Walla Walla artists exhibit works in joint Coeur d’Alene show

Slough Fish Bench, 2010, by Walla Walla sculptor Wayne Chabre.

Slough Fish Bench, 2010, by Walla Walla sculptor Wayne Chabre. Courtesy photo

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Promoting artists and authors around the world is what Yareah Magazine is all about. To this end it featured an article about Walla Walla natives and artists Kay O’Rourke and Wayne Chabre, whose new works are being featured in a show at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene through Feb. 7.

Winter hours at the gallery, 415 E. Sherman Ave., are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

“Coeur d’Alene is a bit of a drive, but winter sports are big there, it’s a lovely gallery and worth the trip,” said Wayne’s wife and artistic partner Jeanne McMenemy.

The exhibition is the first introduction of Wayne’s metal sculptures to the gallery community.

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Artwork by Kay O'Rourke

Kay’s works in oil on canvas have regularly been featured at the gallery since 2011.

Kay and Wayne’s friendship dates to when they attended Gonzaga University in the late 1960s. A third-generation Walla Wallan, Wayne graduated in 1969 from Gonzaga and returned to the Valley. Wayne’s sculptures are featured at the Universities of Oregon and Washington and in the city centers of Portland, Wenatchee, Tacoma and Seattle. He’s currently fabricating a pair of massive gargoyles for the University of Oregon for installation in April.

Jeanne not only helps Wayne navigate the application process to vie for public works commissions, but also adorns some of his work with her calligraphy.

His pieces are often playful and whimsical and are evidenced on Main Street with his “Guard Pigeon,” “A Delicate Balance” of chickens and eggs, and “Rooted,” the bandstand pavilion at the Farmers Market, plus his bronze gates and railing panels installed in the Providence St. Mary Medical Center Reflection Garden.

Kay stayed in the Spokane area, honing her constantly evolving work. She creates visual metaphors with her animal and human figures in large-scale paintings and drawings. She said she experiences life as a series of stories, which “are translated into the pictorial folk tales that make up each body of her work.”

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