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The "We Are Still Here" art show gives voice to nearly two dozen Native American artists

click to enlarge A piece by Tarran Kipp Last Gun featured at the "We Are Still Here" exhibit.
  • A piece by Tarran Kipp Last Gun featured at the "We Are Still Here" exhibit.

It's an unlikely place for an arts-based business. Atop a bar, bordered by a pool hall, cannabis outlet, auto parts store and lots of asphalt, Hatch: Creative Business Incubator steadily has been transforming 9,000 square feet of industrial space with artists, musicians, writers and assorted creatives.

Darrell Wilcox, Jared Anderson and Willow Rosales have taught art classes. There have been drawing sessions from a live model, murals by Todd and Cain Benson, music jams and art exhibits.

Businesses renting space there include Loud and Proud Online Entertainment, which promotes LGBTQ bands; ARU: A Creative Company; Magicraftsman Printing; LollarPop Productions, which does digital animation; and Terra Obscura arts magazine. The plan is to be an outreach-focused nonprofit.

"Art heals and creative expression liberates," says Jennifer LaRue, a co-founder of Terra Obscura. "Our mission is to serve as an anchor; a secure place in which expression, critical thinking and growth is possible by offering a voice for those who wish to speak, and the means to do so."

This weekend, the "We Are Still Here" art show will give voice to nearly two dozen Native American artists and musicians from near and far — Coeur d'Alene, Colville, Spokane, Blackfoot, Navajo, Sioux, Tlingit, Hopi, Iroquois. Some are well-known, like painter Ric Gendron and musician Jim Boyd.

Curated by Joeseph Arnoux, the three-day event interweaves traditional and contemporary Native American culture. Besides beading and painting, for example, there's a live painting by Jacob Johns, as well as spoken word and drumming, but also dubstep.

The exhibition's timing — during the week when most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving — was intentional. "This show is not to glorify the romanticized vision we all learn to know in elementary school," says Arnoux on the event's Facebook page. Overall, however, the intent of the exhibition is inclusive, he says, noting that proceeds from a live auction will benefit the Salish School.

"We kind of just adapted our skills to a different medium," explains Arnoux of the range in Native American art and of Native Americans in general. "We're always adapting."

"We Are Still Here" • Nov. 20-22: Fri, 5 pm-midnight; Sat-Sun, 10 am-5 pm • Hatch: Creative Business Incubator • 9612 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley • Free • hatchspokane.com • 808-9822

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