That earlier painting is in the collection of Washington Trust Bank, a purchase that was spearheaded by the late Frederick W. “Rick” Scammell, a Vice President of the bank and a true friend of the Arts. That painting, entitled simply Monroe Street Bridge, measures 68 X 105 inches, and still hangs in the Washington Trust Bank lobby. I’ve painted the Monroe Street Bridge a few times since, including a preliminary study that preceded the Washington Trust painting.
This particular view was only recently opened up, due to renovation that took place in Riverfront Park. Down below Post there is a new park that provides even more interesting views, as well as Bicentennial Trail on the north side of the Monroe Street Bridge, which provides vistas of the river, Peaceful Valley and the west side of the bridge. When I’m in Spokane I always feel as if I’m orbiting around the bridge, from the lower South Hill to Browne’s Addition, Peaceful Valley and Vinegar Flats, Rimrock, Fort Wright and spiraling out to Glenrose Prairie, Lincoln Heights and Manito. It’s the portal through which the Spokane River passes after its tumultuous tumble down the falls, on its way out past Deep Creek Canyon and beyond.
I suspect that many current and former Spokaneites have strong feelings for this old bridge, spanning the river that is the heart of the city. I lost a tooth on its pavement, when a car suddenly pulled out in front of my 15-speed bicycle. I guess that you could say that I know the Monroe Street Bridge intimately.
The work is on display, along with other paintings of Spokane subjects, at Dodson’s Jewelry and Fine Art, at 516 W Riverside Avenue.