There is something compelling about Ross Hall's photographs, something that makes them as powerful today (or more so) than they were when he first created them beginning in the 1930s. Some of his photos are so obviously posed, others so stylized and dramatic they could easily come off as silly under a less skillful eye. Yet what comes through in the unmistakably lush grayscale of traditional black and white photos is Hall's sincerity and reverence for the north Idaho landscape and those who populated it. His artful liberties with his subject matter were a hallmark of his generation, like Maxfield Parrish through the lens, simply a matter of style.

And the results were often stunning, like "Fishermen's Phantasy," left.

One of the most popular images from 1934 image, entitled "It's a Wonderful Life," a depiction of a snowy Sandpoint First Avenue. Other memorable images include his stunning winter scenes, beautiful landscape photos, and works portraying life for a panoply of loggers, Native Americans, townsfolk and recreational fishermen.

All in all, Hall amassed more than 60,000 negatives, according to his website, which also includes a treasure chest of information about Hall, his beloved and recently passed-away wife, Hazel, and son Dann.

The photos themselves are, to be sure, beautiful to look at. And with a twinge of nostalgia, one can't help but feel the pangs for a time that seemed simpler and a landscape more majestic and wild. Moreso than the photos, though, is the appeal of the story of Ross Hall himself: a pioneer of sorts who overcame adversity to engage in a lifelong romance with everything he photographed. What a legacy.

At Entree Gallery Reeder Bay location, Nordman (Idaho), 208.443.2001. Through September 30th.

Spokane Eye Clinic "SEES" Benefit in Incorporating Artwork into New Facility

Shortly after the Spokesman-Review printed a Dallas Morning News article on the healing power of artwork on the walls, I got a press release from the Spokane Eye Clinic about the artwork they'd recently commissioned.

The Clinic has adopted the approach espoused in the article, which is to treat the whole person, to understand that subtle things like color, imagery and pattern affect our emotional state--sometimes profoundly--including recovery.

The Eye Clinic's new south-side facility (at 427 South Bernard) features regional artwork specifically geared towards the Clinic's patients.

"Because so many people who visit the Spokane Eye Clinic are visually impaired," stated their press release, "special attention has been given to selecting high‐contrast pieces."
Jennifer Bardsley's vibrant wildlife images (above left), for example, will appear in the children's waiting area.

Kathleen Cavendar's luscious landscapes (below right) are also featured. Other artists included are David Govedare, John Clement, Mary Lehener, Fabian Napolsky, LR Montgomery, and Dale Nunn.

Folks across the country tuned in for the first broadcast of "Ready Made Radio," the latest creation by Bernadette Vielbig, a nationally known artist represented locally by Lorinda Knight Gallery. Vielbig, who is also an instructor at SFCC, created the new public radio program with the help of a grant by Washington State Arts Commission.

The show airs every Thursday at 3pm PST on KYRS, 89.9 or 92.3 FM. Internet listeners, such as those listening from as far away as Seattle during the first broadcast, tune into To listen over the web, simply click on "Listen Now," then the yellow volume knob.

Vielbig has been interviewing local people in the arts, starting with Tom O'Day, a fellow instructor at SFCC who, as Vielbig quipped, "likes to blow things up." Other interviewees include Gabe Brown, a performance-based and installation artist who recently had a show at the MAC, and yours truly, who got an opportunity to talk about the current/continuing state of apathy for the arts in our culture.

Broadcasts are fairly spontaneous and lively, peppered with questions, snippets of music or other audio provided by the interviewee, and infused with Vielbig's trademark mahogany-toned laughter. Vielbig is always looking for interesting her at 509.747-3012 or via email at

Four Reasons to Go To Sandpoint

Outskirts Gallery in Hope Idaho

Small, intensive art classes in this historic town overlooking the lake with internationally-known artists.

  • August 29 is the 1-day brush workshop with Glenn Grishkoff.
  • September 12-13 features Tom Woodward and Glenn Grishkoff for "photographing the brushed landscape."
Contact the gallery at 208.264.5696 or organizer

ArtWalk II 2009
Continuing through September 13, more than 40 businesses and art venues. Emerging to well-established artists. Don't miss: Ben Olson's photography at Downtown Crossing; Ruth Hargreaves' paintings and Will Venard's sculpture at Taylor-Parker Motor; Dan McCann's assemblages at Pend Oreille Winery, and the photography show at the Pend Oreille Arts Council gallery (in the Power House).
Go to for specific locations.

Artists' Studio Tour
Only one week remaining to tour artists' studios throughout the beautiful Bonner countryside, including out through Sagle, in Sandpoint and up into Hope. Go to

Sandpoint in general
Log on to for movies at the Panida, concerts, places to eat and a whole bunch of cool stuff to do. No shortage of fabulous restaurants. Fun little shops to wander around. Gorgeous lake. Good karma.

It was like walking into my high school mind at Object Space the other day when BV and I checked out Object Space, an alternative arts/happening/music kind of space at 1818 1/2 East Sprague. They were hosting a punk reunion of sorts and surprisingly, it made the media rounds.

The face behind the space, more or less, is Bruce Hormann, who is gritting it out locally to make a difference in the Spokane arts and culture scene. He's an artist, whose installations (another surprise) made the media rounds when the Spokesman profiled him this past February (read article here).

Living in Idaho as I do and otherwise occupied teaching, etc. as I am, I'm admittedly a little lapse when it comes to this aspect of the artscene. It was like a shot in the arm. Maybe there is some hope for the arts in our area...

Follow the Yellow Brick Tinman Artworks OZ-Vitational

They're a little short on tigers and bears but lions are in abundance at Tinman Artworks first ever OzVitational art exhbition. More than 40 artists will be participating, many of them regional and regulars at Tinman. Others jumped over the rainbow at the chance to make something unique for this exhibition, which is hosted by Tinman Artworks in Spokane's Garland district.

Some highlights: a tornado blown in specially from Allen and Mary Dee Dodge's collaborative work with sculptor Harold Balazs.
Ric Gendron's creepy-cool "Mr. Stubbs" painting.
Karen Kaiser's drawing from the original book series (there's a book series? Who knew?)
Gordon's Wilson's cinematic mixed-media drawing.
Margot Casstevens and Kurt Madison's custom jewelry box made from the "remains" of Dorothy's house.
Melissa Cole's "Lion in Poppies," shown here.

Some of the work is schlocky. Some of it is stunningly crafted. All will delight and tickle your nostalgic nose.