PULLMAN, Wash. – The WSU Pullman Campus Art Committee led by Anna Maria Shannon, chair, is pleased to announce an installation of three paintings by artist Ric Gendron permanently mounted in the Lighty Student Services Building at Washington State University.

Theses bright and luminous works, Across the Universe, I Am a Rock, and On the Turning Away, all painted in 2019, may be seen just inside the Wilson Road entrance, hung above the visitor lobby. The project was funded by the state’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) program, through the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and curated by Todd Clark of IMNDN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for contemporary Native art and artists.

Gendron resides in Spokane, Washington, and is known for his vibrant acrylic paintings informed by his experiences as a member of the Arrow Lakes Band of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and his appreciation of American popular culture such as the Beat poets and American traditional music including jazz, blues, and rock and roll.

Curator Todd Clark selected, “a triptych of paintings that tell the story of the spiritual journey through vivid, colorful imagery.” Adding, “The three paintings you will see represent one’s first journey into the spirit world through ceremony in the work Across the Universe. The next level of the spiritual journey is when one must separate self from the physical world, represented by I Am a Rock. And the final journey is being able to travel between the physical and spiritual levels represented through On the Turning Away.”

The installation in the Lighty Student Services Building is the second on campus facilitated by curator Todd Clark who previously worked with the Campus Art Committee to select Dan Friday’s (Lummi) glass installation titled Schaenewx (Salmon) Run for the Terrell Library Atrium.

Three paintings hang on a wall in Light.
Funding for this project came from the state’s Art in Public Places program through the Washington State Arts Commission.

Clark recalled, “When I was approached by ArtsWA to choose new works at WSU I was honored and excited but more importantly I knew it was an opportunity to increase the exposure of not only Native art but also highlight the works of some lesser known artists in a very high-profile public location.” Clark is an enrolled member of the Wailaki Tribe and founder of IMNDN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for contemporary Native art and artists.

About the Art in Public Places (AIPP) Program

Funding for this project came from the state’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) program through the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA). AIPP purchases and cares for artworks in state buildings, colleges, universities and schools throughout Washington. The State Art Collection includes nearly 5,000 artworks, located where people study, work and live. Encompassing a wide range of materials, sizes and styles, the collection represents notable artists from Washington, the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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