Pin It

Off the beaten path 

One of the great things about living in this area is that no matter how well you think you know each neighborhood, district, highway and block, there are always new discoveries that turn up -- literally -- right in your own back yard. It could be a quaint little tavern or donut shop filled with salt-of-the-earth folks, a gorgeous park you've never seen before, or in the case of TWIN TOTEMS GALLERY north of Spokane, a sophisticated art space just off Highway 2 in a stand of ponderosa pine.

Owned by Melanie and Rick Rudd, Twin Totems has a little bit of everything, from Chihuly glass to Amy Burnett's inventive, neo-deco works. In the summer, the gallery is even skirted by a whimsical sculpture garden.

Currently, the gallery is exhibiting bronze sculptor Tim Holmes. Many of the works in the show come from his 1993 solo exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and others. China Peace, for instance, was commissioned for world peace and human rights organizations. In an interview from his home and studio in Helena, Mont., Holmes talks about the honor of being one of the handful of Western artists to exhibit in Russia.

"I am still just amazed. I think I'll never be able to understand what an honor this is," he says. "One of the reasons I think they chose my work is that it has this quality of reaching into the despairing part and addressing it with joy. The Russian people have had one disaster after another, and as a result, they are a people with incredible resilience."

While Holmes (who is also a member of the Montana Logging and Ballet Company, a regular guest on National Public Radio) is well aware of the power of art to transmit meaning and embody philosophy, his passion is tempered by reality.

"What I'm trying to do is reach one person at a time. Twenty years ago, my plan was to make really good art that would speak to the world, but aging decrepitude has vanquished youth and enthusiasm," Holmes laughs. "If I can bring one person to a little bit more of an understanding of life, then I will have become more successful."

Holmes's sculptural works at Twin Totems are not terribly large -- most are under two feet tall -- but their power is undeniable. Returning the Nails, with its subtext of crucifixion, is a study in grief and dignity, and Who Gives All Gifts is the spirit of agape made manifest. China Peace is one of the most interesting, not only for the structural challenges it posed, but its role in shaping history.

"The China Information Center was formed right after the Tiananmen Square massacre, and they needed to get the information into the interior of China because the people were being lied to by their government," explains Holmes. "It was a pretty difficult assignment. They were asking me to create a symbol to memorialize a really horrible event, which would be auctioned off to wealthy Americans to create funds to reach the Chinese people. What they did with the funds is a remarkable thing. They wrote a narrative, which included a photo of massacre and then faxed it into random numbers all over China. The government couldn't prosecute, and it was the biggest fax revolution in history."

Tim Holmes's work is at Twin Totems, 5117 E. Greenbluff Road, Colbert, Wash., through Winter 2001. Call: 238-6353.

Renaissance man

There are few things DAN DEMING can't do. He's been a merchant marine, a hard rock miner, a test car driver for General Motors, a roughneck on an oil rig off the coast of northern B.C. and a D.C. cab driver. He's been a cook, a foreman and a mechanic. He's also been the subject of articles in Art in America, a veteran of more than 400 art shows, and the painter of more than 1,000 paintings.

"I lived in Baltimore for a while in the late '80s, and I broke my leg pretty bad. I was within an hour or two drive from all the great art museums," explains Deming from his home and studio on the Okanagan River outside of Omak. "I saw every exhibit that came through town during that period. What I would do is go to a museum and even though it was hard to walk, I wouldn't leave until I discovered something new about art. And then I'd go home and start working on it on my own, working it into my own style."

While Deming is largely self-taught, he did attend art school -- briefly.

"I went to art school for one semester, and what I experienced there was bone-numbing boredom. It was the Philadelphia College of Art, one of the best art schools on the East Coast, but it was really boring. I said, 'Man, I gotta find out the meaning of life.' "

Deming's influences range from Van Gogh to Jackson Pollock. While he has been a painter on canvas for most of his artistic career, he's recently turned to a much more durable medium. When he saw a fellow artist's abstract work on plates, he realized porcelain was the way to go.

"The effect that you have with the glazes, the way you work with palette knives, I said, 'What the hell am I doing the paintings for?' Painting on the tiles is much better, it's more prominent and it's fine art that's permanent. You can hang it over your sink or take one and bury it in the yard. Hundreds of years from now, it will still be there."

Dan Deming's work can be viewed at Call: (509) 826-5805.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Catcher on the Cracks
  • Catcher on the Cracks

    Is the alternative Dishman Hills High School saving at-risk students, or leading them to drop out?
    • Nov 25, 2015
  • Gambling Big
  • Gambling Big

    Washington lawmakers eye fantasy football; plus, Kootenai County takes on short-term rentals
    • Nov 25, 2015
  • Sound and Fury
  • Sound and Fury

    A look at the record-setting storm that swept through the Inland Northwest
    • Nov 25, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
The Festival of Fair Trade

The Festival of Fair Trade @ Community Building

Every 3 days, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Nightlife- Jukeboxes of Note

    The Baby Bar 827 W. 1st Ave. * 471-1234 I love the Baby Bar for so many reasons -- the intimacy, the bartenders, the d & eacute;cor... But most of all, I love it for its jukebox. This is no hellhole of Sting/Celine Dion adult contemporary; it's a well
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Rural Revolution

    All the farms I remember from growing up in North Idaho and Eastern Washington were not what you'd call stylish. In fact, what I do remember are blocky sofas covered in that ubiquitous mauve upholstery, copper Jell-O molds lining the kitche
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Tragedy of John Wayne

    Why the John Wayne Pioneer Trail is worth saving
    • Oct 29, 2015
  • Jailed by a Computer Glitch

    How a state Department of Licensing error cost one Spokane man three years of his life (CORRECTION APPENDED)
    • Oct 29, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment




publisher's note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation