For The Love Of Art
This page is dedicated to supporting the local artists and organizations that are hard at work in our community creating opportunities for people to engage with art in a free and empowered way.
Monkeyshines are Tacoma’s beloved guerilla-art tradition of hiding treasures for residents to find during the Lunar New Year. The tradition began in 2004 when Monkeyshine Project founder “Ms. Monkey” hid glass orbs (called monkey balls) around Tacoma. What started with beautiful glass blown orbs has turned into thousands of rogue treasures being purposefully hidden in our community to be discovered by resident treasure hunters. Because we are creatives, in 2019 VO wanted to take part in this artistic movement. We teamed up with epic local artist, Joey Brooks to create unique, double-sided tokens featuring a digitally printed pig on laser-etched acrylic. These tokens were hidden through-out Tacoma. Want to find one of VO’s monkeyshines next year? Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates and clues on where to hunt for them. Learn more about Project Monkeyshines on their Facebook and Instagram page too.
Artist Joey Brooks is a Tacoma-born native, however his works of art can be found all around the United States. Joey has painted his beloved art on everything from skateboard decks to pillow covers to large murals and even PopSockets. Joey grew up surrounded by artists and apprenticed at a young age for his uncle who was a sign painter. The owners of VO discovered one of Joey’s murals in downtown Tacoma and knew they had to have him create an original mural to liven up VO’s Tacoma industrial location with one of his colorful and animated creations. In 2018 our team installed his digitally printed artwork mural that he created special for us. It stretches out in length over 20 feet on the west side of our office building. This past spring, Joey created magic again as he painted our VO box-truck featuring his signature characters, foliage and animals – even a mythical one if you are paying attention. To find out more about Joey’s work or get in contact for your own commissioned art, visit https://www.josephbrooksart.com/.
We love connecting with like-minded creatives that have a passion for the 253 and love Tacoma’s past, present and the future grit that is yet to be. When Sara and Sierra from Grit City Magazine came knocking on VO’s door to learn more about what we do, and who we are, we knew we were in the company of kindred spirits right away. Grit City Magazine started telling Tacoma’s stories in 2017 and it highlights the quirky, artistic, unknown, and awesomeness of the 253. Each issue comes with a unique art print commissioned exclusively for that issue and is filled with stories of the history of what has made Tacoma great and the amazing people that continue to make it “oh so gritty, yet oh so pretty.” VO is a proud sponsor, magazine subscriber, and partner in crime for Sierra’s crazy hair-brained ideas. To become a subscriber or check out their online exclusive content, visit http://www.gritcitymag.com.
Visual Options is proud to sponsor local maker association, OlyMEGA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Makerspace located in Olympia, WA. OlyMEGA stands for Olympia Makers, Engineers, Geeks and Artists. They are a technology interest group open to all ages and all knowledge levels. They are dedicated to fostering creativity, collaboration, and education. The mission of OlyMEGA is to create an open tech community in the Olympia/Thurston County. Members are encouraged to share their knowledge, learn from others, and create from what they learn. As Bill Nye says, everyone you meet knows something you don’t. Visual Options has partnered with OlyMEGA by providing off-cuts and additional scrap materials with otherwise would end up in a landfill. OlyMEGA provides these recycled materials to its members and other maker and educational groups around western Washington. With a focus on STEM, they specialize in offering a maker space and additional classes for:
Internet & Technology · Open Source · 3D Printing · Makers · Electronics · Hacking · Programming & Coding · Makerspaces · Information Security · Robotics · DIY Technology · Hardware Hacks & Gadgeteering · Electronic Music · Arduino · CNC · 3D printer · Microchip · Atmel · LED · Microcontrollers · Art · Textiles · and anything else that catches our interest. Check out their group forum and Facebook page to learn more and get directions to their maker space.