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Central Washington University

New Provost's Gallery Features Student's Distinctive Talent

Provocative street scenes, surreal 19th-century damsels, and realistic renditions of natural objects line the walls of the new Provost Gallery in Barge Hall 302. CWU Art + Design student, Christine Dunlap has mounted the first exhibition, A Brief Moment, which will be on display through December 1. Dunlap was the recipient of the first Provost Purchase Award at last spring's student art exhibition. There will be an artist's reception at 5:00 p.m. on October 25.

The annual Provost's Award was created last year and awarded during the annual Juried Undergraduate Student Art Exhibition. Provost Katherine Frank selected Dunlap's piece, and it is now part of the university collection. Each year, a new student piece will be selected and added to the collection. The idea for the gallery arose from a collaboration between Provost Katherine Frank and Art + Design Chair Gregg Schlanger, and they organized the exhibit.

"The inspiration for the gallery is quite simple: I love being surrounded by art, and I love being able to celebrate student talent," Frank enthused. " I had the pleasure of meeting Christine when the piece was delivered to my office.  Not only is Christine an incredibly talented artist, she is a thoughtful, insightful, and creative person.

Frank anticipates that each fall quarter, if work is available, the office will feature an exhibit by the winner of the Provost's Award. Frank has long been involved in supporting the arts. In her previous position as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indiana University East, she expanded and renovated the major art gallery on the campus, renovated major art studios and opened a downtown gallery, studio, and classroom space.

"We plan to feature the work of other student artists during winter and spring/summer quarters, and hope that members of the Art Club will help curate the exhibits," she continued. "This gallery is intended to celebrate creativity, talent, and learning and to give our students the opportunity to promote their work. I am grateful for Gregg's support in this endeavor, and of course remain impressed by our art and design faculty who nurture student talent and learning on a daily basis at CWU."

A Brief Moment showcases 16 pieces of Dunlap's work, an intriguing collection of both oil paintings and pen-and-ink drawings. A junior at CWU, Dunlap's work can be whimsical or subtly surreal. Her oil paintings have delicate otherworldly elements, such the modest bodice of a Victorian woman that at closer glance reveals it to be a birdcage.

"I like to work with themes of time in Victorian settings," Dunlap explained. "I like to find the story, the deeper meaning of the work."

Her pen-and-ink drawings—elegant feathers, birds, or kittens napping on pumpkins—are inspired by the natural world, which she attributes to her biology-student husband's influence. "One day I'd like to work with him to illustrate a book featuring animals and other things in nature."

A mom of two and a full time student, Dunlap enjoys the encouragement of her family to pursue her art career—"It's busy, but my kids are really excited about it. My son thinks I'm famous now!"

The event is free and open to the public. Parking in CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in specially designated spaces and in residence hall lots.

Photo: Christine Dunlap

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu

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