Spokane Arts is excited to present Figure online this summer! Figure features a diverse collection of contemporary photographs, paintings, and drawings exploring the human form by regional artists.
Featured artists: Hannah Charlton, Sally Jablonsky, Posie Kalin, Kayleigh Lang, Egor Shokoladov, Lindsey Johnson, Meagan Marsh Pine, and Janelle Cordero.
The Chase Gallery, located inside Spokane’s City Hall, has been exhibiting shows online while Spokane City Hall is closed to the public. When City Hall re-opens to the public, the show will be viewable in-person while City Hall is open for visitors.
Figure, which includes the work of several queer artists, is part of the 2021 Spokane Queer Art Walk, a city-wide event spotlighting LGBTQ+ artists on First Friday June 4, 2021. Get all the details on the Spokane Queer Art Walk here!
Click on an image below to scroll through the gallery. Then dive deeper into learning about the artists that created the pieces below and see more of their artwork! Use these Discussion Questions as you explore the exhibition! Plus, use these family-friendly Art Activities for ideas for art projects to engage with the exhibit!
I was immediately drawn to the tiny, jewel-like paintings in medieval illuminated manuscripts. Like many art students, I had only learned about the Middle Ages as the Dark Ages, before Italian Renaissance artists discovered perspective and anatomy and made art worth looking at again. But the vibrant colors, complicated patterns, and fields of gold leaf were fascinating.
I follow the traditional process for illuminated manuscripts, with a few updates. I use a modern vegan parchment instead of the traditional calf skin, and often plan color layouts digitally.
As I continued to study this medium, I learned that the Middle Ages had not only been artistically, but ideologically varied. There were medieval feminists and medieval anarchists. Stories about Greek gods and goddesses were rewritten to be about exemplary mortals skilled in art and science. The three small pieces—Hades, Winter Ceres, and Orchid Ceres–were all opportunities to experiment with surreal designs, taking inspiration from both Hieronymus Bosch and contemporary fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The three large pieces are based on A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, this time drawing on imagined history. Fantasy books and movies are still where most people get their ideas about the Middle Ages, and I was eager to depict the events in those stories as it would have been done at the time. It was a chance to examine how we imagine medieval people and how they imagined themselves.
When I was a student in rural Washington, the only way I could get my hands on an illuminated manuscript was to make it myself. My goal is not to reconstruct the past, but to examine it more closely.
Hannah Charlton grew up in Eastern Washington. She studied art at Whitworth University, where she first became interested in medieval art history. This was encouraged by an internship at the Grünewald Guild, an arts retreat center that held classes in stained glass, calligraphy, and icon writing. Being surrounded by a community of artists, art lovers, and Ponderosa pine trees helped her realize what she truly wanted from life and art.
"The three small pieces—Hades, Winter Ceres, and Orchid Ceres--were all opportunities to experiment with surreal designs, taking inspiration from both Hieronymus Bosch and contemporary fashion designer Alexander McQueen."— Hannah Charlton
"The three large pieces are based on A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, this time drawing on imagined history. Fantasy books and movies are still where most people get their ideas about the Middle Ages, and I was eager to depict the events in those stories as it would have been done at the time."— Hannah Charlton
Through a range of media including drawing, painting, soft sculpture, and ceramics, Sally Jablonsky’s work investigates what it means to have an animal body, and how it feels to be on the Earth. Jablonsky’s portraiture presents, uplifts, and honors true individuals, who bravely are being themselves in the face of a capitalism and patriarchy. She investigates cultural forces, and holds up those individuals that in some way create their own set of rules.
In Jablonsky’s other work, she plays in a space where formal representation and imagination meet. She mixes subject matter that is morbid with that which is playful and innocent as a way of illuminating truths- these having to do with the fragility and beauty that is life, decay and death being intrinsically necessary for life to exist, and the resilience of the human spirit. In this more personally expressive work, Sally reveals how it feels to live with chronic illness, while pointing to the notion that human kind is not separate from nature.
In 2011, Jablonsky received a BFA in illustration from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, in Portland, Oregon. She is currently living and working in Spokane, Washington.
I am a painter, drawer, and maker. I create as a way of living fully, freely, and authentically.
I grew up in the Colorado desert and then on a farm in Eastern Washington. I wandered through cactus and woods, saluting hawks, making dams beneath cottonwood trees, escaping charging bulls and rattlesnakes, listening to the coyotes. Excitement for wildness, exploration, and adventure inspire my life and work.
As a young person, I began noticing and standing against injustice that I later learned was a result of patriarchy. In college, I made a series of life-sized oil portraits uplifting those who created a more freeing framework to live within than the one provided by society.
After graduation, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Living with chronic illness has expanded my awareness of how ableism and other injustices are woven into our society. Art making is the way I honor and claim space for myself and others who exist and create their lives in the face of oppression.
Kalin’s most recent painting series investigates the theosophical idea of Thought Forms – a term derived around the turn of the 20th by Theosophists, Annie Besant and Mr. Leadbeater. The general idea is that thoughts, in and of themselves, carry on beyond our bodies with color and form. These painting are ‘studies’ investigating the theosophical concept of thought forms intuitively allowing the work to evolve, morph and transform as personal memories present themselves in the process of creation.
Posie Kalin is professional artist, musician and art educator currently living in Spokane, Wa with her husband Avalon Kalin and her two daughters Calliope and Lumina. Her work explores a broad spectrum of mediums including film, music, photography, choreography, installation, painting and sculpture. Kalin’s methodologies, within her art practice, take liberty with the aleatoric process bringing her closer to a kind of alchemical journey which is embedded in the artworks themselves. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including Spokane, Yakima, Portland, Las Vegas, LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, NYC, and Bulgaria.
My art practice predominantly explores the figure through the personification of paintings and drawings. As of this writing, my current body of work is going through a transitional period, much like the world that we are currently living in. While my older work displayed a desire for community, safety, and adventure, my drawings from the last year has been stripped on that desire. My charcoal drawings are largely a representational snapshot of what my life in quarantine looks like, often during my most vulnerable moments.
I usually start my process by taking a photograph of myself when I’m at my worst: physically or mentally. After I have taken some time to recover, I will use that same photograph as a reference to my drawings. With astute observation and attention to detail, I force myself to slow down and intimately examine that frozen moment in time. I will then translate that feeling onto the surface of my paper by using charcoals and pastels, a process which becomes almost therapeutic.
Throughout this progression, I found that my quarantine work has challenged me in constructing new narratives that’s been created by self-reflection and autonomy. With that foundation in place, I will continue to explore the possibility of genuine connections within my own aging and ever-changing body. Support and acceptance begins to feel and look different, ostensibly so.
Kayleigh Lang (b. 1990) is an artist and educator currently located in Spokane, Washington. They grew up in Cheyenne, WY, and graduated with a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wyoming. In 2010, they spent a year studying Japanese art and language at Kobe College in Osaka, Japan. In 2016, they graduated with an MFA in Studio Art from Washington State University. Their work has been shown throughout the west and the greater Pacific Northwest. Lang currently works as a full-time artist and instructor at various colleges and universities throughout Washington.
I create graphic art via variety of visual art techniques like pencil, pen and marker drawing, oil, acrylic and watercolor painting, and 14th century printmaking technology called etching. In fact, I often mix several of these techniques and media in my artwork to better express my thoughts and impressions. I am particularly inspired by humor, so it is a common theme uniting most of my artwork. Personages and situations illustrated on my paper and canvas or engraved on zinc plates are easily relatable to and bring positive vibes into the world. I pay close attention to details attracting the viewer to explore all parts of the story behind each of my artistic pieces with me. My style has noticeable European shade as I am a recent first-generation immigrant from one of the Eastern European countries, Belarus.
Originally from a small cozy town of Grodno, Belarus, Egor Shokoladov have been expressing his thoughts and impressions about the world though art as long as he can possibly remember myself. His interest and success in that area had been recognized early and as soon as he turned eleven, he has been accepted into Grodno School of Fine Arts. Six years later, after graduation from this academic institution, Egor has been invited into the class with emphasis on art at the Lyceum #1 in Grodno. At the Lyceum Egor’s first solo professional exhibition took place starting his journey as an independent artist.
Upon graduation from the Lyceum, Egor has decided to continue formal education in art as a student of Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, where he obtained a Master of Arts degree with specialty in Visual Art and Computer Graphics. During the university years Egor has discovered his passion to graphics, however, it took him a while to identify the techniques he enjoyed creating by the most – drawing and painting, printmaking and mixed media. While still a student, he had his second solo exhibition and shortly after graduation he was honorarily accepted into the Union of Belarussian Artists and Union of Polish Artists in Belarus.
In recent years Egor has selected etching to be the primary technique of his creations and has been creating art to present at exhibitions and to fulfill commissions. Egor’s work can be found at galleries, museums and private collections in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, China, Poland, United States, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine.
In 2020, Egor has moved to Washington, United States. He started his artistic career here by creating a temporary mural “Confessions of the Jester” in downtown Spokane participating in the Spokane Arts project and by submitting his prints to “Small Expressions-19” exhibition at Port Townsend, where his etching print “Lepidopterist” won “People’s Choice Award.” Stunned by the variety of opportunities available for artists in the US, Egor is excited for continue his professional growth and establishment as an artist in America.
Lindsey Davis Johnson
I use art making as a tool of reckoning with experiences. In portraiture a dialogue occurs between the subject, the image and I. I find that allowing the image to inform me through the process of reflection, it can reveal just what I needed to learn. This is the dance of making that fascinates and that brings me to life.
Documenting the people you love is the most worthwhile way to spend your time.
It used to be extremely painful for me to share custody of my oldest daughter. Over the years, I have become accustomed to a gnawing ache that pays me a visit in her absence. Like a familiar companion would greet me in a regularly scheduled chore. I nurse my wistfulness by studying her form, her coloring, her eyes and mouth, as if by careful observation and documentation I can seal in her laugh and return to it time and time again. I ask her eyes for validation that I have done alright, that she feels my love. In each touch to the canvas, I press in my endless prayers of protection for her along with all my love.
It is an act of kindness to simply notice. It is an act of love to create a portrait. To say, I see you, I see you before me, I see who you are, and you are beautiful. It is this exchange that makes the process so wonderful. In return, I can begin to catch glimpses of the beauty they find in me. Perhaps in the end this gift is my ultimate pursuit; to add layers to my own identity through the perceptions of the ones I love. Because through the eyes of my daughters, my husband and dear friends, I can see more of the beauty in me. Through the process of capturing their likeness I hope to extract their wisdom. Through the process of observing our perceptions of each other, I hope to honor our relationship and all they have taught me.
Raised in Spokane, WA primarily by her mother, Johnson fell in love with art at Hamblen Elementary School. With the introduction to a Jacob Lawrence print and his powerful use of the formal elements such as color, implied line and shape, Johnson knew from that early age, it was the beginning of a life-long affair with art education.
Johnson’s mother provided the support and her sister, Colleen was often the subject of her paintings. Colleen still appears in Johnson’s work and remains an important confidant to this day. The two women sharing a fascination of psychology talk endlessly over family dynamics to which becomes inspiration for many of Johnson’s figurative works.
Johnson is now a Mother, Wife, Aunt, Teacher and Friend living in North Idaho and currently working as an Art Educator. Her education includes MA.ArtEd from the University of New Mexico and a BFA from Austin Peay State University.
“I believe that part of the art process includes a transfer of energy from the artist to the viewer, and that the art is not complete until this transfer happens. When the art is finally shared with the viewer. My hope is that through the positive energy of simply sharing, light and love will permeate the new wall it hangs on.”— Lindsey Davis Johnson
The images made in the work Stargazing were made in collaboration between myself and my wife, Elizabeth Hickman Pine. The images have an other-worldly, science fiction feel to them, the green cast of the light, the vastness of the sky, the way in which the world seems to disappear beyond her all add to this feeling. Stars have a history of symbolism attached to them, commonly used to represent something divine or good, a pathway, maps, stories. Through the process of photographing, we create a space in which we are among the divinity of the stars, creating a pathway to our own world.
The photographs, photo books, and installations that Meagan Marsh Pine creates look to past moments that inform the present. Their work has been featured in group exhibitions and publications in the United States, including Gallery 263, Soo Visual Arts Center and Public Functionary. They received their BA in art, BA in journalism and minor in design from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. They are currently an MFA Candidate at Washington State University where they teach Drawing.
I am a portrait and figure study artist, primarily working with pencil, ink and watercolor to manifest a loose and organic style. My paintings are designed to be incomplete, fragmentary, and mystical. I juxtapose harsh bold ink lines against precise and detailed eyes, noses and mouths—underlying all of my work is the softness of watercolor, the ebb and flow and bloom.
I make art because it fulfills my needs for contemplation and prayer. When I’m solely focused on painting or sketching, my mind isn’t distracted by meaningless thought cycles. I’m utterly in the moment, giving myself entirely to whatever piece I’m working on. And I hope the viewer of my paintings will experience that same kind of transportation into a meditative mindset.
Janelle Cordero is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living in the seventh most hipster city in the U.S. Her writing has been published in dozens of literary journals, including Harpur Palate and Hobart, while her paintings have been featured in venues throughout the Pacific Northwest. Janelle is the author of three books of poetry and artwork: Many Types of Wildflowers (V.A. Press, 2020), Woke to Birds (V.A. Press, 2019) and Two Cups of Tomatoes (P.W.P. Press, 2015). Stay connected with Janelle’s work at www.janellecordero.com
Use these Discussion Questions as you explore the exhibition online! Plus, use these family-friendly Art Activities for ideas for art projects to engage with the exhibit!
Love the art? Want to take it home?
You can purchase artwork at the Chase Gallery! For purchasing or with any questions about the gallery or the artwork, please email Mika.