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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Arts

Fine arts education flourishes in face of pandemic

Four people sit on a couch with their faces lit up but obstructed by the digital devices they're holding in front of them., photograph, Samantha Wiltermood.From moist, cool clay to wet, drippy paint and dry, smudgy charcoal, visual art is a distinctly hands-on, sometimes messy, field of practice and study. So, what happens when art education goes online?

“Remote teaching certainly hasn’t slowed us down. In fact, these strange times have helped us reimagine new, more expanded ways to reach out to our students while still having deep and meaningful experiences in » More …

Can’t stop the music

Joel Lininger wears a mask while playing piano.A combination of innovative technology and careful use of practice and performance spaces will enable Washington State University musicians to play together virtually this fall.

The University’s music groups, including jazz bands, choir, orchestra and of course, the Cougar Marching Band, all plan on recording and sharing virtual performances with the Cougar community in place of live concerts and halftime shows. » More …

Dynamic art project gives students fitting, real-world experience

Wall art made with wooden cogs. Title reads, "Discovery".Like the gears in a finely tuned machine, donor contributions keep many non-profits – including the Palouse Discovery Science Center – running smoothly. So when digital media students at WSU were asked to visually represent donor support for the PDSC, the idea of interconnected gears quickly emerged and became, quite literally, the perfect fit.

Seventeen undergraduates in Reza Safavi’s introductory Digital Design and Fabrication course last spring worked individually and as a team to create a 7-by-7-foot interactive art installation composed of 22 precision-cut » More …

Four music ensembles to present showcase in Spokane

4 images: A trumpet player, a full orchestra, a group of vocalists, and cast of performers on stage.Jazz, opera, orchestra and choir—like a four-course feast for the ears, the musical showcase by WSU students and faculty on March 3 at the Fox Theatre in Spokane will serve up an array of aural treats.

Four ensembles from WSU’s School of Music in Pullman will travel to the Lilac City to perform selections from several well-known composers and some original music by » More …

A new take on the WSU Fight Song

Smiling member of the Cougar Marching Band.From Devo’s quirky take on the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” to Daughtry’s acoustic cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” musicians often reimagine popular tunes in their own style. In honor of the WSU Fight Song’s 100th anniversary, the Cougar Marching Band will perform four different arrangements of the beloved tune during the WSU football halftime show on Saturday, Nov. 16, in Martin Stadium. » More …

Exploring ‘internet addiction’ with paintings

Artwork by Joe Hedges.Among fine arts faculty member Joe Hedges‘s latest artworks are oil paintings of beautiful landscapes with a twist. They incorporate flat screen televisions, smart phones, or other objects to become what he calls “Hypercombines”—paintings that are connected to the internet.

“I started thinking about this buzz phrase that was going around a few years ago, ‘the internet of things,’ and asking myself why couldn’t an oil painting be part of the internet of things? What would that look like?” he asked. » More …

Alumna pursues passion for design

Dana Dollarhyde - WSU Tri-Cities digital technology and culture alumna.Life preparation. It was the thing that most drove Dana Dollarhyde to get a college degree and the thing that she said she is most grateful for her college experience.

One reason Dollarhyde (’18 DTC) chose WSU Tri-Cities was because it was affordable: she received thousands in scholarships and also qualified for the College Bound Program which would paid her tuition in full. But it was WSU Tri-Cities staff and faculty that helped her find her passion and a career pathway » More …

Innovative murals created for local elementary school

About 20 WSU students along with faculty project leaders and Kamiak Elementary principal Evan Hecker stand in front of 2 murals depicting the molecular vision of thermochromatic pigment.Imagine a large, outdoor painting that changes colors when warmed by the sun or by the touch of child’s hand and shifts hues again in cool rain and winter’s chill.

Two such temperature-sensitive paintings are among four vibrant murals created this fall at Kamiak Elementary School in Pullman through a unique collaboration between WSU artists and chemists. » More …

A new tune: combining jazz and classical piano

musician in rehearsal roomCuban-born master’s student Raul Blanco has long been interested in combining Cuban music with other types of music, such as Scottish bagpipes. But combining Cuban music and jazz piano is special because it bridges his years of learning classic piano in his homeland with his personal interest in jazz.

“Raul has written music for several ensembles and has led both our Latin Jazz ensemble and Jazz Wires, our top jazz combo. He is an excellent teacher and mentor to undergraduate students in » More …

Shaking hands with the past

Nathan OroscoFor artist Nathan Orosco (’02 MFA), the process of making art is an art in itself. From sculpting clays to melting bronze, “you’re collaborating with raw materials. You’re shaking hands with the past and the historic ways humans have traditionally dealt with those materials. And then I add in the content of my own personal identity.”

Cast bronze, fused glass, ceramics, textiles, wood, and other media take shape in Orosco’s art that speaks of his social, political, and » More …