With encouraging weather in the forecast, I took a road trip south to join Urban Sketchers of Tacoma for their third anniversary sketch outing on Saturday, June 4, 2016. I was excited they were meeting at the Museum of Glass because I knew I wanted to draw the bridge next to the museum. I thought it might have a jazzy name, Hightower or Stretch comes to mind, but, according to an online website it’s called the East 21st Street Suspension Bridge. It was a very warm day so I found a spot of deep shade under a small tree and focused on the prize. Brilliant sunlight spotlighted the bridge creating masses of dark shadows. I could see boats tethered contentedly beneath the bridge and the Tacoma Dome through the arc of the span. An American flag fluttered crisply in the breeze.
|East 21st St Bridge, Tacoma|
I give Tacoma bragging rights for their urban waterfront splendor. A grand staircase descends to a wide-open public space in front of the contemporary Museum of Glass. Fountains and promenades parallel the waterfront where boats of all sizes dock with a marina. My favorite bridge is to the right and a rustic trestle bridge is to the left. Tacoma Narrows, another picturesque suspension bridge located to the northwest, links the city to Kitsap Peninsula.
After the meet-up, as I crossed the glowing Dale Chihuly Bridge of Glass overpass that connects the Museum of Glass to the cultural corridor of Tacoma, I had fun pondering bridge symbolism in a city ringed with distinctive bridges. I also experienced appreciation for the artists and designers who created the dynamic public spaces in downtown Tacoma.