The latest in a series of mural projects showcasing the outstanding talent of local and regional artists, as well as the collaborative spirit of Washington State University, is being dedicated this week in downtown Pullman.
A joint effort by the Pullman Arts Foundation — founded by WSU Associate Professor of Painting/Intermedia Joe Hedges — and the Downtown Pullman Association led to the creation of the Riverside Mural Project.
The more than 100-foot-long mural facing South Fork Palouse River on the 400 block of East Main Street was completed earlier this fall by Seattle-based artist and mural designer Tori Shao in collaboration with local artist and WSU graduate Sarah Barnett, as well as WSU students, faculty, staff and other volunteers.
The project’s timing allowed for the participation of Hedges’ students, giving them valuable experience in preparing massive outdoor art features.
“Although the vision of individual artists is an important part of art-making, one thing our department does well is provide students opportunities to work together,” Hedges said of WSU’s Department of Art. “And in doing so they learn valuable skills that extend beyond the classroom. Additionally, students learn how community service and the arts are connected, and how painting can be a powerful tool to bring communities together.”