CWU News

CWU fine arts alumna’s chemistry-inspired work on display at Clymer Art Museum

Central Washington artist Tarra Hall-Ward

Central Washington artist Tarra Hall-Ward's work is on display this spring at the Clymer Art Museum.

A CWU alumna’s science-inspired artistic journey was recently featured in the Ellensburg Daily Record, and her work is currently on display in an exhibit at the Clymer Art Museum.

Tarra Hall-Ward, who earned degrees in fine arts and chemistry in 2017, works with oil paints and mixed media drawings to translate chemistry concepts. The article describes how Hall-Ward’s love of the outdoors and nature contributes to how she portrays her artwork.

“Chemistry is always around us, from the biological mechanics of our bodies, the environmental shifts in our surroundings, to the very food we consume,” she said. “My work explores ways to artistically translate the information I research, facts I find fascinating, and information otherwise unusable outside technical applications.”

Oil on canvas painting, "Phtalo Blue"Hall-Ward noted that one of her biggest challenges is figuring out ways to communicate this information onto the canvas or paper she is using. 

“The composition of some pieces builds from still-lifes and photography, while others appear more non-objective in color and texture,” she said.

Clymer curator Matthew Lennon explained that Hall-Ward’s work eloquently reveals what research in neuroscience confirms: the human experience is about creativity.” 

“Art is a process based in the physical, chemical and existential,” Lennon said in the article. “It requires an interaction between the artist and multiple components. It requires an interaction with the audience that is equally interdependent on physical, biological and neurological foundations.”

Hall-Ward says her end goal is “to capture the beauty in the fundamental, to take formalized concepts and abstract them with an artistic lens, to connect two fields I find absolutely captivating, is what drives my passion.”

The Clymer Art Museum exhibit opened March 16 and will run through May 6. More information about the exhibit is available on the gallery website.