It was probably frightening at the time, yet woodworker Michael de Forest has found inspiration in a potentially career-ending accident. After recovering from a badly cut wrist, he used the healing process to inspire the Suture Series of vessels, which incorporate stitching into the form.
The Frog Bowl, for example, is an exquisitely made, seemingly simple bowl using wood-turning skills de Forest has honed over the past 40 years. After trimming the bowl smooth, he drew a frog atop the palm of an open hand inside of the bowl. Contour lines guides where he cuts the bowl into shapes, onto which he also lightly carves several drawings. Final pieces are drilled, painted with layers of milk paint to give the bowl an aged surface and stitched back together with sinew.
De Forest is one of 11 gallery artists exhibiting at The Art Spirit Gallery's annual spring show, which this year features four artists — including de Forest — new to exhibiting in Coeur d'Alene.
Lindsey Meyers Carroll also finds inspiration in unusual places. Hailing from Helena, Montana, Carroll combines interests in storytelling and portraiture with animals and the natural world to create dreamlike charcoal and mixed-media drawings characterized as magical realism.
"Tales of a Hare, Issue #1," for example, is a rabbit wearing flight goggles and an undulating cape shown mid-hop, suggesting the adrenaline rush of freedom. Or is it wishful thinking during a daring escape?
"Each image explores such fantasies as insight into hopes, dreams, regrets, frustrations, etc. operating behind the scenes of everyday life," writes Meyers Carroll in her statement.
Also from Montana by way of his native Spain, Manel Alvarez is an internationally recognized artist with public commissions throughout Europe and the US, including a sculpture for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Four of his smaller works will be on view, including from a series inspired by travel to Africa.
Additional artists are Chris Bivins, Frank Boyden, Sheila Evans, Yuji Hiratsuka, Shelle Lindholm, Laura Nuchols, Richard Parrish and Valerie Seaberg.
11 Gallery Artists • April 8-May 7; opening reception Fri, April 8, from 5-8 pm • The Art Spirit Gallery • 415 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene • theartspiritgallery.com • 208-765-6006