Whimsy at Tinman Artworks in Spokane

It's an effective pairing of two similar but unique artists at Tinman Artworks in Spokane's Garland district. Dara Harvey and Erin Crooks-Wallace are exhibiting through August 2 with works that share a bit of whimsy.

Dara's pop-surreal stylings invariably allude to darker things, even though her paint handling is expertly light and clean. With Harvey, color is luxurious wonder to be melded and blended and layered in such a way as to always suggest both movement and suspended animation. Her odd assortment of characters cavort on canvas, morphing themselves from 2D to 3D sculptures and back again, this exhibit showing numerous of her paper mache, cloth-formed and mixed-media figures.

Erin Crooks-Wallace starts with a painting surface and collages onto or builds up the surface with bits of text, painting, drawing, and ephemera that might range from a coin to a scrap of clothing. The overall effect is actually sort of scrapbookish, although her crafting is very clean and she has a strong sense of composition. The other plus for these works is in her ability to work in a variety of media--chalk, paint, sculpture--and still maintain a consistent feel to the work, which is generally light-hearted and fun to look at.