Anna

Celebrated textile designer Anna Benham develops new tile line | Home | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander

click to enlarge home4-2-b01222c6efc2b3eb.jpg

Compared to her exuberantly colored textiles, Anna Benham’s new tile designs are more about line and pattern, subtle yet timeless, like the locations throughout Uzbekistan, Jerusalem and other regions which inspired them.

“My aim as an artist is to try and create something that has a longevity, that has a subtle stunningness,” says Benham, who is originally from Bath, England, and now makes her home near Moscow, Idaho. “My style is very English, because I am English, but I love history.”

Benham’s early influences include her father, a craftsman and maker of Windsor chairs, and a neighboring family who made pottery in the midcentury modern style. Stronger still was the influence of Bath itself, whose history is a panoply of cultures and styles, from initial occupation by the Romans in the first century AD to the city’s revival during the 18th century as a resort town in the Georgian architectural style.

click to enlarge home4-1-fb2eac2ad5b1748d.jpg

Despite being surrounded by the arts and attending Glasgow School of Art, Benham didn’t initially see herself as an artist. She had early success, however, with her paintings which were soon translated into a range of fashion and home décor items, launching a lengthy and celebrated career.

Then a few years ago, Benham connected with Quarry Tile, a Spokane Valley tile manufacturer, and spent the next few years learning a new design process. Working with a Northwest-inspired color palette — grays, blues, earth tones — Benham creates a single, square design. The company then uses digital technology to translate the design into glaze that’s applied to mostly local clay tiles. Once fired, the tiles are waterproof like any commercial tile, yet slight variations in the glaze application lend the tiles a hand-painted look.

Visit annabenham.com/collections/tiles

Continue Reading

Anna Reynolds School renovation on the ballot for Newington voters

A $33.5 million renovation project for Anna Reynolds School will be decided by Newington voters when they go to the polls or send in their absentee ballots this election season.

The referendum question asks whether to approve $33.5 million in bonding for a renovate-to-new building project at the elementary school.

Local taxpayers would be responsible for up to $17.5 million of the cost of the project. School building grants from the state would cover the remaining cost. The town council voted unanimously to have the question added to the ballot.

If approved by voters, construction would begin in the summer of 2021 and be completed by December 2022. Students would attend the school during construction.

District officials and parents have been seeking upgrades to the school for several years as its condition has continued to deteriorate.

Built in 1954 and originally known as Northwest Elementary School, the 65,000-square-foot building suffers from a chronically leaking roof that has led some students to joke about the school’s “waterfall feature.”

Before the roof was recently repaired again, Principal Jason Smith said that 11 of the school’s 20 classrooms were experiencing leaks, which are expected to return without a new roof.

Teachers and parents have also complained about a foul odor that is emitted in the building during times of dampness and humidity and the harm it could do to those with allergies or breathing issues.

The building is also not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirement, has outdated plumbing, electrical and heating ventilation and air conditioning, officials say. The only air-conditioning the school has is window units around the building and open windows. Temperature control also fluctuates greatly from classroom to classroom.

Other issues include a main entrance that does not align with modern security precautions for people coming into

Continue Reading