Artistic portrayal of adventure

Artist featured in Colfax library uses straws, fruit netting



Artwork displayed at artist Molly Rice’s first solo exhibit on Thursday afternoon at the Colfax branch of the Whitman County Library.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

You can transport to a different dimension with a new art exhibit provided by a local artist at the Colfax Branch of the Whitman County Library.

“The exhibit has a variety of her colorful portal pieces,” said Kristie Kirkpatrick, director of the Colfax Branch of the Whitman County Library. “They’re three-dimensional and rich in color and texture.”

Artist Molly Rice used an “assemblance” technique to create her art. The exhibit, titled “Journey Through the Portals,” incorporates plastic straws, netting used to hold fruit, rice, buttons, matchboxes, and more into the pieces.

“I try to express the energies that I’m experiencing,” Rice said. “I’ve got a couple that have plastic straws, which is a statement to the environment.”

Rice moved to Colfax in 1984 and started to sell her artwork in two local shops that have since closed. She also taught private art lessons.

Artist Molly Rice displays her first solo exhibit on Thursday afternoon at the Colfax Branch of Whitman County Library. Calissendorff said.

A car accident in the late ’90s left Rice with a brain injury for about two years. Before the accident, she enjoyed creating calligraphy and ink drawings.

“After I got out of the hospital, got home and kind of settled, I tried to do it, and I couldn’t anymore,” Rice said. “It was gone.”

She transitioned to using her artistic ability for a landscaping company in Spokane. Rice designed and installed landscapes all over eastern Washington and northern Idaho.

In 2012, the landscaping company was sold to another company and Rice decided to start her own landscaping business.

“I was doing a lot of the installation and it got pretty intense,” she said. “My body was starting to take a toll.”

Rice decided the timing was perfect to start to work on her art again.

She has shown her artwork at the Whitman County Library and in Moscow. Rice also sells her pieces on commission. All the artwork in the exhibit is for sale, she said.

Rice also crafts handmade paper from plant materials and includes photography into her exhibits.

“The whole thing with portals is you choose where you enter, you choose how you exit and you choose where it takes you,” Rice said.

Kirkpatrick said there is no community reception for the exhibit planned yet.

The exhibit is open until Oct. 30.

“The exhibit is thought-provoking and beautiful,” Kirkpatrick said. “It challenges you to try to understand it. Even if you don’t, you can still enjoy the colors and the design.”