Grant awarded to support art at WSU

PULLMAN – The Washington State University Museum of Art has been awarded a grant in the amount of $5,000 by the Florence Wasmer Fund for Arts and Culture of Inland Northwest Community Foundation, to be used for the upcoming Sherry Markovitz Retrospective exhibit and publication.

The exhibit, curated by the Museum of Art/WSU, will be displayed Feb. 22 –April 12, 2008 and will be accompanied by a full-color trade book also produced by the museum.

Chris Bruce, Museum of Art director, believes the grant is a clear indication of how well received the museum’s programs are and the impact they have had on a community searching for exceptional examples of ingenuity and vision within the visual arts.

“This is a statement of trust in the museum that has been built over time through world-class exhibitions, publications and educational programming. This grant represents an acknowledgement of the prestigious endeavors and exciting vision for the future the museum has displayed. Because the university provides no state funds for exhibitions, we rely heavily on the generosity of individual donors and private foundations such as the Inland Northwest Community Foundation. Their patronage has allowed us to present extraordinary programming not only to our rural environment of the Palouse, but increasingly, to other communities as well through our traveling exhibitions.”

Inland Northwest Community Foundation, formerly Foundation Northwest, serves 20 counties throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Founded in 1974, its mission is to foster vibrant and sustainable communities in the Inland Northwest through awards that enrich education, promote arts and culture, provide critical human services and support community and economic development in the Inland Northwest.

WSU Provost and Executive Vice President, Robert C. Bates said, “We are very grateful to the Inland Northwest Community Foundation for their major support – it came at a key, early phase in the development of this project.

The exhibit and accompanying book are fitting representations of the Museum of Art’s ambition to make world-class examples of creativity and innovation accessible to our audiences and to celebrate Washington State University’s goal of nurturing interdisciplinary learning opportunities through the arts.”

This will be the first career-survey exhibition and trade book devoted to the beaded assemblages, drawings and paintings of Seattle-based artist Markovitz. According to Bruce, Markovitz is best known for her beaded animal heads, but her “craft” forms often obscure deeper psychological exploration that comes out overtly in her paintings and drawings. Markovitz says her interest in beadwork came from a desire to confront and transcend the stereotypes of “women’s work” and celebrate the rich traditions of beading in cultures all over the world.

Markovitz’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Seattle Art Museum, the American Craft Museum in New York, and the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C.

The exhibit will open in Pullman, and then travel to the Bellevue Art Museum and Boise Art Museum. Museum of Art associate director, Anna-Maria Shannon said the response to the exhibit from other museums in the Pacific Northwest is a further testament to the museum’s capacity to extend its reach outside the confines of the Palouse and to continue participating in the national art dialogue.

The 100-page book will include an in-depth interview with the artist by Museum of Art curator, Keith Wells and assistant director, Anna Maria Shannon, as well as an interpretive essay by independent curator, Josine Ianco-Starrels and a comprehensive essay on Markovitz’s career development by Museum of Art director, Chris Bruce.

For more information contact the Museum of Art/WSU at (509) 335-1910. Visit the WSU Museum of Art Web site at:

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