Skip to main content Skip to navigation
College of Arts and Sciences Fine Arts

Creating space for art and justice

A group of students listening to a presentation by faculty.The second annual Art for Social Change showcase featured works by WSU students and members of the Pullman community which highlight the role of art in advancing social justice.

As part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at WSU, the goal of the competition is to call attention to the importance of recognizing the vast inequalities that persists in the world today, and “to dream, to envision, to » 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 …

Rockin’ the stars

Dean Karr.During his thirty-year career, Dean Karr (’88 fine arts) has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business and collected all kinds of keepsakes—from VIP passes and platinum records to props and guitars signed by the likes of Judas Priest and Slayer’s Kerry King. Exploring Karr’s 1926  Spanish-style home in the Hollywood Hills is like walking through a museum of rock-and-roll’s recent history. From his first-floor studio to his upstairs office, souvenirs tell the story of his work, which he sums up simply:  “I just like making cool stuff.” » More …

With a pencil or brush or horse

Don Weller with his dog.His canvases are mostly covered with cowboys and horses now, along with their accompaniments—saddles and chaps, barns and fences, cows, canyons, rivers, red rocks, ropes—all things he’s loved from an early age.

Don Weller (’60 Fine Arts) worked for decades as an illustrator and graphic designer before making a second career of painting images of rodeos and ranches and, in a sense, getting back in touch with » 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 …

Summer scholars connect research to the real world

Student Jeannette Lilly (center) works with graduate student Erica Bakker (left) and Sarah Roley, assistant professor of environmental science, in an environmental science lab as part of her Chancellor’s Summer Scholars experience.This past summer, ten WSU Tri-Cities undergraduate students in the Chancellor’s Summer Scholar Program got to experience first-hand how top-tier university research can impact their local community.

“Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree get the opportunity to be a part of intensive research that could positively influence the Tri-Cities community,” said Kate McAteer, WSUTC vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Ranging from engineering, to the arts, to the sciences, there are a variety » 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 …

Casting an artful brush

Ben Miller fly fishing.The idea came to him during a phone call. The artist and avid fly fisherman was talking with his brother when he suddenly wondered whether it would be possible to combine his two loves in a way he hadn’t seen before. Could he use the same tool to catch fish as well as make art illustrating their natural habitat? Could he paint the rivers he loves to fish with a fly rod instead of a brush?

“A good fly fisherman is going to be really precise with » More …

Smith Teaching and Learning grants benefit undergraduate education

A landscape oil painting.Four College of Arts and Sciences faculty members received funding from the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment to pursue ideas that focus on enhancing the education of WSU students.

“The applications for this year’s awards presented a broad scope of plans and ideas to boost teaching and learning at our » More …

Life imitates art for petite Coug

Kim SantosAfter watching the movie The Devil Wears Prada, Kim Santos knew she wanted to leave her homeland, Guam, for a career in New York City. Judging by what this WSU senior has accomplished so far, it’s easy to believe she will achieve that goal and every other one she sets.

Describing Guam as a “mini Hawai’i” with a laid-back, relaxed lifestyle, Kim grew up on a ranch subsistence farming with her family. However, like many aspiring artists, she looked at the stars and imagined far more for herself than staying in Guam. “What I wanted,” Kim said, “was bigger than the island.” » More …