Art has weaved itself figuratively and literally through the life of Ilse Kilian-Tan.
She began art lessons while living in East Germany, near the Czechoslovakian border, and it’s been a source of harmony in her life ever since.
An exhibit of her weavings is at the Chase Art Gallery in City Hall through October.
After escaping into West Germany in the dark of night as a teenager, Kilian-Tan’s sense of adventure and curiosity led her to America, where she introduced herself to relatives.
Eventually she came to Spokane, where she married and became the mother of two daughters. She has since divorced.
In between, she graduated from college with a bachelor’s in art and a master’s in foreign languages - she speaks four (German, Russian, French and Spanish).
Kilian-Tan began weaving during the ‘70s. Several of her wall hangings have decorated the walls of various Spokane banks and businesses. While teaching languages at Eastern Washington University and languages and art in high schools, she was forced to put aside her loom for a few years. However, when she took it up again, she began creating larger and more colorful pieces.
Kilian-Tan was one of 25 Washington state tapestry artists included in a show juried by representatives of the Smithsonian Institution and the Seattle Art Museum. Her rendition of “The Last Day” is part of the exhibition at the Washington Trade and Convention Center, which runs through December in Seattle.
Local art shows
Visitors to the Lorinda Knight Gallery, 523 W. Sprague, on Friday might feel as though they have walked into a Japanese setting.
Keiko Hara creates a walk-in stage set for a Japanese folk tale within the gallery, a Lorinda Knight spokesman said. Luminous images and woodblock prints show the world of a Japanese fisherman and an angel on the beach.
“At the Boundary” includes drawings, paintings and original prints.
Hara’s prints have been exhibited in Europe, Japan and across the United States. A critic once noted her work “demands consciousness as well as contemplation.”
A reception for Hara, an associate professor of art at Whitman College, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the gallery. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The show runs through Nov. 14.
Hara will discuss traditional Japanese printmaking techniques at the Jundt Art Museum tonight at 7:30.
Art around the state
“Leonardo Lives: The Codex Leicester and Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy of Art and Science” opens next Thursday at the Seattle Art Museum, 100 University.
Included in the three-part exhibition are art works of Leonardo and his followers, and a review of the great artist’s influence throughout the ages, from Rembrandt to Warhol.
The Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park sounds like a fascinating stop for those visiting the other side of the Cascades.
“Wonders of Clay and Fire: Chinese Ceramics Through the Ages,” selections from the Jiurutang and Jinglexuan collections, is an ongoing special exhibition there.
The ever-changing display, occupying three galleries, will provide a comprehensive survey of Chinese ceramics from 5,000 B.C. to the 16th century, A.D., before it closes in 1999. It opened in 1994.
The works of Northwest professional artists with disabilities are featured in the “Very Special Arts Washington No Boundaries 97/98,” beginning Friday at Seattle Center’s Harrison Street Gallery.
The annual juried exhibit showcases the art work of established and emerging artists who have disabilities from Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho.
The show is open through Nov. 16; then at the Robert Frey Gallery, 2 Nickerson, Suite 300, Nov. 24-Dec. 30. It will tour Washington state through May 1998.
Plan now to visit Seattle in 2001.
That’s when Northwest history and art lovers can see a world-class Chinese exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum before it travels on to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Encompassing Heaven and Earth: Ancient Chinese Art from Sichuan” will include Bronze Age objects from the 13th century B.C., unearthed from an archeology site in the recent past.
On display will be 90 works of bronze, jade and clay from the 13th century to the second century A.D.
After Seattle, the exhibit will travel to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and two other U.S. cities.
Around the area
William S. Phillips, a Northwest artist who lives in Ashland, Ore., will be at the Lyman Gallery in Lewiston on Saturday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Lyman’s artwork, known around the world, includes a sheet of postage stamps commemorating 50 years of American aviation history.
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