LOOK AND LEARN
Looking at art can be as simple as walking down the street and admiring a public sculpture or as involved as reading an artist's statement as you ponder their unique perspective. Whatever your interest and comfort level, get out and look at some art this summer.
At Saranac Art Projects, for example, consider the viewpoint of artists Roin Morigeau and Mana Mehrabian's works in Invisible Sight, consisting of site-specific sculptural and video installations, as well as Dan McCann's Mechanic Of. Closing June 29, this is one of many dynamic exhibitions during Spokane's first annual Queer Art Walk. Visit saranacartprojects.org.
Behold the kraken with its monstrous tentacles emerging from the sea, the African water spirit known as Mami Wata, and the monkey-like Feejee mermaid — they're just a few of the fantastical creatures on display at Giants, Dragons & Unicorns this summer (through Sept. 2) at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. Organized by the American Museum of Natural History, the collections includes interactive displays, detailed models and recreations of figures from throughout history. Speaking of history, while you're at the MAC, see four decades of work by Wendy Franklund Miller (through Aug. 18). Visit northwestmuseum.org.
Head to Sandpoint for the Pend Oreille Arts Council's Annual Arts & Crafts Fair Aug. 10-11, which this year will be held in town (versus City Beach). The two-day event is heavy on craft media — sculpture, ceramics, fiber, wood, leather goods — with a youth art area, food vendors and a generally festive atmosphere. It happens to coincide with the Saturday farmer's market and Festival at Sandpoint, so think about making a weekend out of it. Visit artinsandpoint.org/arts-crafts-fair. Sandpoint is a groovy little town with several art galleries and interesting public art, which you can check out at sandpointidaho.gov.
As they do every year, Arbor Crest hosts an Art & Glass Festival, upping your chances of finding a lovely wine glass for your collection. And of course there is plenty of vino (and beer) with which to fill your glass, or whatever treasures you find at this free event at the winery's Cliff House Estate, Aug. 24-25, which also features live music, food for purchase and a view you simply have to experience at least once this summer.
GET INTO ARTMAKING
Would you pay $40 for a glass of wine? Maybe if it were L'Ecole, right? Or if it was an original artwork you got to take home? That's the idea behind, Paint Your Own Wine Glass, a variation on the paint 'n' sip format at Scratch's Rain Lounge on June 17. Visit Eventbrite and search for Pour Your Art Out events.
Every year the Coeur d'Alene Casino does a Plateau painting class featuring local tribal artists, including Ric Gendron and Jeremy Salazar. This year the featured artist is Diane Covington, Colville Confederated Tribes, Sanpoil Band/Spokane. It's two hours of informal and informative painting instruction with all materials provided, June 29. See cdacasino.com.
The artist Nicholas Sironka makes batik accessible for all ages in this class where you learn to use wax and dye to create vibrant images on fabric. The Batik Art Workshop is July 13 at the MAC. Visit northwestmuseum.org.
Spokane Art School is an ideal place to get back to the land with three classes designed for interested parties high school-aged and older. Learn basic landscape painting with Nora Egger, June 25, 27 and 28 ($60), then come back July 30, Aug. 6, 13 and 20 to learn from Owen McAuley ($80). For August, try your hand at soft pastels to create a landscape with Doug Martindale, Aug. 8, 15, 22 and 29 ($80). Visit spokaneartschool.net.
Every year, Urban Art Co-Op has a Scoops and Bowl sale of handmade bowls filled with ice cream (July 20 at Manito North Shelter) to raise funds for their organization, which provides low-cost ceramics and other art classes. Learn how to make your own bowl on the pottery wheel or any number of clay techniques at their Monroe Avenue facility. Visit urbanartcoop.org.
In Coeur d'Alene, Gizmo makerspace has morphed its annual festival into a true Mini Maker Faire July 13 featuring things for all ages to do and try. Learn about the fascinating field of lapidary — gemstones and gem-cutting — from Irv's Jewelry and Rock Lapidary. Create your own "mutant toy." And see how Say Roar Studios is creating animation. All free! Visit gizmo-cda.org.
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS
If you haven't ever participated in ArtWalk, put it on the list! It's free, offers numerous venues, is self-paced and you are sure to find something that intrigues you. Time your visit for the opening reception and you get to meet and talk with the artists, too.
In Sandpoint, ArtWalk goes through Sept. 21 with two receptions: one on June 21, and another on July 26. Visit artinsandpoint.org.
Get out of town with a twofer experience on the Palouse June 21 when both Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, celebrate all things art. The Palouse ArtWalk goes the whole weekend, featuring 15-20 artists exhibiting at the Palouse Community Center.
Moscow's ArtWalk includes at least 100 artists at 65 host locations, including downtown, which is closed to vehicular traffic for the one-day event. "This is kind of a street-fair style event," says Moscow Arts program manager Megan Cherry.
Featured downtown is a hands-on session for kids with the city's poet laureate, Susan Hodgin; demonstrations like lacemaking and 3D chalk art; two stages for live musical and other performances; and artist Ali Koski doing T-shirt printing on-demand with her Traveling T. Everyone gets in on this event, including Public Works, which brings out all the heavy equipment kids have painted over the years plus one for kids to work on during the event. ♦