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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Aliens, ‘cosmic goddess’ descend upon Spokane County Fair

Artist Luke Grayson-Skinner spray-paints the galaxies during the First Friday Art Walk at the Spokane County Interstate Fair Friday.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Aliens, galaxies and even a “cosmic goddess” caught many fair attendees’ attention as they strolled through the opening day of the Spokane County Interstate Fair Friday.

Twelve local artists showcased their talent by painting a space-themed art piece on a 4-foot by 8-foot piece of plywood for the first-ever “First Friday Art Walk.” The fair’s theme is “All Systems Go!” with a rocket blasting off toward space behind the theme words.

Three artists said painting live in front of people was a changeup to their typical art setting of a quiet studio.

“I don’t usually have that in my studio,” artist Rebecca Clinard said of the passersby examining her work.

But, she said the new setting was exciting.

“I’m a high school art teacher so I feel like I do a lot of painting like that kind of, but it’s more controlled,” she said.

Clinard, who teaches at Innovation High School in Spokane, painted Saturn, her daughter’s favorite planet, with the face of a “cosmic goddess” watching over the planet in the background. She said the painting was in honor of her daughter, who turns 13 years old Saturday.

Clinard said she discovered the inaugural art walk was happening while looking at fair tickets for her children.

“I was like, ‘This looks like this could be so fun,’ ” she said. “It pushes me outside of my comfort zone, makes me do something I haven’t necessarily done before and I just really wanted to do it for the experience.”

Besides the public setting, Clinard said completing the painting in three hours – artists painted from 5 to 8 p.m. – and covering a huge canvas were big undertakings.

Luke Grayson-Skinner painted galaxies and used stencils of people looking through telescopes for his art piece.

“I’m just figuring it out as I go,” he said.

Grayson-Skinner also said painting in front of people was a change of pace and painting on a large canvas was an adjustment. His previous artwork hung near the canvas and was significantly smaller in size.

“It’s just a cool thing to be doing,” he said of painting in front of others.

Kate GB, whose artist name is “Asparagus Ice Cream,” painted a green alien at the top of her canvas.

“I got aliens in my mind,” she said.

She used a few sketches to guide her work.

“Normally, I would never paint in front of people and I didn’t know it was a contest, but it’s really good for me to get out of my comfort zone,” she said.

Fair guests were invited to visit each artist’s piece across the fairgrounds and cast a vote for their favorite artist. A panel of judges from Spokane Arts were expected to award cash prizes for their top three favorite pieces.