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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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For Robert Kraut, every instant is ‘a moment of reflection’

Stepping over the threshold of Robert Kraut’s studio is an instant “freeze in place” and “wow.” The space takes up the whole first floor of a converted duplex north of downtown Spokane. Even the backyard, grass free for the most part, is alive with metal scraps turned into organic-looking growths.

Art for thought

Stepping over the threshold of Robert Kraut’s studio is an instant “freeze in place” and “wow.” The space takes up the whole first floor of a converted duplex north of downtown Spokane. Even the backyard, grass free for the most part, is alive with metal scraps turned into organic-looking growths.

Promise of hope depicted in work

Artist Joy Tagliavia-Mizzoni has quite the past; heartbreaking yet inspiring. It is a past that she has kept hidden for many years but now, with vibrant colors, she speaks. “Every emotion I ever stuffed down over the past 35 years manifested itself on paper,” she said. “A flurry of these portraits just literally and nearly magically spilled forth. These pieces tell a story of a broken and abused little girl. They depict anguish, longing, pain, fear, and all things too terrible for words but they also depict hope; the amazing miracle that, in the midst of tragedy, pain and ugliness, hope never died.”

Promise of hope depicted in work

Artist Joy Tagliavia-Mizzoni has quite the past; heartbreaking yet inspiring. It is a past that she has kept hidden for many years but now, with vibrant colors, she speaks. “Every emotion I ever stuffed down over the past 35 years manifested itself on paper,” she said. “A flurry of these portraits just literally and nearly magically spilled forth. These pieces tell a story of a broken and abused little girl. They depict anguish, longing, pain, fear, and all things too terrible for words but they also depict hope; the amazing miracle that, in the midst of tragedy, pain and ugliness, hope never died.”

The Verve: Fashioning local treasures

They are renegades. Rejecting conventional ways of thinking, they stand strong with scissors in hand, ready for battle against big-box stores and factories with a goal of bringing local and exciting fashion and accessories to others. Currently, they are gearing up for their fourth annual alternative fashion show, called Runway Renegades. Scheduled for Aug. 13, the event will highlight six local clothing designers, three accessory designers, hair and make-up artists and models.

Swanstrom creates visually curious art using vintage items

Jon Swanstrom is a fringe artist with a strong aversion to 9 to 5 and societal confinements. Creating outside the perimeter of mainstream art, Swanstrom is free to express himself without restraint, staying far from the spoon-fed ideals offered by the media and the masses. As society is urged to consume more and upgrade often, Swanstrom is fiercely loyal to what’s left behind; taking the old and discarded and giving it aesthetic purpose. “There’s a lot of beauty in old stuff,” he said.

Swanstrom creates visually curious art using vintage items

Jon Swanstrom is a fringe artist with a strong aversion to 9 to 5 and societal confinements. Creating outside the perimeter of mainstream art, Swanstrom is free to express himself without restraint, staying far from the spoon-fed ideals offered by the media and the masses. As society is urged to consume more and upgrade often, Swanstrom is fiercely loyal to what’s left behind; taking the old and discarded and giving it aesthetic purpose. “There’s a lot of beauty in old stuff,” he said.

Ellingson draws on castoff items to add interest to his art

Artist Larry Ellingson’s color wheel is three-dimensional and filled with “stuff,” including lawn sprinklers, buttons, rusty hinges, weathered wood, pool balls, tire pumps, old toys and “whatchamacallits,” you know, those things you absentmindedly slide into the junk drawer or flick off the counter for the cat to swat across the kitchen floor. Simple banalities or once useful items, they become something entirely different when Ellingson is done with them.

Filmmaking teens shooting for audience’s self-revelation

Chris Hulsizer, 17, David Kershinar, 18, and Michael Graves, 18, are an indie filmmaking trio: three buddies motivated to share their thoughts, emotions and dark humor with others. The creative teenagers call themselves Common Folk Films, but they are far from common. “I love film noir, so a lot of my storytelling tends to be a bit dark, but my main goal is to get across real human emotion, real human nature, which is often very dark,” Kershinar said.

Dark reality

Chris Hulsizer, 17, David Kershinar, 18, and Michael Graves, 18, are an indie filmmaking trio: three buddies motivated to share their thoughts, emotions and dark humor with others. The creative teenagers call themselves Common Folk Films, but they are far from common. “I love film noir, so a lot of my storytelling tends to be a bit dark, but my main goal is to get across real human emotion, real human nature, which is often very dark,” Kershinar said. In their films, there is a bit of swearing and violence, emotions good and bad, and humor at the expense of others. Still, as they watch films by the Coen brothers, Judd Apatow and Wes Anderson or films like “Never Let Me Go,” “Punch-Drunk Love” and “Pulp Fiction,” they recognize that there is a market for film noir and the obscure.

Artist feels connected to sculpting more deeply than painting

They start off as lumps of clay, are formed and then given a name. They are nomads, fertility goddesses, painted spirits and totems that emerge from the earthy medium almost instinctually by artist Katrina Brennan. “For me, clay is my passion, and its voice speaks loud and clear. It’s my job to listen to it the moment I touch it, and respect its wishes,” Brennan explained in her artist’s statement. “If it wants to be an ancient unclothed woman welcoming death in the form of a raven, so be it. If it wants to be a pot with a network of human organs carved on its front, I listen. Who am I to judge?”

Nonconformist is exploring his artistic options

We have all, at least once, asked ourselves “what will become of that kid?” He was the one who, at 14, tattooed himself, pierced himself, listened to vulgar music, and had a problem with authority. Jason Goldsberry, 22, was (is) “that kid” and he has a full-time job, is a father, a husband, an artist, and he’s happy. Sure, he still has a problem with authority but he’s adapted and creating art is his way of continuing to question authority.

Work in progress

We have all, at least once, asked ourselves “what will become of that kid?” He was the one who, at 14, tattooed himself, pierced himself, listened to vulgar music, and had a problem with authority. Jason Goldsberry, 22, was (is) “that kid” and he has a full-time job, is a father, a husband, an artist, and he’s happy. Sure, he still has a problem with authority but he’s adapted and creating art is his way of continuing to question authority.

The Verve: A painter of stories

Judy Foust-Harrell is finally living her dream. It’s a dream she first had as a child growing up in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, where, surrounded by the great outdoors and living next door to a portrait artist, she decided to be an artist and to go to art school. Though she dabbled in art, everyday living took precedent; she married, had four kids and helped run a logging business with her husband for 35 years. After closing that business, the couple hit the road to work for a power line company.

Artist contemplates modern cultural influences

Though not self-proclaimed, artist Ryan Babcock could just as well be called a visual philosopher. His work speaks of the inner workings of someone who is constantly pondering the state of society and its actions with a goal of making viewers think. “My art foresees the possibility of a world of separateness, loneliness, absent thinking and lack of personal awareness. This is caused by the teachings presented to us by corporate America,” he said. “I believe that we are all here on this earth to learn, evolve and be happy.”

Hite’s musical trip brings him home

Brett Hite, 25, currently resides “in the middle of nowhere” in Spokane Valley on 10 acres where he has room to create, to think, and to run. In his room, he has all that he needs; computer, keyboard (the musical kind), a couple of guitars, paper, writing utensils and his voice. The home belongs to his parents and he is only there a few months out of the year. The rest of the time, he is performing at college venues across the United States. Until he hits the road again, he will be unwinding while writing and recording new songs.

Pensive paint

Though not self-proclaimed, artist Ryan Babcock could just as well be called a visual philosopher. His work speaks of the inner workings of someone who is constantly pondering the state of society and its actions with a goal of making viewers think. “My art foresees the possibility of a world of separateness, loneliness, absent thinking and lack of personal awareness. This is caused by the teachings presented to us by corporate America,” he said. “I believe that we are all here on this earth to learn, evolve and be happy.”

The Verve: Sherrill sees life through her lens

Kendra Ann Sherrill, 17, will graduate from Central Valley High School on Saturday. In September, she plans to attend Eastern Washington University. She will be in the school’s honors program, where she plans to major in film production. “I see things through a set of lenses,” she said. “My thoughts transfer into moving pictures on a silver screen that plays inside my head. My mind is always occupied. I am constantly searching for inspiration. I love being able to do something that not that many people can do; tell a story through a set of moving pictures.”

A MOVING STORY

Kendra Ann Sherrill, 17, will be graduating from Central Valley High School in a matter of days. In September, she will enroll at Eastern Washington University. She will be in the school’s honors program, where she plans to major in film production. “I see things through a set of lenses,” she said. “My thoughts transfer into moving pictures on a silver screen that plays inside my head. My mind is always occupied. I am constantly searching for inspiration. I love being able to do something that not that many people can do; tell a story through a set of moving pictures.”

Artist Carl Richardson gives voice through work

Carl Richardson, the youngest of eight children, is a man of few words. Perhaps he allowed his siblings to do most of the talking as he listened and observed. His father was in the military and they traveled from Delaware to Florida, to the Philippines then back to Florida. What remained constant was family, a thing important to Richardson, and what was fostered was his ability to communicate without saying a word. “Because words fail, I choose paint, ink, canvas, paper, film, pen, charcoal and/or a squeegee to give a voice to thoughts, feeling and emotions within me,” he writes on his website.