Tacoma, Washington has a robust history of supporting the visual arts, however there are very few privately-owned galleries in the city. My wife, Jane Sobottka, and I opened a small business called Tacoma Gallery, LLC. Our goal was to operate as a public-facing art studio for our own artwork, to teach small group art classes, and to exhibit local artists at our studio, as well as area cultural organizations.

1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition photo left, Tacoma Gallery Logo designed by Sobottka, right.

Tacoma Gallery initially opened up a small studio located off Pacific Ave in Tacoma. As the LLC grew, it expanded to a larger studio space with an adjacent gallery. The larger studio afforded more space and amenities for classes and events. In order to introduce the gallery to the community and promote the brand, I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create a branding package that included our logo, postcards, social media tiles, posters, banners, and signage. This branding would eventually lead to a feature in South Sound Magazine.

The start of our branding was our logo, that I designed after the historical You’ll Like Tacoma waterfront sign. This logo would be central to our multi-faceted branding.

  • Traditional print marketing: Posters, flyers, advertisements, postcards
  • Online marketing and Tacoma Gallery Website
  • Social media, co-branded with our individual artists social media and websites
  • Cultural events: Art fairs, art markets, Tacoma Studio Tour, Tacoma Wayzgoose, Night Market

Students working in small group art classes.

Tacoma Gallery curated three exhibits in 2018 including For Tacoma, a contracted exhibition at Alma Mater, Tacoma Art, an exhibit focusing on local and emerging artists, and Grit City, an exhibition of northwest artists working in styles emblematic of the Tacoma cityscape. Tacoma Gallery also offered several classes, attracting students from as far as Bellingham. In 2019, Tacoma Gallery proposed the popular 2nd Saturday Life Drawing at Tacoma Art Museum, and we taught those sessions until 2020, when the pandemic closed public programming.

Grit City exhibition poster, Eye Chart garment design, For Tacoma exhibition poster: Jason Sobottka