It was a very good idea to include Spokane on our recent trip. We had been there before on several trips and we especially like the halibut fish and chips at the Davenport Hotel, but we had never been to Spokane’s biggest attractions that include Gonzaga University and Manito Park. Gonzaga, as I said before, has 3 places for the tourist to explore. I have already written about the first one, the childhood home of singer-actor Bing Crosby, a Spokane native and alumnus whose Spokane home has been moved to this campus. The other 2 things to see on this relatively small, compact campus include an art museum and a church.
The Jundt Art Museum is both typical and atypical. Like other Jesuit campuses, it has a few religious art works on display, very few for that matter, but it also features art by recognizable names in its 2,800-square-foot main and side galleries. In fact, most of the art Ruth and I saw and delighted in was not of a religious nature. The Jundt has some exciting works upcoming, and its traveling exhibition that will be unveiled next year is especially relevant. From January 21, 2023 until May 13, 2023 the Jundt will feature photographs from the California Museum of Photography. But not just any photos. The works on display will be about local wildfires that have affected this state and have grown in both size and severity over the last couple of years. In fact, California has seen an entire community disappear. All of the buildings and homes in the large town of Paradise burned to the ground in the Camp Fire in 2018. Electrical transmission lines were at fault in the deadliest, most destructive fire in California history. 85 people died and almost 19,000 buildings disappeared. The people mostly decided to stay in Paradise and rebuild. So far, 1,400 homes have gone up.
This is only one of the many fires that have affected California in recent years, and we came home to our own fire. Our first night back, we almost had to evacuate our home as a fire on Livingstone Mountain near us raged. Known as the Nakia Creek Fire, it forced many residents to flee their homes. We were in smoke many times during this trip, and the end to Northwest wildfires is not in sight. The future is grim and water scarce. The photo that Gonzaga is using to promote this special exhibit is the stunning one of the El Portal Fire that impacted Yosemite National Park in 2014.
The other exhibit coming to the Jundt is equally excellent. Between January 21, 2023 and May 13 of next year, it will feature the best photos available from its permanent collection with such recognizable names as Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange represented. Its current exhibit for this academic year from August 27 to January 7th of next year offers more than 60 works of art that the Jundt owns but has never exhibited before. Some are recently acquired. This exhibit is appropriately called New To You.
The art works we saw while in The Jundt included Auguste Rodin’s study of Eustache de St. Pierre and a rare Salvadore Dali etching of Don Quixote. Dali is currently hot and getting far more international exposure. But the objects we most enjoyed seeing included several works by noted Northwest artist Dale Chihuly. His Red Chandelier was especially noteworthy, but I also really liked his rather plain bowl that was near the Jundt’s exit and is seen just below. It was quite a contrast to his far more flamboyant bowls that were placed near the Red Chandelier. There were several of these bowls to admire in The Jundt, a short walk from the Bing Crosby House.