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Seattle artist Tariqa Waters is on a roll. In late August, she fully revamped a crosswalk in Pioneer Square, turning the boring white lines into colorful, Memphis Design-inspired Afro picks. (The first art installation of its kind in the historical neighborhood.) In September, she premiered the vibrant pilot episode of her Seattle-centric talk show, Thank You, MS PAM, at Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings Festival. And and and this week, Waters is tackling the whole top floor of Museum of Museums with her new immersive installation Gum Baby. The show promises to tell “a story of the sticky contradictions and dualities inherent to vices rooted in Americana-distorted memories and tall tales.” Exciting!
Waters is no stranger to poppy artworks that immerse viewers in irreverent and bold environments. The 2020 Neddy Award winner has exhibited giant sculptures of Quilted Softness toilet paper rolls emblazoned with her likeness at Bellevue Arts Museum. She ran a booth lined with (fake) Harriet Tubman $20 bills at Seattle Art Fair. And she graced the cover of many a Seattle publication. In Pioneer Square, you’ve probably seen people squish their faces up against the window of her street-level Martyr Sauce Pop Art Museum (a.k.a. MS PAM) gallery with floor-to-ceiling pink walls and a giant Julia-themed rotating lunchbox and thermos. While details and images of Gum Baby are still under wraps, Waters is a master of mood-building and clever references to popular culture. Her show at MoM is sure to turn the party.
📸: Tariqa Waters / Museum of Museums