July 26, 2012 in Washington Voices

‘Art for Radio’ gives visual element to spoken-word ideas

Jennifer Larue jlarue99@hotmail.com
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Artists Dan McCann, left, and Shelly Williams stand Wednesday with a shadow box created by McCann for a KYRS Thin Air Radio fundraiser. McCann and Williams are part of an artists’ cooperative based at the Saranac building with art pieces inspired by various programs on KYRS.
(Full-size photo)

If you go

The artist/DJ collaboration opens Aug. 3. There will be a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., when a silent auction will begin. Works will also be available for immediate sale. The silent auction will end Aug. 24, during a closing party from 5 to 8 p.m. The party will include a bar (21 and over only) and live DJs from KYRS. Visit www.kyrs.org or www.saranacartprojects. wordpress.com or email artforradio@gmail.com for details.

On Main Avenue in downtown Spokane, there are two nonprofit organizations motivated to expose others to things that are often overlooked by mainstream media.

KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio broadcasts from 35 W. Main Ave. Dozens of DJs spin every type of music imaginable and voices lead relevant discussions, all heard on 92.3 and 88.1 FM or streaming online.

At 25 W. Main Ave., Saranac Art Projects shows works that are less likely to match your couch and more likely to get a viewer off the couch to explore their community and ask questions.

“I feel driven and compelled by ideas and questions,” said artist Shelly Williams. “I’m fascinated by using ordinary objects as a symbolic tool of language and communication and playing around with mainly unnoticed objects and how they reflect the surrounding community, individual and societal values and assumptions.”  

During August, the organizations will join forces in an exhibit/fundraiser called “Saranac Supports: Art for Radio.”

“KYRS and the Saranac are dedicated to cultivating creative vitality in our area by giving voice to alternative perspectives and visions,” Williams said. “We hope that this collaboration will generate revenue for both organizations and introduce people to radio programs and artists that they may not be familiar with.”  

The exhibit will include works from 21 area artists who were given recordings of KYRS programs as inspiration. Each artist is making a piece or series of small pieces in response to what they hear.

Williams’ piece in the show will reflect her feelings from listening to “Fuzzy Love,” which airs on KYRS twice a month and is a blend of “jazz, funk, and afro-beats.” Artist Dan McCann’s playful contribution to the show was created after listening to “Dragonflies,” a show hosted by local elementary-age kids. Via many mediums, the artists will represent 17 KYRS programs including the “Latin Lounge,” “Queens of Noise,” “Random Access,” “Around the World With Michael Moon Bear,” and “Whiskey Junction.”

“Art for Radio” is being organized by Williams, McCann, Carrie Scozzaro, Ryan Desmond, and Bernadette Vielbig.

“We hope this show will create unique points of dialogue between radio programmers, artists and the community at large,” said Williams, who inadvertently sums up the whole experience as she describes the drum box (cajon) she will be adorning with images for the exhibit as “a vessel for noisemaking and a vehicle for communicating, sharing and experiencing rhythm.”

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