[SPOKANE, Wash.] While the pandemic stifled some artists, it heightened Siri Stensberg’s creativity. Due to the limitations of quarantine, Stensberg was inspired by the constants of life – shifting shadows, the sun scrawling images across her wall.
“When you’re stuck in a place as an artist, you have to find really creative and non-traditional ways to make work. (The pandemic) opened up a world of the little things that are underneath our feet or things we encounter in daily life,” Stensberg said.
Spokane Falls Community College is featuring Stensberg’s art installation, “Scattered Storms,” from January 10 – February 10 in SFCC’s Fine Art Gallery in Building 6. To accompany the piece, Stensberg will hold an artist lecture on January 10 at 10:30 a.m. at SFCC’s campus in Building 24, Rm. 110. Afterward, Stensberg will hold a Color Wheel Assemblage workshop from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. in Building 6, Rm. 111 (capacity is limited to 15 students).
“As a recent student from (Washington State University) where many of our SFCC students transfer upon graduation, I felt that she is in the unique position to be both a source of inspiration and a resource of knowledge,” said Cozette Phillips, SFCC’s Fine Art Gallery director.
During the artist lecture, Stensberg will discuss her creative process and background on using different materials – like ribbons and mesh – and avant-garde techniques. “Scattered Storms” took her around six months to create.
“I was thinking about “Scattered Storms” as a place of really heightened energy and frequency, like a storm,” she said. “I’m often working on these installations for months, so it’s a huge build up. Thinking of a scattered storm as my process, it was really intense moments of creating artwork in the space, and it ebbs and flows.”
Stensberg graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Washington State University in 2022 and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts as well as Music, specifically for the French horn. Despite her love of music performance, Stensberg chose a career as an artist to create her own pieces. Some of her work can be viewed on her website.
“My role as a performer was expressing someone else’s music,” she said. “But being an installation artist, I feel like I’m playing all parts of the orchestra. I’m composing, performing, choreographing; I’m not limited to someone else’s vision.”
Part of Stensberg’s vision is the way her art flows in a space, so she installs all of the pieces herself. She will arrive in Spokane from her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin a few days prior to the debut of “Scattered Storms” to set up the installation.
“To me, the piece is made in the space. I assemble this living vocabulary of shape and color directly in the gallery,” Stensberg said. “I look for where the shadows and light sources are. You can create paths to choreograph how people move through and approach different areas of work. Altogether, it’s like I’m performing a symphony.”
Stensberg is one of a series of artists that will showcase their work at SFCC’s Fine Art Gallery this year. Phillips said the goal is to seek out artists who “promote continuous learning; foster dialogue; encourage critical thinking; challenge inequities by engaging diversity; and enrich the cultural vitality of the campus, Spokane County and the region.”
“As an art gallery belonging to an academic institution, the dual roles of the SFCC Fine Art Gallery are to contribute significantly to the college’s educational curriculum and to provide opportunities for art education and cultural enrichment through outreach and service to the people of the Inland Northwest community,” Phillips said.
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Cozette Phillips at email@example.com or Rachel Román at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCS provides education and services in a six-county region of Eastern Washington, operates Spokane Falls Community College and Spokane Community College and is the largest provider of Head Start and Early Childhood Education in the region. Each year, nearly 30,000 people – from infants to senior citizens – are provided educational services by CCS.