Amocat Cafe has been transformed.
No longer is it merely a place to sit, drink, eat and be local. For the month of September, Amocat is a port – a harbor for seafaring artwork. Docking on its walls are nautical scenes of varying shapes and sizes. Some of the intricately rendered ships float on framed canvas, while others drift across the surface of wood that itself has lived in the salty scenes they now immortalize.
All through the month of September, Amocat Cafe is displaying the art of local artist Stuart M. Dempster. Along with his fiancée, Kendra, Dempster comprises half of Treefish Studio. He considers this show a bachelor party of sorts, calling it his “last solo sail” before rolling all of his artistic endeavors into the Treefish fold.
“This is the culmination of seven years of showing my art,” says Dempster. “A lot of pieces in the show have stories behind them.”
In fact, several of the pieces have, according to Dempster, “an actual, literal story behind them.” Pieces such as First Command and Shore Party depict scenes from an adventure story that Dempster plans to release in the form of a graphic novel or webcomic, which will be brought to life with Kendra’s aid as part of Treefish Studio.
I have been privileged to know Dempster for almost a year, now. In that time, I have seen him do many amazing things. A jack-of-all-arts, he sees potential in nearly any material put in front of him, and doesn’t shy away from experimentation. Whether it’s rigging a makeshift recording studio in the garage, constructing a ramen cart from scratch or bringing to life the ships displayed in Amocat this month, Dempster approaches his projects with equal fervor, frustration, giddiness and passion.
When asked what he enjoys about making art, he responded that it’s not something he simply enjoys.
“I do enjoy it, but that’s not why I do it,” elaborates Dempster. “I do it because if I don’t, I’ll go bug nuts insane!”
“If I don’t do it, it hurts,” he explains. “Art needs to be done.”
Dempster’s show officially opens in an event beginning at 4:30 this afternoon. Amocat Cafe can be found at 625 St. Helens Ave in Tacoma. For more information on Dempster, Treefish Studio, Amocat Cafe or today’s event, click on the links below: