By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

CWU Graphic Design Student’s Art Featured on City Bus Stop


Junior Graphic Design student Amy Walker’s art has been immortalized on the Central Transit bus stop near the SURC.  Walker entered their piece back in December 2022 after seeing a newsletter from the CWU Art + Design department calling for submissions. They sent their piece and an artist’s statement to Art + Design professor Gregg Schlanger, who then sent it to City Transportation. Walker was made aware that their submission was selected in March 2023, and on Jan. 29, 2024 the piece was ultimately displayed.

After reading the call for submissions, Walker felt this piece should represent both CWU, as well as the whole of Ellensburg. The piece features native wildflowers of Kittitas Valley, as well as hands extending to them, individually meant to represent Ellensburg and CWU. “The point of the piece is an expression of community, which is something that I feel stronger here,” Walker said. They felt this piece was also a call to CWU students to reach out to the community and environment around campus. Simultaneously, Walker thought deeply about the ecological upsides of public transit, and how the art on the stop should also reflect that.

Walker knew this piece mimicked their own personal art in a number of ways, one being their inspiration from the Baroque era of art. “That’s when they started experimenting with diagonal compositions,” Walker said. “And that just means there’s a lot more drama and motion, movement in the piece.” Walker utilized this aspect of Baroque art through the position of the hands. It feels almost as if they’re reaching for the flowers in the center of the piece.

The hands themselves also play a big role in the composition of this piece. “I love drawing the figure,” Walker said. The hands in this piece are representative of what Walker enjoys working with in their own art, that being the human form. Walker also mentions their appreciation of colorful art, and mentions the significance of color in the design for the bus stop. “This piece utilizes the CWU official crimson, and the rest of the colors are built around that.”

Walker is, in their own words, “elated” to be featured on this bus stop. They feel CWU has done so much for them in the way of connection with faculty and friends, as well as in their own personal discovery. “I found that being at Central, I have been able to express my interests and my identity more than where I was at before,” Walker said. They transferred to CWU from Brigham Young University. Because of this outlook on CWU, Walker is overjoyed to have something that is theirs be permanent at a school they feel has done so much for them.

To Walker, a queer student from a primarily rural area, CWU is both “nostalgic, and new.” The rural aspects of Ellensburg remind them of home, but the inclusivity and diversity of the campus made them feel like they could be who they are. “Being on this campus where there’s a lot of signs and stuff that boast about being one of the most inclusive campuses in the nation and all these little organizations and stuff just makes me feel safer.”

Walker noted the growth of their art over the past year as well. “It’s kind of interesting the time period when I made that versus where we are now,” Walker said. They look at the piece now and think about all the areas in which it could have been improved. Walker is certainly proud of the piece, however, they mentioned that they’d still put it in their portfolio. Rather than the piece being a representation of an older self, “It represents an earlier me, but I have grown around that version of myself,” Walker said.

Walker also mentions a few names that helped them throughout the process of making and submitting this piece. The first being the aforementioned Professor Schlanger. Another person Walker wanted to thank was senior Studio Art Painting and Art History major Josh Collins who Walker referred to as their “art buddy.” Finally, they wanted to thank Betsy Dunbar who is in charge of City Transportation.

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