When we started brainstorming The Hoods project we knew it would end up being somewhat controversial because of the sheer fact that Spokane’s neighborhood divisions are confusing in some areas. And in some areas, the titles of the neighborhoods are completely unknown to the residents. With this in mind, we approached choosing our neighborhoods however each of us wanted to. Unfortunately, for me, both of the neighborhoods I chose are not “proper.” But I felt passionate about the areas of town and I decided to go for it. Because of my confidence in this decision, I’ve received a little flack from my neighborhood’s official council (Emerson Garfield). It’s been completely respectful dialogue and I welcomed it.
This project is completely personal for us and unassociated with any official organization. Essentially, it’s totally grassroots. We aren’t making any money off it, all of the proceeds from prints will be minuscule if any and will most likely go to charity or towards funding future shows. I’ve logged at least 40 hours on my pieces alone, not including all the promo design I did for the show and not including all the PR time I put in to get the word out. Jens Larson, a good friend and past co-worker of Joel Barbour and mine has also put in countless hours helping us define the project through writing. I know each of the participating designers have spent tons of hours working on their pieces as well. Not to mention the money we have put in from our own pockets to get prints made and to purchase frames and supplies. All of us have families, jobs where we work 40+ hours a week (already on a computer) and 3 of the guys have more than one child.
I say all this not to rant but to show the love behind the project. Each of us has a deep passion for design and art. We each love art in different and unique ways but we all enjoy the process and the outcome. We don’t get the opportunity to just design without people looking over our shoulders or demanding changes or holding a budget over our heads. Commercial/advertising related design is stressful and often times not very fun. To step outside of our day-jobs and do something like this is an absolute joy and pleasure. Not to mention doing it as a group of like-minded artists who have mutual respect for each other.
Whatever it might look like from the outside or from what the articles are saying or what people are assuming…we love design, we love Spokane and we really care about each other. We are friends and colleagues and fellow art-lovers. This project is to give back, show Spokane some of our skills, but it’s mostly about FUN! I woke up today to this article and got a little bummed. But then I realized, when you invest a lot of time into something and even your own money, it shows the love behind the work. I hope that people can see that in the project and recognize also that they can choose to do what they love with their own time and money. Doing independent projects like this stretches your skills, your view of community and it allows you to use your training and experience in a new way. And it just makes life awesome.
It has been an absolute riot working with Joel, Nick, Eric and Jesse and no matter the response we will continue to do what we love. There are few artists I respect as much as these guys and I’m so happy we all committed the time to see this through.
Thanks everyone for your support, hopefully you can stop by the show this month. If not, prints will be here and here. And there has been talk of shirts being sold at Boo Radley’s! I’ll for sure keep updates coming. For now, peruse some of the awesome press we’ve received this week!
Spokesman Review


The quote in the title of this post is from Jesse Pierpoint in response to EG’s complaints. I thought it was well put.


Rob Fairbanks
4 years ago · Reply

Your mother raised you right. The person writing that piece is probably thinking they are doing good, but just missed. I’m glad you live above the line and am seriously proud of you.

Eric Smith
4 years ago · Reply

We are all Spokane. We’re all in this together.

Honored to work alongside you Karli. Lot’s more to come.

See you soon pal

4 years ago · Reply

Your heart and motives ring clear here Karli along with the other artists. Thanks for giving to our community and I mean really GIVING! It is easy to see the things we don’t like and with this project as well as your response (not reaction) to criticism continues to help us all keep a positive, kind and loving attitude. You are incredible and humble a great combination:-)!

4 years ago · Reply

We’re all a bit surprised by the extreme backlash on this — the comments, particularly those on the E-G website, seem to have perceived this debate as being far nastier than it is. It would take several posts to address all the arguments that were attributed to us but we didn’t in fact make:
1. That the neighborhood council should have sanctioned Karli’s design
2. That The Hoods is a bad idea with bad motives
3. That we feel left out
4. That the purpose of art has somehow eluded us
None of these is true. We know that our neighborhood council and The Hoods are both working toward the same ends in their own ways. We were just disheartened that a celebration of our neighborhood, which we’re so eager to see, focused on a very limited area that has historically skewed the perception of the neighborhood. Believe me, many folks who are involved in EGNC and were disappointed about the Corbin Park decision are still going to see and support The Hoods, myself included.

    4 years ago · Reply

    Really surprised?

    “The Hoods has gone about channeling and extolling that power (of the neighborhood’s identity) in the wrong way.” – EG

    Saying something is “wrong” is a far different choice of tone than saying you are disheartened by the approach.

4 years ago · Reply

That sentence you’re quoting begins with the qualifier “In some respects.” Our objection has never been a wholesale dismissal of what The Hoods was about by any means, and we have stressed over and over again that the project deserves support even if it came under fair criticism. Telling us to “Get bent” doesn’t exactly help to cool jets, either, does it?

Our organization is just as grassroots as yours — no one is paid, and the city usually only works with us under select circumstances. We spend countless hours planning, voting, approving, and applying for things like lights, electrical hookups, and new tennis courts in Corbin Park — some of the very amenities that shape the place The Hoods is celebrating. All that meeting and flyering and promoting and drumming up support eats up scads of my time, time that I don’t get to spend with my two young daughters. But I’m doing it to make sure that they get two grow up in the sort of neighborhood we all deserve.

Instead of folks saying, “Hey, E-G has a point. They and The Hoods have a shared passion that manifests itself in different, mutually beneficial ways — maybe they should have collaborated on this or do so in the future!” they’ve assumed that we’re soulless, mean-spirited bureaucrats who are out to crush art. We raised that crucial second voice that is necessary in any conversation, yet some have roundly attacked us for not blindly cheerleading. Despite The Hoods’ awareness-raising, if it weren’t for our objection, many people *still* wouldn’t know Emerson-Garfield exists and that it has an active, dedicated volunteer base.

Karli, if you’re game, I’d ask that you contact me privately so we can meet over coffee and resolve any differences of opinion. Because, controversy and flared tempers aside, I think real good can come out of this. Which is an end we’re both after.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *