Visual Arts - Garland District

by Ann M. Colford

During last February's Visual Arts Tour, Tinman Artworks on Garland Avenue held its grand opening, joining Felisa Carranza's studio to become just the second art space in the neighborhood. For this week's tour, Garland will be a lively hub of activity, with three new sites lined up in the historic district. Tinman owner Sue Bradley is excited by enthusiasm for art among her neighbors.

"We're now putting art up in the Rocket Bakery," she says. "And Violin Works across the street has some of our pieces, too."

Art work created by students at Spokane Falls Community College will adorn the walls of the Rocket Bakery on Garland for the month of October. She'll continue to place consignment work by local artists in the coffee shop on an ongoing basis and says she has just agreed to a similar arrangement with the downtown Rocket on Main Street in the East End.

Right next door to the Rocket Bakery, tucked in beside Garland Printing, is the brand-spanking-new Southpaw Newsstand and Card Shop. At Studio 901 inside, local artist Jesse Peck presents the opening exhibit, A Certain Slant of Light, a selection of still life and figurative paintings done in oil on canvas. Work on the space is still in progress as we go to press, but it promises to be ready for Friday night's festivities.

One of Bradley's coups this summer was getting artwork onto the walls at Corky's during the Garland Festival. Pleased by that experience, Corky's owner Karl Kuntz has agreed to take part in the Visual Arts Tour as well. For one night only, the detailed egg tempera works of Bennye Rushton will complement the wood-paneled walls and orange-and-brown booths at the classic '60s-vintage former drive-in. Without a doubt, Corky's serves up the best burgers, fries and shakes of any venue on the tour, and the joint's landmark sign at the corner of Garland and Monroe - along with its neighbor at the Garland Theater - serve up a visual delight as prime examples of outdoor advertising kitsch.

At the Tinman space itself, in addition to the fun cards and gifts, Spokane watercolor artist Don Clegg will hold his first local solo gallery show in more than a decade. Celebrating the Seasons is the name of both the exhibition and Clegg's new book from North Light Books, available for sale at the gallery. In the book, Clegg explains the basics of color, light and composition for budding watercolorists and gives step-by-step demonstrations of useful techniques, following a seasonal theme. Clegg takes most of his subjects right out of his backyard and garden, so the colors and textures vary according to the weather.

"Just about everything I do is seasonal," he says. "The newer work in the show came from this summer's garden. I'm now switching gears for fall - I just did something with apples and plums."

Clegg will be on hand for the Friday night reception to talk about his work and sign copies of the book. Later this month, on the weekend of October 18-19, he'll hold a watercolor workshop at Tinman Artworks; registration for the workshop will be open during the reception.

A couple of blocks away, artist Felisa Carranza opens her workshop and studio on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon to show new mixed media pieces done in the collage style. Expressing a reverence for the hands as tools of creation, the exhibit En Sus Manos (In His Hands) features Carranza's large and small sculptures as well as giclee prints.

"The hands are so important," she says. "It's all about the power of touch, the power of loving, and the power of creating. And, of course, painting is through the hands. It's the hands touching the universe."

In addition to all the art on the walls, the district itself is a model for the kind of mixed-use neighborhood center favored by the city's Comprehensive Plan. The closely congregated buildings give a pedestrian lots of eye candy and invite the kind of active street life that signals a vibrant neighborhood and city. Plenty of free on-street parking is available, and other neighborhood vendors are considering extending their hours this Friday evening as well.

Publication date: 10/02/03

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