On June 15, our Westerners presenter will be artist Ken Spiering, who will talk about “Public Art: Magic, Myth, and Mishaps.” As Ken relates, “One of the great benefits of choosing Art as a career is that a person attracts truly unique characters, and is attracted to them. In my case I had the good fortune of being befriended by Harold Balazs, always a riot and THE pioneer in doing artwork for public places, THE Antagonist, THE Craftsman, and in his 60-grit lifestyle, my mentor. I am delighted to have this opportunity to share with you some of the more engaging stories behind his work, our collaborative work and that of other notable friends denying the necessity of getting a real job!
Born in Wyoming in 1950 and now residing in the rural Palouse country of eastern Washington, Ken’s life’s work has been that of a professional artist. Since earning a bachelor’s degree in art at Gonzaga and a MFA from the U of I, Mr. Spiering’s emphasis has always been to master the design, drawing and painting of highly credible, yet contemporary images from those richest moments in nature. He has diversified his mediums and techniques over the years to include illustrations, watercolor and oil painting, woodblock prints and etchings, carved wood, cast bronze, concrete and steel sculptures, and especially colorful and vibrant copper enamels.
Spiering has been published in Runner’s World, American Craft, Fine Woodworking, Sports Illustrated, Sunset Magazine, and HGTV’s Homes Across America among many others. In 50 years of making art, Ken has come to specialize in creating artwork for public spaces and private commissions, both often in significant scale. His work can be seen from North Pole, AK to North Miami Beach, FL, including pieces in Fairbanks, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak, AK; Spokane, Vancouver, Auburn, and Yakima, WA, and Great Falls, MT. He has shown work in Nishinomiya, Japan, State Capitol in Olympia WA, LaGrange GA, and is represented in at least 50 corporate collections across the country.
Watercolor remains his favorite medium, especially as a creative respite from the more grueling work that large sculptures demand, and will likely remain so as he attempts to reconcile adolescent enthusiasm with a reluctantly aging body.
Dinner costs $20 and starts at 5:45 pm. Please make your reservation by Sunday, May 18. Please make your reservation with our Secretary, Barbara J. Leiss, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone: (509) 276-5927 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. thru 4:00 p.m. You can leave a message. Please identify yourself as The Westerners (on email Subject line), and also mention The Westerners when you telephone.
Contact Dick Jensen at email@example.com
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Westerners International has about 60 "corrals" (clubs) within United States and about 20 corrals located in foreign nations (mostly around United States Defense Department locations). Spokane Corral is the only corral in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Our publication, the Pacific Northwesterner, is distributed to members and to many organizations including Princeton and Yale Universities. Our members are historians, authors, world travelers, and people interested in history.
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