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Feb. 23-27: Students, artist create to promote understanding

By Steve Nakata, Administrative Services

Bartell-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Students at Washington State University will not only witness a professional artist at work, they will help shape what the art looks like and the message it conveys.

New York artist Amy E. Bartell will work 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Feb. 23-26, in the CUB first-floor gallery as part of the “It Starts Now” campaign, which promotes WSU’s commitment to a culture of acceptance and understanding for individuals in the campus community.

Organized by WSU’s Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC), Bartell’s visit will see students working with her to create collage-style posters. These will be unveiled during a free reception 4-6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in the Holland-Terrell Library atrium, where they will remain on display for several weeks.

To help manage Bartell’s time efficiently, students are asked to pre-register by contacting Heidi Stanton Schnebly, GIESORC director, at 509-335-8841 or Drop-ins are welcome.

Art collaborations ongoing

WSU’s relationship with Bartell – adjunct professor of art at the State University of New York in Oswego – began when she and a former WSU residence life director met at Boston’s Pride Festival. Bartell was invited to WSU in 2008 and created an art piece that is displayed at the University Recreation Center.

Art by Amy E. Bartell that hangs in the CUB Quiet Lounge at WSU.

She was invited back in 2011 to lead the creation of a community mural, which is in the CUB Quiet Lounge. This year, she will co-create art with students while highlighting “It Starts Now.”

The campaign was founded in 2010 after a national epidemic of suicides related to bullying and violence among young people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation.

More about ‘It Starts Now’

“At WSU, we believe that all should be accepted and empowered to become the person they want to be,” said Stanton Schnebly. “By telling your story, you start the journey toward forming a sense of who you are and how you can use your strengths and abilities. By listening to the stories of others, you can learn how to accept, value and embrace those who are different from you.”

During past campaigns, students participated in workshops where they shared and crafted their stories into scripts that were performed live on campus. The focus shifted this year to interviewing WSU staff, faculty and students who shared their stories and words of wisdom about how WSU can continue to create an inclusive environment for all individuals.

The interviews can be viewed on the “It Starts Now” Facebook page at Links can be found from the Twitter page,, and Instagram,, as well.


Heidi Stanton Schnebly, WSU Gender Identity Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, 509-335-8841,
Jeremiah Sataraka, graduate assistant, WSU GIESORC, 509-335-6388,
Steve Nakata, director of communication, WSU Administrative Services, 509-335-1774,


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