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Terrain spotting: Tonight’s event highlights emerging artists

Now in its fifth year, art/performance event focuses on quality

Ten bands. 104 artists. One old downtown building. Call it a recipe for Terrain.

Terrain, now in its fifth year, is a one-night-only art and performance event that spotlights young and emerging artists in the Spokane region.

The larger goal, said co-organizer Ginger Ewing, is to bring together the community as a whole.

“We’re hoping that people from all over the art world and the Spokane community will come together for the show,” she said.

It’s an evening that has something for everyone. There are paintings and drawings, sculpture and video. There are performances pieces and a literature park, where artists who work in words can showcase their talents.

And what she hopes will bring people out for this year’s event, which runs tonight at the old Music City building on West First Avenue near the Montvale Hotel, is the quality of the work.

“I think that the quality of the artwork is by far the strongest this year,” she said.

She has several pieces she’s quite excited about. There’s Jim Oxford’s “Dual Purpose Kitchen Knife,” a 200-pound Seussian piece of whimsy. It’s a kinetic sculpture that is a grindstone for cutlery while also whisking up a mean egg. Willy Walker has submitted a video entry that Ewing calls fun. Mariah Boyle works in charcoal and is in her second year showing at Terrain, Ewing said.

“Her work is very strong this year,” she said. “Very strong and powerful and people continually ask for ‘That girl who was on that wall last year.’ ”

Devine Jewels has an edgy performance piece that Ewing called “conceptually really cool, but I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. People might hate it, or they might love it.”

Ultimately, Ewing said, the aim of Terrain it to show affection for Spokane and its art scene.

“Spokane does a really good job of educating people and then sending them away. Now you’re starting to see this shift, and people actually are starting to stick around more. As far as what Terrain can do to help maintain that, I don’t know that we’ve 100 percent figured that out. But all I can say is we are all passionate about our community, and the more passionate you are about your community, the more likely you are to stay. And I think that’s what we’re trying to do. … The more kind of exciting and young and sexy and hip Spokane can feel, I think you’re safer to say that people might start staying.”