Spokane the Arts Town? You betcha!

Last night the Saranac Arts Project cooperative gallery (25 W. Main) was host to the first-ever panel discussion on the state of the arts in Spokane. Great questions, probably more than answers, and great conversations about what is working and what still can be done to improve the visibility and viability of the visual arts in Spokane,

The panel consisted of Kolva-Sullivan owner, Jim Kolva, artist Chris Dreyer, artist/professor and KYRS Readymade Radio host, Bernadette Vielbig, and myself. It was moderated by Whitworth professor and fellow Saranac artist, Scott Kolbo. 

We had no idea how many would show and were pleasantly surprised to find both gallery sections filled with people who came to listen and contribute to the overall conversation. Even though I live in Idaho, I enjoy being part of the Spokane arts scene and continue to be impressed with how many varied avenues there are for artists:
  • Spokane Arts Commission, so ably commanded on a shoestring budget by Karen Mobley
  • RiverSpeak and other digital/online forums like it
  • Terrain, now in its third year and, judging by this year's work, a growing force in the emerging artist scene
  • Colleges and Universities, including Whitworth, WSU, EWU and definitely SFCC/SCC
  • A lot of spaces--both formal galleries and arts-supporting businesses--that encourage the arts
  • And the artists themselves, resilient as ever, doing everything from creating their own exhibition opportunities, to writing grants, to working with kids, to participating in events like the panel discussion. 

Wish North Idaho had something similar...


Garric Simonsen said...

Groovy, podcast coming soon.