Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

Sept. 24, 2008

Artist Tom O'Day to Exhume 30 Artworks Buried on the Whitworth Campus in 1988

WHAT: An art dig, "Exhume: A Twenty-Year Installation by Thomas O'Day, 1988-2008."

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m.

WHERE: Former Fine-Arts Building at Whitworth University

COST: Admission is free to both the dig and the after-dig party. For more information, please call (509) 777-3258.

Twenty years ago, artist Tom O'Day buried 30 artworks outside Whitworth's fine-arts building; on Oct. 2 he will return to campus to exhume the works. Ben Mitchell, curator of art for the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, will kick off the event with a short talk, which will be followed promptly by the dig. At the conclusion of the dig, attending guests are invited to join O'Day at his off-campus studio in downtown Spokane for an after-dig party.

O'Day plans to reassemble the unearthed pieces over the winter for a spring exhibit at the Bryan Oliver Gallery at Whitworth.

The art dig marks the transition from Whitworth's former fine-arts building to the new, 20,000-square-foot Ernst F. Lied Center for the Visual Arts. The building, which opened for classes earlier this month, features new classrooms, two galleries, six studios for a variety of disciplines, and interior view corridors as well as exterior views to the center of campus and toward the mountains to the north.

O'Day is a full-time instructor at Spokane Falls Community College, where he directs the gallery program. He makes art that deals with transition and the process of change; he has destroyed and transformed more than 300 works of art through immersion, axing, freezing, aerial ascent, explosions and other methods.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Dee Anna Christiansen, art department program assistant, Whitworth University, (509) 777- 3258 or dchristiansen@whitworth.edu.

Meagan Stirling, lecturer and art gallery director, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4564 or mstirling@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.

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