PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Museum of Art will feature “Pressure Points: Recent Prints From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan & Mina Schnitzer Foundation” an exhibition featuring 54 prints that survey major trends in contemporary printmaking beginning Nov. 1.

Organized by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University and The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, the exhibit explores a variety of themes including abstraction, autobiography, pop culture, social commentary, portraits and self-portraits, and words and messages.

The museum will open the exhibition (Nov. 1) with a 7 p.m. lecture featuring Sue Taylor, noted art historian and author. The lecture, set for the Fine Arts Center Auditorium, is titled “Figure/Body, Mind and Memory” and focuses on artists Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith and Kara Walker.

The exhibit furthers the exploration of print making as a medium of art by daring viewers “to think, question, and react,” stated by Portland-based art historian Elizabeth Bilyeu. “By addressing themes of childhood and memory, consumer culture and desire, history and identity, the artists in this exhibition use prints and multiples to take and to press the pulse of contemporary culture.”

“The work in the exhibition is by some of the best and most well known artists working today,” so says Roger Rowley, curator of exhibitions at the WSU museum. “This is a fantastic opportunity for the university and the community.” All visitors to the exhibit will literally walk through an emotional roller coaster, experiencing the powerful impact of racism or the whimsical remembrance of childhood television shows.

“It truly touches all aspects of human nature, our humanity and our inhumanity,” Anna-Maria Shannon, interim assistant museum director said. “Everyone will find something in this exhibition that will impact their understanding of themselves and the person standing next to them.”

The exhibit brings with it both two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. For example, artist Kara Walker’s “The Emancipation Approximation, 1999-2000” is from a series of silkscreens that reference the craft of cutout shades to show African American racial stereotypes while artist Gary Hume’s silkscreen from “Spring Angels Series, 2000” is an abstract investigation of faces inspired by sculptures of angels. While these artists are expressing serious racial and religious issues, Jonathan Seliger, Tad Savinar and Jeff Koons play with references to contemporary and popular culture. With that in mind, a silkscreen by Tad Savinar, “The Draft Periodic Table for the History of Dressing in Black as a Fashion Statement, 2001,” will be the inspiration for the opening night festivities at the museum. All attendees are requested to dress in black.

For additional information about the exhibit that continues through Dec. 14, call the museum’s information line at (509) 335-6607 or offices at (509) 335-1910. All Museum of Art events are free and open to the public. The gallery is wheelchair accessible. Parking permits for weekday visitors may be purchased at the Cougar Depot at Davis Way (Highway 270) and State Street, or at WSU Parking Services on Wilson Road, directly uphill from the Fine Arts Center. On weekday evenings, parking is available in the Fine Arts parking structure, off Stadium Way at Grimes Way, for an hourly fee. Museum officials will validate parking in the Smith Center for those who would like to use that parking facility. Weekend parking is always free.

Funding for museum exhibitions and programs for this fiscal year is provided by Washington State University, the Friends of the Museum of Art, the WSU Foundation and private donors. Additional support for educational programs is provided by New Garden Restaurant, Pullman Child Welfare, Pullman Heating & Electric, Pullman Kiwanis Club, Pullman Parks & Recreation, Sims Glass, Windshield Doctor and private donors. The exhibition and related programs are presented with support from the Mina & Jordan Schnitzer Foundation.