Pacific Northwest native Camille Patha has been painting for fifty years. Her upcoming exhibit, A Punch of Color: Fifty Years of Painting by Camille Patha, opens at the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) on Saturday, February 1. The show explores Patha’s bold use of color to create figurative and abstract paintings.

Patha left Seattle to study art at Arizona State University in the late 1950s. There, a world of color opened up to her. The vivid pinks, reds, and yellows she found in the desert contrasted brightly with the subtle blues and greens of her Northwest home.

In the 1960s, Patha returned to Seattle to pursue graduate studies at the University of Washington (UW). While her experience there helped her cultivate a disciplined work ethic, her professors did not readily accept the vivacious color that marked her works. This tension fortified Patha in her position as a colorist: “I didn’t want to suppress my color, and my color began oozing out of my ears. . . . Color makes a statement about freedom, about humanity. . . . I never cease to be fascinated by it.”

Marquand Books produced the ninety-six-page exhibition catalogue, designed by John Hubbard. A Punch of Color features forty-nine full color illustrations and includes essays by TAM curator Rock Hushka and curatorial fellow Allison Maurer.

To learn more about the exhibition and its related events, visit TAM. To purchase a copy of A Punch of Color: Fifty Years of Painting by Camille Patha, visit UW Press.


Photography by Jeremy Linden