PALOUSE — A sunny June day shines on sculptures standing tall, art is hung on the walls of local businesses and talent fills the Palouse Community Center.
Palouse residents celebrate local artists and their craft, filling downtown with all sorts of media. This weekend, the Palouse Arts Council and the city’s Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the 17th annual Palouse ArtWalk. Art will be shown at various locations, and the the event will last through Sunday.
The Arts Council created Palouse ArtWalk in 2004 as a way to highlight local and regional artists, as the Palouse has a large artistic community, said Shandra Bohn, president of the Palouse Arts Council and co-chairperson of the event.
Occurring annually for 18 years, not counting during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ArtWalk has provided artists exposure and a space to show their work. Bohn said at the event, people will see all types of art, including watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings, as well as photography, ceramics and sculpture installations. All will be shown at 16-plus local businesses, at the Community Center — and even on the city’s sidewalks.
ArtWalk doesn’t require artists to sell their pieces. Instead, the event is an opportunity for people to share their artwork. Bohn said she thinks the most important part for artists is people viewing what they have created.
“It’s not, you know, how much money we get from everyone’s condition,” Bohn said. “It’s more about giving the artists an opportunity for the community to be seen and enjoyed. Art is art, and everyone’s going to enjoy it.”
If artists do decide to sell their work, a portion of profits will go to the Spark an Artist fundraiser the Arts Council is holding. Bohn said about 90% of pieces being shown are up for sale.
Spark an Artist is a project the Arts Council does for local students; the program gives a monetary stipend to a student from Palouse’s high school and middle school. Students who receive this reward are based on recommendations from the community, teaching staff and the Arts Council itself. Students chosen in the past have been involved in dance, theater, creative writing and the school’s arts program.
Kasiah Sword, an artist, has been showing her art in the Pacific Northwest for 15 years. She started showing her oil and acrylic paintings at the Palouse ArtWalk in 2016. She is known for her whimsically fine nouveau impressionism landscape paintings. Sword said she likes to tell stories with her art.
Some of Sword’s work is on the moon, sent up by NASA in the Paraguay collection. Out of 1,200 artists, authors and writers, her work was picked to be added to a payload of digital art dropped in a crater on the moon.
Sword said at the time she was recovering from a back injury when she stumbled across someone who was asking for people to submit their art to be added to a hard drive planned to be sent to the moon. She submitted some of her art that can be viewed at ArtWalk, including a painting of Venice and a painting of winter cabins in Switzerland featuring her dog.
“It’s been a rough couple of years for artists, especially after the pandemic,” Sword said. “So it’s really good to be able to get back to doing the shows where we have those opportunities of telling everybody about the cool stuff we’ve been up to.”
Art can be viewed at the event today at various downtown business, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the Palouse Community Center with an artist’s reception from 1-4 p.m.; and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Palouse Community Center.