New art exhibit highlights selfishness

Pieces were created by WSU art professors, one from Tri-Cities



Self*ish exhibit opened at WSU Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art yesterday morning.

JULIA GOLAN, Evergreen reporter

A new exhibit at the WSU Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art features artwork from three different university faculty members that focus on selfishness.

The new exhibit, titled “Self*ish”, explores societies’ obsessions with themselves. The artists worked with the theme, formation and depiction of personhood within today’s multifaceted and progressively digital era, according to the exhibition description on the WSU events website.

One of the pieces in the display is by Douglas Gast, associate professor of fine arts at WSU Tri-Cities, and portrays over 450 selfies taken by five different individuals. The draw to this particular work is that each person is unaware that the hundreds of pictures they have taken of themselves are online and available for unattributed use.

“It’s interesting how all these pictures are being used without their knowledge,” Tami Tuck, a viewer, said.

The pictures tie in with the selfish theme of the exhibit, as Gast shows his opinion on how people have the need to document everything about their lives. Many of the photos were taken at specific angles and had filters on them.

One of the walls contained the work of Io Palmer, associate professor of Fine Arts at WSU- Pullman. Her piece consisted of hundreds of wooden vanity mirrors of various sizes and colors.

Palmer said she does not think there is a specific thing to be learned from it.

“I would like for people to spend time with it,” she said. “To not just see it as 400 plus mirrors but to just sit with it.”

Palmer said the hundreds of gaudy mirrors show the importance of surface level appearances in today’s society.

“We look at the mirrors to look at ourselves,” said Grace Brown, staff member and art student.

Another piece was a large self portrait of the artist, Joe Hedges, assistant professor of fine arts at WSU-Pullman.

Hedges’ piece focused on how the most selfish art is a self-portrait. The piece included two portions; a large oil painting of himself as well as a series of monitors and computers that showed contrasting images.

“I like how Joe uses technology in his piece,” Brown said. “That he puts the technology before himself.”

She also noted how the technology is the forefront of the piece and more important than the portrait, despite the portrait being the largest thing in view.

“The digital overlap is amazing because if you stand in a certain corner it all comes together,” art student Mana Mehrabian said about the piece.

The museum will display the Self*Ish exhibit until Oct. 6th and will hold a reception for the artists on Sept. 11th from 12:00 to 1:30pm.