Spokane’s leaves seem better and brighter than ever this year, and so does its downtown art scene. Fall is the perfect time to take a brisk walk and hit this week’s First Friday art show openings.
Local artists will be on hand to chat about their works. Wineries are ready to serve samples of their fall releases. Most participating galleries, wineries and restaurants will be open to the public from about 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., but please verify times. Drinks may cost, but admission is free.
Here are just a few highlights:
Near Kendall Yards, Avenue West Gallery presents “In Remembrance,” a month-long retrospective honoring the life and work of the gallery’s founding member Dian Zahner. With live music by LazyBoy Express. 907 W. Boone Ave.
Across Monroe Street in Kendall Yards, the other retrospective to catch is the Ruben Trejo RETRO/PER/SPECTIVE at Marmot Art Space. Trejo, considered to be one of the most significant artists Spokane has ever produced, was a premier Mexican-American painter and a former professor emeritus at Eastern Washington University. This show marks the first dedicated exhibition of Trejo’s work in Spokane since the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture held a retrospective in 2010. The Marmot show includes works by Ric Gendron and Alfredo Arreguin. 1202 W. Summit Parkway
Stroll west down the street to Craftsman Cellars where artist E.L. Stewart’s stunning acrylics indicate a kinetic convergence of realistic figure and abstract painting. 1194 W. Summit Parkway.
V du V Winery is a not-to-be missed venue with artist Charlie Schmidt displaying his most recent works. From whimsical pop art such as an oil painting of Alfred E. Neuman to sculptures that move in surprising ways, Schmidt’s exhibit will elicit more than a few smiles. Famous for the keyboard cat video that launched nearly 50 million views, Schmidt is anything but internet fluff. He is an accomplished painter, performance artist, video artist, graphic designer and sculptor with a degree in fine arts from Niti Dai University in Tokyo. He’s also a musician. He will drum as his daughter plays guitar for a special set of Jack White music. The winery’s house band Crushpad will also perform. 12 S. Scott St.
Continue the cork district crawl by heading to Barili Cellars to enjoy an impeccable pairing – fine wine with fine art. Acclaimed watercolorist Stan Miller’s paintings capture shimmering scenes and peaceful portraits will light up the intimate space. Acoustic guitarist Rob Bryceson will peform. 608 W. Second Ave.
Another winery at which to linger is Barrister Winery, and not just for the delicious pours. Christy Branson will introduce more than 30 new mixed media pieces in a solo exhibition of her large-scale encaustic paintings called “Scratching the Surface.” Her ancient method of hot wax painting is made new and exciting with layers of dripping wax, papers and gold leaf. Acoustic blues music by “Lonesome” Lyle Morse and a Beacon Hill catered buffet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Open until 9:30 p.m. 1213 W. Railroad Ave.
Thoughtful meditations of artist Charlie Hamm will mesmerize fans of oil paintings at the Bozzi Gallery. Hamm’s new exhibition, “November Light,” presents landscapes, still lifes, portraits and abstracts reflecting the beauty and poignancy of autumn. 221 N. Wall St. (Old City Hall, second floor)
Dodson’s Jewelers will host plein air painter William Elston for his new show “Here, There and Everywhere.” Elston’s moody scenes are some of Spokane’s most iconic: Spokane Falls, Riverfront and Manito Parks, the Little Spokane River, and local cityscapes. 516 W. Riverside Ave.
Saranac Art Projects will feature the works of members Roger Ralston and Kurt Madison for First Friday. 25 W. Main Ave.