August 24, 2004
Restoration Project Prepares the Whitworth College
The fruits of a summer of tedious, dirty and largely unseen labor to restore works in Whitworth's permanent art collection will go on display Sept. 8 in an exhibit in Whitworth's Koehler Gallery and throughout Weyerhaeuser Hall, the college's landmark new academic building, which opens for classes this fall and will display several of the college's most prominent pieces.
Whitworth art professors Barbara Filo and Scott Kolbo have been working throughout the summer with Clara Woods, a local art-restoration professional, and with senior art students Crystal Walker, of Spokane, and Shelly Williams, of Yakima, to complete the project. Funding from Whitworth's Office of Academic Affairs and Sponsored Programs has supported the restoration and documentation of the 400 works in the college's permanent art collection.
In addition, Virgil Dedas, professor and director of technical services in Whitworth's Cheney Cowles Memorial Library, his staff and Kate Beck, Whitworth's web programmer, have created a searchable data archive in the library as well as a web-based version of the archive that catalogues information on each piece of art in the collection.
"It's a project that we have wanted to do for a long time, and we are extremely excited and grateful that Whitworth has invested in the care of this valuable college asset," Filo says.
The permanent collection includes prints, photography, glass, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, and paintings in every medium; a number of works are the creations of Whitworth faculty and alumni. Some of the collection's most notable works include Mt. McKinley and The Ebb Tide, landscape oil paintings, by Sydney Lawrence; Basque Suite, a signed print, by Robert Motherwell; Portable War Memorial, a print on metal, by Edward Kienholtz; paintings by Kenneth Callahan; ceramics by Carlton Ball, David Shaner and Bojidar Bontchev; and glass by 1976 alumnus Peter Hunner.
A new painting by Professor Emeritus of Art Pauline Haas has been commissioned for installation in Weyerhaeuser Hall. A presentation featuring the artwork in the new academic building will be part of the building's opening celebration, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2.
Pieces from the permanent collection will be featured in the Koehler Gallery exhibit, which is the first of the 2004-2005 season and runs Sept. 8 to Oct. 2. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Admission is free. An opening reception will be held Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 5-7 p.m. in the Koehler Gallery. An exhibit lecture will take place at 6 p.m. during the reception in Room 203 of Weyerhaeuser Hall.
"I thought it would be a great thing to highlight all the excellent artwork that generous donors have given the college over the years by organizing a permanent-collection show," Kolbo says. "The college owns a number of important and valuable artworks, but the general campus community is largely unaware of what they are and why they are so special. Permanent collections of art are incredible resources for education and pleasure, so it seemed natural that we would try to raise the profile of our collection this year."
The major donors of artworks and funding for the Whitworth College Permanent Art Collection are the late Dr. Gordon Carlson, '50, and his wife, Dr. Dorothy Carlson, '49, of Bellevue (various media and forms); Floyd and Shirley Daniel, of Seattle (photography), and Clyde Matters, '50, and his wife, Annie Matters, '57, of Spokane (African art).
"This project has been extremely challenging and a lot of hard work to restore and organize all the artwork, but it will be very beneficial for the college," Filo says. "When we are finished, Whitworth's collection will be newly cleaned, well-documented and housed in safe and archival environments. Our hope is that more people will be interested in and able to see the work and, perhaps, in the future, make donations to the collection."
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Scott Kolbo, associate professor of art and director of the Koehler Gallery, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara Filo, associate professor of art, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4470 or email@example.com.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.