To celebrate and recognize local members of the LGBTQ+ community, Spokane will host its Second Annual First Friday Queer Art Walk on Friday starting at 5 p.m. at seven venues in the city. Queer artists from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum will exhibit a variety of artworks from paintings and ceramics to fiber art and photography.
The artists represent many facets of the queer spectrum, with lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer and/or questioning individuals showcasing their creativity for Spokane’s art supporters, queer community and allies.
“I love the diversity this year, all the inclusion and all the colors,” said Andrew Whitver, Spokane Arts Commission member and Queer Art Walk organizer.
Other organizers of this year’s event include Eva Silverstone, Spokane Public Library arts education specialist; Remelisa Cullitan, Spark Central program manager; June T. Sanders, WSU assistant professor; and Roin Morigeau, Yes Is a Feeling gallery owner.
Members of the City Council, Spokane Arts, the Downtown Spokane Library and the Downtown Spokane Partnership also helped produce the city’s Second Annual Queer Art Walk. The first one was pre-COVID-19 in 2019.
Whitver said he is grateful that Spokane had venues willing to celebrate its queer creative community in June. “I just want queer people to be safe and seen and know they are OK for the sake of the youth and even the older people who have had to be closeted,” said Whitver, his voice breaking. “We are all in this together just showing people that we are just people.”
Here are the participating venues:
• Kolva-Sullivan Gallery will showcase the thought-provoking photographs of Sanders for her contemplative solo show “Easy World.” 115 S. Adams St.
• Trackside Studio Ceramic Art Gallery has gathered nine artists from throughout the United States: Chase Travaille, Shelsea Dodd, Samantha Momeyer, Andrés Monzón, Jinsik Yoo, Aaron Caldwell, G.V. Kelly, Maya Vivas and Jas.
The edgy group of queer ceramicists will offer more than just an exhibition. The show, “Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!,” is a breathtaking dive into pottery, figurative sculpture and abstract sculpture. Trackside is next door to Kolva-Sullivan at 115 S. Adams St.
• Dean Davis Studio is featuring the latest layered and vibrant paintings of the layered and vibrant Matt Schwenk. 216 W. Pacific Ave.
• Yes Is a Feeling gallery will display Margaret Mount’s latest installation mixing textile collage, embroidery and weaving in the space’s windows facing Lincoln Street. 159 S. Lincoln St.
• The new Pavilion Art Space at Riverfront Park will host a window installation by quiltmaker Shawn Parks, also viewable from outside. The east side windows of the Pavilion at 574 N. Howard St.
• Chase Gallery is participating in Spokane’s Second Annual Queer Art Walk but keeping it online for the opening this year. The show “Figure” is a diverse collection of contemporary photographs, paintings and drawings exploring the human form.
The featured artists from across the region are Hannah Charlton, Sally Jablonski, Posie Kalin, Kayleigh Lang, Egor Shokoladov, Lindsey Johnson, Meagan Marsh Pine and Janelle Cordero. For an online experience, check out the works and the artists’ statements at spokanearts.org/events/figure.
• Locust Cider and Brewing Taproom will host a reception starting at 4 p.m. for Kel, its featured queer artist during Pride Month. Her multimedia works explore the relationship between the self, emotion and perception. 421 W. Main Ave.
Shelsea Dodd, a ceramic artist from Montana who helped curate the Trackside show, said she admires Spokane for featuring queer artists in honor of Pride Month.
“My work conceptually is about feminism and LGBTQ+ issues, but I think it doesn’t matter about the concepts of the artists involved in the shows,” Dodd said. “It’s just important to have the inclusion and the representation of people who identify differently, especially for young artists, whether it’s their sexuality or their gender.”
“After all the division we’ve seen in this country over the past five years, it’s more important than ever to have visibility and support from allies and the art world,” Dodd added. “I think it’s great it’s happening in Spokane.”
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