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Whitworth Art Student's Paintings Earn Praise

When Marco Tulluck shuffled through a collection of his old papers and work from second grade, he came across an essay about his future dreams that revealed three simple goals: "To have a family, to not be poor and to paint."

So far, the part about painting has come true.

A charcoal painting, "Sanctuary," by Tulluck, a junior art major and German minor at Whitworth, was selected for inclusion in last summer's juried exhibition sponsored by the Arts Council of Snohomish County.

"It was really an honor to have my work displayed with that of the highest-caliber artists of the county in which I grew up," Tulluck says. "It just felt right exhibiting my work for the first time in this place with these people."

The competition in the show was intense, due to an unusually large number of submissions.

Tulluck's "Sanctuary" depicts an eccentric, long-standing member of the Arlington, Wash., community, Gene Ammon, who lives on a wildlife refuge and spends most of his time creating art out of old bicycles.

"In the painting I tried to capture the feeling I get of who this man is today and of his state of mind. For him, I think his sanctuary is far beyond a refuge for wildlife -- and that is why I chose to use this title," Tulluck says. "It is a sanctuary for his memories of days gone by, his unusual but brilliant bicycle art, the way he has affected and still affects others' lives, and above all a sanctuary simply for himself, where he belongs, safe from a world with which he has grown unfamiliar and which he now accuses of having it in for him."

Tulluck has been interested in drawing since he was a child, but started painting when he came to Whitworth.

"I really enjoy painting and drawing the figure and portraits. For me there is little that is more interesting," Tulluck says. "I try to make the viewer think a little bit about the painting."

Tulluck revels in his passion for painting and the joy he experiences from observing and capturing the simplicity of being in nature and appreciating its beauty. He counts among his biggest influences such artists as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Jeffrey Hessing, Hieronymus Bosch, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh, along with the professors in the Whitworth Art Department.

"I think the art program at Whitworth is excellent. The professors are top-quality, incredibly gifted, and, most important, they are always there for the students, helping us along the way and honestly concerning themselves with each student's personal growth as an artist and as a person.

"Art is a subject that creates a unique kind of passion in an individual, and that passion is thriving throughout the department here at Whitworth, in the professors and the students."

After graduating from Whitworth next spring, Tulluck plans to attend graduate school to earn a master's degree in teaching; his career goal is to teach art and German at the secondary level.

"The idea of getting other people interested in art and German and being there to help them grow as individuals is a very exciting prospect for me," Tulluck says.

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