Best Arts Festival
Art on the Green
Summer-green grass dappled in shadow from tall pines that envelop the festival grounds, blue-grey lake in the distance, azure sky overhead, flashes of every color imaginable on clay, glass, metal, wood, fabric, canvas and paper. The smell of kettle corn, the sounds of children laughing and distant music, the warmth of the sun on your face. This is why Coeur d'Alene's Art on the Green was inducted into the Inlander's Best Of Hall of Fame last year. And why it won again this year.
2nd PLACE: ArtFest; 3rd PLACE: Terrain
Clearly, Jess Walter is a favored literary force in Spokane. His books are revered, his short stories and essays are quickly passed around social media when they pop up in magazines and journals, and his podcast A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment (co-hosted with this category's runner-up) is a must-listen for aspiring writers and fans alike. But we suspect another reason Walter won this category is his constant support of other writers in the local scene, as well as his support of literary events large and small. It's inspiring to behold, and a great example for other authors to follow.
2nd PLACE: Sherman Alexie; 3rd PLACE: Sharma Shields
Best Visual Artist
Ben Joyce's unique "abstract topophilia" style is what made his name among regional art lovers, and his name just seems to get bigger every year. While his geography-inspired artwork continues to flourish in both public installations and private collections across the country, a definite highlight of Joyce's 2016 was the opening of the ben GALLERY in downtown Spokane in December.
2nd PLACE: Chris Bovey
3rd PLACE: Harold Balazs
Best Independent Art Gallery
1st Place: Marmot Art Space
2nd Place: Art Spirit Gallery
3rd Place: Saranac Art Projects
1st Place: Marshall McLean
2nd Place: Cami Bradley
3rd Place: Lucas Brookbank Brown