Ken Spiering is one of the most visible artists in Spokane. His large public art pieces are scattered around town, and include Riverfront Park’s “The Childhood Express,” aka the Radio Flyer Red Wagon, “Passages: Immediate and Eternal,” a wood carving in Spokane City Hall, and “The Call and the Challenge,” a bronze installation on the campus of the Spokane Convention Center.
Still, it’s been a long time since Spiering has mounted a gallery show. Two decades, in fact.
“The last show I did was 20 years ago,” Spiering said. “I just started doing large artwork for public spaces and one followed another, followed another, followed another.”
“Mosaic,” which opens Friday at Tinman Gallery in the Garland District, is a sample of what he’s been doing lately. It includes some 3-D mosaic sculptures using broken bits of ceramic tile like paint – a project that came out of the art classes he teaches at Freeman High School – as well as some oil paintings on wood, which is some of his newest work. The show also will include some pieces from his personal collection and will feature 15 to 20 pieces in all.
Spiering said it’s been freeing doing work for work’s sake, rather than work to complete a commission, or to satisfy a contract.
“I made pretty good use of the summer working toward this,” he said.