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Spokane artist's river paintings to be featured at a First Friday exhibit

L.R. Montgomery's "Devil's Toenail"
Courtesy of L.R. Montgomery
L.R. Montgomery's "Devil's Toenail"

L.R. Montgomery says he has painted pictures of the Spokane River most days during the pandemic.

It’s the first Friday of the month and, in Spokane, that means the First Friday Art Walk at 14 galleries in the downtown core and in the Sprague-Union District.

At the Community Building, artist L.R. Montgomery is showing a wide variety of his impressionistic oil paintings of the Spokane River. Montgomery says he takes his canvass, paint and brushes and heads to the river most days.

“The pandemic, for me, has just been an adventure to be there every day and look at the beauty of our river as it changes going up to Latah Creek, going up to Tekoa," he said. “The river every day changes with the light and the flow of the water. Right now it’s one of the most spectacular times of the year just to go down and look at the power and the beauty of all this water.

“The art that I’ve been doing is more about people’s love for the river. People always tell me where to go paint and what’s their great story," he said. “I really like painting Latah Creek. The Ninth Street Bridge is one of my favorite places to go and then Steve Adams usually eats an apple there every day at noon and so it gives me an opportunity to talk to him.”

Courtesy of L.R. Montgomery
L.R. Montgomery's "Spokane River at the Flour Mill"

Montgomery’s show at the Community Building is a partnership with the Spokane Riverkeeper, Jerry White.

“I love the way that L.R. Montgomery uses light and color. If you look at his paintings of the river, each one has a different kind of lighting that kind of reveals a little piece of personality of that particular moment on the river," he said.

“For us, our focus is this idea that, while we’re an advocacy organization that really does work on the issues that affect the river and keeping it clean and healthy and protecting it, we want to really recognize and even promote the aesthetic life of the community and the contributions of folks who find inspiration from the river and then share that inspiration out to the public," White said.

Courtesy of L.R. Montgomery
L.R. Montgomery's "Kayaking on the River"

Friday’s event will run from 5-8 pm. Some of the money raised from sales of Montgomery’s paintings will be routed to the Spokane Riverkeeper program.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.