We love Art on the Edge. They do great things for kids and community, including their summer camp programs. Low-cost, lots of interesting stuff, and all about the arts.

Registration for summer camp is filling up. Check out the link here.

Welcome new Posting: Lewis-Clark State College

It's always nice (and refreshing) to know someone is actually reading this blog so when I got an email from Lewis-Clark State College about an upcoming exhibit, my first reaction was "They have a gallery?" and then, "Sure! We'll hook you up."

Their link is added to the Links portion of this blog, but you can just mark your calendar now for the upcoming Chinese Remembering Project, whichwill open with a reception on June 4, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Seventh Avenue Gallery in Lewiston and run from June 4 to July 16.

The exhibit will feature Chinese artifacts from the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude’s in Cottonwood, ID, and the LCSC Center’s Beuk Aie Temple Collection. Alongside the historical narrative of the Chinese Remembering Project, artist Sarah Gilbert will present her work on memory. Gilbert’s work speaks eloquently through the medium of glass and found objects about the nature of loss and employs the sublime as a metaphor for healing.

The Chinese Remembering Project coincides with the third and final Chinese Remembering Conference, which brings together scholars, teachers and the public. This year’s conference specifically highlights the influence of the early Chinese and the contributions they made to Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. The conference will be held in Lewiston, ID, on June 24-25, 2010.

Admission to the Chinese Remembering Project featuring Sarah Gilbert’s work, will be open to the public, free of charge, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays at the Center for Arts & History.

The Chinese Remembering Project is made possible by the Office of Community Programs at Lewis-Clark State College and by a grant from US Bancorp.

The Mission of the LCSC Center for Arts & History is to educate and engage community in an appreciation of culture, history and arts.  For more information please visit our website at www.lcsc.edu/museum or call 208.792.2243.

ArtFest June 4 Celebrates 25 Years

Sponsored by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, ArtsFest is the public-access version of the museum's arts programming. Kid-friendly, lots of arts and crafts with commercial appeal, and the usual festival atmosphere: music, food, etc.

I'll be writing up some Inlander pieces on a few artists and you can bet Inlander will have lots of coverage on this event, too.

Don't forget to stop by KYRS radio, which will have an information booth. They've been expanding too, steadily increasing funding and community support for their small but vital arts, community and cultural programming. Congrats KYRS on your latest grants and plans to build a new tower!

June 4, Cda Park in Browne's Addition. 

Quick Notice Item: U of I Art Exhibit, Alfred Dunn

May 20, 2010

Media Contact: Karen Hunt, University Communications, (208) 885-7251, klhunt@uidaho.edu

Exhibit Showcases Former University of Idaho Art Professor’s Paintings

MOSCOW, Idaho – An exhibit of former art professor Alfred Dunn at the University of Idaho's Prichard Art Gallery will showcase some 200 pieces of artwork he created. The exhibit will run Wednesday, May 26 – Sunday, May 30. A reception will be held on Thursday, May 27, from 5-8 p.m.

“The gallery is excited by this opportunity to bring a sizable collection of Alf’s work back to the community," said Roger Rowley, director of the gallery. "His painting of the Camperdown Elms and Administration building continues to be one of the iconic images defining the image of the university. It’s also great that the community has a chance to add to their collection.”

Dunn attended the University of Idaho to study art during the Great Depression. He took up oil painting, only to give it up after discovering watercolors. After graduation, he worked as art director for Acme Press in Seattle, Wash., before moving back to Moscow to work for the University of Idaho.

During this time, he never gave up painting and soon, became well-known around the country. He began selling his paintings in Seattle to Ford Times and other publications. His work appeared with articles written by well-known western writers, such as Nard Jones and William O. Douglas.

Dunn continued to paint until his death on April 19, 2002. Dunn’s son, Jim, has pulled together a collection of Alf’s paintings, which span a period from the 1920s to 2002.

The exhibit will feature many pieces he created while living on the Palouse. Dunn’s artwork will be available for purchase, allowing many people who knew Dunn’s work a chance to own a piece of original artwork.

The Prichard Art Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gallery is closed Monday. The gallery, an outreach facility of the University of Idaho, is located at 414/416 S. Main St. on the corner of Fifth and Main streets in downtown Moscow. Admission is free. Additional information is available at www.uidaho.edu/galleries

University of Idaho Artist Brings Haiti Home

May 21, 2010

Media Contact: Karen Hunt, University Communications, (208) 885-7251, klhunt@uidaho.edu

Prichard Art Gallery Exhibit Features Haiti Art Project Through May 30

MOSCOW, Idaho – The Prichard Art Gallery is featuring the Haiti Art Project, which showcases artwork created by Haitian women and children. The exhibit, currently on display, will run through Sunday, May 30.

Ryan Law, a master of fine arts graduate student at the university, traveled to Bwa Nwa, a small village located on an island, just off of the coast of Haiti. There, she taught nearly 40 women and children how to paint and draw.

Law transcended the language barrier by communicating through the power of art. With only a piece of plywood for a blackboard, Law would draw a flower or house and the students would follow her, recreating the same image. While the language barrier was difficult, it was the lack of supplies that became the greatest challenge. She made use of what little art supplies she had, often breaking pencils in half to provide utensils for everyone.

“I was doing watercolors and we had to get the water out of a mud puddle,” said Law.

At the end of her two week stay, she asked her students to paint a picture of something they thought about, with no limitations to subject matter. The children painted pictures of animals, houses, flowers and people, among other things. Many women painted pictures of themselves or representations of women. Law took a picture of each artist, which will hang next to their specific paintings.

“It brings a sense of unity to the work,” said Law. “It also allows the viewer to put a face with a painting.”

While there have been many outreach programs to the people of Haiti since the earthquake this past winter, the idea for this project began several years ago. With the support of Prichard Art Gallery Director Roger Rowley, Law decided it was important to bring art from other countries to United States. Law plans to return to Bwanwr next year to conduct the art class again.

“Roger believed in this project,” said Law. "I'm grateful for his support and dedication to helping me expand my horizons."

Advance Notice: The Art Spirit Schedule Through 2011

Local Talent: REEL Spokane Event at Magic Lantern

Check out the ReelSpokane: Homegrown Film Events Spring 2010.

Starts at 7pm, Wednesday May 26 at the Magic Lantern.

Cost is $5 with proceeds going to help fund the event. 

Brought to you by FAVES and SpIFF.

We don't usually feature film and video on this blog but it's not for lack of enthusiasm and interest. Wish it weren't a school nite... Sounds like a great event.

So the previous post laid out my excuses for not getting to publishing this sooner...

The Art Spirit is one of my favorite galleries anyway but when they do the Clay Invitational, I'm especially thrilled. It's some of the best and most diverse work around and it's so well-presented. Figurative, abstract, contemporary, traditional--this show always has a little bit of everything.

Like Patti Warashina's saki set. Who knew you could do this with clay?

The show runs through June 5 and includes the following:

The 16 participating clay artists are:
-Patti Warashina, Seattle, WA
-Don Reitz, Clarkdale, AZ
-Frank Boyden, Otis, OR
-Tom Coleman, Henderson, NV
-Elaine Coleman, Henderson, NV
-Adrian Arleo, Lolo, MT
-Chuck Hindes, Coupeville, WA
-Valerie Seaberg, Jackson, WY
-Matt Allison, Seattle, WA
-Jenny Andersen, Bainbridge Island, WA
-Ken Lundemo, Seabeck, WA
-Susan Stewart, Seattle, WA
-Ryan Mitchell, Missoula, MT
-Dan Murphy, Logan, UT
-Dean Adams, Bozeman, MT
-Shane Watson, Silverdale, WA

Spring Fever and 14 Days Left Til Summer

Spring is a busy time for me with school, wrapping up the tail-end of writing for Sandpoint Magazine, doing a bit of arts writing for Inlander (this piece on Ruben Trejo was a privilege to write), and the beginning of negotiations for the school district.

That and planting in the garden in between downpours kept me busy. But it was worth the effort.

School has been a good year, the usual ups and downs, if there's anything "usual" about teaching high school. One of my students won a trip to Washington, DC for her artwork. We did our first field trip ever (in 10 years of teaching), to do "Andy Goldsworthy" sculptures in the woods by the lake (a group project at right). And some of my little cupcakes are going on to college (like Alex, whose art is above left), art school, adult lives, etc. and taking a bit of me with them, I hope.

Negotiations is always an interesting process. And a challenge. Since the Legislature froze our pay last year and disallowed advancement for years of experience, this year (as they informed us) we needed to "feel the pain" that everyone else had been spared. So they cut funding by 4% to salaries, as well as other parts of our funding. And they imposed something allowing the Districts to basically do whatever they wanted with our payscale if they declared a "financial emergency."

It's been ugly, not so much with the District, with whom our Association has a pretty good rapport, but in general; people are upset and nervous and frustrated because teacher pay is some of the lowest in the national already in Idaho and now we're going backwards. And yet we have jobs. The problem, as I see it, is that we've been fighting for improved pay and working conditions since Day One so this is ON TOP of an already undervalued job situation.

Sandpoint Magazine, which always does an outstanding job, included two of my pieces: a small profile of Do and Scott's new gallery, First Light Gallerie, and a profile of Jackie Henrion and Dan Earle, a musician/artist couple who were just a delight to write about.

And I had most of the food section, too, which is usually fun to do. A lot of work driving up and back and following up. It never ceases to amaze me that when we're willing to basically give away free publicity to folks that they don't recognize or value that. If I had a dime for every time someone blew off a request for information...I could probably retire from writing!

It works out well enough, though. I get to write for Inlander, covering a lot of Sandpoint, which helps when I write for the magazine. And vice versa.

Here's a photo of Ben Olson, in fact, taking photos for the Magazine on the same day I was there (having already finished my magazine piece on Trinity at City Beach) doing a review for Inlander. There's my sexy food shot (above left) and Ben feigning surprise (right). Ben's an admitted pain-in-the-ass but a fabulous photographer and one of the many interesting folks I've met from my writing gigs. All in all I feel pretty fortunate to get paid for writing the way I do.

It was probably my food writing, actually, that made me pay more attention to gardening. That and my mom was into most of her life, albeit she was sort of a lousy gardener. It takes some serious work, I have discovered, and towards the end she didn't have the strength. But she grew up picking potatoes and maybe once you get some good brown dirt under your nails that young, it just seeps in somehow and you can't shake the urge to plant your own someday.

Anyway, I ripped up the grass in the yard, front and back, put in a concrete planter the full depth of the yard, added a living fence of arborvitae, and have slowly been adding perennials and edible plants. Last year I had the cherry tree, raspberries, strawberries and a sad blueberry that I've since transplanted. Here are a few photos of the work in progress (above: before, after). I've added bark and rock walkways, perennial groundcover like Creeping Jenny, and some low but pretty trees like flowering sandcherry.

This year I added more blueberries, asparagus, onions and peas outdoors, plus containers and starts indoors: mesclun mix, spinach, cooking herbs I hope to winter over, tomatoes, cranberry (I know, they're bog plants, right?), and even artichokes, which are down from 8 to 4 and probably not going to make it. I also planted flowers (morning glory, delphinium and columbine) and nearly wept when one made a little flower. Our school has a horticulture program so I picked up some "backup" basil, some iris, and some petunias.

It's a delight to sit on the front porch in the summer and just watch all the flying things flit about the yard. And although I've made some mistakes with what and how I've planted, I'm looking forward to my first big crop of berries and the homemade salsa from one of my fat little tomato bushes. Yum. Come on Summer!

And They Keep On Growing: Group Show at Saranac Opens June 2010

Has Saranac expanded yet again from their original band of a dozen or so? It would seem so. The following press release invites you to the new Group Show. 

This should prove to be visually very diverse and funny on many levels. I lifted some images from Jon Merrell's blog, Funderachiever. You can see the Scott Kolbo connection. Awesome illustration style. 

And Margot and Kurt have been showing at Tinman off and on for a long time. Their piece for last year's OZvitational was one of my favorites.

Margot Casstevens . I think making art is a little like being a research scientist or a philosopher or maybe a hermetic mystic. It's about really looking at the world, seeing it and trying to understand. It's about all those
questions we have as small children or as adults at three in the morning when the stars wake us up shouting through the window: who are we, why are we here, what's it all about, and what's that really cool weird thing in the ditch anyway?

Kurt Madison. Kurt has been designing, working and exhibiting in the fine arts field for 30+ years. While the work has mainly been focused on 3 dimensional directions, his work includes digital and traditional 2D methods as well. Much of the work is multimedia using a variety of materials and techniques tailored to the intent and content of the piece. As a body, the work is an ongoing, chaptered commentary, holding 'the Condition' up for scrutiny like still shots or cuts or framing in cinema. Now this, now this, now this, now this, now this, now this, ..., ..., ..., now this.

Jon Merrell. After some deliberation, I cannot say for certain that I have ever produced art in a serious way. It is usually after I stop thinking about art in serious terms that I finally begin to get some satisfaction out of creating it. That being said, viewers are encouraged to examine their own expectations on reading this statement and viewing these images. My intent is rarely to communicate an important message or lesson. Viewers intent on wrapping their heads around some abstract concept, deciphering some radical hidden social agenda, or pontificating on some metaphysical truth perceived to be expressed through the imagery, should prepare for disappointment. I am a simpleton, easily amused by the mundane. I enjoy creating these things, and I display them with the sincere hope of witnessing dumbfounded expressions as viewers awkwardly attempt to ascribe them meaning.

Lindsey Merrell. There is exquisite variation, peculiarity, and amusement in life. My works are printed snippets of the day-to-day, both real and imagined. Inventive offshoots of reality juxtapose literal translations of daily interactions. By isolating moments, connections and variations on the truth, I process life through the printing press. My brief and partial narratives enlarge and examine specific moments and emotions, allowing each viewer to create and pursue a story based on his or her previous experiences and current assumptions. The take-away is different every time. Incorporating handmade elements into each piece, I further examine the idea of unique contact by displaying the ever-changing interactions between my hand and the prints.I primarily work in the medium of intaglio printmaking. I enjoy the process (most days…) involved in transferring drawing or photographic images to copper, etching them, and working by hand to remove and add marks on the copper plate, similar to adding and removing charcoal from a drawing. I also enjoy the diverse options presented by printmaking. One etched copper plate can produce as many images as the artist designs. Emotion and setting can be adjusted through placement, use of color, and added texture. This process seems especially fitting to my current subject matter: common, repeatable objects that make sense in different settings. My most recent images also incorporate monoprinting, watercolor and drawing materials. I hope to continue working in the format of a series, creating interesting individual pieces that become more lively and emotionally rich when seen together.

Alyssa Skiles
(no info available)

Reception: June 4
Runs through June 30

Saranac Art Projects, W 25 Main Street, Spokane, WA 99201

Gallery Hours: Thursday 12-5pm, Friday 12-8pm. Saturday 12-5pm. [publisher's note: CALL to confirm the gallery will be open]