After taking classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, Michaelanne Foster decided to move back to Spokane.
“It wasn’t about going to the big city. It was about being home and contributing to a place that’s her home,” said Ryan Foster, one of Michaelanne’s four brothers.
Foster, 24, died Monday when the car she was driving struck a stopped semitruck about 9:30 p.m. on Interstate 90 near the Freya Street overpass, the Washington State Patrol said in a news release. Traffic was backed up as crews completed power line work following a pole fire earlier in the day.
Friends and family remembered Foster as a caring and devoted artist.
By the third grade, she had embraced art.
“She would draw. She would paint. She was interested in every medium,” said her brother, Mackenzie Foster.
Foster was a member of the Richmond Art Collective in Spokane.
Anne-Claire Mitchell, director of operations for the collective, said Foster worked to support other artists trying to earn a living in Spokane. The last time Mitchell saw Foster was at such an event.
“She didn’t go home at the end of the day and watch TV,” Mitchell said. “She would go out and lend support to the arts ecosystem.”
Mitchell said Foster was a soulful, skilled and flexible artist with a diverse portfolio.
Some of her works were large-scale oil paintings. One on her website featured the Madonna with the baby Jesus. Some of her work had feminine, nature or spiritual themes, Mitchell said.
“She had all the ability in the world to make it as an exhibiting artist and a creative professional outside the Spokane community,” Mitchell said. “Her incredible talent, optimism and vivacity made her a rare and beloved addition in our city.”
Foster installed work on a downtown Spokane skywalk. Her paintings were used by the Spokane Symphony, including one illustrating Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird.” She also was employed as the visual manager at the Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores in downtown Spokane.
Foster attended Cataldo Catholic School and was a 2011 graduate of Gonzaga Prep. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in Oregon.
Foster is survived by her parents Michael and Kathryn Foster and her four brothers.
Ryan Foster said his sister had a caring demeanor and “held her own” around her four brothers.
“When you’re one of five kids, you have to find your voice, and she found it as an artist,” he said.