by Mike Corrigan

In addition to all the works of visual art you will find on display at this fall's Visual Arts Tour, you tourists d'art will also get a chance to experience methods of personal and group expression that fall a bit outside of the VAT's traditionally defined realm. These come in the form of live music, dance and performance art.

Take the Fox Arts Festival, for example. To emphasize the important role the Fox plays in Spokane's burgeoning arts scene, our lovely art deco theatre will become the site of a party that should bring the corner of Sprague and Monroe to a boil with drama and possibilities. Running throughout Friday night's art tour are exhibits, presentations and live performances of original and challenging works from dozens of local artists representing a vast, multi-media array of artistic disciplines. You'll find it on the Fox stage, in the gorgeous lobby and mezzanine areas, in all of the Fox storefront windows -- even projected (that's right, projected) on the theatre's exterior walls.

The exhibits include visual works such as paintings in oil by David Milligan and Karen Harwood, watercolors by Nadine Kay, Japanese paper dolls by Patti Reiko Osebold, ceramics by Kyle Patterson and decorative, die-cut lampshades by Charlotte Yocum. Ballet Spokane, the Spokane Opera and a host of other artists and performers will also be on hand to present a talent showcase in the theater from 5-8 pm.

Which brings us to the live music component of the festival, a one-time-only event organizers are calling the "Fox Folk Den." Located in one of the theater's currently vacant storefronts (on the Monroe side, in the old Jet Set travel agency space), this intimate music venue will feature performances from two of Spokane's most talked-about female artists -- Annie O'Neill and Melody Moore -- along with a bevy of special guests.

On Saturday night, the Spike Coffeehouse keeps the festive Visual Arts Tour spirit alive and in overdrive with a music-and-barbecue thing they're calling "Rockin' the Alley." Not to be confused with "Rally in the Alley" (which didn't come together this year), the Spike's deal is nevertheless similar to that music/food fest in that a) it takes place in the same alley -- the one on South Monroe between First Avenue and the train tracks; b) it features great live music, food and a community vibe; and c) it's free. Well, the music and community feeling are free. There is a nominal cost associated with the food, but considering it's barbecue from the Big Easy's Bourbon Street Grill, any green you lay down for grub should be green well spent.

Musically, this alcohol-free, all-ages bash represents a stylistic mixed bag of talent (though it certainly leans in a rock direction) including locals Mylestone (at 1:30 pm), the Federales (2:30 pm), Everything Beautiful (3:45 pm), Mang (5 pm) and the all-femme Mechanical Dolls from Olympia (6:15 pm). Things move indoors at 8 pm, when local rap artist Locke sets the beats and rhymes in motion down in the Spike's new "underground" performance space. Visual treats by artist Jonny "the X" Rugan will also be on display.

Publication date: 09/30/04

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