Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Public Art Uplifted

Public Art in Spokane

My husband and I took a quick trip east of the Mountains recently and visited Spokane and Wenatchee. The weather was not too rainy and cold and we walked around looking for public art. Spokane was wonderful with lovely walking paths along the Spokane River, a historic downtown, a cleverly renovated steam plant and many great restaurants. My favorite piece of public art was a footrace installation comprised of many runners rounding a corner in a park.

Wenatchee was a surprise. The town has 83 public sculptures. Their program, Art on the Avenues, was inspired in 1994 by a trip to Grand Junction, Colorado “…where they had the impression that they ran into art every time they turned around.” (Grand Junction was also a muse to our local public art program, Longview Outdoor Gallery.) They have met their goal and there is art everywhere.



Lotus Seeker

Pre-Mathematics (I loved that name.)

But my favorite art installation was not a sculpture. When I approached the covered bridge that connects downtown with Water Front Park, I could see colorful fabric attached to the inside-decorated bras. It was a fundraiser for The Wellness Place, an organization that develops and supports health programs for local residents. The bras were so unexpected and so cleverly decorated that I laughed first and then reached for my camera.

If you can’t get away to Spokane or Wenatchee, here are a couple of local activities to check out:
Visit the Broadway Gallery and see Scott McCray’s latest paintings – florals on a white background. The colors just pop and he says painting on white improves his concentration. His blog is
See “The Unexpected Guest,” playing at the LCC Rose Center for the Arts until November 26, ( read the review by Greg Zschomle on the Columbia River Reader website ( and add a comment. Let’s get some conversations going about art in our community!
Learn about Cowlitz County during WWI At the Cowlitz County Museum on December 1 (See details below)

First Thursday Activities – December 1

Broadway Gallery
, 1418 Commerce, Longview
Members Show
Reception 5:30-7:30pm. Music by Calvin. Door Prizes.

The Gift Cottage, 1414 Commerce, Longview
Gourmet food tasting. Door prizes. In-store sale.
Open until 7pm.

Longview Public Library Koth Gallery, 1600 Louisiana, Longview
Christmas Quilt Show
Open until 8pm.

Lord & McCord Art Works, 1416 Commerce, Longview
Gala Opening of Wearable Art Boutique featuring Walter Camerer, Cathy McCausland, Ken Knodell and June Trusty (jewelry), Billie Bevers (shawls and beaded purses), Daniela Nyberg (sweaters and scarves), Ms. Marie (wooden purses) and Billie Bevers, Jean Watson and the late Dorothy Connor (hats) Door Prizes.
Reception 5:30–7:30pm.

Teague's Mezzanine Gallery, 1267 Commerce, Longview
Suzanne Long (jewelry)
Reception 5:30-7pm.

The Bistro, 1329 Commerce Avenue, Longview
Wine tasting. Live music. Door prizes. Reservations recommended.
Hours: 5-8pm.

Cowlitz County Historical Museum, 405 Allen St, Kelso
“World War I Home Front in Cowlitz County” by Beth Kirby. Talk is in conjunction with CTPA’s presentation of “All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914” on December 4, 3 and 7pm.
Program begins at 7pm; museum open until 9pm.