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Artwork reveals a personal journey


Ric Gendron's mixed media piece,
Ric Gendron's mixed media piece, "Cincinnati," is in his solo show opening Tuesday in the Koehler Gallery at Whitworth College. (Photo courtesy of Whitworth College / The Spokesman-Review)

Known for bright, highly stylized acrylic paintings, Ric Gendron is putting the finishing touches on a new series of brooding, autobiographical canvases. “A Perfect World” opens Tuesday in the Koehler Gallery on the Whitworth College campus. The show’s title refers to a recent song written by Gendron, an accomplished musician.

“It’s a song in an old Hank Williams mode about how people would like to see their own personal worlds unfold – but it never quite works out that way,” he says.

“I love doing shows on college campuses,” says Gendron, a professional artist for 18 years, “because I don’t have to worry about painting pretty pictures that someone will buy. It frees me up to deal with more personal, sometimes darker issues.”

Most of the 10 expressionistic paintings in the show are “portraits of different steps in my life,” he says.

“Cincinnati” references a warm September evening in 2003 when a 15-year-old Native American boy died from gunshot wounds on Spokane’s Cincinnati Street.

“That really affected the whole Indian community,” says Gendron, an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. “It got to all of us.”

Gendron’s work has been shown at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and the Center of Contemporary Arts in Seattle.

“Ric uses the pop-culture iconography of contemporary America mixed with the symbols from his American Indian heritage,” says Koehler Gallery Director Scott Kolbo. “His images express the tension of living in contemporary America and being engaged in an ancient culture.”

Gendron will be on the Whitworth campus for a week beginning Monday as a visiting artist. He will work with art students in a printmaking studio, where they will assist him as he creates an edition of original prints.

A public reception for “A Perfect World” is Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Koehler Gallery. Gendron will talk about his work at 6 p.m. in Weyerhaeuser Hall, Room 203.

Admission to the exhibit and reception is free. For more information call 777-3258.

‘Enchanted Visions’ appear at MAC

Visitors will step back into early 20th century Taos, N.M., with the new exhibition opening Saturday at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

“Enchanted Visions: The Taos Society of Artists and Ancient Cultures” transports the viewer to this magical time and place in Southwest art.

The expansive display combines powerful paintings created by members of the first Anglo artist colony in Taos with Southwest American Indian art and artifacts, objects of Hispanic culture and historic photographs.

The core group of the paintings is on loan from the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Tex.

“We couldn’t have done this exhibition without the 20 paintings from the Stark Museum,” says museum art curator Jochen Wierich. “Most of these paintings have never left Texas since they were acquired in Taos.”

The exhibition also includes works from the Gilcrease Museum and PhilbrookMuseum of Art (both in Tulsa, Okla.), the Washington State University Art Museum and private collections.

There is a members-only lecture Friday at 6 p.m. in the museum auditorium, 2316 W. First Ave. Speaking will be Richard Hunter of the Stark Museum of Arts, and there will be a panel discussion with descendants of the Taos Society of Artists founding members including Martin Phillips, Elizabeth Couse and Barbara Brenner.

Guests of members can attend for $10.

Moulder, Tash at Grant Gallery

Warm and cozy images will radiate in the William Grant Gallery beginning Saturday.

On view will be the soft-focus watercolors of Adam Tash and delicate handmade paper objects of Jan Moulder.

Tash’s realistic paintings of children reflect the interplay of light and shadow.

“I draw inspiration from the life around me as it comes to expression in the whimsical and undeniably unique antics of those little ones which grace our lives with their presence from day to day,” says Tash.

Moulder constructs subtle lampshades, books and mobiles from cattail leaves and bulrush stems. She applies wet handcrafted paper to her custom frames and embellishes them with leaves, lichens and stones.

She says her work is “an expression of the soul, indeed, it is an expression of the soul of Mother Earth.”

Meet the artists during a reception Saturday between noon and 4 p.m. at the gallery, 820 W. Francis Ave. View the work through April 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

‘Simmerisms’ closes

A closing reception is Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. for “Simmerisms: Lessons Learned” at the Spokane Art School’s Huneke Gallery.

The paintings on view are by longtime art school instructor Sally R. Simmer and her students.

The free gallery, 920 N. Howard St., is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, call 328-0900 or go to www.spokaneartschool.org.

‘Student Drawings’

The incredible beauty of line on paper is the focus of a show opening Monday on the Gonzaga University campus.

“Student Drawings: Past and Present” features a selection of works from the Jundt Art Museum’s permanent collection and current Gonzaga art students.

The drawings represent a variety of mediums including chalk, pastel, charcoal, pencil, oil wash and mixed media.

Curated by GU art faculty, the exhibit showcases drawings by Jihyun Yu, Mark Tedin, Katie Mandley, Dan Spalding, Tom Burkett, Justin Weider and Janet Gordon.

The exhibitor runs through July 30 in the Arcade Gallery of the Jundt Art Museum. Normal museum hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. The museum will be closed March 25 to 28.

Far West Billiards

Jonny Rugan is painting “in the window” of Far West Billiards at First and Monroe on Friday beginning at 8 p.m. Lining the walls inside the tavern are abstract paintings by EWU senior art student Jacob Wellman and the mixed media wall pieces of Amelia Harrison.

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