Archiving Spokane, enter for a chance to win one of Bovey's prints

Summertime. The season often takes us back to day-dreaming days spent on family road trips, camping, swimming at the lake and stargazing on warm summer nights. However, this summer has been a little different. Many of our travel plans may be on hold momentarily. But we can revisit our favorite places anytime we want through our memories.

This kind of nostalgic time travel is something well understood by Spokane vintage print artist Chris Bovey. His colorful prints capture a past era and feature some of the region's well-known places with his characteristic flair. Manito’s Duncan Gardens? Check. Riverfront Park’s Looff Carousel? He’s printed that, too, and many more. Bovey prints the sights that are beloved by many across the Pacific Northwest.

His work also reminds us that there are many things that make a great community, small business being one of them. Chris Bovey not only runs a small local business, he is capturing and archiving, through his art, many of the other things that makes the community we at Avista serve unique and special. And it reminds us that there are many memories to come that we can look forward to enjoying in the future.

Video transcript -

Speaker 1: So I never know about the color that I lay down. Like it'll look one way on the screen obviously, but until it actually hits the paper, then it takes on a life of its own. You know what I'm saying? You know that's not bad. I usually don't hit it on the first time but that's not bad. I usually hang one up here just to try and get a feel for the color and see if the colors are jiving. Someone asked me once that, do you see yourself as an artist and for the most part I don't.

I view myself as a historian of Spokane. So usually it starts by gathering research, photos and stuff like that for this design and particularly I thought, man, that was really cool. Like the old Reddy Kilowatt and Danny Blue Flame up there. So from there you got to take it to the sketch process, the sketch phase, and then figure out how you're going to capture the vibe of this place and just to echo history. Since the beginning of this project, I've wanted to capture a piece of Spokane, like archive Spokane because a lot of these things are disappearing.

One of the coolest moments in this whole project has been... I go to shows and I sell my stuff there and I actually get to meet people and I get to actually talk to people one on one and you'll see them, you'll just see them stand there looking at all this wall of prints and you'll see like these memories. All of a sudden they smile and these memories come over their face and they're just standing there in awe and they're saying, "Oh, I did this. I rode the jackrabbit at Nat park, or my husband worked at Play Fair for 20 years" and all of a sudden this piece, this piece of paper has inspired a memory, has inspired a story, has opened a door to the past.

The cool thing about what I do is, all I need is water and power, and I can do it anyway and that's cool. That's really cool and maybe one day that will be the case, but I don't know. There's something about this town, man, there's something about Spokane and this area that keeps me here. You know?


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