Patrick Siler, Pine Street Plaza Mural, 2009-2012, Pullman, Wash. (Photos by Zach Mazur, Museum of Art/WSU)
PULLMAN, Wash. Artist Patrick Siler’s recent outdoor wall mural holds a prominent position in downtown Pullman. As he completes the third and final panel this summer, the Museum of Art/WSU will present an exhibition of the extensive work that goes into the art.
“Curator’s Choice: Patrick Siler Mural” will showcase the sketches and finished drawings in order to offer students and visitors insights into Siler’s distinctive vision and creative process. The exhibit will be May 17-July 20. A reception will be 4-5:30 p.m. Monday, July 16, in the Pine Street Plaza adjacent to Thomas Hammer Coffee.
Museum admission is free. Summer hours are noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.
Depicting dynamic human interest
Siler’s “regular folks” become anything but regular in his paintings. Good ol’ boys, beer drinkers, housewives and young punks are just a few of the many characters the artist uses to create his expressive perceptions of the human condition.
His gritty depictions of the activities of day-to-day life are tempered with anxiety, humor and nostalgic reverence. At times creating a crossroads where dark and sinister intersects with cool and clever, Siler always manages to imply a dynamic human-interest story.
If you were to ask the artist however, he would tell you that the narrative is secondary to the formal elements of his work. Using space, composition, color and line to create tension and interest, Siler emphasizes the unique shapes before him with a style that reflects a range of influences from East Asian sumi ink artists to German Expressionists to comic book characters such as Dick Tracy and Krazy Kat.
His style is fermented by a prolific work ethic and genuine ability to synthesize what he sees – attributes Siler instilled in students he taught at WSU 1973-2005.
Ceramics, drawing influence work
Siler was born in 1939 in Spokane, Wash., and spent most of his childhood in western Washington. He earned his undergraduate degree from WSU in 1961 and his masters from the University of California in 1963. During his academic training, Siler worked in a non-representational, abstract expressionist manner.
Unable to choose between drawing and ceramics, Siler married the two processes. He dug into the surface of clay or pulled cut-out stencils from fresh layers of glazes to reveal the layers beneath. Although his current work involves drawings on gesso and carved wooden frames, the techniques that he mastered in his early ceramic works, drawings and paintings are clearly evident.
To learn more, please visit the Museum of Art/WSU website or on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The Museum of Art is located on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium in the Fine Arts Center on the WSU Pullman campus. For more information, please contact the museum at 509-335-1910.