Local Artist's Whats in a Name?
What does one look for when they are collecting art? Familiar names, interesting subjects, balance,
number of artworks sold, biographies, galleries where their art has shown, and great techniques,
are a few of the things that come to mind. Crafting a list of popular ‘Spokane/CD’A Artists’ is rather
difficult based on this criteria. Some are visible because their art is controversial or makes a
specific statement, others are well known outside of Spokane and sell copious amounts of art. And
then others have been a visible part of the Spokane landscape for years.
But still with all the great artists in Spokane how does one narrow a list to fifty? It’s almost
impossible, so we had a poll instead. The artists listed are all the multiple listed artists in the poll,
meaning if the artists’ name was mentioned more than once they were considered for the list, but
the ones listed had the most mentions in the poll. Remember this poll was based on the artist having
both a recognizable name and being a good artist. At the time of compilation each of these artists
had been mentioned at least ten times and at the top of the list as much as a hundred and eighty
times. And so here are the top one hundred and one people’s choices of our local artists.
Here we are going to stick to those that stand out and are household names in and about
Spokane/CD'A. We polled more than five thousand people and asked the same question to all of
them. Who are the most recognized artists in Spokane? Listed in order of most mentioned numbers:
Harold Balazs, Ken Spearing, Ric Gendron, Del Gish, Gina Freuen, Charles Palmer, Dan Pinkham,
Sister Paula Turnbull, Brad Rude, Thomas Aquinas Daly, Bob Phinney, Steve Sauer, Karen Mobley,
George Flett, Sheila Evans, Melissa Cole, Jeannine Marx Fruci , Stan Miller, Rick Davis, Kathleen
Cavender, Melville Holmes, Charlie Palmer, Ken Yuhasz, Megan Martens, Darrell Sullens, Kay O
Rourke, Virginia Carter, Margot Casstevens, Mel McCuddin, Ilse Kilian-Tan, Keiko Von Holt, Glenn
Grishkoff , Sarah Beaty, Peter Jagoda, Ben Krupka , Don Ealy, Jennifer LaRue, Timothy C. Ely, Barbara
Mueller, Mike Martino, Ryan Mitchell, Mika Negishi Laidlaw, Marilyn Matherly, Olivia Waterman, Jerri
Lisk, Cecile G. Charles, Melissa Lang, Rita Hutchens, Don Sprague, Niecy Frey, Kris Friedrich, Al
Tennant , Viky Garden, Tyree Kearns, Chris Kelsy, Victoria Brace, Frank Boyden, Victoria Brace,
Michael Horswill, Dee Gumenberg, Vick Haight, Joyce Sonnabend, Gordon Wilson, Catherine Gill,
George Carlson, Deanne Lemley, Allen Dodge, Rick Singer, Simon Kogan, Steve Adams, Elaine
Green, Carl Funseth, Renee Rigsby, Yuji Hiratsuka, Elaine Green, Mauricio Lasansky, Steffan
Wachholtz , Mary Farrell, Robert Grimes, Marilyn Lysohir, Damian Grava, Beth Cavener Stichter ,
Morse Clary, Gerit Grimm, Leonard Hied, Ben Joyce, Wendy Franklund Miller, Liz Bishop, John
Thamm, LR Montgomery, Peter Cox, Josh DeWeese, Mary Dee Dodge, Elsie Stewart, Kurt Madison,
Kit Jagoda, Jack Lantz, Chris Antemann, Adrian Arleo, Hazen Audel, Tom Quinn.
Remember, the above list reflects votes taken in a poll, not the skill of the individual artist. Please
support your local artists!
Written by Grace Grey
|August 20, 2009 in Washington Voices
Artist paints with a positive stroke
Jennifer Larue The Spokesman-Review
Photos courtesy of Jeannine Fruci photo
Jeannine Marx Fruci poses for a photo next to her watercolor “Water Lilies & Dragonflies.” Photos
courtesy of Jeannine Fruci
On the Web www.concentricgalleries.com
There is a striped cat camouflaged in a cluster of birch trees and a vintage truck in a field of tall
grass. Two empty deck chairs enjoy the view of a fall sunset in Montana. Poppies and hydrangeas
bloom brightly while a young boy, “Jake,” sits on a dock examining a tiny find clasped in his hands.
“Danielle’s Flower Girl” studies the flowers stitched into the gauze of her white dress, dragonflies
dance on water lilies, horses converse, a cougar hunts in winter, and koi swim in clear waters.
And Jeannine Marx Fruci has captured them all with her brush dipped in watercolors.
“I have always believed that being an artist is a gift one is blessed to be born with. And according to
my wise husband, Dave Fruci, when one is fortunate enough to be given such a gift, the only option
is to nurture and share it,” she explained in her artist’s statement.
Currently, Marx Fruci is working on a piece illustrating a swan fluttering its wings on the water’s
surface. “I like a challenge,” she said, “like, how do I get the water to look like it’s ‘ruffling’ under the
swan’s feathers and wings? I know there’s a process that uses saran wrap with water colors. I’ll
Experimenting and figuring things out are part of the fun for Marx Fruci, who began her artistic
endeavors in elementary school when she drew caricatures with large eyes. At Holy Names Academy,
she did graphics for her yearbook and the cover design her senior year.
She started dating her husband in 1969 during the summer of eighth grade. They attended the
University of Washington, where Marx Fruci majored in art but later switched to business. The
couple went their separate ways at the urging of her parents but reconnected and ended up
marrying in 1984.
Marx Fruci began working in business recruiting, had two daughters, and then started her own
“head-hunting” company as she continued to paint. She made a promise to herself that when her
youngest daughter graduated from high school, she would exhibit her work. She displayed 55
paintings at Peters and Sons in downtown Spokane in 2007.
Since then, she has shown at Barrister Winery, the William Grant Gallery, at art shows in the
University District in Spokane, and in Ritzville, had a private showing at Arbor Crest Winery, and will
participate in the winery’s Art and Glass Fest next weekend. Currently, her work hangs on the walls
of Wild Sage, a bistro in downtown Spokane.
She has sold half a dozen originals and more than 50 prints, and has been commissioned to complete
four originals. She divides her time recruiting, caring for her parents, painting and traveling with her
husband, always on the lookout for subjects for her next paintings, which she hopes will serve as a
spark of positive memories and emotions for people who see or purchase her work.
“I believe that my art can play an important role in the lives of others as a healing tool, serving as a
reminder of the positive things in life.”