Coeur d’Alene galleries host opening receptions for featured artists tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. The highlights include two artists showing in spaces that are off the artwalk map, and a much-anticipated show by a returning regional artist.
Beth Cavener Stichter
The Art Spirit Gallery
415 Sherman Ave.
Through Aug. 9
Imagine a grand piano dangling in the air, suspended by a rope. Imagine the tension you feel, wondering if this large, beautiful instrument will fall to the ground.
Beth Cavener Stichter, who ties music into the titles of many of her clay sculptures, hangs the piano above one of her central animal figures, the hare, placing the small creature in imminent danger in a new work, “Subito Piano Forte.”
Cavener Stichter uses the imagery of animals to express human psychology. Exaggerating their body language and personality types, she communicates powerful human emotions that she said can appear as “overkill” when illustrated through the human figure.
The hare, “a prey-like animal that is often a vulnerable victim,” represents feminine aspects of human nature.
Although her hares are sculpted with strong lines and powerful musculature, they are often misinterpreted as “adorable” creatures.
Rejecting the tendency to overlook “what’s underneath the skin layer,” Cavener Stichter’s work dissects the many surface layers of the body and gets to the core of our internal territory.
After a year’s absence from the art world, due to relocating, she re-emerges on the art scene tonight with a roar.
Java on Sherman
324 Sherman Ave.
Through July 31
Four years ago, during a life-altering visit to the garden isle of Kauai, Erika Ouzounian was inspired by nature to paint dramatic, dreamlike landscapes. Sitting hundreds of hours before the canvas, poring over weather books to learn about sunlight, she became a self-taught artist.
Ouzounian says her work is about the “unusual” in nature, dramatic occurrences that are intended to “give a spiritual feeling and a sense of wonder.”
Many of her landscapes emphasize the sky, with the drama of intense color, lighting and cloud formations. She uses interference paint, which changes color as light strikes it and creates a deep, metallic sheen, adding a mysterious element to her work.
Passionate about living sustainably, Ouzounian in her paintings asks the viewer to awaken to the earth and sky.
“We can live in a sustainable world and in peace,” she said. “Listen to what nature is trying to tell us.”
La Muse Galerie d’Art
413 ½ Sherman
Through July 31
Bonnie Cooper’s jewelry art is inspired by the rivers, lakes and streams of the Northwest.
Hand-forged, hammer-textured sterling silver, bronze and high-karat gold form sparkling, sinuous components, symbolizing water and waterways.
Montana sapphire, opal, moonstone, turquoise, blue zircon and chalcedony are among the stones she sets in pendants, earrings, necklaces and rings.
The turquoise stone in her “Dancing Waters” earrings is symbolic of a mountain lake.
“I got my inspiration from the two rivers (Spokane and Coeur d’Alene) coming together to form Lake Coeur d’Alene,” said Cooper, who works from her studio in Coeur d’Alene and lives in Liberty Lake.