are to encourage and support participants’ creativity and imagination.

In this performance, participants take a simple test based on fundamental aspects of art making as well as their own opinions. They are then issued an art making “license” upon completion of the test. (more…)

Center for Lost and Found
Gabe Nordlund & Colin Andersen

The Center for the Lost and Found is a place to share stories of lost or found objects and spread them into the community. Come create your very own lost or found poster and the CLF artists will post them around town, to foster remembrance for those things we miss and are grateful for. (more…)

One Night Exhibition
Katlyn Hubner

A one-night show of over 40 paintings by Katlyn Hubner during the June 2015 Third Thursday Art Walk at the 1120 Pacific Ave Building. (more…)

TRANSFORM: Theater District Culture & Transportation Plan
Spaceworks Tacoma

Spaceworks Tacoma, with the support of the City of Tacoma, is hosting a series of outreach and activation events to engage the public in the development of a theater District culture and transportation plan. (more…)

Destiny of Pride – Community Mural
Matamatononofo Porter

Destiny of Pride echoes the theme of 2018’s Tacoma Pride Festival. Matamatanonofo designed a temporary mural made up of different people, of a variety of cultures and sexes collated into a single face.  Spaceworks invited the community to participate in this art wall installed at the festival for one day only. Visitors used paint markers to add their own art and messages. Over 450 people participated.


Links to Opportunity – Hilltop Engagement Projects
Spaceworks Tacoma

Spaceworks Tacoma, working with the City of Tacoma, contracted community engagement specialists to engage Hilltop neighbors through pop-up outreach events. (more…)

Fill In the Blanks
Dionne Bonner

Dionne Bonner’s brightly colored chalkboard signs seek direct community input on the Hilltop streetscape.

Pyramid Construction Co.
Dion Thomas

With the driving question “What would you like the Hilltop to look like in 2000 years?” Dion Thomas’ imaginary contracting company creates pop-up construction sites to captivate the imagination.

James Grayson Sinding

1114 Pacific Avenue

March 1 – August 6, 2011

James Sinding’s word-based installations jubilantly proclaim the durability (at least in physical terms) of the written word. In 2010 he dumped thousands of alphabet letters in Tollefson Plaza for his wildly popular Spaceworks Tacoma installation, Letters. In 2011, he riffed on the concept with a project involving whole words and phrases.

The Ides of May
Barefoot Collective

915 Pacific Avenue :: March 1 – May 31, 2011
The Barefoot Collective (tBFC) is a Tacoma dance company who, since 2008, have earned praise for their original, contemporary works of power and passion. tBFC received a three-month Spaceworks Tacoma creative residency that supported the completion of a major performance piece, The Ides of May. The studio also held community auditions and offered dance instruction to students of all levels at their 915 Pacific Avenue rehearsal space.

China Lake Juxto – Installation View
Matthew Olds

In this one-night-exhibit, artist Matthew Olds utilized a vast cavernous interior office space that had been sitting vacant for years. Olds brought the outdoors inside. The exhibit included an 8′ x 12′ x 2″ painting based on China Lake Park in Tacoma, WA, a 16′ x 32′ x 5″ reflection pond, as well as field recordings of bird songs to create a thoughtful and meditative space in the middle of downtown Tacoma.


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