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Whitworth Presents Distinguished Community Service Award to Artist Karen Mobley

October 11, 2019
Whitworth University, on behalf of its board of trustees, has presented the Distinguished Community Service Award to Spokane artist and poet Karen Mobley.

Mobley served as the city of Spokane’s art director from 1997-2012. She was the artist in residence at Laboratory in 2018 and the North Spokane Library in 2017. Mobley was inducted into the Spokane Citizen Hall of Fame this year.

Many say her most recognized accomplishment in Spokane is the public art collection downtown and in Riverfront Park, where she was responsible for acquiring many beautiful pieces and memorials.

“Karen Mobley has dedicated herself to making Spokane a better place through the arts,” says Brooke Kiener, Whitworth associate provost and Spokane Arts board chair. "There isn’t a neighborhood or a block of downtown that doesn’t owe some debt of gratitude to Karen for the work that she has done to make it a more beautiful, contemplative or inviting space. She has been fierce, brave and persistent in her support for our local artists and arts organizations.”

Mobley serves on the boards of the Washington State Arts Alliance and Cultural Access Washington. She has served Whitworth University as an adjunct professor in the art department for more than 10 years.

Mobley was presented with her award on Oct. 3 during an evening lecture by world-renowned artist Makoto Fujimura.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Brooke Kiener, associate provost, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4657 or

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