Whether you’re on the hunt for some free gallery tours or a new painting to hang on your living room wall, every month’s First Friday festivities offer an embarrassment of riches for art fanatics. Here are a handful of this weekend’s events that are worth checking out; all events begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and are free to attend.
The Big Dipper, 171 S. Washington St., is opening its doors on Friday night for a showcase of local art and music. The two visual exhibits on display consider themes both organic and industrial. Artist Lauren Simison works in impressionistic landscapes, working in oil on canvas. Jim Oxford, on the other hand, specializes in whimsical machines that resemble the impractically practical household devices reminiscent of both Dr. Seuss and “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” Music will be provided by Lindsay Johnston, the Marco Polo Collective, the Nicholas Peter, Matthew Winters and Sarah Hull.
With its revolving exhibitions of work by local artists, Saranac Art Projects, 25 W. Main Ave., is one of the most reliable First Friday spots. Starting this weekend, you can see two exhibitions by renowned Spokane artists: Dan McCann’s “Machine” features sculptures, found objects and mixed media pieces that are constructed inside wooden boxes with transparent lids; Carrie Scozzaro’s “Pink Is the New Blue” explores issues of gender and identity, particularly in the way they are portrayed (often negatively) in popular culture.
At the Marmot Art Space in Kendall Yards, 1206 W. Summit Parkway, artist Sam White will have his boldly colorful, Picasso-esque, 7-by-5 foot canvases on display. Titled “October Faces,” the 50-piece collection features abstract portraits of local people, which makes it something of a companion piece to gallery owner Marshall Peterson’s own ongoing Spokane 50 photography project. The exhibition runs through Sunday.
Also in Kendall Yards, the William Grant Gallery, 1188 W. Summit Parkway, will be presenting an exhibition titled “Edges Soften.” It’s the newest collection by artist Christina Rothe, and it features her distinctive and vibrant thread-on-wood paintings, as well as some mixed media pieces. The artwork will remain on display through the month.
At Dodson’s Jewelers, 516 W. Riverside Ave., Lila Girvin presents “Intangible Spaces.” The longtime Spokane resident, who has shown rarely in the past 15 years, is unveiling new works created as “my response to the vastness and solitude I find in nature. I adventure with color and gesture, trusting the gift of the moment to guide my hand,” she said in an email from Dodson’s. She’ll be on hand Friday evening to talk with patrons, and the show will be on display through November.
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