CWU News

New Exhibit, Events Planned at CWU Museum of Culture & Environment This Winter

A photo of skidder operator James Lee Wilson, taken in 2004.

James Lee Wilson is a skidder operator. Photo taken in 2004 in Dorrington, California.

The Central Washington University Museum of Culture and Environment (MCE) is hosting a new exhibit this winter called Sap In Their Veins, featuring the photography and oral history of David Paul Bayles.

Bayles became fascinated with the experiences and life-worlds of rural loggers in the midst of the 1980s effort to save the Northern spotted owl, and he photographed and interviewed loggers and their families to learn more about how they see the world.

This exhibit was developed by the Moscow Contemporary (formerly the University of Idaho Museum) and is on loan to the CWU museum through March 11. Moscow Contemporary director Roger Rowley describes Sap In Their Veins as follows: “On one hand, you have a collection focused on the individuals who make a living in the woods, and with the other, you see on display the individual trees that make up a forest community and the natural material humans rely on.”

Raul Mora Avalos was a Hook Tender in the Oregon forest during the 1990s and early 2000s. The photo was taken in Fort Bragg, California, in 2004.The MCE will celebrate the new exhibit by hosting two events that ask visitors to think about how broader social and environmental issues intersect within our community.

  • Thursday, January 26, 5:30 p.m.: The museum will welcome the photographer behind Sap In Their Veins, David Paul Bayles. In this talk, Bayles will ask participants to contemplate landscapes where the needs of forests and human pursuits often collide, sometimes coexisting and occasionally finding harmony. He will share oral histories and personal stories that foster empathy between those who stand on different sides of deep societal divides.
  • Thursday, February 16, 5:30 p.m.: The MCE will conclude this series with “Spotted Owls in Our Midst,” a community discussion led by Department of Natural Resources Forest Manager Jason Emsley. He will update the audience on the state of spotted owl habitat in our own backyard of Central Washington.

The MCE is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It is located on CWU’s Ellensburg campus in Dean Hall, 1200 Wildcat Way.  Parking is free on the CWU campus on weekends and after 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Media Contact: Hope Amason, Museum,, 509-963-1836