From quiet galleries to outdoor art making, get ready to be inspired or get hands-on this summer

click to enlarge From quiet galleries to outdoor art making, get ready to be inspired or get hands-on this summer
Young Kwak photo
Keep your hands busy at Spokane Print & Publishing Center.

While some may think of art as an indoor-only activity, relegated to museums, classrooms and studios, the myriad media and forms that fall under this vast umbrella of a word are actually quite conducive to warm weather. Consider the proliferation of outdoor art festivals and markets, for example, or the worry-free setting of doing extra messy projects under a sunny sky or a shady tree. Or the cool, calm reprieve that a museum or fine art gallery can offer to sweaty tourists and those of us living without the luxury of air conditioning. You see, art doesn't really have a season, but if it did, summer would always be our first choice.

STAY CLASSY

Looking to try your hand at a specific art medium this summer? Chances are you can find a local artist willing to share their expert knowledge with you through one of many classes offered in the area.

For the aspiring artist that lives in all of us, Spokane Art School has a plethora of options to try out. Watercolor painting with Andi Keating (June 26-30) aims to unlock your inner whimsy, and Tom Quinn is ready to prepare you for some serious art crash courses as he teaches portraiture and leads a lecture series all about the history of art (both sessions are July 4-Aug. 8). See what else you can learn at spokaneartschool.net.

How cool would it be to create a masterpiece with your own hands this summer? At Spokane Print & Publishing Center you can do just that. Create a Lego-printed Zine with local bookbinder Mel Antuna Hewitt (June 22), carve your own wood block prints with Reinaldo Gil Zambrano (June 24) or, if you're feeling adventurous, take an Advanced Letterpress class to learn how to make your own prints using these fascinating machines (July 22). Check out SPPC's other class offerings at spokaneprint.org.

For a true array of topics to try out, look no further than the public library system. This summer, the Spokane Public Library is offering various classes such as a sketchbook workshop with Amalia Fisch for the creatives looking to keep all of their ideas in one place, and an Indian folk art class led by Devika Gates (July 9). For more information head to spokanelibrary.org.

For even more summertime art classes, check out the calendars of Emerge in Coeur d'Alene, Art Salvage Spokane, and the Corbin Art Center operated by Spokane Parks and Recreation.

click to enlarge From quiet galleries to outdoor art making, get ready to be inspired or get hands-on this summer
N.C. Wyeth's Untitled Landscape (1923) is on display alongside art by his son and grandson at the MAC through Aug. 20.

MOMENTS AT THE MUSEUM

When temperatures rise to unbearable levels and heading to the nearest lake isn't an option, stay cool indoors and spend a relaxing afternoon at one of the region's esteemed art museums.

Through Aug. 20, the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture is displaying the marquee touring exhibit, "The Wyeths: Three Generations," part of the Bank of America Collection's Art in Our Communities Program. Among the 66 paintings featured are the sweeping coastal scenes of N.C. Wyeth alongside art by his son Andrew, grandson Jamie, and other members of the prolifically talented family of American painters. While you're at the MAC, also stop in to see "Frank S. Matsura: Portraits From the Borderland," featuring images by the Washington-based, Japanese photographer. Matsura's photos of Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest were captured during the dawn of the 20th century, a time of great social transformation. Finally, Pakistan-born artist Humaira Abid's "Searching for Home" is up through Aug. 6, showcasing intricately detailed wood carvings offering commentary on the plight of women and children forced to flee their homes as refugees. Find hours, admission and more at northwestmuseum.org.

While Gonzaga University's campus tends to empty out for the summer months, that doesn't mean its Jundt Art Museum goes into holiday hibernation. Quite the opposite, in fact, and this summer marks the eighth iteration of its Drawn to the Wall series. Every three years, the Jundt invites a handful of regional artists to draw or paint directly onto the Arcade Gallery's walls for a temporary installation that's painted over after the show's closure, this year on Aug. 26. This summer's featured artists for "Drawn to the Wall VIII: Installations" are Mariah Boyle, Katie Creyts, Tobi Harvey and Rob McKirdie, who are building multimedia installations inside gallery display cases. The Jundt also hosts the "Inland Northwest Modern Quilt Juried Exhibition" through Aug. 24, a showcase of contemporary textiles. More at gonzaga.edu/jundt.

Down on the Palouse, Washington State University's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is another cool sanctuary for quiet contemplation. Before the end of June, catch the tail end of "What Was Always Yours and Never Lost," a showcase of video art and experimental documentaries by nine Indigenous artists, curated by MacArthur Fellow Sky Hopinka. Opening at the end of summer, just as students return to the Pullman campus, the museum unveils two new exhibitions on Aug. 22. In "They Teach Love," Indigenous artist Jeffrey Gibson combines traditional materials evoking American Indian culture with ordinary objects. "Here in a Homemade Forest," meanwhile, complements WSU's 2023-23 Common Reading title Braiding Sweetgrass, highlighting themes from the book via fine art prints, cultural artifacts and other objects. More at museum.wsu.edu.

LANDMARK VISIONS

This new art program is perfect for people who love living in Spokane and want to dip their toes into the world of creating art. Led by art journaling aficionado Robyn Smith, participants of Art in the Park create paintings inspired by the scenery in Riverfront Park. Each session ($25) focuses on a different theme starting with the Red Wagon on July 12. Other sessions feature the Numerica SkyRide on July 19, everyone's favorite park-inhabitant, the Garbage Goat, on July 26 and end with a painting of the Pavilion on Aug. 2. Get details at robynsmithartadventures.com.

click to enlarge From quiet galleries to outdoor art making, get ready to be inspired or get hands-on this summer
Young Kwak photo
Buy local art, or try making your own.

FEELING FESTIVE

Open-air markets of all kinds are a summer must-do for many, so mark your calendars if you haven't yet for the return of these three annual art happenings. Up first is Terrain's Bazaar (June 17), which boasts thousands of handmade items (most pieces are $100 or less) from 142 regional makers, artists and art-based businesses in the heart of downtown Spokane along Main Avenue. For a full weekend in early August, Art on the Green (Aug. 4-6) transforms the pine tree-shaded grounds of North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene to a creative mecca for the 55th year. Artists, musicians, performers, food trucks and much more descend onto the grass for all ages to enjoy. The following weekend, Arbor Crest Wine Cellar's historic, clifftop grounds play host to Art & Glass Fest (Aug. 12-13, ages 21+), showcasing a range of artists working with glass, jewelry, metal, paint, wood and more.

SOLID GROUND

At any given moment, there's no shortage of incredible locally made art to see in galleries, museums and other public spaces across the Inland Northwest. If you're looking for a small, more intimate gallery experience, Terrain's fine art gallery just north of the Monroe Street Bridge is always a treat for the senses.

Starting off its summer calendar and on display through June is Kristen Morley's "You Were Always Home," a body of work directly informed by the artists' own conflicted and complicated relationships with their physical, human body. (Through July 1)

After Morley's art departs, Spokane artist Hannah Charlton shows her illuminated manuscript-style art for "The Illuminated Book of the City of Ladies," an ongoing project to depict the historical and mythical female figures from a 15th century book of the same name by Christine de Pizan, a feminist who was thinking way ahead of her time. (July 7-29)

Up next is Chance Lucy for "Consumer Culture," which reimagines popular brands and everyday product logos as art. (Aug. 4-26)

Finally, before the chill of fall sets in, Terrain hosts a dual showcase of watercolors by Aleeta Renee Jones in "Ancient Dreams" alongside the paintings of Jun Oh in "JAEMI." (Sept. 1-30) More at terrainspokane.com. ♦

Spring on the Ave @ Sprague Union District

Sat., April 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
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Madison Pearson

Madison Pearson is the Inlander's Listings Editor, managing the calendar of events and covering everything from libraries to mid-century modern home preservation for the Arts & Culture section of the paper. She joined the staff in 2022 after completing a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Washington...

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's Editor, and has been on staff since 2012. Her past roles at the paper include arts and culture editor, food editor and listings editor. She also currently serves as editor of the Inlander's yearly, glossy magazine, the Annual Manual. Chey (pronounced "Shay") is a lifelong resident...