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WSU professor, artist honored, work presented

The Museum of Art/ Washington State University will present the works of nationally renowned artist and WSU Professor Patrick Siler between Oct. 25 and Dec. 19. 

The exhibition will begin with an opening reception featuring the WSU Jazz Quartet with a guest performance by musical artist Horace-Alexander Young – also a WSU faculty member – at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 in the museum gallery at the Fine Arts Center.

“The Museum of Art is delighted to honor the accomplishments of Patrick Siler with this exhibition,” said Chris Bruce, museum director.  “Not only has Pat influenced countless WSU students as a teacher, but he is one of a handful of Palouse artists who have made a significant impact on the art of the Northwest.  He is our great pop expressionist – edgy, funny, innovative and incredibly prolific.”

The exhibition will consist of 24 gesso and acrylic paintings and will also include woodcut-framed paintings (wood frames with images carved into them). Half of these paintings will be exhibited publicly for the first time.

“Patrick Siler’s depictions of the lives of everyday characters become whimsical and gritty commentaries about society while simultaneously revealing perceptions of the world around him,” said Keith Wells, museum curator.

A WSU fine arts professor for 32 years, Siler has instructed students in many different fine arts subjects. He has taught ceramics, been a drawing teacher at all levels and is currently the coordinator of the drawing curriculum. 

He graduated from WSU in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and earned a master’s degree in painting from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963.

“Pat’s focus in his paintings is to evolve the formal issues of form, space, tension and interaction of different elements in paint color relationships,” said Chris Watts, WSU professor and chairman of the Department of Fine Arts.  “The colors are created to portray a certain visual effect and interest between the different areas and their color.”

Particularly with the followers of the Northwest art scene, Siler for years has been favored for his expressionistic figurative work. Known for capturing the ordinary occurrences in a heighten state of being, the artist’s work has been shown in galleries in North America, Europe and Asia.

“At those times when the mundane and familiar become moving, the everyday events of life turn into images I cannot forget,” Siler said.

Partial funding for this exhibition was provided by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Arts Endowment Fund and the Friends of the Museum of Art.

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