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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grand Opening of Tacoma's Asia Pacific Cultural Center May 24 Shines Non-Canvas Link With Creative Chinese Born Korean-American Artist

As many artists and followers of arts are aware there's a reliable universal current of energy and creativity out there if and when one is able to tap in. One local artist I'm familiar with over fifteen plus years whose particularly able to tap this is the South Sound's Patsy Surh O'Connell.

O'Connell who came to the United States originally as an immigrant, is an example of someone who took a legacy from a nation overseas and transformed the local landscape of her adopted land by making the most of her natural inborn gifts of leadership, intelligence and talent.

During the many years she spent as a military wife abroad and here in the United States while raising her family, volunteering in organizations and working diligently on her craft, O'Conncell also transformed herself into one of the most dynamic and visable of the arts movers and shakers in today/s vibrant Asian-American community.

While the word indefatigable is widely overused, O'Connell quite well have may have inspired the word. She compilled an impressive resume in local and state art circles and is well-known in ethnic and  non-profit circles up and down the Puget Sound corridor. And while in more recent years she has spoken of self-editing her busy schedule to accomodate the changing needs and demands of a more mature family life, her calendar would give individuals a quarter of her age a most excellent workout.

O'Connell is, additionally, the  major reason  I try to keep currently abreast about the Asian Pacific Cultural Center, 4851 South Tacoma Way, (253) 838-3900, an organization while comprised of many hardworking and visionary individuals is also in my opinion, as much one of O'Cornell's works of art which have been enriched and developed as deeply as any of the tremendous canvases that she has produced over the course of the short eighteen or more years.

Coincidentally, the Asian Pacific Cultural Center is pleased to invite the public to celebrate their Grand Opening next week in the facility at South Tacoma Way on Thursday, May 24, from 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. which will be an excellent occasion  for Tacoma and Pierce County residents and their families to meet with center personnel, enjoy an assortment of food items and converse with instructors who will be sharing customs, skills and demonstrations from their communities of origin during upcoming classes and events.

During it's lifetime the center has occupied several storefronts and locations including at least two that I'm familiar with in the central downtown corridor. The more recent decision  by museum leadership and board to site the center along South Tacoma Way closer to the thriving economic hub of some of today's most vital Asian retailers and community services might well enhance its draw and appeal to the community base from which it has sprung. Kudos are also in order to the organization's current executive director, Lua Pritchard, who is equally a celebrated force in the community in her own right.

Having grown up in this state as a member of the Japanese-American community a different era and time when such options were not available to myself, my siblings and extended family members, I am well aware what a life-enriching treasure that the Asian Pacific Cultural Center can be. Not only are their resources a bonus for those of us whose ancestors called the Asian Pacific Rim their home, but such an organization is priceless gift for all who understand that our regions ties to other parts of the world will always ensure a better place for our children's and their children.

1 comment:

Lorraine Hart said...

How I wish I had both time and gas money to get to the mainland and check out all the wonderful goings on. I'm so glad when you write about the Tacoma, Federal Way, and let me travel with you, and see more through your eyes. Who better to guide...than a talented artist?