Almost a year ago to the day, we introduced readers to an up-and-coming nonprofit that seeks to take unused or surplus arts and craft materials off people's hands and put them to good use. Art Salvage Spokane has now entered its second year of creative upcycling, collecting those discarded odds and ends — like extra pieces left over from a big, one-time project — and showing the community how to make something with stuff that would otherwise get tossed or sit for ages in someone's basement.
Today, Art Salvage founder Katie Patterson Larson says her own basement and craft room at home are filled to the brim with those donated supplies — paint, fabric, string, beads, glitter and more — but that this year she expects to open a permanent storefront, a sort of thrift store hybrid catering to crafters, makers, artists and other creatives.
Currently, Art Salvage has a small pop-up shop in an East Spokane storefront called Madelia Mercantile, though its hours of operation are quite limited. The mini-shop, at 827 N. Madelia (just east of Gonzaga) inside the part-time studio, is open on Thursday evenings from 5-8 pm and Saturdays from 11 am-3 pm. Anyone curious can drop in to shop for the very low-cost supplies Art Salvage is reselling, or pay $5/hour to stay and create during these times, which also include open-studio hours. Lately, Thursday open studio hours have been centered on creating altered books, and Larson is on site to offer creative guidance and tips to anyone who comes by.
While Larson is running out of space to personally store all the donated materials that have come into Art Salvage's possession, she won't turn anyone away. Find a list of acceptable donations and how to give on the nonprofit's website.
In addition to managing open studio hours, Larson continues to organize Art Salvage workshops at venues around Spokane: public library branches, Spark Center in Kendall Yards and other local businesses.
"Definitely I feel like the response keeps being positive," she notes. "We're having people who've come to the booth at the [South Perry Winter Market] and other classes returning, and it's been really fun to see people we know coming back."
Popular past classes offered by Art Salvage have involved making jewelry from Monopoly houses, binding books with pages made from surplus envelopes and partnering with other artists to offer collaborative workshops. This Saturday, for example, Art Salvage and is teaming up with the local Spokane Artist Trading Card group to lead a kids class on making artist trading cards.
Other upcoming events on Art Salvage's schedule include workshops on "jam jar terrariums," "paper jewelry" and "weaving 101."