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Artwork copyright . Harold Balazs. Photo courtesy of Washington State Arts Commission.

Harold Balazs 1928-2017: In Remembrance

Celebrated Spokane artist Harold Balazs was known for his large-scale sculptures and public art installations. He passed away December 30, 2017 at his home in Mead, Washington.

Born in Ohio in 1928, his family moved to Spokane in the 1940s. His artworks grace public spaces throughout the Pacific Northwest. Harold Balazs served on the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) Board from 1973 to 1976 representing the city of Mead in Spokane County. While on the board, he served on the Education and Visual Arts Committees. It was during his tenure that the Art in Public Places program came into existence.

He was an innovator dedicated to craftsmanship and joyful creativity. In an artist statement from 1999 he wrote, “The majority of my work has been nonobjective in nature. Replicating the known visual world does not interest me just now as we are living in an era of ideas. [I] am interested in juxtaposing disparate elements as a metaphor of the need for diverse ideas to coexist. In a reasonable effort to create a better existence.”

ArtsWA is proud to honor Harold Balazs’ legacy as a great Northwest artist. The State Art Collection features twelve of his artworks. This body of work showcases the energy, imagination, and formal skill that characterize his artistry. We are pleased to present them here.

–January 2018.