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Sense of Place

  • 1120 Creative House 1120 Pacific Avenue - 2nd Floor Tacoma, WA, 98402 United States (map)

Sense of Place: A Group Postcard Exhibition
Thursday, August 18th, 2016

5-11:20pm at 1120 Creative House (Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA)

Utilizing the dimensions of a postcard (4 x 6 inches), Sense of Place explores personal and cultural histories within the context of individual lived experiences of living in the Pacific Northwest. By creating tangible and familiar objects that spark nostalgic feelings of home, these works act as a unifying catalyst that bridges our diverse, personal experiences together. Featuring works by Thomas Brown, Raychelle Duazo, Eileen Eddleman, Haley Haines, Lee Heath, Krista Johnson, Cam Kristenson, A. Kay Lindsay, Erika Ray and Amanda Small. 

Postcards are the focus of Sense of Place because it is a time tested method of communicating personal messages to loved ones. With the accessibility and personal disconnect technology has given our society, messages lose reverence and intimacy. Through this exhibition, we invite the artist to participate in the practice of creating and sending a personal message from oneself to the community.



Raychelle Duazo is a 20-something queer femme Filipina-American illustrator and busy body from the Pacific Northwest. She started drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil and has been making comics since high school. As an illustrator, she specializes in comics, typography, and portraits.

She started making journals in college to cope with life. Her body of work focuses on themes of heartbreak, loss, love, healing, memories, identity, places, traveling, queerness, femmeness, growing up Filipina-American, and self-awareness. Her work has been featured in a number of local galleries and exhibitions, zines, and posters. As an artist, she does freelance and commission work and has spoken on QTPOC & QWOC art and activism panels in New York City & Seattle. She is a VONA Voices 2014 Alumni of the Graphic Novel Program with Mat Johnson.

Her self-published comics zines, Never Be The Same Again and With Everything You Have, are available for purchase at her online shop.


Eileen grew up in Lakewood. Being one of the first and few little brown girls at Lake City Elementary. Being able to grow up with friends of all nationalities gave her a Sense of Place beyond her front yard. Her work represents a friendship that has grown from the school yard and throughout the years. She is a self taught artist and loves creating works from her soul.



Sven Haakanson is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Washington. His work is inspired by a Yupik mask that is part of the Burke Museum collections.


I'm a transplant to this city and have found my own "Sense of Place" in the "Grit City." While grit can be synonymous with dirt or grime, it's also a perpetual perseverance to overcome obstacles to progress, to grow and to bring long term goals into realization. I'm inspired by the vibrancy of Tacoma. Although I've never considered myself an "artist" in the traditional sense, I was excited for the opportunity to craft something beautiful to honor the place that is so gritty and so pretty.


Histories tend to be a combination of positive and negative events. The hope being that we learn from past mistakes, whether they are ours or others. Tacoma has a rich history, unfortunately there have been a lot of negative events that we have had to learn from, and are just in recent history correcting. Citizens have unified to try to keep the environmental destructive forces coming to Tacoma as well as human rights issues. If you live in Tacoma this is your past as well, and you should have knowledge of it so you can help Tacoma go forward in a positive fashion, not just for us now, but for future generations to come.


As a Tacoma native recently returning to my place of origin after 20 years of exploring the world, creating this series of personal landscapes for Sense of Place required a deep exploration of moments past, being present, and dreams of the future. This project allowed me to revisit places that hold nostalgic and melancholic memories; to remember and reconnect with people who had a strong influence on my character; and to reexamine how I have carried it all with me throughout my life - and when I chose not to. In this series it is my hope to convey how the Pacific Northwest has played an integral role in forming my identity through environment, personal experiences, and strong sense of Scandinavian heritage.


I am a Northwest artist who was born and raised in Alaska for 35 years. I began carving at the age of 6 and pursued by artistic path at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Fine Art.

After moving to the Seattle/Tacoma metro area I was shocked at all the materials that people just throw out on the street around here. Where I lived for most of my life a sheet of OSB plywood runs about $48, so to see all the scraps that people toss around here flabbergasted me. Back home we would use that to fix our houses, cabins, or to build any number of things. So I salvage all the scraps and use them for making my art.

I like to work with many different media, mainly acrylics and markers. My subjects tend to be in the natural world with an occasional bird from my imagination influenced heavily by Dr. Seuss and Henri Matisse.


Erika Ray's work is impulsive and intuitive. Swooping and arching lines and organically-occurring linear forms make up the base of her visceral process. Layers of original marks are built with various natural materials, which are then elaborated upon to create gridded forms; nebulous cityscapes emerge and disappear as if hanging in universes all their own. Tracing fragments of her originally compulsive marks, Erika maps out intricate moments, transforming spontaneous chaos with carefully articulated definition. The marks unfold to become crystallized memories - fractions of gestures suspended in time. 

Hailing from Tacoma, Erika Ray is driven by the desire to see the Earth respected and create a sustainable system rooted in her belief in humanity's ability to create positive change. She graduated with a Post-Baccalaureate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, and in the ensuing summer she explored how her desires fit into her practice as an artist-in-residence at Centro Selva in the Central Peruvian Amazon. She currently resides in Ruston, and enjoys long walks through Point Defiance.


She should know that she is beautiful.
That she has something to offer.
That she is unique.
That she is wanted.
She is a queen.
Unaware, but none the less.

Later Event: October 28
Art Slide Slam