With Governor Jay Inslee’s latest restrictions starting this week, more galleries will likely go virtual, much like the recent Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour.
At the start of the pandemic, local artists were trying to find ways to keep the show going. Victoria Brace, a Spokane favorite and the artist responsible for this year’s LSRAST poster, says: “People need something beautiful to hold onto more than ever before.
For the poster, Brace wanted to create something that would represent not only the tour and Spokane, but also his work as an individual. The artwork used for the poster was inspired by Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942), an art nouveau detour from his gentle, impressionist portraits and landscapes.
To create the poster, Brace made what she calls a “simple ink drawing,” digitized it and added color, brought it to Spokane Art Supply, and the rest is up to him. ‘story.
Brace describes the challenges of the past year as “an emotional roller coaster.”
“It doesn’t affect me much because I’m here in the studio working alone, but over time it gets emotionally draining,” Brace explains. “It’s an extra weight on the shoulders. Painting helps calm me down and make things meaningful. … I don’t know what I would do without. I am lucky to be able to continue what I am doing.
On her website, victoriabrace.com, Brace has an array of works, including a series called “100 Heads Project”. The self-improvement project started a year ago on Instagram as a challenge. Several artists from around the world responded to an invitation to create 100 heads in whatever medium they chose for the all-time classic motivator: practice makes perfect.
Brace decided to participate because “when you work on something very focused… you improve yourself, you learn a lot of things. I like faces, I like to make up stories about who they are. It is humbling for me and useful for my other work to learn anatomy, how to paint not only a hand or a face, but a person.
Brace is hoping for a new series at the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, where she has exhibited work in the past. The new works revolve around a theme that Brace describes as “(an emphasis on) the difference between spoken language and visual language”.
In the meantime, Brace’s works can be seen on his Instagram @victoriabraceart and website, as well as the Art Spirit Gallery website.