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Fine Arts

Color My World thumb
Summer 2016

Color my worlds

An alumna artist brings out the kids in us

Tarah Luke felt like her hands would fall off after completing 120 pages in adult coloring books over five and a half weeks.

Luke ’05 didn’t color the pages, though. The Seattle-based artist designed and drew the images featured in the four books. The Eiffel Tower, a marching band, an octopus, and a movie camera are just a few examples from the series of themed volumes divided into places, music, animals, and inventions.

Luke’s collection is part of a growing national trend. Adult coloring books, usually featuring complex patterns within images, have become an increasingly popular … » More …

Winter 2014

In plain sight

Broken Arrow sits in the foyer of the Terrell Library. Thousands pass by it each week, most not realizing it is the work of artist Harold Balazs ’51, or that it was a gift from the Friel family whose lives entwined with the history of the school long after graduation.

Though he planned to be a teacher, Jack Friel ’23 started his 30-year career as the Cougars’ head basketball coach in 1928. As a student, he met Catherine (Matthews) Friel ’23, ’58 MAT in the original college library. They married a few years later and raised their family just a few blocks from campus. Three … » More …

Spokane fountain
Winter 2014

Art in public places

In the late sixties, Harold Balazs ’51 helped build a public arts tradition in our region. Along with several members of the Washington Arts Commission, including artist Jacob Lawrence, he created Washington’s Art in Public Places program. Starting in 1974, the program began directing one-half of one percent of all state building budgets toward purchasing contemporary art. The pieces would be owned by the state but could reside at the site of the project.

Having traveled in Spain and Italy, Balazs had realized that the United States could easily support more arts and culture. “Countries in Europe do so much more than one percent,” he … » More …

First Words
Winter 2014

Seeing and knowing

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled,” writes art critic and author John Berger in his 1970s Ways of Seeing.

Berger, a mainstay for students of art and Western culture, examines how a large part of what we see when we look at something depends on our habits and conventions, the things we think we know.

As men and women, Berger notes, we may see things differently. Our teachers, our books, even our communities tell us what we’re looking at and what it means. Children see things differently, again. Lacking preconceptions, they may recognize qualities in a work of … » More …

Fall 2014

Where the heart is

Ten years ago, artist Jim Dine left his heart in Pullman. The 12-foot-tall painted bronze sculpture called The Technicolor Heart—a blue beacon covered with ordinary items like hammers, shoes, clamps, and flashlights—has stirred conversation and controversy.

Now the world-famous sculptor and printmaker is giving Washington State University a whole collection of more than 200 prints representing his work from 1967 to 2011. Valued at over $1.8 million, this print donation will be the largest university museum collection of Dine prints in the world and one of the largest collections of his prints ever assembled.

Cincinnati native Dine grew up around his grandfather’s hardware store and … » More …

First Words
Fall 2014

First Words for Fall 2014

As we started assembling this issue, we sought to provide a sweeping view of campus and its environs from architecture to the archives. And then, as it usually happens, a few themes surfaced: anniversaries, hearts and health, and, well, garbage. We discovered subtle ties between the stories, ties that may not be so obvious to the reader, but as we have written, edited, and designed this issue, have lingered in our minds.

First, along with campus maps and Cougar cards, Washington State’s freshmen this month are sharing a book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash—a selection from the now eight-year-old and widely successful … » More …

Races of Mankind
Fall 2014

Races of Mankind: The Sculptures of Malvina Hoffman

Races of Mankind

Marianne Kinkel

University of Illinois Press, 2011

 

In the struggle to find out what makes people unique, artists of the twentieth century entered the field of physical anthropology. In 1930, Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History commissioned sculptor Malvina Hoffman to research and create sculptures of all races of mankind, of which there were believed to be more than 160.

Marianne Kinkel, an associate professor of fine arts at Washington State University, … » More …

Cori Dantini at work
Summer 2014

Cori Dantini ’93—Art and whimsy

Boxes filled with vintage paper, new paper, old books, fabrics, and other precious odds and ends neatly fill Cori Dantini’s home art studio. Over the years she has collected thousands of items, knowing someday they would come in handy. “If you don’t have it, you can’t use it,” she says with a smile.

That “use it” moment came in 2008. Over a long weekend with her husband Liam and son Henry away and an art show on the horizon, Dantini began to layer vintage papers and words. She sketched a pencil drawing over the paper and added ink and color. A month later, her first … » More …