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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Art Spirit Gallery’s theme for monthly ArtWalk shows abstract pieces, artists’ work complement each other in gallery

People look at pieces at a recent ArtWalk in Coeur d'Alene.  (Courtesy of Blair Williams)
By Alexandria Osborne The Spokesman-Review

Convergence is the theme for this month’s Art Spirit Gallery show at Coeur d’Alene’s downtown ArtWalk.

Some galleries stick with one theme for all of ArtWalk, but the Art Spirit Gallery picks a new theme for every month, gallery owner Blair Williams said.

Williams said the gallery’s monthly theme usually sticks to one word that ties together the pieces and stories they tell. This month’s convergence is “the act of converging and especially moving toward union or uniformity,” as defined by Merriam-Webster ,

“In this case, all of these pieces, they converge upon one another in such a way that they both complement each other while playing a story off one another,” she said. “The word ‘convergence’ felt perfect for how these pieces and these (artists) and their modalities come together come together to create a beautiful show.”

The Art Spirit Gallery selects the artists it wants to represent and chooses between seven and nine pieces of their pieces.

Professional artist Jill Kyong has been showing her work with the Art Spirit Gallery for a few years. She said it is fun for her to see people show up to events such as the ArtWalk and enjoy the pieces.

Kyong said she gets inspiration for her work from visuals and landscapes, mainly from the Pacific Northwest area. She will take photos, which can be of anything from a full landscape to a crack in the sidewalk, and create abstract images and geometric compositions based on those images found in nature.

“There’s something about going out in nature and on hikes and seeing the landscapes, that experience of awe and witnessing beauty, and to take that and try to convey that feeling in art,” she said. “It’s not just about recreating a scene, because I’m abstracting it so you wouldn’t know what it is, but to try to recreate that feeling.”

Through her wood sculptures, she tries to portray nature in her pieces as much as possible, and people often tell her there is a calming presence about her art, she said.

Kyong said she loves the conversation that comes with showing her work because if she puts it up in her home, nobody is going to see it.

“There’s a dialogue that happens between me and viewers,” she said. “It’s always great to see or hear their take on things and what they see in it.”

The original photos she uses as inspiration for her abstract work can be found on her website at; there will be a QR code at the ArtWalk that directs people to the pictures, as well.

Christian Benoit, artist and building designer, started to create art a year and a half ago and utilizes his skills from his background in design.

“I’ve designed and built homes over the years and that transferred into me wanting to do some artwork,” Benoit said. “That’s something I enjoy. I’ve been involved with designing for years and artwork is a branch of that.”

Benoit said he is looking forward to sharing his bold wold pieces in this weekend’s ArtWalk, which are based on the contrast between textures and abstract shapes and use bright colors to contrast with dull wood greens.

“(I enjoy) the freedom to create,” he said. “This is an opportunity for me to create things that come across my mind and put them out there for people who join.”

Professional artist Jon Morse has been creating art for more than 20 years and has been working with the Art Spirit Gallery for the last four.

Morse said he gave some of his work to the gallery to use, which includes modern and contemporary paintings. He enjoys creating art because ideas find him easily and he can show the work off to people.

“The gallery is presented well, and we have an electric mix of artists,” he said. “I enjoy working on a large scale and they can accommodate that with their beautiful space.”

Rounding out the gallery is Andrew Parker’s mixed-media installations and Claire Akebrand’s intricate and modern paintings.

This month’s ArtWalk will be from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, rather than its usual Friday time, throughout Main Street in Coeur d’Alene.