Hammering at Harvest Time SPORTS -- Completing a "century" (100 miles in a single day) is something of a badge of honor among bicyclists. (Of course, by comparison, competitors ride further nearly every day of the Tour de France.) This Sunday morning, nevertheless, local cyclists of non-world-class caliber have their choice of three distances in the 23rd annual Autumn Century, sponsored by the Spokane Bicycle Club.
Young families and those who have trained to complete a fairly level rural route can try the 20-mile ride (Peone Prairie, Pleasant Prairie and Green Bluff), departing from Mead High School at 10 am.
The "metric century" (62 miles, or 100 kilometers) starts at 9 am and includes forays through Deer Park, Clayton, Williams Valley and Chattaroy, finishing along the Little Spokane River.
Leaving at 8 am, the full-century course covers the same areas (in a different sequence) and adds Rutter Parkway, the Big Sandy and Double Trouble climbs, Loon Lake, Elk and Milan.
If you need a warm-up the day before, SBC is offering two companion rides on Saturday, Sept. 14: a 10 am Tour de Palouse from Ferris High School to Rockford and return, and, at 1 pm, a 30-mile ramble along the Centennial Trail, starting at SFCC.
-- Michael Bowen
Spokane Bicycle Club's 23rd annual Autumn Century and Family Fun Bike Rides * Sunday, Sept. 15 * 100-mile ride, 8 am; 62-mile, 9 am; 20-mile, 10 am * Cost: $30-$35; $35, families, 20-miler * starts at Mead High School, 302 W. Hastings Rd. * www.spokanebicycleclub.org * Call: 325-1171
Eine Kleine Hausmusik CLASSICAL MUSIC -- Back in the days before modern orchestral instruments, secular music was enjoyed most often in the intimacy of one's home, with musicians surrounded by family and friends. In Germany, this tradition - known as Hausmusik - continues to this day. For the next two Sundays, music lovers in North Idaho have an opportunity to partake in a little Hausmusik at the Sandpoint home of artist and musician Leanore Bittner, with concerts featuring a variety of regional classical artists including Verne Windham, Rob Kincaid, Leslie Stratton Norris, Caren Reiner, and Amy Craven.
Songs by Brahms, Mozart, and the inimitable PDQ Bach highlight the program on September 15 at 1:30 p.m. The following week is devoted to small ensemble pieces by Dohnanyi, Reinecke, and Mahler. Guests may indulge in champagne and hors d'oeuvres from the fine gourmet cooks of Bonner County at each concert. Bittner's "pyramid" home is an attraction itself, as is her 34-foot Chinese rainbow bridge spanning a fish pond. Proceeds from the performances benefit the Foundation for Human Rights Action and Advocacy, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to human rights education.
-- Ann M. Colford
Hausmusik * Bittner House, E. Dufort Rd., Sandpoint * September 15 and Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m. * Tickets: $30 each, are limited and must be purchased in advance from Gretchen Hellar at 208-263-6893.
Into the Mystic VISUAL ARTS -- Our vote for the year's most remarkable title for an arts event goes to the MAC's new exhibit, currently on display until September 30. It's called "Change the Way You See the World: The Mystical Palette of Alden Mason." Unwieldy as it may be, it nevertheless sums up the work of this Northwest painter, whose abstract figures retain enough identity to playfully engage the viewer in a game of shifted perspectives.
And 'mystical' is the perfect word to apply to Mason's works. Like the great Jewish painter Marc Chagall, Mason fills his paintings with images and situations of elusive significance. In one, a gangly chicken flies or falls (it isn't clear which) over a planter full of flowers; in another, an abstracted couple face the viewer with a fish worn as headgear. They're simple and childlike details, but the fact that they appear so clearly, hints at a world that operates very differently from that of the viewer.
Since giving up oil painting due to health reasons, Mason has been working primarily with acrylic paint applied to his canvases with small squeeze bottles, which allow him to render long, string-like lines without the sketchiness of brushstrokes. Yet the swirling textures and the boldly angular perspectives are clearly those of painting.
The MAC's exhibit is complemented by another show of Mason's work at Dean Davis' studio. Mason speaks for free this September 12 at noon in the museum's auditorium, and there will be a reception at Davis' studios on Friday evening. Also, some of the paintings are available for purchase, with proceeds going to benefit the museum. Tickets for that event are $15, and are available at the door or by calling the museum at 456-3931.
-- Marty Demarest
"Change the Way You See the World: The Mystical Palette of Alden Mason" * Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture * 2316 W. First Ave. * Through Sept. 30 * Also at the studios of Dean Davis * 216 W. Pacific Ave. * Sept. 13-30 * Artist Reception at Dean Davis studio: Sept. 13 from 5:30-10:30 pm, with hors d'oeuvres and Maryhill wines * Tickets: $15 * Call: 456-3931
Agricultural Contours BOOKS -- Many books of Palouse photography focus on the colors: the soft verdant green of May near Oakesdale, or maybe the gleaming gold stubble right after harvest south of Pullman. Photographing the Palouse in anything besides full spectrum color, in fact, seems to be some sort of faux pas along the lines of not knowing a combine from a tractor or refusing to slow down to 25 miles an hour in Colfax.
Well, not necessarily. Writer, photographer and editor George Bedirian's original edition of Palouse Country first appeared in 1987, surprising in its black-and-white starkness. But on closer examination, the hundred or so duo-tone images limn the texture, the simplicity, the sheer poetry of voluptuous hillsides, wind-gnarled tree branches and utilitarian grain elevators. In this new edition from WSU Press, the author, who presents a slide show from the book at Auntie's next Wednesday, includes not only a history of the remarkable changes in the Palouse from a century ago to today but also dozens of new or never-before-seen images. Definitely one to either add to (or start) your regional history and photography library.
-- Sheri Boggs
George Bedirian * Palouse Country * Auntie's Bookstore * 402 W. Main Ave. * Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. * Call: 838-0206