Look, up in the sky, it’s …. art, looming 30 feet high in downtown Spokane.
It’s a large-scale reproduction of local artist Ric Gendron’s portrait of country legend Hank Williams, mounted on the side of the Hotel Ruby at First Avenue and Lincoln Street.
By Thursday, Hank will be joined by four other Gendron musician portraits, all 30 feet tall. You’ll see T-Bone Walker, John Lennon, John Coltrane and an anonymous group of jazz cats wailing in a club.
This is all part of a creative collaboration between Jerry Dicker, who owns the Hotel Ruby; the Tinman Gallery (representing Gendron); and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) and its Art@Work Program.
Dicker wanted to make art a visible presence in his new boutique hotel, across from the Davenport Hotel. The MAC helped him find art that celebrated music, which makes sense for a hotel so close to the Knitting Factory Concert House, Bing Crosby Theater and Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.
The reproductions have been printed on special waterproof fabric. Three will be hung on the side of the building along with Williams, and the fifth will be installed in the hotel’s courtyard.
After a year, another artist’s work will be chosen and installed in the same spots.
Take a stroll down First Avenue and check out this new, super-visible addition to Spokane’s art scene.
A Finck wave
Spokane pop-rocker Jerad Finck is making some national waves with his new single, “Goodbye.”
The song is at No. 35 and moving up on the national adult contemporary charts on FMQB (an FM radio industry publication and website).
Also, we have word that the song has been licensed to ESPN for use on its U.S. Open Tennis coverage and baseball coverage.
Finck has been visible in Spokane’s music scene for years, formerly with a band called The Last Word. He has been logging tens of thousands of miles around the country in support of his self-titled debut album.
RadioIndy.com calls his sound “accessible and endearing, but also forward-thinking.”
Vince and Bret
Two big-name shows have just been booked into the Northern Quest Resort & Casino:
• Bret Michaels, Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. – Yeah, the same former lead singer of Poison who just recovered from a brain hemorrhage.
• Vince Gill, Oct. 29, 8:30 p.m. – The country superstar.
Tickets for Michaels are on sale now, and for Gill on Tuesday, through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).
A big Bing season
Spokane’s more venerable music venue, the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., has an extensive lineup of shows over the next several months.
Here are a few of the noteworthy national (and international) acts:
• The Hawaiian Legacy Tour, Friday, 8 p.m. – This show features slack-key guitarist Patrick Landeza.
• Karan Casey and John Doyle, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. – The Irish duo, formerly members of Solas.
• Shristhi: Creation, Dance Drama From India, Oct. 2, 7 p.m. – Traditional Indian dance and music.
• Imagine: Remembering the Fab Four, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. – A Beatles tribute act.
• NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” Live, Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m. – Featuring the finalists from the stand-up reality show.
• Jason Hewlett, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. – A celebrity impressionist.
• Paula Poundstone, Oct. 30, 8 p.m. – The acerbic and quick-witted comedian.
• The Battlefield Band, Nov. 17, 8 p.m. – The Scottish folk band.
• An Evening With Leon Redbone, April 22, 8 p.m. – The gravelly voiced jazz-blues revivalist.
Tickets for these shows are available through TicketsWest outlets.
Berkes is willing
Spokane Public Radio will host Howard Berkes, National Public Radio’s West Coast correspondent, in a special “Evening with NPR’s Howard Berkes,” Oct. 6, 8 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater.
Berkes has covered Mount St. Helens, Ruby Ridge, the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy and many other big stories. Local correspondent Doug Nadvornick will share the stage and lead a question-answer session.
This is part of the 10th anniversary celebration for Spokane Public Radio’s KSFC-FM (91.9).
Tickets are $25 general admission ($20 for Spokane Public Radio members). Call (509) 328-5729 or (800) 328-5729.
Labor Day silence
Let’s pause for a moment of silence for the Spokane Symphony’s Comstock Park Labor Day Concert, which will not take place this year.
This annual tradition fell victim in 2010 to the Great Recession. The symphony simply can’t afford to put on a free concert this year.
Let’s hope that the sounds of the 1812 Overture will ring through Comstock Park again in 2011.
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