Local artist to be honored for mural

MICHELLE CHAN | Evergreen reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

That mural on the side of Thomas Hammer? It was painted by Patrick Siler, a former WSU art professor who’s up for an award at Pullman’s 5th annual ArtWalk.

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson will honor Siler for his artistic contribution July 18 at Pine Street Plaza, the brick area beside the mural.

“He’s brightened up that wall quite a bit,” Johnson said. “He’s made a lot of contributions to Pullman.” 

Johnson also said the Arts Commission chose Siler over several other artists for the mural. 

Siler began work on the mural, his first large-scale, on the side of the old cement building which once housed a run-down internet café in the summer of 2009.

The mural initially covered only a small portion of the wall facing the plaza. Siler added to the mural when Thomas Hammer Coffee moved into the building in 2012. By the time he completed his work, the brightly colored piece spanned the entire wall.

The piece, titled “Skyhorses,” uses vibrant colors and abstractions to portray aquatic images.

About 10 years after a soul-seeking journey in California, Siler returned to Pullman in the early ‘70s with a much better understanding of what it takes to teach artists, he said.

Although Siler is retired after 33 years of teaching, he continues to develop his style and communicate ideas through his artwork.

His collected works seek to challenge how people perceive mundane realities by conveying a sense of freedom and unhindered expression. Often depicting animals, aquatic life and human relationships, Siler illustrates his vision of global culture.

Siler’s work draws inspiration from German Expressionism, East Asian brush painting and his training in abstract art.

“Anything goes,” he said. “Whatever, you know, strikes your fancy as an artist. Who can say you can’t do that? Who can say that isn’t acceptable or that it isn’t of any value or is not relevant? So you can do whatever the heck you want.”

The mural catches one’s eye and is unique to individuals’ imaginations.

“It definitely makes you think,” said Nicole Rodovsky, a Pullman resident and former WSU student who has known Siler for a years. “For me, it makes me smile every time.”