Faculty members find their sense of place

Linda Russo, associate professor of English, talks about the affect humans have on nature. She found the golf ball while writing her poems by the river.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

The Museum of Art’s summer exhibit ‘Points of Interest’ focuses on the different aspects of place, on the Palouse and around the world, through the eyes of several WSU faculty members.

The faculty members included in this exhibit are not all fine arts professors, and they’re not even all artists, but they all create their own kind of art. Professor of fine arts Kevin Haas included his own art work of a panorama of sketches of different parts of Spokane.

“My work is about the kind of environment you don’t necessarily want to linger in,” Haas said. “Spokane isn’t generally thought of as a very beautiful or appealing environment, so I try to take a closer look at that and see what makes it what it is. I’m almost holding a mirror up to the landscape.”

Taiji Miyasaka, associate professor of architecture, included some of his architecture work and images of spectacular architecture he’s seen around the Palouse in his section of the exhibit.

“Architecture is often thought of as being very urban, and that there’s very little interesting architecture in rural country sides, but if you actually look at the rural country sides you’ll see some very interesting things,” Miyasaka said. “There’s a silo in Colton that’s 55 feet in diameter and 60 feet tall, and I went down to help dismantle it, and I was stunned by the power and beauty of the space.”

LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen
Kevin Haas, professor of fine arts, talks about his experience with the theme of place and was excited to see what others would do with this theme.

Linda Russo, clinical associate professor of English, included artwork by WSU students Amelia Warden, Krista Brand and Annie Cunningham to encapsulate the confluence of the south fork of the Palouse River and Paradise Creek, a site on which she focused dozens of poems.

“The whole idea of the exhibit was to create an immersive exhibit and manifest the site in some way,” Russo said. “We have tactile and visual and dimensionality. There’s photography and audio, you can smell the pieces if you choose too, and then the language. It’s very, in my eyes, a great documentation of the whole site in the museum.”

Ruth Boden, associate professor of music, included images and video of herself playing her cello in different locations on the Palouse. The walls of the exhibit are also lined with artwork from the Museum of Art’s permanent collection to help show the theme of place around the Palouse.

This exhibit uses the space in a unique way that could only be described as ‘wander-able’, Russo said.

“I love the fluidity of moving between the different spaces,” Russo said. “The exhibit … invites you to move in different velocities, to see things up close and far away. Each piece of art in the exhibit is itself a destination, it’s a wonderful use of space.”

The ‘Points of Interest’ exhibit will be in the main gallery of the Museum of Art until June 30. Gallery hours are from noon – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“This is a good summer exhibit because, if you’re here in the summer, it’s a different place than during the regular school year,” Haas said. “Things quiet down and you become much more aware of the landscape.”