The Monumentalists


Monumental artists in their own orbits, life-long friends Harold Balazs and Rudy Autio left legacies nationwide. On Friday, August 9 The Art Spirit Gallery unveils collections from the two influential and notable sculptors/multimedia artists of the Pacific Northwest, both of whom inspired each other with contagious energy that clearly manifested upon their art.

The comrades met in art school at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Washington in the 50s during Harold’s senior year.  In his memoir, Rudy writes about Harold, “He had enormous energy as a student.  He was interested in everything, learned German, loved to ski, fence, act in plays, and ran around in wooden shoes wearing a Mexican Serapi, which was beat and bohemian at the same time.  It was nothing for Harold to bound up the stairs at the art building three steps at a time.  He was articulate and funny and maintained this high energy throughout all the years I’ve known him.”

Rosemary Balazs, Harold’s wife and life partner, recounts their friendship.  “Rudy and Harold became fast friends.  After WSU, Harold and I moved to Spokane while Rudy moved to Montana.  Even if they didn’t see each other regularly, their friendship could pick up where it left off.  Each possessed a great sense of humor and would often send funny notes to one another.  And over a bottle of Bushmill’s, the two would laugh the night away.  They were just the best of friends. 

Please join The Art Spirit Gallery as we celebrate the lasting work and legacies left by these masterful artists. Over sixty Balazs pieces, including sculpture, drawings, enamels, paintings, and even a croquet set will light up the show.  And for the first time in years, Autio ceramic pots and drawings will be available for purchase.  The show will run through September 7.  Everyone is welcome.