Beate: Marisa, what made you work in this large format? You were scared of painting on 22" x 30" paper.
Marisa: I was excited by the idea of a window space where everyone could see (not just people in galleries) and also I love the idea of playing with 2D in 3D space. But I was terrified up until the very end of install. No doubt there. How about you?
Beate: It requires process and planning not just "messing it up."
Marisa: You like that? Ugh!
Beate: That's what I do in my professional life. So, how did it start?
Marisa: I heard a RadioLab story about a woman who lived in an apartment with a dolphin and I brought it to you to hear. We then started making paintings responding to this story.
Beate: This was science in the 1960s. You couldn't do this kind of science in 2015. We thought this was really intriguing. Then we saw the call for the Tacoma Spaceworks ArtScapes program. We applied to make a display in a storefront window inspired by the story. This meant scaling up our painting.
Marisa: Actually, we changed our minds about how to do it 100 times. Remember when it was going to take about 1000 pieces of paper? We even abandoned the story for a while.
Beate: At the end we came back to the story and our rule of using black white and gold. Because it's a storefront on a busy corner, we wanted it visually pleasing and whimsical. I obsessed on almost every detail.
Marisa: Yes, when you went to the store to look for the right colored string to stitch the dolphin together and you were gone for over 2 hours! And by then I was just hoping we'd finish.
Beate: Too many words already! How about some pictures or our "Say My Name" project? You know, show, don't tell?
Check out our finished installation "Say My Name" at the corner of 11th and Commerce in downtown Tacoma from now until August 21, 2015.
Thanks so much to Gabriel Brown, Tacoma Spaceworks, Eric Graves, Karen Manuel, Meredith Clark, and Tom Yoder.
For more info about Tacoma Spaceworks: http://spaceworkstacoma.com/
Checkout the Radiolab episode that inspired this project at http://www.radiolab.org/story/hello/