After growing up and graduating from high school in Colville, local artist Vincent “Danger” Stevens moved to the the state’s West Side to “spread his wings” before moving back to Spokane a couple of years later.
“Family has always been a huge thing for me … plus it’s just been really cool to watch how the city’s evolved over the last 10 years,” he said, mentioning, in particular, some of the murals that have begun popping up on various buildings and bridges all over town. “(Spokane) is a great place to be an artist.”
While Stevens, 30, has experimented with drawing and sculpture in the past, for the last six years, his primary focus has been on painting, taking a great deal of inspiration from local artists like Daniel Lopez, Chris Bovey, Ben Hoteling and brothers Todd and Cain Benson.
Working late nights in his garage studio, Stevens favors acrylic paints and tends to work on canvas, but generally any large surface will do. Often, he said, he’ll find what he needs out riding his bike.
“Maybe it’ll be a wooden sign from Value Village or an old door or a huge oval tabletop,” he said, mentioning one of his recent works, a large, pop-art portrait of David Bowie. “It just depends on the circumstance, whenever it strikes me, I’ll just grab whatever is near me and start making something.”
While some may have struggled to find motivation during periods of lockdown over the past year, Stevens thrived creatively.
“I’m very much a reclusive person anyways, so the process of sitting down and making something – that is just personal time,” he said. “So when that pandemic hit, it felt like everyone had kind of started playing my game.”
Stevens hopes to begin work soon on a memorial mural for local artist and musician Tommy G (“from the 509”) set to be displayed in the Garland Art Alley.
“I’m really excited to do this,” he said. “Tommy had this beautiful voice, this crazy vibrato.”
Stevens remembered meeting Tommy G in a cafe near Spokane Community College.
“You know you’re just doing your homework and you’re like, ‘Oh, what’s this noise,’ and it’s just this fantastic person sitting in the corner doing exactly what he should be doing.”
Stevens approaches every aspect of his life – art and work – with a desire to serve others.
“My love language is acts of service,” he said. “So, if I can help someone get through a tough time, then that’s exactly what I’m here for.”
Today, Stevens celebrates not only his mother’s birthday but also two years of sobriety.
“With sobriety comes a little bit more clarity and level-headedness,” he said explaining how his outlook on life and art has significantly improved in that time. “I’m feeling less jaded, realizing that I can make things, make art accessible. That I can be part of this group of fantastic people … I’m literally getting shivers just thinking about it.”
But the people aren’t the only reasons he stays.
“Spokane is near nature and near perfect, and Colville is just in nature and perfect,” he said. “There’s something about the mountains and the trees – I think the reason that I like the country is that there’s something calming about knowing that this or that tree has been here for 50 years, and it doesn’t change.
“It’s exactly what it needs to be. Like my dad always said, ‘No matter what happens, in Spokane, the mountains will always be here for you when you come back.’ “
Examples of Stevens’ work, currently on display at Elliotts an Urban Kitchen, 2209 N. Monroe St., are available on Facebook at MC Stevens Art and Instagram at @mc__stevens_art.
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