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Fine Arts

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 …

Aesthetics of Strangeness cover
Summer 2014

The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan

Aesthetics of Strangeness cover

W. Puck Brecher

University of Hawai‘i Press, 2013

 

Eccentricity and odd artistic behavior in the Edo period of Japan (1600–1868) proliferated as an aesthetic subculture that both resisted the rigidity of the Tokugawa realm and served as a source of moral and cultural values.

This study by Brecher, an assistant professor of Japanese language at Washington State University, delves into the complex role of oddballs and eccentrics as sources of artistic … » More …

Museum drawing
Spring 2014

A wider canvas

A new museum of art on the Washington State University campus in Pullman could be a multi-story glass-walled building in which students, alumni, and community members can venture in to an open and intriguing series of galleries.

The new building, now in the conceptual phase, will have more than twice the space of the current 5,000-square-foot museum and include four distinct galleries. It will rise out of the hillside across from the Compton Union Building on the site of the former fire station and current police station.

“It gives an opportunity to complete Terrell Mall in a way that reinforces the public quality of it,” … » More …

Winter 2013

History develops, art stands still

An art historian journeys into the Renaissance

 

Maria Deprano meets me in Florence just outside of Santa Maria Novella, a church consecrated in the early Renaissance. While the green and white marble façade is spectacular, we’re here to look into the mysteries of the basilica’s interior frescoes.

A 2013 fellow with Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti, DePrano has traded her post in Pullman for a year in Italy to research and write a book featuring a family of fifteenth-century Florence who appear in one particular set of the church’s frescoes. The Tornabuoni were art patrons who commissioned and were featured in artworks from some … » More …

Fall 2012

Mural, mural, on the wall

 

Pine Street Plaza Mural, 2009-2012

Artwork by Patrick Siler

Pullman, Washington

Artist and WSU fine arts faculty member for 32 years, Patrick Siler’s outdoor wall mural “Pine Street Plaza Mural” holds a prominent position in downtown Pullman. He completes the third and final panel this summer.

The WSU Museum of Art presented an exhibition this summer—Curator’s Choice: Patrick Siler Mural—showcasing the sketches and finished drawings that were a part of the project.

Read about the artist and project in “Patrick Siler ’61—On the wall.” Or watch a video about Siler.

Patrick Siler next to mural in Pullman
Fall 2012

Patrick Siler ’61—On the wall

Patrick Siler points to a crack in the wall he’s about to paint. He points to another, and another. He has to fill those. And there’s that slanted place in the concrete he has to deal with. He can’t push his lift onto the sloped surface. Maybe he’ll build a wooden platform to roll the lift onto. And the tree in front of the wall, well, he’ll figure that out when he gets to it.

“I still have quite a bit of preparatory work on this wall,” Siler says, sitting in the Thomas Hammer café where the mural is located. “I’ve done a lot of … » More …