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College of Arts and Sciences Creative Activities

Music professor blends community, culture, choral conducting

Lori Weist sitting at a desk.Lori Wiest may be a professor of music and director of choral activities, but her interests and involvements extend far beyond the WSU School of Music.

Wiest did not start her undergraduate career as a music major, but added it on to her chemistry track at the end of her sophomore year, she said. She later taught music and chemistry while she decided what she wanted to do.

“I was thinking about that, even as an undergrad, how important it was » 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 …

DTC student premieres new film

Tom Andersen.On a chilly, fall Saturday morning, Tom Andersen reached a milestone in his young career with the premiere of his latest film, “It Was Love,” at the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver.

Andersen, a senior in digital technology and culture at WSU Vancouver, is the owner and director of his own independent film company, Mahilum Films. Having grown up watching old films with his father, Andersen realized early on that he had “a niche for writing” and an imagination. » 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 …

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 …

Studio of notes

David Bjur at the recording studio desk.The first thing you might notice about the Washington State University recording studio is the silence. It starts when Dave Bjur, studio manager and chief engineer, closes the hallway door, sealing off the random din of the Kimbrough Music Building’s top floor. Then he closes a second door and a weird sensation settles into the ears that, when you think about it, is rare in the modern world.

It’s an anti-sound, the audio version of true black, » More …

WSU professor works with music educators in India

Dean Luethi holding a small toy rickshaw.This past summer, Dean Luethi, associate professor and director of the School of Music, made his second trip to India to provide educational materials and training to music teachers.

“They’re eager for western pedagogies,” Luethi said. “They hear western music, they want to perform western music, and they want help to be able to teach it.”

The National Association for Music Education started the Western Music Educators » More …

New faculty seed grants kick-start research, creativity

Office of ResearchSpanning  biosynthetic pharmaceuticals, intermedia art, and wildfires, three College of Arts and Sciences faculty have been awarded New Faculty Seed Grants (NFSG) to encourage the development of their research, scholarly, and creative programs.

The grants support projects that will significantly contribute to the researcher’s long range goals by kick-starting a more complex project or idea. The seed funding to junior faculty helps build » More …

English professor chronicles Arctic residency adventure

the AntiguaSailing aboard the Antigua, a traditionally rigged tall ship specially outfitted for sailing in the high Arctic,   writer and Regents professor of English Debbie Lee chronicled her experience as a member of the Arctic Circle Artist Residency Program.

One of thirty artists from every part of the world sailing the west coast of Svalbard toward the North Pole while working on individual and collaborative projects, Lee teamed up with a glass sculptor, » More …