Imagine a large, outdoor painting that changes colors when warmed by the sun or by the touch of a 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 through a unique collaboration between Washington State University artists and chemists for public display at Kamiak Elementary School in Pullman. The innovative paintings will be dedicated to the new elementary school and surrounding community on Monday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m.

The free, public event will be held on the school playground at 1400 NW Terre View Dr. or, in case of rain, in the school library.

Joe Hedges.
Amy Nielsen.

“Our goal was to create an outdoor mural, inspired and informed by chemical science, that is both educational and interactive,” said Amy Nielsen, clinical assistant professor of chemistry, who co‑led the project with Joe Hedges, assistant professor of fine arts.

The professors worked with master of fine arts student Kelsey Baker, chemistry graduate student Aaron Hendrickson, and about 25 students in Hedges’s advanced and intermediate painting class to create the murals designed by Baker and Jiemei Lin, a graphic artist at WSU.

The incoming student class at Kamiak Elementary and members of the community voted for their favorite of three designs presented by the mural team in early August.

Find out more

WSU Insider
Northwest Public Broadcasting (NWPB)