Who knew that Spokane was such a hotbed of visual arts activity? While you'll sometimes hear the literati and cognoscenti of our fair environs wax critical of the quantity of local art galleries, the fact remains that we have quite a few. Spanning every kind of genre, style, price range and medium, such spaces as the MAC, the Lorinda Knight Gallery, the Prichard Gallery in Moscow and Coeur d'Alene's Art Spirit are everyday reminders of the importance of art in our lives. In a similar vein, special events like the Visual Arts Tour and Inland Craft Warnings get us out of the house and into spaces where our comfort zones can be stretched and our ideas broadened.
Art at Work Gallery
While the MAC might be 20 or so blocks to the West, they still maintain a significant presence downtown with the Art at Work Gallery at 123 N. Post. It's fitting perhaps that the gallery sits in a former retail space, as Art at Work is designed as a way for businesses and organizations to rent artwork by a wide variety of local artists. The popular First Friday Salons resume this fall with printmaker Carl Richardson on Nov. 1 and fiber artist Louise Kodis on Dec. 6. Later, look for talks by Mel McCuddin, Kathleen Cavender and Gay Waldman.
Art Spirit Gallery
One of the great things about covering the visual arts in the Inland Northwest is that fly-tying and decoy-carving sometimes get to share the marquee with sculpture, drawing and painting. Coeur d'Alene's Art Spirit Gallery has made its semi-annual "Art in the Making" series something of an institution, with anywhere from 10 to 15 visual artists working in view of the public, often from the same model or subject. But this Saturday's Art in the Making also includes demonstrations from 11 traditional folk artists, who display their considerable prowess in the realms of beading, fly-tying, moccasin-making, quilting, majolica pottery, saddlemaking, flutemaking and more. The Coeur d'Alene String Trio provides musical accompaniment to the festive goings-on, and in the evening, the gallery is pleased to welcome Governor and his wife, Patricia, Kempthorne to North Idaho College's Schuler Auditorium for the presentation of the Governor's Awards in the Arts, with masters of ceremonies, Ellen Travolta and Jack Bannon.
"It's a pretty big deal that they're doing the awards in Coeur d'Alene this year," says Janet Torline, who works with Art Spirit owner Steve Gibbs on a variety of arts endeavors. "They're usually held in Boise, and I think this is a nice outreach gesture that represents a new expansive spirit in the arts in Idaho."
The Governor's Awards and Art in the Making also coincide with the opening of Don Ealy's new exhibit on Friday night. Ealy, who has lived in Spirit Lake for more than 30 years, works in oils with a style "reminiscent of the 19th-century masters." His new collection of paintings takes up residence in Art Spirit's bungalow-turned-gallery through Oct. 5.
On Oct. 11, Allen and Mary Dee Dodge, a Coeur d'Alene duo, open their exhibit of capricious, hand-carved and painted wood sculpture, followed in November by Spokane's Mary Farrell. A teacher of printmaking at Gonzaga University, Farrell conveys familiar-yet-ambiguous forms -- torsos, fingers, birds' nests -- using woodcut, mezzotint, etching and monotype. Her handling of simple, pure line is something worth seeing. In December, Art Spirit finishes up its fall season with its annual Small Art Works Invitational, featuring works 12 inches and smaller.
Artistry in Wood
This annual juried show is a chisel-digging, lathe-spinning, grain-polishing extravaganza for wood sculpture and whimsical objects at SCC on Oct. 12 and 13. Sponsored by the Spokane Carving Club, there will be demonstrations, vendors, experts on special woods and, of course, artisans' booths.
Boswell Hall Gallery
North Idaho College's gallery opens with "Playing Field," paintings, drawings and mixed-media pieces by NIC art instructor Karen Kaiser, which runs through Oct. 25. On Nov. 4, it's Paul Gregg's "Sculptures and Assemblage," on view through Dec. 6. Both shows include gallery walks, opening receptions and slide lecture presentations.
Although it's sometimes hard to tear your eyes away from the carnival-like antics taking place inside City Council chambers, there is indeed an art gallery just outside. Lynn Hanley, Rosemary Powelson and Patty Sgrecci are the featured artists for September's "Gathered Moments," followed in October by ceramicist Virginia Carter, metal/glass/etc. artist John Jankovsky and neon artist Ken Yuhasz. The gallery will be open with a reception for the artists during the Visual Arts Tour on Oct. 4. On Nov. 12, "Works by Dick Elliott" is the featured exhibit through Dec. 31, with a reception for the artist on Dec. 6.
Chris Kraisler Gallery
Sandpoint's esteemed contemporary arts venue exhibits nationally acclaimed artists David Kraisler, Evelyn Sooter, Stephen Schultz and Romey Stuckart through December. All artists are represented by the gallery, and the show consists of a rotation of their gallery work, as well as new pieces by each.
If you're a big fan of bejeweled and flower-draped horses, tigers with saddles, and shiny brass rings, you can't miss Palouse artist Nona Hengen's "Carousel Paintings," which opens with a reception at -- you guessed it -- the carousel in Riverfront Park. On Sept. 29, the Spokane Watercolor Society presents its 7th annual regional juried Watermedia Exhibition, which stays up until Oct. 26. On Nov. 10, Frank Sanford and Darrell Sullens present "Paintings from Ireland," followed by an interesting show of modelers' backdrops by painter John Pendell (Dec. 8-28).
Colville Arts Gallery
Inspired by the Native American children she taught in Riverside, Calif., artist Charlene Payton incorporates her original photography with woodcuts, etchings and marbled paper.
Compton Union Gallery
WSU's Pullman campus has not only its fine Museum of Art, but also the Compton Union Gallery, located, not surprisingly, in the CUB. Shani Marchant's undersea world of fluid color and mysterious quietude is up through Oct. 5, followed by graphic designer Valerie Boydo's copper enameling and silversmithing show, "Stalked by the Pygmy Tiger." On Oct. 28, the Outdoor Photography Exhibit is a poignant reminder of all the joys of outdoor life we'll soon be missing as winter sets in, through Nov. 15. Finally, Damaris Bradish, Marie Moree and Nicole Taflinger present, simply, "Art" -- graphite drawing, collage, watercolor, pen and ink -- through Dec. 13.
Corbin Art Center
Spokane is home to a small but impassioned group of folks who love the "whoa mama" vibrance, chalky/oily texture and textural versatility of the humble pastel. Beginning Oct. 4 and running through Nov. 16, "Passionate About Pastels," featuring eight local pastelistas (yes, we just made that word up), makes itself at home in Corbin Art Center's beautiful Daniel Corbin Gallery. There will also be a reception for the artists on the night of Visual Arts Tour.
Bureaucracy and the arts happily exist side by side within the cozy brick walls of Deer Park's City Hall. Formerly the high school, the building is now home to both City Hall and the Crawford Gallery, where you'll find the exhibit "Journeys" through Oct. 11, featuring the work of two artists. Born in New York City, Fabian Napolsky moved to the Northwest and quickly took to our fishing, canoeing and kayaking ways. Not surprisingly, water is a constant theme in his work. Marita McDonough, also a resident of the Pacific Northwest, parlays her love of nature into her new series of "Pioneer Women" sculptures.
EWU Gallery of Art
"Istvan Horkay: American Daguerreotypes" is the fascinating and slightly haunting show at EWU this fall, featuring digitally constructed collages inspired by the mid-18th-century invention of the daguerreotype. Layering photographs, visual references culled from pop culture, bits of text, art masterworks and signatures, the Hungarian-born artist strikes a delicate balance between the past and the present, the archaic and the timeless. The show opens on Oct. 3 and runs through Nov. 4.
One of Sandpoint's many little galleries, Gallery 105 offers original works by such local and regional artists as Steve Adams, David Hutchens, Elizabeth Merrill, Ana Willow Obermayr and Harold Balazs. Their fall show is "Art Takes Time," a group show of Obermayr, Francis Pearson, Marty Fromm and Tim Thomas.
Inland Craft Warnings
This year, one of the Inland Northwest's most beloved arts and crafts events celebrates its 20-year anniversary. More than 70 artists -- from the Northwest, California and beyond -- participate in this juried exposition, which takes place at the Convention Center Nov. 8-10. As in years past, the event includes original ceramics, jewelry, woodcarving, fiber arts, woodworking, stonecarving, furniture, metal work and more. Whether it's a hand-dyed wool shawl you're interested in, a mahogany rocking chair or a fetching pair of earrings, you'll find it at Inland Craft Warnings.
Jundt Art Museum
It's not surprising that the Jundt is opening its 2002-2003 season with "Past & amp; Present Northwest: Selections from the Permanent Collection." As the stunning red-gold serpentine curls of the Dale Chihuly installation piece in the Chancellor's room would attest, Gonzaga has a strong commitment not only to a fine collection of European art representing a span of centuries, but also to the Pacific Northwest's considerable roster of fine 20th-century artists.
Harold Balazs's alluring, mysterious Sarcophagi Androidia greets visitors at the entrance and provides a visual context for the rest of the show, which also includes works by Paul Horiuchi, Wendy Franklund Miller and Jacob Lawrence. A free public reception takes place on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 6-7:15 pm, followed by a tour on the night of the Visual Arts Tour, Oct. 4. Deborah Butterfield's internationally recognized skeletal equine sculptures are on exhibit from Oct. 25-Dec. 18.
Many visitors don't realize that the Jundt actually has two gallery spaces with changing shows: the main "Jundt" gallery and the Arcade Gallery, which runs on both sides of the entry corridor. Jim Hodges' "Constellation of an Ordinary Day," an installation of four panels sprouting light bulbs, neon tubes and other fascinatingly illuminated objects, runs now through Nov. 2, followed by the highly anticipated "Bovine Beauty," a culling of the museum's collection of all things hooved, uddered and four-stomached.
Whitworth College's Koehler Gallery welcomes Spokane artist Ken Yuhasz, whose "Found: Neon Objects" is open now and runs through Sept. 26. For this show, Yuhazs interprets objects commonly found in many Inland Northwest farming communities -- things like a plow, farm tools, the skull of a steer -- in neon and argon-filled tubing. A reception for the artist takes place at the gallery on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 5-7 pm.
We've covered shows by both Beth Lo and Lanny De Vuono in the past; this month we're excited to see them together in "Fair Skies/Fair Play" at the Lorinda Knight Gallery. The "play" element of the show comes from Lo's series of 14 plates, intended as illustrations for a children's book entitled Mah Jong All Day Long. Her wry depictions of properly behaved children are just one element of this installation, which also incorporates ceramic "bones," Chinese characters, terra cotta, porcelain and vases. The "skies" are the compelling work of Lanny De Vuono, who has often framed them by tree tops or by rectangular bars of black (suggesting the fleetingness of nature as seen from a car window). For this show, she brings her "Small Sky Series" of small wood boxes, each one a canvas for De Vuono's breathtaking miniature vistas. Still, just as Lo's work exhibits a cerebral, airy quality, De Vuono's is infused with a subtle sense of play. The boxes beg to be stacked; the landscapes invite the viewer to drop everything and go play.
From Oct. 4-26, Patrick Siler's installation of painting, drawing, ceramics and carved wood tables is on display, followed by the incomparable paintings and other works on paper of Keiko Hara, through Nov. 30.
The season ends with popular Spokane artist Kathleen Cavender, whose dreamlike landscapes are both a fitting way to end the year and to inspire others to take up pastel or brush as part of First Night, when Cavender will demonstrate her technique and lead an audience-participation session.
This gallery has just moved to Sandpoint's Cedar Street Bridge, which allows it not only to expand its collection of Stephen Lyman originals and prints, but also to incorporate more local and national artists. On Nov. 2, the Lyman welcomes area artists Barbara Janusz, Lisa McKay and Janene Grende for a grand opening reception from 2-4 pm.
Alden Mason's mystical, arresting images are one of the first offerings at the MAC this fall. His work is being shown both at the MAC, through Sept. 30, and at Dean Davis Studios, 216 W. Pacific Ave., Sept. 13-30. There will be a reception at the Dean Davis Studios on Sept. 13 from 5:30-10:30 pm with hors d'oeuvres and Maryhill wines (tickets: $15). The museum also has two new exhibits opening this fall, in addition to their two continuing "Hometowns" and "People of the Rivers" shows.
"Hutterite: A World of Grace -- The Photographs of Kristin Capp" opens in the Walter Gallery on Sept. 19 and runs through
Nov. 3 (see story, page 42).
On Nov. 23, the MAC proudly presents what they're calling their "blockbuster" show, "Young America: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum," which runs through Feb. 16 in the Walther and Day-Ellis Galleries. Fifty-four rare paintings and sculptures from the 1760s through the 1870s offer an unprecedented look at the transformation of the colonies into bona fide nationhood. Featured painters include, among others, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Hiram Powers and John Singleton Copley.
Metal to Magic Auction
The hard-working folks of the Davenport District Arts Board want you -- yes, YOU -- to help them make their dream of a downtown arts district a reality. One of the ways you can do that is by attending Metal to Magic on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 6-11 pm. This glittering gala takes place at the Steam Plant, where many of the artworks being auctioned originated. More than 60 local artists signed up for scrap metal and other industrial pieces from the Steam Plant, turned them into sculpture and now are ready to auction them off. Proceeds go to benefit both the Davenport District Arts Board's various development projects and the artists themselves. Throw in fancy hors d'oeuvres, wine and all sorts of elegant entertainment and basically, you've got yourself a certifiable happening. Be there.
Pipka Signing Event
In the world of collectibles, it's never too early to start thinking about Santa. German-born Pipka Ulvilden just goes by her first name now, and those who love Santa figurines have no doubt discovered her Father Christmas-type Santas with their long robes and stoic expressions. Pipka will be at Hastings in the Valley on Sept. 15 from 1-4 pm to sign her works.
The University of Idaho operates this impressive contemporary arts gallery in what was once a J.C. Penney building on Moscow's charming Main Street. Right now, the amusing "Quaint, Quixotic and Kitsch" takes a look at apparel and what it says not only about us, but to us. Articles of clothing come directly from the U of I Leila Old Historic Costume Collection; art pieces were contributed by Nancy Hathaway, Gerri Sayler, Louise Barber, David Overstreet, Kelly Williams and others.
River City Gallery
One of two Post Falls galleries, River City's current show is oils and gouache by Sharon Mille, oils and watercolor by Dietrich Meier-Grolman and woven baskets by Diana Tombleson. Their fall show is a joint effort between sculptor Melissa Swann Wagner and the Idaho Watercolor Society from Oct. 8 through Dec. 28.
Riverbend Art Gallery
This Post Falls art destination offers the unorthodox photography of Kathy Dionne and Jan Hannick through the month of September.
Ignore this gallery at your own peril. Director Tom O'Day consistently assembles some of the most cutting-edge exhibits we ever see in this town. Remember the Fluxus show a few years back? The Archie Bray exhibit? Last winter's Jose Bedia show? This year the gallery opens its season with "Hot Items: The Rekindling," a collection of incendiary student installations. On Sept. 25, New York artist Bill Saylor's "Espontaneo," a painting installation, re-envisions the gallery space. On Oct. 23, the first artist of the Visiting Artist Lecture series, Dana Plays, speaks in the Spartan Theatre, and on Oct. 28, submerge yourself in the black-and-white underwater photography of New York photographer Wayne Levine.
Spokane Art School
The Art School's new Huneke Gallery (well, not that new but it seems new in Arts & amp; Culture Editor years) is a clean, well-lighted place for art, reflection and appreciation, located in the northwest corner of the Spokane Art School. Now through Oct. 4, it will feature works by their considerable and multi-talented faculty, many of whom you can meet during the Visual Arts Tour reception. On Oct. 14, check out Harold Balazs's intriguing new show of "bricoleur" works. Bricoleur is a term for "one who collects and reuses bits and pieces, creating new forms and uses in the process." Some of these works come from Balazs's recent show at the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma, while others are quite recent. You've got until Nov. 20 to check it out.
Visiting Artist Series
While it's important to support local artists, it's also necessary to bring in "new blood" from time to time, especially when we're socked in by harsh Inland Northwest winters and can't travel as easily to exhibits in other cities. The Visiting Artist Lecture Series, jointly presented by EWU, the MAC and SFCC, endeavors to bring some of the world's most compelling contemporary artists to Spokane as speakers, presenters and, more importantly, visionaries. This year's theme is artists who work with either film or video, beginning with experimental filmmaker Dana Plays on Oct. 22 and 23. Her films have been featured at or won awards from the Seattle Film Festival, the Houston International Film Festival, the Whitney Museum of Art, the Montreal Nouveau Film Festival and the Black Maria Film Festival. Dates have yet to be announced for Stan Douglas and Peter Wiehl, who are scheduled for late winter and mid-spring, respectively.
Visual Arts Tour
You say you can never meet any cool, interesting people in this town? Think you have to move to Seattle to find any other arts-minded folk to hang out with? Think again, dear art-loving reader. The biannual Visual Arts Tour is your best chance to support the visual arts in Spokane and meet great people. Here's the deal: You're running around downtown after dark, lots of places have wine and cheese and live music, and people are wearing hip, attractive clothes. It's perfectly acceptable to sidle up to complete strangers and start conversations about, of course, the art. Even shy people can do it! The art's not bad, either. The fall leg of the Visual Arts Tour takes place on Friday, Oct. 4, from 5-9 pm. A pullout section complete with a self-guided tour map and articles will be in the Oct. 3 edition of The Inlander.
The usually thorny barriers between "art" and "craft" are cheerfully dissolved in "Challenge VI - Roots: Insights and Inspirations in Contemporary Turned Objects." WSU Museum Director Ross Coates describes it as "sculptural objects that began their life as objects turned on a lathe." This traveling, nationally recognized exhibit was an invitation for artisans to submit their distilled creations, along with poetry, pictures, objects or written experiences that inspired the finished pieces. Definitely worth the trip to see it. And on Nov. 1, "Pressure Points: Recent Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan and Mina Schnitzer Foundation," opens with an astonishing array of internationally renowned contemporary artists, including Chuck Close, Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, Louise Bourgeois and more. It'll be on view through Dec. 14.