Holiday Artist Studio Tour 2021
Tour 10 am-4 pm. Visit five local artists in their studios - see where they create and how they work. Art available for sale (100% of the proceeds go directly to the artists.) Plus, one local couple's personal art collection.
Reception 4-6 pm. End your day at Ella's Supper Club and mingle with the artists, enjoy live music from Ron Kieper Jazz, wine and beer for purchase, and a drawing for textile artwork from Louise Kodis or an introductory printmaking lesson with Reinaldo Gil Zambrano.
$20 tour and reception
$15 tour only
Purchase tickets starting November 1 online or at the MAC.
Support provided by
Meet the Artists
Mixed Media Art
Melissa Cole was born in Oregon and raised in London, Hong Kong, and India. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Zoology, worked in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer in reforestation and environmental education, and spent time as a naturalist guide in Mexico and the Caribbean. It is from these remarkable encounters that she derives much of the inspiration for her vividly colored, heavily textured and patterned paintings and sculptures.
She has written over 30 children’s natural history books and travels extensively with her marine photographer husband. Like much of her family, she has always created art but has spent the last 18 years fully devoted to it. Melissa has developed her skills set in a variety of mediums by working one-on-one with artists experienced in their field. She is strongly influenced by folkloric designs and global patterns found in ceramics, batiks, sculptures, and mosaics, which she sees in her travels abroad. Her artwork strives to bring themes of science and the natural realm to urban settings, encouraging people to reconnect with nature. Her creations are showcased in national galleries, corporate and private collections, aquariums, hospitals, schools, and numerous public places.
Neicy Frey is a mixed-media painter and designer based in Spokane. She funnels years of making art in various styles and media into her bold and elemental large-scale oil paintings. Intricate scenes are boiled down into hard-edge abstractions and expressions in orchestrated color palettes and engaging compositions. Her artwork draws inspiration from her childhood experiences in Southeast Asia, the natural world, music, and things of a spiritual nature.
She has a background as an independent artist and designer, working with companies like Anthropologie, Serena & Lily, Chairish, and Trader Joe’s. Neicy's paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions around the Pacific Northwest and private collections worldwide.
Louise Kodis has worked with textiles for fifty years. Since 1974 she has designed, constructed, and installed site-specific work for the permanent collections of public and corporate spaces as well as private residences. Her textile art has variously been ceiling-suspended, wall-mounted, or held in floor standing screens and has been installed in ten states around the U.S. At WSU she learned to balance color within a design. As a sole proprietor she learned to speak and write about the artwork in order to make a living selling it. For many years she has also constructed Christmas stockings from vintage fabrics and antique buttons. Kodis studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington State University.
Nicholas Sironka (he goes by Sironka), is a batik artist who was born and raised in Kenya, where each of its 42 tribes speaks a distinctively different language. There is however a national language that helps all of the tribes communicate with each other - Kiswahili. (Remember “Hakuna matata” in the movie The Lion King?) He is Maasai, a small pastoralist tribe living mostly is the southern plains of Kenya known as the Rift Valley.
Ever since childhood Sironka was fascinated by his unique oral culture. However, he realized that much of his culture was often misinterpreted or misunderstood. He made it his life’s ambition to find a way to tell the truth about his people with dignity and truth. With his God given talent he determined that batik art would be the platform by which he would carry out this quest.
In 2000, he was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholar–in-Residence Award by the U.S. Government, to teach Batik art and Maasai culture at Whitworth University. Today he sells his original art and enjoys teaching batik art classes and lecturing on the Maasai culture. He is also a certified substance abuse counselor and has a passion for helping individuals in addiction find their path back to recovery. His philosophy? “If I can use my talents to touch another life and make it better, then I will be fulfilling the purpose for which God put me on this Earth!”
Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
Reinaldo Gil Zambrano is an award-winning printmaking artist from Caracas, Venezuela based in Spokane. From an early age, RGZ began collecting unique stories from random social encounters that highlight the common aspects of the human identity. They later enriched the visual narratives of his drawings, relief prints, installations, and murals.
His narrative raises questions about daily issues experienced by all people across cultures and borders using relief printing as a storytelling tool for its illustration and reflection. He studies the universal idea of home and how it affects individual personalities by exploring iconography derived from the Majority World and fascinating storytelling inspired by Hispanic literature’s magical realism and illustrations from the Venezuelan Rosana Farias.
Reinaldo promotes the printmaking practice through the development of projects such as the “First Vandal Steam Roller Project,” “The Ink Rally,” and Spokane Print Fest. He is currently an assistant professor of Printmaking at Gonzaga University as well as an artist member at the Saranac Art Projects, Co-founder of the Spokane Print & Publishing Center, and Spanish host for Pine Copper Lime Podcast (the number #1 Printmaking Podcast).