VANCOUVER, Wash. — Washington State University Vancouver galleries will host two new exhibits beginning in April, “Endangered Species,” a series of drawings and paintings by local artist Janet Essley, and the 7th Annual Fine Art Student Exhibition featuring the work of WSU Vancouver students.

Essley’s “Endangered Species” exhibit will be on display April 5 through June 11 in the Engineering/Life Sciences Building gallery. An April 5 reception, from 4-6 p.m. in the gallery, will include refreshments and conversation with the artist.

Used motor oil on paper is the medium for the drawings that feature sensitive portraits of people from the United States and other nations whose lives are affected by oil exploration and production. Essley’s acrylic paintings are narratives on other processes that imperil the human species.

“The stories we tell ourselves are an important tool for understanding and managing our lives,” Essley said. “The limited set of stories provided by our culture through the mass media is in itself endangering our lives. My paintings and the implied narrative of each of the portrait drawings open the possibilities for enlarging our understanding and choices of action.”

Essley lives in White Salmon, where she focuses on her work as a mural painter. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in art and has taught at the Honolulu Academy of Art.

The Fine Art Student Exhibition features traditional hand-printed methods and varies in technique, such as intaglio, lithography, inkjet prints and hybrid forms, combining digital imaging with older printing methods. The student exhibit will be on display April 6 through June 30 in the Student Services Building gallery.

“Not only do they create art, but students enrolled in the electronic media and culture program at WSU Vancouver also learn the historical, cultural and practical impacts of digital media, as well as skills for Web authoring and design, digital imaging and Web research,” said Harrison Higgs, instructor for the digital technology and culture program.
 
Entry to both exhibits is free. WSU Vancouver galleries are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205. Parking is available for $1.50 in the blue lot or at parking meters.