PULLMAN, Wash. — A mixed media sculpture series, “Expressions of Illusion and Reality,” continues through March 30 at Washington State University’s Compton Union Building Gallery.

The gallery is celebrating Women’s History Month by featuring the work of two Kennewick artists, Sharon K. Sinerius Rupp and Katrina Humbert.

The sculptures represent many different attitudes expressed by and towards women throughout history and in contemporary society. Through works titled “No Matter How Hard She Tried,” “The Baby Maker” or “The Place Where Pain and Sorrow Meet,” the artists use the nude female figures as a metaphor to tell stories about the feminine myth.

Each piece is meant to express both conflict and an exploration into the issues women face. The artists suggest that their very different backgrounds encourage a broad exploration of the issues–Humbert is single, while Rupp is the mother of five and the grandmother of three.

“We all have issues to deal with in life, and everyone will probably see something different in each of these pieces of art. The main thing is we remained truthful to how we felt in creating this series…,” Humbert said.

The exhibit was 2 1/2 years in the making and represented a collaborative effort, combining Humbert’s expertise in clay and sculptural construction with Rupp’s strengths in painting, sculpture and photography. The pieces, ranging in height from 18 to 38 inches, were crafted from coarse clay and fired slowly. Some sculptures then were painted directly, while others were coated with a photographic emulsion and a black-and-white photograph developed directly on the surface. Many works incorporate found objects.

Rupp and Humbert received a grant for Artists Projects through Artists Trust and the Washington State Arts Commission, which allowed them to complete the exhibit. A portion of the series was featured in 1998 at the Agora Gallery in New York City. In 1999 it premiered at the Whatcom County Allied Arts Gallery in Bellingham.

CUB Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gallery will be closed March 19-23 for WSU’s spring break.

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