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Archive: Visual Arts / Spokane and North Idaho

Shanghai: a city for the 21st century

The view above is what we saw yesterday as our plane prepared to land, just at sunset, at the airport in Shanghai, China. Internet access seems to be spotty here (my Hotmail account is all but dead, and Facebook is equally so), but I will do my best to note our activities over the next few days. Our second trip to China (we visited Beijing in December 2007) promises to be even more interesting, given Shanghai's reputation as a city of the future.

Draw Your Dreams winners announced

Six area youth will be honored next month for their efforts in creating illustrations of their special dreams.

Earlier this year, Building Dreams, formerly Playhouse Project Spokane, invited budding young artists throughout the Inland Northwest to create original artwork as part of an annual auction for area community centers.

The “Draw to Dream” competition was open to ages 4 and under, 5-8 and 9-12, and artists were evaluated on creativity and adherence to the topic.  The top submissions in each age group received a variety of prizes including an iPad Mini for the overall grand prize winner. 

The winners will be recognized at the second-ever Building Dreams gala auction fund-raiser May 10 at the Spokane Convention Center.

Tickets are $40 per person, or $400 for a table of 10, and can be purchased by calling (509) 323-7480 or online at westcentralcc.org.  Raffle tickets are $1 apiece and available at any of the three community centers or at the Spokane Home Builders Premier Show April 11-13. 

Along with recognition of the artistic winners, the event will also include the auctioning of a variety of original playhouses and related other structures created by area builders and artists.

Last year, 12 unique structures were auctioned off, but this year, more items are available including dog houses, patio furniture, gazebos, grape arbors, pergolas, community library boxes, jungle gyms, dollhouses and greenhouses. 

Proceeds from the auction benefit the West Central Community Center, Northeast Youth Center and the Peaceful Valley Community Center.  These centers provide programs and services promoting education, recreation and positive life choices for at-risk youth. 

Last year’s event raised $48,344 for youth programs.   

To watch construction of structures being built for the auction, follow Building Dreams Spokane on Facebook.  To get more information on the auction or become a sponsor, call Kim Ferraro at (509) 323-7480 or visit westcentralcc.org. 

The “Draw Your Dream” winners included:

  • Grand Prize Winner – Paige Wilton, 8, Hayden, Idaho
  • Winner Ages 1-4 – Kailen Sandberg, 4, Spokane
  • Winner Ages 5-8 – Divine Maple, 7, Coulee City, Wash.
  • Winner Ages 9-12 – Mackenzi Sandberg, 11, Spokane
  • Honorable Mention Most Charitable – Gabriella “Gabby” Kelly, 10, Newman Lake, Wash.
  • Honorable Mention Most Creative – Stella Beadle, 9, Spokane

To see the winning entries, click here.

India’s street colors run a rich palette

India's air may be mostly brown, at least as we experienced over the past couple of weeks, but the colors you see can be quite vivid. That's never more true than in the rich quality of women's dresses — saris and scarves. The above photo was snapped in Agra, and it captures an older woman whose dress complements the street graffiti behind her. 

Sometimes, Indian air is so thick you can slice it

The air in India is worse than Los Angeles during an emergency air alert. That's the bad news. The good news is that bad air tends to make for beautiful sunsets. The above photo was taken in Agra at sunset, just as we crossed a bridge en route to the train station. After a short stop to pick up some souvenirs, we boarded the train for our two-hour trek back to Delhi.

The Taj Mahal is a testament to undying love

Our day trip to Agra was long: To catch the 6 a.m. train, we rose at 4:30. The train itself, which was equivalent to what in Europe would be third class, got us into Agra by 8. We'd pre-arranged a tour, through Amin Tours, and so were met by a guide and a driver. Our guide, Hilal, shepherded us through the lines and onto the grounds of the Taj Mahal long before the place became jammed by crowds. While I didn't experience the sense of wonderment that other world sites (Saint Peter's, for example, or the Sydney Opera House) have instilled in me, I was still suitably impressed at what is a tomb built by an emperor to house the body of his beloved third wife.

Life in rural India is full of amazing imagery

I'm posting photos from the recent nine-day trip that my wife, Mary Pat, and I took to India. One of our day trips included a trek to Agra, during which we traveled partly by car through the countryside. I snapped as many shots as I could, some of which turned out OK — including the one above, which is of a woman (at least I assume it was a woman) watching us as we passed by.

India is everything you ever imagined - and more

My wife, Mary Pat, and I recently spent nine days in India, mostly in Delhi but we also spent a day in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. What I would say about the experience is this: Take everything you ever heard about India – the crowds, the poverty, the traffic, the cows walking free on the streets – and ramp it up by 10. At the same time, beauty is where you find it. I'm going to post some photos that we took to make that point. The one above was taken at Delhi's famous Red Fort. It's the entry way, which is basically a hall full of vendors.

Boom goes the Snyder thank-you to his fans

If you were to list all the movies filmed in Spokane, certainly “Vision Quest” would rank atop — or near the top — of your list. That was proven a couple of years ago when “Vision Quest” star Matthew Modine appeared at a special Spokane International Film Festival screening of the film at the Garland Theater — and the place sold out.

Of course, many of those in attendance were extras in the movie.

Now, building on “Vision Quest” popularity, Boom Creative has produced a “thank you” video aimed at supporters of Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder. The video, which is embedded below, features shots of Snyder biking across the same downtown bridges that Modine's character, Louden Swain, runs over in the film.

Take a second and check it out. Then find a copy of “Vision Quest” and check out what Spokane looked like in the 1980s.

What kind of cookies?

This morning I drove to work with a case of the Mondays, until I pulled up behind this. And then Heavy D came on … “Now let me take time to set your mind and your body free …”

And I was like, “This Monday isn't going to suck after all.” And you know what? It didn't. Word.

First day of spring redux …

It's a wet and beautiful thing!

Look for flowers near the produce department

A few years ago, I spent a fair amount of money at a flower shop for Valentine's Day. And yet after just a single day, the flowers had wilted. I took them back, complained, and was given a replacement arrangement. But after another day, same thing. Wiltorama.

Since then, I've bought my flowers at grocery stores. They may not be as fancy, but they last a lot longer than a single day. So that explains the backdrop to the above photo. Happy Valentine's Day. And thank you, Rosauers.

Time flies when you’re avoiding the flu

Yeah, public art comes in all sizes and shapes. Just ask Harold Balazs. But sometimes you find the art in the message. And during this time of flu season, one particular message is flowing at us loud and clear. In fact, we can't seem to get away from it, as the above photo proves.

So maybe you should, uh, listen? I did (though not at Rite Aid but at the nearby Walgreens) and, knock on wood, I have yet to get sick.

Even the fog can’t hide NZ beauty

No, that's not a painting above. But it could be. It was the first sight that my wife and I had of New Zealand during a holiday cruise that saw us return to Spokane on Christmas Eve. I know this blog is intended to cover things that happen locally. But, then, many local people take vacations … and some even go on cruises during the Chrstimas holidays. So I am going to, as I have in a few posts below, share some of the trip highlights here.

Maybe some of what I have to say will inspire readers to take the same kind of trip-of-a-lifetime.

The photo is of Milford Sound. Our cruise ship, the Solstice, sailed into the sound at about 7 a.m. But the fog never really did lift. We were supposed to visit three sounds that first day - Milford, Dusky and Doubtful - but we made only two (Doubtful was out) because of weather.

No problem. New Zealand has much more to offer than a mere rugged, fog-shrouded coast.

News in the new media still goes old-school

If you can't find out the information you want anywere else, you can always depend on the simplest form of communication possible: a simple sign set in front of a grocery store. I saw the one above earlier this afternoon sitting in front the the Rosauer's store at 14th and Lincoln. Click here to find the inside skinny on what to expect (hint: it's holiday potluck time).

You gotta have heart for this site

Time for a diversion: Looking for the most obnoxious Web site ever? Click here. Just the thing for a long, hot, summer afternoon. Or for Valentine's Day. Your choice.

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