Western art show to feature region's top artists

Several well-known artists from the Pacific Northwest will meet in Ritzville on Saturday, May 26, for the first Historic Ritzville Days Western Art Show.

Several local artists have registered for the event and will share their talents as well, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Pioneer Plaza in downtown Ritzville.

Twenty artists from Ritzville to Havre, Mont., have registered for the art show. An array of artwork produced using several different mediums will be on display for view and purchase by the general public. There is no admission fee and the art show will feature something for all ages.

Regionally and nationally recognized for their artistic abilities, top named artists including Fred Oldfield, Jack Fordyce, Gabe Gabel, Daryl Reed, Vicky Keeling and Jim Lisk have agreed to participate in the new event in a celebration of Ritzville's public art project.

Patrons of the art show will be invited to vote on a Best of Show award that will be presented to the artist with most appealing overall display of their work.

Live entertainment will accompany the event beginning at noon when the bluegrass band Kettle Creek performs on Railroad Avenue at the intersection with Pioneer Plaza, just outside the Depot Museum.

Members of the Ritzville Classic Car Club will display several of their restored classic cars on Railroad Avenue as warm-up for the club's annual car show on Sunday, May 27, on Columbia Street next to the Ritzville City Park.

Sponsored by the Ritzville Downtown Development Association, the Historic Ritzville Days celebration will feature the unveiling of the city's newest metal sculpture. Created by Lamar Thiel of Ritzville, the new sculpture pays tribute to Albert M. "Bert" Kendrick, who photographed several generations of local residents from 1935 to 1982. The sculpture of Kendrick will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, in front of 216 West Main Avenue, home to The Hair Center. Six sculptures are already in place within the city.

The Historic Ritzville Days Western Art Show is open to all artists. The Ritzville Downtown Development Association is inviting artists to participate in the show free of charge. Advanced registration is required.

The art show is intended to help celebrate the annual public art project and attract attention to the city's efforts to revitalize its downtown through the use of art. The deadline to register for the show is Friday, May 18. For information, or to obtain an application, contact Stephen McFadden at (509) 659-1020 during the day or (509) 659-0669 in the evenings and via e-mail at mcfadden@ritzvillejournal.com. Ritzville artist Jim Lisk can also be contacted at lisktoons@ritzville.com or via his Web site at www.jimlisk.com.

For more information about Ritzville, local accommodations and other scheduled events, contact Carol Simonson at the Ritzville Area Chamber of Commerce, (509) 659-1936 or via the chamber's Web site at www.ritzville.com/chamber.


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