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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Step into artists’ studios in Town and Country tour

Jennifer Larue

Lookie-loos and art appreciators get ready. A half-dozen artists on Spokane’s South Hill will be opening their homes and studios to share their work and others’ during the free self-guided seventh annual Town and Country Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday.

Artists who have participated in the past agreed that while many visitors make a beeline for the free food, they do come for the art. “Most people who stop by are actually looking for art,” said artist L.R. Montgomery, “Getting to meet the artists allows them to feel more ‘in touch’ with the work.”

Montgomery will be hosting studio 3. He specializes in regional landscapes done in oil, watercolor or etched. “Every year I go camping in a place I want to paint,” he said. His work will be displayed in a large open room just inside the front door. More work will be in the dining room and watercolorist Cheryl Halversen along with Sarah Prior, who paints and also makes drums and rattles, will be on the front lawn.

Dian Zahner’s home is studio 1 where she will show her paintings, baskets, and weaved creations in the foyer and living room. The dining room table will hold hand-pierced and painted lampshades by artist Charlotte Yocom. A tent in the front yard, an area on the front porch and back deck will be the settings for potter Hilda Bradshaw, and painters Marsha Marcuson and Carol Schmauder. Zahner will be available to lead curious visitors to her attic studio where she has three looms.

Just two blocks from Zahner’s is where oil painter and musician Kathleen Cavender will welcome visitors into the large detached art studio behind her home – studio 2. Tents will be set up where four artists will display jewelry, fused glass, photography, hand-dyed and spun wool, and soft sculptures. The latter, created by Deb Shelden, owner of 29th Avenue Artworks, are funky canvas sculptures, painted, embellished with mixed media, and stuffed with fiber or plastic bags from the grocery store. Cavender’s setting will also include live music.

Studio 4 is John Noble’s place. Noble creates unique images of animals in many mediums. His work will be displayed on walls throughout the house. Five other artists will also be there displaying pottery, mixed media, jewelry, travel photography, and water-media, sumi-e and paintings on silk.

Artist Karen Mobley will open her doors at studio 5 where visitors will see a garage that has been transformed into a working art studio where Mobley produces interesting images of birds and nature in an array of mediums as well as pieces that include her poetry. Three other artists will be exhibiting there.

At studio 6, oil painter Reho Barron will share her space with four other artists.

Different from a gallery setting, the tour will allow others to connect with the artists in a more relaxed atmosphere where one is sure to notice that artists don’t necessarily believe that art has to match the couch. “Art should make a statement and attract attention away from everyday ‘blah,’ ” said lampshade artist Yocom, “It’s fun and has the ability to light up your life.”

The Verve is a weekly feature celebrating the arts. If you know an artist, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, band or singer, contact correspondent Jennifer LaRue by e-mail
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