By Jeff Bunch
An EWU partnership, facilitated by the efforts of an Eastern alumna, is playing a role in keeping the vibrant Spokane arts community growing.
EWU is co-sponsor of a weeklong visit by Philadelphia visual artist Nilé Livingston, who is holding a Visiting Artist Lecture on Monday, Jan. 11. Livingston from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the PUB. Her discussion with students and members of the public will focus on community building and the business of art.
Livingston was the guest of honor at an artists’ reception on Thursday night in Spokane. She was welcomed by more than 100 guests over a three-hour period at the Richmond Art Collective, which was co-founded in 2013 by EWU graduate Rebecca Chadwell (’13, BA English) and Anne-Claire Mitchell.
Chadwell met Livingston while doing work in the artist’s hometown last year. Livingston said she was excited to get an offer from Chadwell and sponsors such as EWU to come the Pacific Northwest.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to reach a more global audience and to exchange ideas and to learn something new,” said Livingston, who operates in mixed-medium. “My art mostly focuses on bringing people together and community building and I get to know people. Honestly, I make art as an excuse to get to know people.”
Livingston did just that at the reception, engaging with fellow artists and patrons from the Spokane arts community. The event also featured music from Paris-based musician Julien Cooper. It was all organized by Mitchell and Chadwell, who is also involved with INK Artspace, a nonprofit co-founded by EWU alum Jess Walter.
Chadwell said visits like Livingston’s are about community building, coming together and getting to know each other by “using art as an excuse to bridge differences and create similarities.” She’s proud of her alma mater being involved both as a sponsor and host of an on-campus session.
“The arts community here is very supportive and the great thing about Spokane is if you have an idea and you tell people about it for long enough, there’s always a way to make it happen. Eastern has been invaluable in creating this part of our dream,” said Chadwell.