PULLMAN, Wash. – Nationally known Seattle painters Michael Spafford and Elizabeth Sandvig, along with their photographer son Spike Mafford, will discuss being a family of professional artists in “Family Values…Contrasts and Symbiosis,” at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5, in the Todd Hall Auditorium on the Washington State University campus.
The three will talk about their individual work and how they influence each other as individual artists and as collaborators. A reception will be held in the WSU Museum of Art immediately following the lecture.
Michael Spafford, a Palm Springs, Calif., native, is a widely respected artist in the Northwest. His paintings, prints and woodcuts have been shown around the world. Most of his work is based on the themes of Greco-Roman mythology, dealing primarily with conflict, confrontation and origin. He has created more than 50 works around these themes, including the murals, “The Twelve Labors of Hercules,” which were commissioned by the state of Washington for display in the state House of Representatives chambers in 1979.
Seattle native Elizabeth Sandvig began her career as a sculptor using acrylic gel and nylon mesh, and later moved on to painting and monotypes. Her paintings often include depictions of a variety of animals, including humans, birds, frogs and snakes.
Early in his professional career, Spafford and Sandvig’s son, Michael, realized that having the same name as his well-known father would be a handicap, so he became Spike Mafford. Mafford has created a name for himself as a photographic artist, widely known for photographs taken during his travels to places such as Mexico and China. During his trips, he ignores the tourist point of view, choosing instead to take his photographs from an artistic perspective, becoming more of a study of an object than a place. He is the third family member to graduate from Pomona College, and in 1997 he received the “Golden Light Award” from the Maine Photographic Workshops.
The talk is this year’s John Mathews Friel Memorial Art Lecture. Since its inception in 1973, the lecture has brought important critics, theorists, artists, curators and cultural historians to WSU to discuss issues affecting fine art and culture. The biennial lecture series is named for John Friel, a 1962 WSU Fine Arts graduate, and is funded by an endowment established by John’s parents, Jack and Catherine Friel.
All Museum of Art events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Roslyn Wise of the museum at (509) 335-1910.