The narrow streets of Spokane’s historic Browne’s Addition were transformed into a giant parking lot Saturday afternoon on the second day of Artfest.
Motorists squeezed their cars onto streets lined by other cars and waited for each other to pass before they inched by.
“Rainy years are not good,” said Spokane artist Gay Waldman, who displayed her tinted photographs and collages for the fifth year in a row. “The sun brings people out.”
Indeed, the day was blessed with clear skies and a warm sun. But more than that attracted droves to the Cheney Cowles Museum lawn for the 10th annual art bash.
Part of it was the music.
On Saturday afternoon, few seats remained in front of the stage as Moko Jumbie belted out tropical music, accentuated by steel drums and bongos. A boy in a purple sun hat bobbed and twisted, almost in time, to the music.
It was also the food.
People lounged in the sun with bread bowls filled with chili, gyro sandwiches and gooey blobs of chocolate meringue covered with strawberries and hot fudge.
But mostly, it was the art.
One woman cautioned her daughter as they began the procession of 54 booths manned by West Coast artists.
“They’re very expensive,” she said of the artwork. “So be careful.”
People strolled along, examining rocking chairs made of willows, watercolors of cows and blown-glass vases.
There was something for everyone, from $1,100 wooden bowls to $4 porcelain magnets, $750 collages to $20 clay bowls.
Hundreds of children poured into Spokane Art School’s “Make It Art” booths.
In the sandpainting booth, children spread glue on paper then dribbled brightly colored sand on top. They sprawled on the concrete, drawing pictures in colored chalk. And the dinosaurs, fish and bowls they molded and pounded out of clay lay drying in the sun nearby.
Patrons also watched the creative process, from beginning to end. Calligraphers, clay sculptors, cartoonists and others took turns demonstrating their crafts.
In Spokane artist Jo Fyfe’s booth, 10-year-old Jessi Box, of Spokane, pointed to a painting she liked.
“This one is neat,” she said. “It’s like different pieces of pictures.”
The painting she admired resembled a collage. The acrylic paint on watercolor paper pieced together different images - mostly tepees, trees, houses and rivers - in greens, purples and reds.
Fyfe, born in Omak, Wash., was strongly influenced by the Plains and Plateau Indians. She said she sees the same people in her Artfest booth year after year.
“People keep an eye on you,” said Fyfe, an art instructor at Spokane Falls Community College. “
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