Just across the way from WSU's Pullman campus is the equally impressive spread of University of Idaho in rural Moscow. With only slightly reduced summer hours, the University's Prichard Gallery continues to offer innovative exhibitions of student, faculty, local and national work like the upcoming student-led "Million Bead Project." Located at the corner of Fifth and Main, Prichard is open Tuesdays-Friday from 1-7 pm, Saturdays from 9am-4 pm. Visit www.webs.uidaho.edu/prichard or call (208) 885-3586.
Heading north up Highway 95, turn right at Coeur d'Alene and head east to the new Harper's Gallery in Wallace, which features photographs by Gay Waldman, glass by Steve Adams, sculpture by Steve Dennis and copper works by founder Rob Harper. The gallery, at 410 Sixth St., is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 am-5pm. Call (208) 512-1797.
Circle back through Coeur d'Alene, remembering to stop downtown at the handful of galleries there before continuing up north to Sandpoint and its half-dozen galleries. Timber Stand Gallery, which has recently relocated to 225 Cedar St, is dedicated to the legacy of wildlife artist Stephen Lyman. The gallery also favors Northwest and Western art, as well as plein air (outdoor) painters. At the recent Pend Oreille Arts Council Art Walk, the results of this year's annual Plein Air Paint-Out were on display, including works by British Columbia artist Jerry Markham. Other favorites at Timber Stand include the bronze sculptures of Dan Earle, the vibrant watercolor abstractions of Catherine (Lemaitre) Earle and the portraiture of James Christensen. Mondays and Wednesdays-Saturdays from 10 am-5:30 pm. Visit www.timberstand.com or call (208) 263-7748.
Beyond Sandpoint on Route 200 is the charming town of Hope, where Outskirts Gallery sits atop the rise facing majestic Lake Pend Oreille. Grab a bite to eat at the adjacent Hope Market Caf & eacute; while you browse through a hefty selection of art books in Outskirts' tiny but well-organized space. The art mix ranges from the abstractions of Ruth Hargreaves to the surreal-infused paintings of Tamara and Boone Helm to Mel McCuddin's figurative paintings. Outskirts also has a large holding of the quirky but exquisitely handcrafted ceramic and mixed-media brush works by Glenn Grishkoff, who last year spent the summer in residence at Outskirts while conducting workshops. Located at 620 Wellington Place, Outskirts Gallery is open Wednesdays-Sundays from 10 am-6 pm. Call (208) 264-5856.
Heading into Bonners Ferry on Highway 95, you'll discover Groove Studio, a cooperative that opened in June 2006 and features 1,600 square feet of work by local artists. Located on the corner of Main and Kootenai in a renovated turn-of-the-century building, Groove features a range of media, including glass, gourd art, woodwork, jewelry, ceramics and stone. Look for the plein air paintings of Kate Weisberg, the sumptuous landscape and outdoor photography of Tim Cady, and the colorful, Picasso-esque portraits by Jeff Hugh, which were featured at Sandpoint's Pend d'Oreille Winery during the recent Artwalk. Open Mondays-Fridays from 10 am-6 pm and on Saturdays-Sundays from 11 am-4 pm. Visit www.groovestudio.us or call (208) 267-8020.
The final destination on our tour of outlying North Idaho art galleries is Entree Gallery, nestled in the thick pine trees of Nordman, en route to Priest Lake. Located on 1755 Reeder Bay Rd., Entr & eacute;e Gallery was started by Pam and Jim Martin in 1977. Representing more than 100 local and regional artists, Entree's gallery includes both interior and exterior space, with sculpture by Harold Balazs and David Govedare spilling out into the garden area and across the lawn. Inside, Monica Stobie's pastels on bark paper are innovative, while the Ross Hall collection of historic Priest Lake and surrounding areas invokes nostalgia. Other works include Tom Wakely's paintings and the mammoth paintings and sculpture of Coeur d'Alene-based Terry Lee. Entr & eacute;e also sponsors events, including an upcoming class by Stan Miller, an instructor at Spokane Art School and Community Colleges of Spokane, whose egg tempera and watercolor paintings are luminous. Open daily from 10 am-6pm. Visit www.entreegallery.com or call (208) 443-2001.
Wherever your plans take you this summer -- to the historic Silver Valley, the rolling Palouse, or the timber-rich enclaves of North Idaho's lake country -- consider taking a road less traveled. Prepare for a visual adventure.