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Washington State University fine arts professor is taking on the issue of plastic waste

“Willow of the Waste” is an interactive mechanical tree installation, that “breathes” with mechanical movements. It opens its branches inviting you to go inside.

Sena Clara Creston.The art piece is made of used plastic grocery bags and water bottles that Washington State University’s professor of Fine Arts and Digital Media, Sena Clara Creston saved for the past three years.

Creston, a New York City native, said she did not grow up with a whole lot of wild life and nature. Instead, she said she grew up seeing plastic bags floating around the city. She wants to recycle that trash into something with a better meaning.

“I am thinking about this as things that are really helpful and people need and want,” Professor Creston said. “But they are destroying our planet and covering it with plastic. So we think about it as a sweet and supportive environment that maybe is trying to consume us and take over.”

The grand opening for WSU Fine Art Faculty Exhibition will start January 31, 2020, at five p.m. at WSU Art Center. It will feature art by Creston and 15 other fine arts faculty and staff from three WSU campuses.

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Daily Evergreen

WSU Tri‑Cities exhibition showcases art from faculty and staff statewide

An exhibition at Washington State University Tri‑Cities will showcase art professionally created by WSU faculty and staff from across the state now through Feb. 28 at the WSU Tri‑Cities Art Center.

A grand opening for the exhibition is scheduled for 5 p.m.–7 p.m. on Jan. 31 in the WSU Tri‑Cities Art Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibition will feature a range of styles of art, including interactive and electronic sculptures, ceramics, photography, painting, drawing and more. It will specifically feature works from 16 faculty and staff from the WSU Tri‑Cities, WSU Vancouver and WSU Pullman campuses.

At the grand opening on Jan. 31, attendees will have the opportunity to meet many of the artists featured, enjoy wine and light refreshments, as well as get an up‑close look at the works of art.

Remarks begin at 5:30 p.m.

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WSU Insider

WSU fine artist explores ‘internet addiction’ with paintings

Joe Hedges.

Washington State University fine arts faculty member Joe Hedges has been thinking hard about the slash in his title: Assistant Professor of Painting/Intermedia.

“There’s a lot of ambiguity with that slash,” Hedges said. “Is it painting or intermedia, painting and intermedia, or paintings that are both painting and incorporate other media? I have basically been trying it all.”

Among Hedges’ latest artworks are oil paintings of beautiful landscapes but 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.

Those questions have inspired and informed several of his new works to be exhibited at Artworks Gallery in Loveland, Colorado, Nov. 8–Dec. 18, and at Chase Gallery in Spokane, Wash., Jan. 3–March 25.

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WSU Insider

WSU students dedicate innovative artwork to Kamiak Elementary School, community

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.

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WSU Insider
Northwest Public Broadcasting (NWPB)

Center for Arts and Humanities celebrates launch, hosts NEH chairman

Washington State University will celebrate the public launch of the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) with two workshops and a reception on Oct. 24. Joining the festivities will be Jon Parrish Peede, chairman for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“The center will serve as a ‘front door’ to the arts and humanities at WSU. Our goal is to nurture curiosity and encourage innovation that crosses traditional scholarly boundaries and supports the public good,” said Todd Butler, associate professor of English and CAH director.

The center will award its first two undergraduate scholarships at the reception and celebrate the work of the current cohort of eight CAH Faculty Fellows, who are pursuing projects ranging from an examination of the links between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Frank Lloyd Wright to collaborations with Native American singers to preserve recordings of traditional Nez Perce songs.

Formally approved by the Board of Regents in May 2019, the center is supported by a University-wide consortium that includes the Office of Research, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, WSU Libraries, and the Office of the President.

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WSU Insider