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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Verve: Steampunk style features inventive creations

Robert LaMonte is a tinkerer, a scientist, an engineer and a forward-thinking artist. He creates gizmos that blend the past with the future; the Victorian era and art deco with fantastic inventions. His gadgets include what-not boxes, clocks, lights, and other accessories that inspire wonder.

The Verve: Randi Harris gives organic nature back to man-made items

Randi Harris, 29, grew up in Emporia, Kan., and was heavily involved in art in high school, though she never thought of it as a potential career. She went on to receive a computer programming degree from Kansas State University and she worked odd jobs while doing art on the side. While living in Joplin, Mo., and studying art education, a catastrophic event had her rethinking her life.

The Verve: Randi Harris gives organic nature back to man-made items

Randi Harris, 29, grew up in Emporia, Kan., and was heavily involved in art in high school, though she never thought of it as a potential career. She went on to receive a computer programming degree from Kansas State University and she worked odd jobs while doing art on the side. While living in Joplin, Mo., and studying art education, a catastrophic event had her rethinking her life.

Spokane artist Valerie Woelk releases ‘Expressive Faces’ exhibit

Valerie Woelk has always made things; she’s been drawing and coloring as long as she can remember. She also used tools at hand, including a hammer and nails at her father’s and grandfather’s contracting business jobsites. “My job was to straighten the nails. They gave me scrap lumber to hammer little dots on with the nail head and make drawings with,” she recalled. “I spent hours drawing with my hammer, tapping to show them a dog, horse, flower or sun while we loaded up at the end of the day.”

Valerie Woelk, Spokane artist, releases ‘Expressive Faces’ exhibit

Valerie Woelk has always made things; she’s been drawing and coloring as long as she can remember. She also used tools at hand, including a hammer and nails at her father’s and grandfather’s contracting business jobsites. “My job was to straighten the nails. They gave me scrap lumber to hammer little dots on with the nail head and make drawings with,” she recalled. “I spent hours drawing with my hammer, tapping to show them a dog, horse, flower or sun while we loaded up at the end of the day.”

Purposeful work

Jeremy Vermilion, 32, is a man of few words. When asked where he grew up, he is quick to admit, “I’m not sure I ever did.”

Artist’s journey back to painting

J.D. Pederson grew up in a tight-knit, poor Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago. “There were block parties every summer, and we would share food and laughs with our Puerto Rican families, and our Mexican, African American, Polish and Italian neighbors,” he said. What he experienced in culture lacked in sophistication and, while he has fond memories and lifelong friends from his childhood, his sights were elsewhere – to the world beyond.

Finding peace in painting

J.D. Pederson grew up in a tight-knit, poor Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago. “There were block parties every summer, and we would share food and laughs with our Puerto Rican families, and our Mexican, African American, Polish and Italian neighbors,” he said. What he experienced in culture lacked in sophistication and, while he has fond memories and lifelong friends from his childhood, his sights were elsewhere – to the world beyond.

Restricted by illness, Melvin discovered art

At a home with acreage, surrounded by tall trees in Newman Lake, something’s brewing. Sometimes you can smell it; some kind of chemical mixed with a hint of pine. Upon entering the home, the scent gets stronger. Follow it downstairs and there she is – Melinda Melvin in gloves and a face mask, pouring a thick substance onto a strange and wonderful surface. As the compounds collide, depth, color and otherworldly skies or landscapes emerge that are often unexpected.

Portraits offer challenge to artist Paul Van Roy

Artist Paul Van Roy grew up in Omaha and started drawing in preschool. In junior high and high school, he won many awards for his ability to artistically capture what he saw.

Local artist refuses to stick to one art form

Chris Komski, 27, doesn’t care what he’s doing, as long as it has something to do with art. “In every aspect of my life, art is present. It’s figuring out the next problem, learning that next technique, chasing the ideas,” he said. “Art drives me to my next project, drops me off, and says, ‘I’ll see you next time.’ I just go where it takes me.”

Art is means of illustrating human impact

In a mix of realism, abstract and impressionism, done in acrylic paint, ink or water-based mediums on canvas or paper, Megan Broughton speaks her mind. Sometimes she manipulates pieces of wood or rock to create sculptures and sometimes she simply sits, enjoying the art that forms naturally in nature. She is worried about the “death of the landscape” and relays that notion visually.

Art helps Preston face shadows, find freedom

Donna Preston started thinking about becoming an artist when she was 4, after her father told her she was good at coloring. Preston hung on to her father’s every word, clinging to him, until the day her mother left him. Preston’s mother married four more times, and Preston was only allowed a visit with her father two weeks out of every year.

Unbounded energy

Donna Preston started thinking about becoming an artist when she was 4, after her father told her she was good at coloring. Preston hung on to her father’s every word, clinging to him until the day her mother left him. Preston’s mother married four more times and Preston was only allowed a visit with her father two weeks out of every year.

Artist’s works capture awe of simple wonders

This weekend in a small house across the street from the Spokane River in Peaceful Valley, a handful of artists will exhibit their work. The house has been converted into Shotgun Studio, a place where artists gather and participate in shows and painting classes with live models. The artists include John Thamm, Darrell Sullens, Jared Anderson, Tom Quinn, Charlie Hamm, Elsie Stewart and Natalie Utley.

Capturing awe of simple wonders

Next weekend in a small house across the street from the Spokane River in Peaceful Valley, a handful of artists will exhibittheir work. The house has been converted into Shotgun Studio, a place where artists gather and participate in shows and painting classes with live models. The artists include John Thamm, Darrell Sullens, Jared Anderson, Tom Quinn, Charlie Hamm, Elsie Stewart and Natalie Utley.

Artist will display works with pieces by her late mother

In a back porch converted into an art studio in North Miami Beach, Sonya Schwartz painted and sketched when time allowed. It seems she leaned toward figurative studies of women and children, including her own. In black and white or bold colors, she captured memories and moments in an array of media.

Stirring visual reminder

In a back porch converted into an art studio in North Miami Beach, Sonya Schwartz painted and sketched when time allowed. It seems she leaned toward figurative studies of women and children, including her own. In black and white or bold colors, she captured memories and moments in an array of media.