SPOKANE, Wash. – An installation of hand-carved duck decoys by artist Frank Werner from St. Maries, Idaho will be on display in the Jundt Art Museum’s Arcade Gallery beginning June 21, and will continue through Sept. 13. The exhibition is part of the Museum’s “Close-In” series of summer exhibitions, highlighting the work of regional artists.
Frank Werner, a retired U.S. Marine Corps master sergeant who was born in New York City, is a widely recognized artist and master decoy carver who has won numerous awards for his work. His carvings have been shown in more than 50 exhibitions since 1984, 20 of which were solo shows, from Washington state to North Dakota to Guadalajara, Mexico.
Werner describes his approach to his installations as “strongly gridded, post-modern pieces,” but he emphasizes they are utilitarian first and are not solely decorative. His elegantly sculpted waterfowl are positioned in attitudes that are typical to their activities: perching, standing, and feeding. No matter how aesthetically pleasing, “duck decoys are meant to deceive,” he says. Intended for their practical use in the water, the display “cases” in the exhibition are only temporary homes until the next hunting season.
Werner has written and lectured extensively about decoys, folk art, carving competitions, hunting, collecting, and the debate of art vs. artifact.
A free public reception for the artist will be held from 4-6 p.m., Friday, June 20 in the Chancellor’s Room at the Jundt Art Museum. “An Art of Deception,” a free public lecture by the artist, will begin at 4 p.m., Friday, June 27 in the Jundt Auditorium. Seating is limited.
The museum’s exhibitions are always free and are open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays and University holidays. For exhibition times and general museum information, please call (509) 313-6843.