by CARRIE SCOZZARO & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & t's tough to earn a living as a practicing artist. That's one reason why many artists double as educators, typically in college settings. But it's not just economic; faculty artists influence the work of their students. They continue to shape generations of emerging artists and, in turn, a given area's cultural scene.
Starting on Monday, Jan. 15, an Eastern Washington University Faculty Exhibition will open featuring works by most EWU art instructors, including the two newest additions to the faculty, Greg DuMonthier and Heidi Mullins.
Formerly a sculpture instructor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, assistant professor DuMonthier will also be presenting a lecture about his work at the exhibit's opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 18, at noon. "My interest in landscape art," he writes, "has led me to create installations, objects, webworks, drawings and digital prints that are a contemporary view on landscape art." In his work Americanus Inversus Puzzleus, DuMonthier -- who teaches sculpture and 3-D design classes -- has subverted the traditional notion of a map, recreating the familiar (mainland) United States from a global perspective and, adding a layer of meaning, backwards.
The other addition to the faculty, Dr. Heidi Mullins, is an assistant professor of art who spearheads the art education program and whose background includes more than 12 years of teaching and writing. Mullins will be exhibiting three watercolor and encaustic paintings entitled The Delaware Clan Series, which comprise a triptych of totemic images. She teaches elementary and
secondary art education classes, as well as humanities and world art.
Professor of Art Lanny DeVuono teaches painting, drawing and contemporary art. She will be exhibiting paintings from her "landscape as metaphor" series, similar to those that marked the recent 10-year anniversary of Lorinda Knight Gallery, where DeVuono is represented. (She is also represented by the Froelick Gallery in Oregon).
A fellow painting instructor and department chair, Assistant Professor Melissa Furness also teaches classes in digital imaging and computer graphics. Furness will be showing densely layered, color-saturated paintings that continue earlier explorations of the figure, narration, and space from her "Treading Water" series shown at Kolva/Sullivan last February. (Visit www.melissafurness.com.)
Small-scale ceramic forms based on toys and natural forms are the contributions of Assistant Professor Lisa Nappa, who holds a BFA from DuMonthier's alma mater, the prestigious Alfred University in New York. Her work can also be seen in the Chase Gallery's all-media juried exhibition (through Feb. 23).
Assistant Professor Nancy Hathaway teaches Foundations classes and directs EWU's Gallery of Art. Her witty sculptural assemblages often combine found and created objects in surprising ways, including this year's entry: Walking the Dog, based on a child's pull toy.
Represented by Tinman Artworks, Shelly Murney often uses medium- and large-format cameras and archival silver prints to communicate the stark yet fragile majesty of rural Washington landscapes. A University of Montana graduate, Murney teaches photography and digital art.
Sandra Trujillo, an Archie Bray resident, combines line and form with trademark irony in her narrative ceramic pieces. Represented by the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d'Alene as well as the Ferrin Gallery in Massachussetts, Trujillo will be showing a slip-cast bust with an enamel overglaze.
A series of 36 small-scale conceptual drawings will be presented by Roger Ralston, who teaches courses such as Art in the Humanities and Color Design. He recently showed assemblages and metal-cast pieces at the Moses Lake Museum and, like Nappa, was selected to participate in the Chase Gallery show.
To see the work of the instructors who are shaping the artists of the future, stop by EWU's art gallery in Cheney. You might just discover tomorrow's art trends today.
The EWU Faculty Exhibition, open weekdays from 9 am-5 pm, runs Jan. 18-Feb. 15 at EWU's Art Building in Cheney. Artist reception and lecture: Thursday, Jan. 18, at noon. Free. Visit www.ewu.edu/x24866.xml or call 359-7070.