February 11, 2010 in Washington Voices

Artist adds dimension to co-op’s new sign

Spalding incorporated reclaimed materials
Asia Hege ahege@gonzaga.edu

Spokane artist Dan Spalding stands in front of the Main Market Co-Op at Browne Street and Main Avenue in downtown Spokane Jan. 28. Spalding created the sign for the co-op.
(Full-size photo)

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Dan Spalding was thinking outside of the box when he designed the Main Market Co-op’s sign.

The sign features the co-op logo’s apple and table. The apple represents the fresh food the co-op on West Main Avenue wants to bring to the community, and the table represents a meeting place, said co-op board member Mary Eberle.

“Our logo represents that we want the community to build and grow with us at the table,” Eberle said.

Spalding said he intercepted the project midstream. He saw the initial design which made use of the former Goodyear Tire sign, but thought the co-op needed something a little different.

“We wanted to go with the design of a local artist,” Eberle said. “Dan is a part of the neighborhood.”

Spalding designed the sign, and worked with local craftsman Sean Smith, who created the table and apple pieces from scrap aluminum from auto wheels. They painted the pieces to match the colors in the logo. Each piece stands about 6 feet tall.

The sign fits with the theme of the co-op because the existing building was used to create the new design, which Spalding says makes more sense financially and ethically. Spalding believes the Main Market’s use of the existing structure was more sustainable and efficient.

“A general principle I use in design is to reuse and recycle,” Spalding said. “Recycled products have more historical weight and make a more interesting piece.”

He keeps an eye out for materials at demolition sites, salvage operations and Craigslist. He keeps a storage space of materials on hand for designing. His family owns an auto salvage operation along Interstate 90, where he has acquired pieces for use in his designs. His design principles save money and create attractive, inviting spaces according to Spalding.

“A business is more successful when clients want to go there,” he said.

Spalding has designed numerous other spaces around Spokane. His other works include David’s Pizza, Zola, Koi Salon, and a ballet studio.

He has also revamped four loft apartments on West Main above Zola, a near neighbor to the co-op. Spokane has upper- and lower-end housing to offer, but lacks workforce housing, Spalding said. He’s interested in creating interesting space for the average guy or young couple.

Spalding, 46, graduated from East Valley High School and earned a business degree from Gonzaga University. He then attended art school in New York. He came back to Spokane and purchased the two buildings on West Main to open a studio, but ended up with the mixed-use space that houses Zola, Rocket Bakery and Lila Yoga. His latest project is designing a bar attached to the Garland Theater.

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