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Artists to take inspiration from nature at "Brush on the Bluff" event this weekend

A painting created during the 2021 Brush on the Bluff event.
courtesy of Trevor Finchamp
A painting created during the 2021 Brush on the Bluff event.

Artists will create paintings, sculptures and other work inspired by nature at the High Drive Bluffs this weekend. Community members can observe or make their own art.

At the second annual Brush on the Bluffs event, artists station themselves along a half-mile trail. Art lovers can watch them work in real time along the trail, or create flower bracelets or painted rocks in Polly Judd Park, says Trevor Finchamp, the president of Friends of the Bluff.

“It's a simple event that really just cultivates gratitude for art and nature,” he said, “You can be there for an hour, or be there all day, and you're going to have a good time.”

In addition to watching art and participating in craft projects, attendees can also watch about 200 goats who will be grazing on the bluff. Organizers say people can observe the animals, but should keep their distance and be wary of the electric containment fence.

The event is also organized by The Botanical Alchemists, a duo whose flower and nature-inspired art installations can be seen at Riverpark Square as well as around the Spokane area.

“The goal of the event is to let people be exposed to local artists, in their process, and not just in an art market where they're trying to sell something, but you can actually see them making art,” said Sarah Edwards of the Botanical Alchemists.

She says will be able to scan a QR code at each artist’s station to bid on their work, or bid online up to a week after the event. Proceeds from the sale of the work supports the artist, wildfire prevention on the bluff, and a series of free nature-focused art workshops this spring and summer.

Finchamp says the fire control funds will be used to pay for additional grazing on the 500 acre bluff, as well as tree thinning projects, where workers remove smaller, overcrowded trees that increase the risk of dangerous fires.

The event is at Polly Judd Park from 11 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The first Botanical Alchemists workshop will be held next week, Saturday May 28, also at Polly Judd Park between 1 and 4 p.m.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.