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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spotlight: Waldman installation shows ‘Why We Live Here’

Gay Waldman’s photo installation can be seen at the Spokane Convention Center.
Gay Waldman’s photo installation can be seen at the Spokane Convention Center.

The Spokane Convention Center is sporting a new work of art.

“Why We Live Here,” a photo installation by Spokane artist Gay Waldman, will be formally dedicated in a ceremony at 11 a.m. June 11 in the Ballroom Lobby.

According to a news release, the work consists of four panels made of dye-infused aluminum pieces. Each panel measures 10-by-10 feet and depicts the nature and seasons of the Spokane area: the Palouse, the lakes, Mount Spokane and Green Bluff among them. The panels are mounted over a painted mural representing the Spokane River.

Waldman said when she was thinking about applying for the commission, she started asking people why they lived here. The overwhelming answer? The seasons, she said, and the river.

“The foundation of the city is because of the river,” she said. “It’s such an interesting place we live because of the river.”

She collaborated on the installation with Rolf Goetzinger, who is a large-scale muralist. He painted the large river segment on the wall behind the panels.

This is Waldman’s first large-scale public installation, but she’s no stranger to the visual arts scene. Waldman has exhibited frequently in the region, being featured at the Chase Gallery and at festivals including ArtFest, Boise’s Art in the Park, Bellevue’s Art Fair and Yuletide. She is originally from Lewiston.

‘Big River’ in ASL

Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s season kicks off June 13 with a production of “Big River,” a musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.”

Two performances will be signed for the hearing impaired, June 20 and June 22, and seating nearest the American Sign Language interpreters can be reserved by calling the box office at (208) 769-7780.

“Big River” was the first Broadway musical that featured deaf and hearing actors together, when it was staged by Deaf West Theatre and the Roundabout Theatre Company.

“We are excited to be able to offer theater to people who may not always have the opportunity to enjoy it,” Roger Welch, CdA Summer Theatre artistic director, said in a news release. “Being able to offer theater to everyone is part of our mission. And with the history of ‘Big River’ being performed by both deaf and hearing people, it seemed appropriate to make that available for this show.”

Tickets for “Big River” are $25 to $40 and are available through the box office. The show is being staged at the Schuler Performing Arts Center on the North Idaho College campus. The other shows this season are “Mary Poppins,” “Romance, Romance” and “9 to 5.”

For more information, visit

Interplayers update

The board of Interplayers is meeting June 10 to assess the recent fundraising drive and determine the steps forward. In the meantime, Artistic Director Reed McColm is planning two new shows for this year.

In late August, they’ll stage the Washington premiere of “Church Basement Ladies,” a musical comedy that celebrates church kitchens and the women who work in them. The show has been a huge hit in the Midwest, McColm said. It sold out shows for more than two years in Minneapolis. In December, they’ll stage a sequel, “Away in a Basement,” as their holiday comedy. McColm said the humor is akin to that of the “Greater Tuna” stories. McColm hasn’t finished casting, but does have Kathie Doyle-Lipe on board to play one of the basement ladies.

But first, they have veteran character actor Jerry Hardin coming to town to do his one-man Mark Twain show, “On Man and his World.” Hardin memorably played Twain on a two-part episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and was Deep Throat on the hit TV series “The X-Files.” His film credits include “Saving Private Ryan,” “Reds,” “The Firm” and “Hidalgo.”

The show’s four-night run will begin Thursday. Tickets are $28 for adults, $22 for seniors and $12 for students.

Interplayers Theatre is at 174 S. Howard St. Call the box office at (509) 455-7529 or visit

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