By Garrett Cabeza
For Inland 360
Married Potlatch couple Ted Kelchner and Andria Marcussen are art “purists.”
That’s how University of Idaho Prichard Art Gallery Director Roger Rowley describes them.
“The important part of (their) life is the making of art,” Rowley said. “It’s not exhibits, it’s not sales. They’re happy to sell things and whatnot but they’re not making it to make money. In fact, they’ll say that the moment that you’re making something to make money you’re no longer an artist.”
The couple’s artwork is on exhibit in, “Out of the Woods,” at the Prichard gallery in downtown Moscow.
Large and small stamps created by Marcussen, 51, and paper foldings — including cowboy pants that stretch to the almost 9-foot ceiling — made by Kelchner, also 51, largely comprise the exhibit. The couple’s photos, sculptures and a storytelling soundpiece are also featured.
“The thread among the whole show is really this idea of perspective and scale,” Marcussen said.
Kelchner, who works as a cabinet maker, said the art is intended to be engaging and relatable to people. For example, stamp collecting and paper folding are activities most people have done.
“It’s funny, with artists, or at least with us, our favorite thing is the thing we’re working on currently,” Marcussen said about her favorite piece in the exhibit. “The thing that we haven’t yet conquered.”
The couple works in several types of art mediums. Wood sculptures, paintings and paper foldings they made can be seen in their shop north of Potlatch.
From bronze casting to fiberglass artwork, Rowley said there’s nothing Kelchner can’t do.
“The technical skill for both of them is amazing,” he said.
Their artwork has been displayed on and off over the last couple decades at the Prichard Art Gallery, Rowley said. He said they have performed music at the gallery too.
Kelchner said he and Marcussen work with the items they have and go from one art medium to the next to execute an idea. It’s called conceptual art.
“What really drives us is the idea that’s conveyed in the art,” Kelchner said.
The two constantly work on art projects.
One of the most recent pieces under construction in their shop is what they call a “Free Little Art Gallery for Humanity,” or “FLAG for Humanity.” It is the same concept as a Little Free Library outside a home except, instead of taking and leaving books on the tiny shelves, people exchange small art pieces.
The couple said they love envisioning an art project and seeing it come to fruition.
“I have always, in my memory, had a sense of wonder and an impulse at times to — something comes in my mind and whatever’s nearby, it becomes that,” Kelchner said.
Rowley said many artists spend their lives working in one art medium exploring and refining one set of ideas, whereas Kelchner and Marcussen follow wherever their creative inquiry takes them and move onto another project.
“It’s an ever ongoing exploration,” Rowley said. “I have no idea what they’re going to do next.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Out of the Woods,” works by Ted Kelchner and Andria Marcussen.
WHEN: Through Sept. 5. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: University of Idaho Prichard Art Gallery, 414 S. Main St., Moscow.
COST: Admission is free.