A boom in galleries makes downtown CdA a visual arts destination
Carrie Scozzaro [Photo: Mike McCall]

Some people go for the art, taking advantage of the opportunity to talk to featured artists. Others go for the social buzz or an evening out shopping, visiting, dining, and perusing the gallery scene. Known as an artwalk, the emphasis on walking can get lost as these events grow.

Not so in Coeur d’Alene, which seems to be experiencing a renaissance, welcoming new galleries into the fold over the past year. Focused around downtown’s Sherman Avenue and the surrounding streets, Coeur d’Alene ArtWalk has managed to maintain a local feel, totally walkable in a few hours.

Blackwell Gallery (205 Sherman Ave.) was opened in 2012 by partners Mike Bacon, an artist who also exhibits at the gallery, and Bill Wendlandt, who purchased and renovated the historic Blackwell House into the new Blackwell Boutique Hotel.

Blackwell Gallery showcases mostly local, emerging artists, emphasizing modern, original work — no reproduction prints — and low-edition photography.

“If it will fit in the condo with all stainless and concrete floors, overlooking Elliott Bay in Seattle, it will work [at Blackwell Gallery],” says Bacon.

The 500-square-foot gallery space is bright, hip and displays a simultaneous assortment of work from their growing roster of artists, such as the stunning abstractions of Hiromi Okumura.

ArtCoLab (108 N. Fourth St.) brings custom cool to Coeur d’Alene with an innovative shared workspace from partners Scott Lakey aka Dove of Born Invincible Design, and Jeremy Deming aka Jerm of JermDesign.

Look for bright orange walls, bold graphics, one-off bikes and wonderfully outlandish exhibitions like Monsters X Robots (through October). Featuring Lakey, Derming and tattooist/artist Scotty Hankins, the exhibition includes their 15-by-3-foot monster-themed version of The Last Supper. September’s ArtWalk will include the unveiling of a rockabilly monster pin-up girls print series, also through October.

Other new galleries include Art de Vine (1506 Northwest Blvd.) by longtime painter and instructor Barbara Irvine and Edward Gilmore’s resurrection of the failed Spokane Studio 66 in its new CdA location (321 E. Front Ave.).

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