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Monday, July 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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First Friday: ‘Painter of place,’ ceramic art and hardened sculptures

Artist Ben Joyce is framed through Lake Coeur d’Alene with Maui in the backround at his studio in Spokane on Aug. 24, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Artist Ben Joyce is framed through Lake Coeur d’Alene with Maui in the backround at his studio in Spokane on Aug. 24, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
By Audrey Overstreet For The Spokesman-Review

“In September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage,” Henry Rollins once said. But let’s also wander through the galleries, pubs and wineries of downtown Spokane for this month’s free First Friday Art Walk, shall we?

Get inspired early on First Friday with a lunchtime panel discussion from noon to 1 p.m. by three artists whose work is featured on the walls of Chase Gallery located on the lower level of City Hall. Local painter Amanda Caldwell, Seattle-based painter Kenneth Susynski and Bellingham-based fiber artist Seiko Purdue will discuss their practices and approaches. In the evening, all three artists return for an artists’ reception at the Chase. 4-7 p.m. at 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

This Friday is a perfect opportunity to visit Ben Joyce Gallery to see the works of our “painter of place” and do some good at the same time. Joyce is donating 10% of sales on First Friday and the week following to Isaac’s Bookshelf. The nonprofit gives every young patient in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Sacred Heart Medical Center the opportunity to read books and even take a book home from the Isaac’s Bookshelf rolling cart. This show, and the life of baby Isaac, is a reminder that art can comfort all ages. 5-8 p.m. at 806 W. Third Ave.

From there, walk four blocks west to Iron Goat Brewing to catch a preview of the Little Spokane River Artist Studio tour coming up this month. Perhaps a few of the tour participants – including Sheila Evans, Victoria Brace, Jill Smith, Linnea Tobias, Kay O’Rourke and Gay Waldman – will be on hand at the Goat to share suds and stories. 5-8 p.m. at 1302 W. Second Ave.

Just a block north is a stellar ceramic art show at Trackside Studio Ceramic Art Gallery. The kiln fires burn hot in the hearts of the exhibition’s three featured artists – Gonzaga University associate art professor Mat Rude, retired Spokane Falls Community College ceramics instructor Lee Ayars and Clay Studio of Missoula artist-in-residence Seth Charles. Rude allows the weathered beauty of his work speak of secret places and arcane symbols that mark them. Ayars’ works evoke mystery and emotion. Charles revels in the irregular beauty of nature. 5-8 p.m. at 115 S. Adams St.

After experiencing gloriously warped and hardened sculptures, wrap yourself in the soft pastel perfection of artist Doug Martindale. His idealistic interpretations of landscapes transport the viewer into timeless, perfect space. And you’re at Barrister Winery. 5-10 p.m. at 1213 W. Railroad Ave.

There’s a very cool trio of art shows practically next door to one another at Kendall Yards this Friday. At Craftsman Cellars, Jesse Pierpoint’s mixed media pieces are like intellectual mashups of pop static, from nostalgic to disturbing. Haunting beauty nestles among Pierpoint’s layered works. 2-9 p.m. at 1194 W. Summit Parkway.

Just a few steps east is William Grant Gallery and Framing, where Miguel Gonzalas combines photography and digital illustration in eye-popping ways. His show “Momma Doesn’t Raise Mensas” explores the line between monocultural and bicultural worlds. 5-8 p.m. at 1188 W. Summit Parkway.

Around the corner of this Kendall yards hotspot is Marmot Art Space, where Shelli Walters’ vivid acrylics evoke a sense of joy and empowerment. The Bend, Oregon, artist uses paint, typography, pattern and texture to explore subjects ranging from landscapes and flowers to animals and bicycles. 5-8 p.m. at 1202 W. Summit Parkway.

Charlie Schmidt of keyboard cat fame opens his new show, “Art as a Crutch,” at V du V Winery. While checking to make sure that there were no cats in the making of this art show, I came across the little critter on Schmidt’s website ingeniously spliced into the controversial “Curing Spokane” video. The furry gangsta tags buildings and, of course, plays keyboards. The reception will include music by Late Nite Snaq. 5-9 p.m. at 12 S. Scott St.

The Richmond Art Collective is hosting an open house to reintroduce the community to its Laboratory art residency program. There will be interactive artwork from past Laboratory artists who hail from all over the world, and visitors can tour the studio and apartments where the resident artists live and work. 7-10 p.m. at 228 W. Sprague Ave.

Pottery Place Plus next to Auntie’s Bookstore and the entire Liberty Building will host multiple artists, including painter Kay West, pen-and-ink artist Larry Bergman, enamel jewelry-maker Lynn Gardner and wood-and-linoleum printmaker Brenda Everett. 5-9 p.m. at 203 N. Washington Ave.

AS2 Gallerys show “Sarah Thompson Moore and the Monumentals” features the work of legends Harold Balazs and Rudy Autio, as well as legend-in-the-making Moore. An Oregon native now living in Coeur d’Alene, Moore creates site-specific public sculptures, the most recent of which was an installation along the Hudson River in Manhattan. Moore melds steel, concrete and nature’s forces to striking effect. 5-9 p.m. at 835 N. Post St.

For all that’s happening this First Friday, go to

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