Up next in culture and arts on campus


Katherine Camarata, Lead Editor

Students searching for a cultural and artistic fix on campus don’t need to look any further than the Sarah Spurgeon Art Gallery or the Museum of Culture and Environment (MCE).

The Museum of Culture and Environment is located on the first floor of Dean Hall and the Sarah Spurgeon Art Gallery is located on the first floor of Randall Hall. Both locations are open to the public during weekdays and will feature a variety of intriguing events this fall.

Museum of Culture and Environment

According to Director of the MCE Hope Amason, she is excited about all the upcoming exhibits because she gets to see her hard work planning in action.

“Our curator’s celebration on Sept. 29 is something I’m really excited about it because it involves honoring students that have done so much work and put forth their talents and energy to developing exhibits,” Amason said. 

Amason said it will be cool to see the faces our student curators since many of them have graduated and gone on to other jobs.

Amason said she is also excited for the Movimiento Estudiantil Chinana/o de Aztlan (MeCha) 50th anniversary event on Oct. 20 because the organization has a deep history on the CWU campus, including a visit from Cesar Chavez.

“That is such an important event, because I feel like a lot of 50th anniversaries at Central happened during the pandemic,” Amason said. “I can’t wait to learn more.”

Amason said she is excited to conquer her fears when the Fang Fest exhibit comes to the MCE on Oct. 27.

“I have a fear of snakes, but I’m going to try to get over it with Dr. Dan Beck,” Amason said.

 Amason’s education came full circle when she curated an exhibit with a former professor of hers when she was in a master’s program. The Teeth exhibit by Dr. Unger will be open on Nov. 17.

“Dr. Unger was actually my professor at the University of Arkansas,” Amason said. “Since then he’s written a book on mammal teeth, and it’s such a fun book and he’s such a fun person.”

Amason said Dr. Unger delivers the science in a relevant way that gets her thinking about her diet, interactions with environment and behavior and how this is similar to the animal world.

According to Amason, the MCE has internships and volunteer opportunities available for students.

“If a student has an idea for an exhibit, if they need some extra credits and they want to intern, we’re open to anyone and everyone, specifically public relations and communications, also in fabrication,” Amason said. “You think about all the skills needed to put an exhibition together, you need artists, carpenters, graphic designers, people who can do computer aided design, all those skill sets are relevant in the museum.”

Sarah Spurgeon Art Gallery

The SOIL artist collective from Seattle will be exhibiting a wide array of artwork starting Sept. 29 at the Sarah Spurgeon Art Gallery. The SOIL collective has a gallery space in Pioneer Square and hosts artists in all stages of their career, from those just starting out to well-established names.

“SOIL came up with this theme of tangents,” Gallery Manager Heather Horn Johnson said. “Tangents speaks to everybody coming from different directions, and yet you put all the work together and you sort of see some beautiful coincidences.”

According to Horn Johnson, the exhibit will feature an eclectic range of outside-the-box mediums.

“We have video art, an augmented reality piece you can watch a video on using an app, some of these artists are using duct tape and white-out and there’s some eyeshadow that’s a medium,” Horn Johnson said.

Coming up later in the fall, the gallery will host a Department of Art faculty exhibition featuring work by current art and design faculty as well as graduate students.

“Students can see work by their professors,” Horn Johnson said. “All of these artists are local Ellensburg artists who are here, creating artwork in their own community.”

Horn Johnson said she is particularly excited to see work by a new professor in Sculpture named Kyung Hee “Kate” Im. Im’s work focuses on elements of physical isolation and the way it’s been exaggerated. 

Horn Johnson said she hopes to continue the gallery’s mission, which is to “enhance, engage and challenge the viewers understanding of art,” while also giving students an opportunity to explore diverse ideas in an academic gallery setting.