Terrain art show supports local Spokane artists

Annual showcasing event encourages all artists to participate


(Above) Courtesy of dee-em. (Below) Courtesy of Christian Wilson

(Avove) Darby Meegan (left) and Micah Luebben (right) pose for a photo as the band dee-em. Meegan and Luebben released their first single together in 2018. (Below) Three graphite illustrations of people posing. The artist, Christian Wilson, received a degree in fine arts.

By Shandra Haggerty, Reporter

Terrain is an organization that creates opportunities for the young artists, musicians and innovators of Spokane to showcase their talent. Terrain’s self-titled event, taking place on Oct. 4, will present new ideas and energy from artists across a wide range of styles and media.

Terrain’s operations director, Jackie Caro, believes that the Terrain event is a great opportunity for artists to showcase their work. By creating this opportunity, Caro hopes to keep artists in the community.

“Our main goal is essentially to keep artists here,” Caro said. “By keeping them here, we’re helping them thrive in our community,”

Artists like EWU junior Jun Oh are taking advantage of the opportunity.

“I always thought about being an artist at Terrain someday,” Oh said.

Erik Rotness
Junior Jun Oh creates art using both digital art and traditional Korean drawing styles. Oh showcased his work at Terrain last year for the first time.

Oh, who will be showcasing his works in Terrain for the second time, is majoring in secondary art education.

Though he’d always been interested in art, it wasn’t until Terrain that Oh realized how much he actually enjoyed it.

Oh was originally hesitant to apply. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it if I really wanted to,” he said. “I started drawing, and kept drawing, and didn’t stop,”

Oh likes to change up his art style. And while he is often influenced by the work of his friends, he strives to be as unique as possible. This year, his artwork at Terrain will be a combination of both digital art and traditional Korean style drawing, inspired by the country where he was born and raised. “I think it’s a pretty unique combination that makes me stand out a little more than other artists,” Oh said.

When the event began in 2008, it saw 12,000 people attend with 30 artists and 62 works. In 2017 Terrain boasted 8,500 attendees who spent $21,000. There were 330 artists who showcased more than 1,450 works of art.

Now on Terrain 11, the number of artists, attendees and art sales are on their way to being at an all-time high.

The goal of Terrain is to do more than just encourage artists. “We want them to feel like they’re able to quit their day job,” Caro said.

Terrain is all about keeping things local. “We are, in a lot of aspects, trying to support artists in our community,” Caro said.

Terrain hosts pop-up shops and events to showcase local small businesses. “We try to make the argument that these small, creative businesses are a driver in our community,” Caro said.

Micah Luebben and Darby Meegan are longtime participants of Terrain where this year their band, dee-em, will be performing at 10:30 p.m.

Luebben has volunteered and performed for the event in the past.

“It’s everything about Spokane that I love, all in eight hours,” Luebben said. “We’re really excited to play and be a part of it. There’s not much like it. There are events that happen in bigger cities, but there’s nothing else like this here.”

Meegan, who has attended every Terrain since moving to Spokane in 2014, shares the same level of passion for the event as his bandmate.

“It’s my favorite day of the year,” Meegan said.

“It’s the people who love Spokane for what it is. It’s the people that are actively trying to build the city into something more and see it thrive. And all these people are all in one spot.”

Christian Wilson, an SFCC student studying graphic design, believes social events like Terrain are very important for artists.

“When I tried to do art full time I found that it was very isolating,” Wilson said. “It’s fine for some period of time but doing that full time? I don’t think I would want to do that.”

Wilson wants the viewer to interpret his art in their own way, instead of knowing the background. “All the stuff that I draw means something to me,” he said. “A lot of its very personal.”

Wilson has a degree in fine arts and is studying graphic design. The art Wilson submitted for Terrain was graphite, a style he’d done a lot in the past.

“The majority of the work I do tends to be based on portraits,” Wilson said. “I find people fascinating.”

Though amazing art comes from all over the world, there’s an astounding amount of talent in Spokane. The founders of Terrain, after seeing so many of their peers relocate, are inspired to show their community just how important it is to support local artists and are now credited with being one of the biggest forces reviving art in youth culture in Spokane.