Sally Graves Machlis and Todd Volz, Chase Gallery, Spokane, Wa. Thru August 1.

When I was in art school at Mason Gross School of Arts, there was (and probably still is) a hierarchy of what was preferred. My instructors were "serious," mostly New York artists (read: painters, a few performance artists, a smattering of sculptors, metal of course). Thus there were three things you did not want to do: personal work, narrative work, or anything that remotely dealt with "craft" (read: paper, fabric, even ceramics). Ridiculous, isn't it? Sad but true, the art world is inherently snobbish (the fact that I begin this post by establishing my art background credentials could be offered as proof...mea culpa.)

Regardless, these two artists fly in the face of the elitist establishment in that they work with such things as narrative and nostalgia in materials like paper, books, and ceramics. Both instructors at University of Idaho, this is an ideal pairing of works which complement each other and make for a pleasant show with broad appeal. 

While it would be delightfully shocking to see something really, really contemporary at Chase (perhaps...gasp...something even the teensiest bit controversial), one has to respect that it's Public. Besides, can you image how voters would react at the glimpse of an exposed body part in the background of the mayoral broadcast from City Hall? No, television is simply not the appropriate vehicle for such things.