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Central Washington University

Villacres’s Photographs Reveal Diamonds in the Rust

“After 25 years of creating images for the world of advertising, it is a uniquely rewarding experience to create images for the pure joy of it,” said Richard Villacres, featured artist for the May First Friday Artwalk at Central Washington University. “These images come not from an advertising photographer, but from the artist within me.” 

The opening reception, for his show, VILLACRES 113, hosted by Jim and Katie Gaudino, will be held May 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the University House, 211 East 10th St. On Wednesday, May 1, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., there will be a special preview of the exhibit for CWU faculty and staff.

Villacres, well-known for his work as CWU’s official photographer, offers a unique perspective “on the beauty and soul of old machines as they slowly waste away. On the surface their oxidized colors and textures are striking, but there’s more to them than that.”

According to Villacres, “There are places and experiences that inspire everybody. Then there are things that virtually everybody overlooks. It’s the latter, the man-made relics, that speak to my creativity like nothing else. Finding some abandoned machine or place that once hummed with energy really gets my gears turning.

“VILLACRES 113 marks the beginning of my transition to the fine art world of photography,” he said, “a field I plan to move into full time when my time at CWU is finished.”  

A 1984 graduate of Wenatchee High School, Villacres entered the Art Institute of Seattle and received his Associate of Applied Arts in Commercial Photography in 1989.

After working for several years as a freelance photographer and studio manager/assistant for Phil Banko, F64cg in Seattle, Villacres moved to Wenatchee, where he built a successful advertising and corporate photography business. His clients include Airlift Northwest, Central Washington Hospital, Swedish Medical Center, Leavenworth Tourism Group, and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce.

In 2002, he moved to Ellensburg and became CWU’s official photographer. He has spent the past 11 years producing memorable images of Central’s campus, activities, students, faculty, and staff.

For more information about Villacres, go to his Facebook page at

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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