May 28, 2009 in Features

From playful works and elegant pieces to food and fun, ArtFest offers a vast menu

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Image courtesy of King Wu photo

Photograph by King Wu, of Bothell, Wash., 2008 ArtFest Photographer Merit Award winner.Image courtesy of King Wu
(Full-size photo)

ArtFest

What: The 24th annual three-day celebration of regional arts, crafts, music and food, sponsored by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Where: Coeur d’Alene Park in Spokane’s Browne’s Addition neighborhood, Second Avenue and Chestnut Street

When: Friday, noon-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Call: (509) 456-3931

Flying shadow boxes with hand-snipped tin wings and cast bronze birds’ feet. Hand-tooled wooden construction trucks, just right for racing across the kitchen floor.

Precious stones wrapped in smooth, textured sterling. Still-fresh oils, capturing lush Northwest landscapes. Bamboo wind chimes, cast in bronze, softly clanging in the breeze.

From whimsical and playful artwork designed to bring out your inner child, to elegant, beautiful and tranquil pieces created to relax or inspire, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture’s ArtFest brings 130 of the Northwest’s best artists and craftspeople to Browne’s Addition this weekend.

Now in its 24th year, the festival offers tented arts and crafts booths; artist demonstrations; an extensive hands-on arts and crafts area for children and families; more than a dozen food vendors; a beer and wine garden for the 21-and-over set; and round-the-clock musical entertainment, set under the shady pines and leaf trees of Coeur d’Alene Park.

Among the 14 categories of artwork on display are jewelry, ceramics, painting, photography, metalwork, sculpture, glass, fiber, wood, leather, toys, drawing, printmaking and “other,” which includes mixed media.

Roger Rowley, director of University of Idaho’s Prichard Art Gallery, is this year’s ArtFest juror. He will present Juror’s Choice awards for Best of Show, Runner Up and Honorable Mention, and merit awards will be given in various categories.

“It’s a terrific show and I love the setting in Browne’s Addition, an historical neighborhood with classic tradition,” said Spokane realist watercolor painter Stan Miller, last year’s Best of Show winner. “There’s a natural momentum in a show that keeps repeating itself.”

Miller has been participating in ArtFest almost every year for 20 years. He’ll be exhibiting more than 50 paintings, half of which are new, including portraits and landscapes from his international travels.

When you visit his booth, you’ll most likely be treated to his finger-style acoustic guitar playing, a complement to his artwork.

Mixed media artist Vicki Fish, 2008’s Recycled Materials Merit Award winner, creates shadow boxes from found objects and recyclables.

“I live in an industrial neighborhood, and go next door to get scraps,” said the Bozeman artist.

She uses old toys, Scrabble tiles, maps and charts, cheese boxes, recipe file boxes, fishing fly kits, nesting canisters, old papers, ticket stubs and other “things that people would throw away.”

Many of Fish’s boxes resemble birds, embellished with hand-snipped tin wings and with her own metal casting work. The feet of her birds are cast from sticks that have washed ashore on her travels to Flamingo Beach on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Printmaker Sarah Angst, also of Bozeman, is returning for a third year to ArtFest. Her bright, handpainted linoleum block prints and linocuts capture people and landscapes, flora and fauna, people, pets and landscapes.

She also sells giclee reproductions and makes jewelry, placing her images beneath resin on earrings and necklaces.

Paul Wisdom of Deary, Idaho, who is going on his fifth year at ArtFest, creates metal bamboo lighting, tabletop sculpture, wall mount pieces and furnishings.

Interior and outdoor metalworks have natural, black and bright bamboo patinas. His pieces offer a quiet, serene, meditative tranquility.

The artists’ booths close at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, along with the food booths. The beer and wine gardens remain open while the music continues until 10 p.m.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers, with the Underworld Orchestra Horns, headlines Friday night at 7:30, with funky, down-home blues rock. Saturday at 7:30 p.m., the stage rocks with Big Mumbo Blues Band, a longtime, gotta-get-up-and-dance Spokane favorite, featuring vocalist Jennifer Kemple.

Commuters can ride the Spokane Transit Authority’s ArtFest Shuttle from downtown to the park. Park your vehicle in the Park and Ride lot under I-90 at Jefferson Street. The shuttle departs from ArtFest at the corner of Second Avenue and Spruce Street.

Shuttles run every 15 minutes on Friday, 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Round-trip fare is $1.


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