Published on September 17th, 2014 | by Sean Alexander


See Noah Struthers’ Fantastic Guts

2nd Cycle Lancer

Illustration by Noah Struthers

If you’ve ever seen one of the illustrative, hand drawn posters for 2nd Cycle or Post Defiance’s pen-holding giant octopus,  then you are familiar with artist Noah Struthers’ intricate pen work.

For years, Noah has used his skills to produce soulful promotional work for local businesses and projects.

His work has been a regular and important part of the poster-­centric visual landscape that so many Tacoma artists have made contributions to over the past few decades.

As Noah’s current studio mate, I’ve had the pleasure to watch his work expand greatly over the past few months as he has been preparing for his impressive first solo art showing Fantastic Guts, which opens this Thursday September 18 at Fulcrum Gallery.

Noah Table

Noah Struthers’ work space. Photograph by Sean Alexander.

Noah has been experimenting with new mediums and pen techniques and his illustrations have benefited from that experimentation. The work in Fantastic Guts is a combination of process and polish: the pieces in the show dig deep into viscera to present beautiful swirls of pattern and clusters of movement that recall the duplication processes of nature.

Noah Garbled Guy

An illustration in process by Noah Struthers.

In Noah’s world, bodies spread apart and break and become something different and undetermined.

A few of the drawings remind me of graphics from old science text books that depict cross sections of cells, except whatever anabolism or catabolism is going on in Noah’s diagrams is more confusing and better looking.

These indeterminate qualities make the drawings more interesting to look at and present the viewer with the opportunity to fill in blanks.

In his more narrative drawings, Noah has further developed his ability to depict light and depth.

Still working primarily with bodies and nature as the subject, these drawings are tight and well composed. A recurring group of symbols is present that includes teeth, spinal columns, hot dogs, alcohol, noses, wood pallets, and hand tools.These symbols reference working class occupations and the escapist diet.

The most elaborate drawing in the show is a black and white that depicts a young boy burning an ant hill in the woods behind his house. The scene is fascinating, somber and reflective. Other highlights of the show include a depiction of an unraveling whale and a starfish in distress.

Noah Hippie Chick

An illustration in progress by Noah Struthers

As a fellow artist, I am excited to see Noah experimenting and growing during what seems to be a bit of a recession in the local art and music scene. I am very interested to see where he branches out next and hope to see him continue to experiment with his craft and concepts in the coming year.

Noah Scraps

Artwork in process by Noah Struthers

Fantastic Guts is without a doubt the best local drawing show to appear in quite some time. Many of the illustrations included in this article are works in process, make sure you go and see the final works.

Fantastic Guts opens September 18, 5 pm, at Fulcrum Gallery Thursday, 1308 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma 98405.

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About the Author

Is a local artist, designer, and opinionated citizen.

One Response to See Noah Struthers’ Fantastic Guts

  1. Maria Jost says:

    I have had the pleasure to watch some of these works come to life. I predict this will be an excellent show!

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