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Spokane’s public art a public treasure trove

SPOKANE – Riverfront Park, Spokane Falls or Manito Park are popular spots to visit in Spokane. That’s especially true during sun-drenched spring days like those Spokane experienced earlier this month when it hosted the WIAA Class 1B and 2B State basketball tourneys. However, venture further into Spokane and you’ll find public art seemingly around every corner. There’s such variety that it’s worthwhile to go off the beaten path and track down the city’s art collection. Whether artwork in Riverfront Park itself, downtown’s statue of far-flung marathon runners perpetually on the move or inside city hall, you’ll find public art that pleases all palates…or at least requires a double-take. So take the road or path less traveled when you’re in Spokane, and enjoy the city’s treasure trove of public art.

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Photo by John Fannin

“Passage: Immediate and Eternal” by Ken Spiering has figures on a park bench literally hanging two stories up at Spokane City Hall.

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Photo by John Fannin

Tucked away on a path behind some trees at Riverfront Park is the Inland Northwest Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was dedicated Nov. 10, 1985, “to those who served and to those who gave their lives.”

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Photo by John Fannin

You can visit Canada without leaving Spokane…Canada Island, that is. A small parcel of Riverfront Park was named for the neighbor to the north in 1974 when Spokane hosted a world expo.

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Photo by John Fannin

A 20-foot high sculpture greets visitors to the Spokane City Council’s chambers. Accompanying the unnamed piece are sketches of the work by artist Judy Pfaff. The artwork was funded through a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Photo by John Fannin

Serving as both public art and a nod to supporters, a school of metallic fish leads visitors to a fountain in downtown Spokane.

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Photo by John Fannin

Residents taking care of business at Spokane City Hall are seemingly surrounded by art, such as Ken Weaver’s larger than life “Sea Forms.” The wall sculpture actually consists of woven materials fabricated by the Inland Weavers Guild.

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