Can Art Really Change A City?

I remember what downtown Tacoma looked like in 1979 when I first moved to the area.   A derelict Union Station was still a functioning a railroad station.  What is now the thriving Museum District, was rundown and never someplace to venture without good reason. Even the waterfront along Dock Street was lined with dilapidated warehouses. 

Little did I know that one day I would call this section of town home.  The longer I live here, the more I marvel at the transformation.  The renovation of Union Station was key, it set a precedent that valued visual aesthetics.  The restoration of the historic buildings on lower Pacific Avenue followed suit.  Add-on the State History Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Chihuly Glass Bridge, and the Museum of Glass, and art now is the attraction in this part of town.  What was once a rundown and rough neighborhood, is now a stunning family-friendly destination for art and culture.  Intentional or not, art transformed Tacoma.

My quest to photograph this neighborhood and the Museum of Glass began in 2007.  I sought to capture the Museum in all of its “moods” and reveal the beauty that only someone who sees it every day could possibly do.  While I have many photographic interests outside of the Museum, it is always there, challenging me to see something new or appreciate something I’ve seen a hundred times in a new way.  The images in this exhibit are a small selection of what I discovered shooting the Museum complex in all kinds of conditions.  Just when I think I captured my last unique image of the Museum, I discover something new…art has a way of doing that.