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Whitworth University Presents the 2018 Faculty Biennial Exhibit

November 12, 2018
The Whitworth University Art Department and the university's Bryan Oliver Gallery are proud to present an exhibit of current work from our faculty. The Faculty Biennial exhibit will run Nov. 13-Jan. 25 in the Bryan Oliver Gallery. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturdays.

Art faculty members Katie Creyts, Gordon Wilson, Lance Sinnema, Rob Fifield and Bradley Oiler will be exhibiting their latest artworks.

“An exhibit such as the Faculty Biennial is a way for our art faculty to contribute to ongoing conversations in the academic community, says Stacey Moo, Whitworth art department and permanent collection coordinator. “It also impacts the local community and the art world beyond Spokane and allows our faculty to ‘publish’ their scholarship, which is the art they create.”

Here are statements from two of the featured artists:

Gordon Wilson:

Painting trips the last three summers in Orvieto, Italy, have resulted in an extended series of paintings of Orvieto and nearby locations. Most paintings have been completed on location from direct observation. In some paintings in the series I have used paintings completed on location as reference for additional paintings completed in the studio. Photographs I’ve taken of locations, particularly those where it is not possible to set up an easel, have also been used for reference.

These paintings are about a particular place under lighting conditions that occurred during the process of painting. For me, some of the most meaningful have been paintings that involve unusual lighting conditions, including storm and night.

I’ve intentionally included visual information that expresses the relationship of inhabitants to their environment and my personal response to locations. Historical and cultural elements are intentionally referenced in the paintings. Interaction with our host family has added to the understanding or Orvieto and nearby communities.

The three paintings included in the faculty exhibit are studio paintings completed this fall. All are painted on canvases prepared and under-painted by Ben Frank Moss, my graduate program director and mentor. The completed paintings make use of textures and colors Ben applied to the canvases sometime in the 1980s. In a sense, I feel the paintings are collaborations. Sometimes I am working against textures and underlying colors that don’t fit my intentions.  Other times I am able to make use of Ben’s colors and brushstrokes. My intention is to continue this series on the dozen or so canvases Ben gifted to me.

Lance Sinnema:

Explicating (exploring/expounding/expanding/exhuming/excavating)
the Space (sphere/area/territory/expanse/range)
of Nature’s Place (region/field/locale/niche/vicinity/venue)

Language is inhibited by the imagination of the one who hears. At its best, it creates an image in the mind of the listener that rivals the most detailed representation; however, this is often not the case.
Images fall short in that they fail to suggest the myriad possibilities provided by words. An image is a stagnant thing, only able to describe a sliver of time and context. Language is the spice that livens up the visual dish.

The necessity of combining image and language to fully describe an experience with landscape is inescapable. To provide an image is to show only half the story. To tell a tale is to describe only half the visual experience. Words and images are wedded descriptors in our everyday lives.  My recent work is a reworking and continued exploration of previous efforts in combining altered images and text. It is a refining of the explorative nature of language with the static nature of images.

Thematically this explicating has turned toward issues humanity faces as I witness a world that we have turned against ourselves. The most recent works have been painted directly on the wall, reflecting the fleeting nature of nature. The earth will abide; however, our place in it is transient, and inevitably ends with the wall being painted over to make room for whatever comes next.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 5-6 p.m. in the Lied Center for the Visual Arts, followed by a lecture from 6-7 p.m. in the Bryan Oliver Gallery.


Stacey Moo, art department and permanent collection program coordinator, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3258 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or