VANCOUVER, Wash. — WSU Vancouver galleries will host two new exhibits beginning Aug. 2 — photography by Vancouver artist Kris Engle and oil pastels by Portland artist Molly Cliff Hilts.

Photographs by Engle, who is both a student and full-time employee at WSU Vancouver, will be on display in the Engineering Life Sciences building Aug. 2 to Oct. 1. Engle’s work centers on nature, inanimate objects and scenery close at hand — things we pass every day but don’t often take the time to observe. Many of the pieces on display were photographed on campus and were captured using a 35mm camera. Some of the pieces in this showing (“Conversion,” “Unfolding,” “The Modern Flower” and “Spring Duo”) were digitally enhanced, allowing the artist to create a connection with the drawings and paintings of her great-grandfather. View Engle’s work online

Colorful encaustic paintings by Hilts will be shown Aug. 2 to Sept. 10 in the Student Services building. Like Engle, Hilts seeks beauty in the often-overlooked or commonplace.  Hilt notes, “I am still searching to find the beauty in something that is right before your eyes, but you don’t see.”

Hilts’ work features oil pastels, a medium affording her both intense colors and the ability to bend and blend pigments. She begins by covering the paper with a fully saturated ground of color; on this base she builds her paintings layer upon layer. The artist then scratches through the top layers to reveal colors below or rubs the pigments together with a palette knife to impart a lively impasto texture to the painting. View Hilt’s work online at

Entry to both exhibits is free. WSU Vancouver galleries are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Avenue, east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205. Parking is available for $1.75 in the blue lot or at parking meters.