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Visual arts

If clothes could talk…but they do!

Photographs by Hannelore Sudermann

There’s more than one way to be Coug, as our gallery of student styles demonstrates. If clothes could talk, they’d speak volumes about the lifestyles and affiliations of their wearers.

And, in fact, they do, according to Linda Arthur, who teaches in Washington State University’s apparel merchandising, design and textiles department. She and Mark Konty, formerly of the sociology department, summed up their students’ research on student subcultures at WSU to see how people were communicating their identity through dress.

Of the 1,200 students and alums surveyed, 65 percent fit into the collegiate subculture. Within that group there are the Greeks, … » More …

Winter 2006

An equation for beauty

The painter spends his days on the third floor of an ancient biscuit plant in a seedy section of industrial Ballard. The building, just a block from the Ballard Bridge, houses a collection of artists, mostly ceramicists whose main-floor kiln warms the warehouse through the winter.

But acrylic paint is the medium for Michael Schultheis, 39. A climb up steep wooden stairs, and we’re welcomed by Cesaria Evora’s alto voice singing in Portuguese from a paint-spattered boom box. “Ah, she’s wonderful,” says a similarly paint-spattered Schultheis standing at the door to his bright studio.

He is in the midst of creating paintings for a fall … » More …

Summer 2006

Busting out

One rainy afternoon this spring filmmaker Francine Strickwerda entered the El Diablo coffee shop in Seattle. She ordered a cubano latte and then sat at a table overlooking Queen Anne Avenue. She looked around the busy room. The scene brought back memories of a time, a few years before, when she was working on her first documentary, a film about breasts. “I wrote a lot of grants for Busting Out sitting in this coffee shop,” she said.

Five years in the making, the hour-long movie is, in her words, “a strange mix of pop, politics, and history, and economics, and health, all these things that … » More …

Flying With the Dragon: Color an Evon Zerbetz '82 original

Though she has never before released her artwork uncolored, Evon Zerbetz ’82 has generously shared a version of her piece, Flying With the Dragon, that you can color yourself. It comes from a set of linocuts she completed for her children’s book, Ten Rowdy Ravens. Download the image, and enjoy.

Click here for more information about Zerbetz and her work. You can also find Zerbetz’s artwork, and details about her museum shows, on her Website.

Flying with the Dragon. Evon Zerbetz

A Conversation about Art and Biology with Ellen Dissanayake '57

Ellen Franzen Dissanayake came to Washington State College from Walla Walla in 1953 as a music major. At the time, undergraduates were required to take four science classes. After taking the legendary BioSci 101 from Winfield Hatch and Human Physiology from Donald S. Farner, she found it easy to “think biologically,” which influenced her subsequent interest in the evolutionary origins of the arts.

At graduation, she married fellow student and zoologist John Eisenberg, and they moved to Berkeley, where he would attend graduate school. He was well on his way to becoming a prominent mammalian ethologist and was a rich source of thinking on behavior … » More …

Spring 2007

Viticultural art

Wine-By-Cougars, the precocious young wine club sponsored by the Washington State University Alumni Association, is adding art to its viticultural appeal. The wine club will offer a special “Artist Expression 2007,” a union of student art and alumni winemaking.

The wine club approached the digital design class taught in Fine Arts and asked students to design a wine label for a special spring release from Woodward Canyon, owned and operated by Rick Small ’69. Design students were instructed to reflect viticulture and the land-grant ideal on their labels. The label chosen is by Annette Ticknor ’07, a communication major and fine art student. (Full disclosure: … » More …

Spring 2003

Sherman Alexie: “It’s all good”

It may look the same today, but as Sherman Alexie walked down the aisle of the Kenworthy Theater in Moscow, Idaho, he realized his last memory of the place was, well, a little bit hazy.

“I was just recalling with a friend of mine who I went to school at Wazzu with that this is the first time I’ve been in this theater sober,” Alexie said, glancing around the old theater at the Palouse premier of his second movie, The Business of Fancydancing, last September. “And I’ve been sober a long time.”

Eleven years, actually, he says with pride, urging other young tribal members in … » More …