Arrow-right Camera

Washington Voices

Arbor Crest event features art, glass

Thu., Aug. 13, 2009

Winery offers distinctive setting for wares, food, wine

In the spring, 10,000 bulbs awaken. As the weather warms, the herbs, roses and other flowers bloom while vines in the vineyard lengthen and reach for the sun. Birds swoop over the extra-large checkerboard and land to cool near the man-made waterfall or the fountain.

A square-wheeled tractor is displayed not far from the path leading to Cliff House, the wine tasting room, the terraces and the open pagoda. On Aug. 22-23, the place will be abuzz with more than 50 artists and the sounds of music for Arbor Crest Winery’s fourth annual Art and Glass Fest.

Arbor Crest sits atop a large hill north of the Spokane River and east of Argonne Road. On a clear day, the view from the edge of the property spans from the Spokane airport to the Spokane Valley Mall.

The mansion on the property was built in 1924, and in 1985 it was purchased by Arbor Crest Wine Cellars and opened to the public for wine tastings, concerts and art events. Though it is a National Historic Landmark, many city and Valley residents know little of its history or the activities there.

“On a weekly basis, local residents happen upon this place and seem genuinely surprised that although they’ve lived in the area for many years they’ve never been here,” said tasting room manager Shelby Enevold.

Enevold and other staff members, along with event coordinator Kathy Luden, are putting together the weekend’s juried art event. “Hand-selecting the artists ensures variety as well as consistency of quality,” said viticulturist and general manager Jim van Loben Sels.

“We also wanted to avoid redundancy,” Luden added.

Northwest artists will display glass work, stone vessels, candles, lamps, fine jewelry, metal work, paintings, paper flowers, boxes and walking sticks, among other creations.

Sherry Woodward, of Spirit Lake, will show her handcrafted boxes embellished with paint, vintage jewelry parts, antique buttons, crystals and beads. She has made the boxes for years, but this will be her first public show.

Woodward attended last year’s Art and Glass Fest to see a friend’s exhibit. “I was really impressed by the setting,” she said, “and here I am, preparing for my first art event. I’m excited but a little nervous.”

Nicola McGowan, of Post Falls, recently wrapped up taping an episode of HGTV’s show “That’s Clever.” McGowan welds and fabricates metal into works of art through her business, Iron Mountain Studios. She has shown her creations at Arbor Crest for five years.

Linda Fischer and her daughter Heather Wilbur specialize in knitted-wire jewelry. This will be their second year at Arbor Crest.

Also exhibiting for a second time is painter Sheila Grubb, who will offer a series of sunflowers, abstract landscapes and selections from her collection of “roads.”

Another painter, Jeannine Marx Fruci, will display her watercolors.

“Arbor Crest is a beautiful setting and the event is attended by people who really appreciate art, music and fine wines,” Fruci said.

Click here to comment on this story »