Everland exhibit enriches student experience

Katie Creyt's art invites students on a journey of self-reflection

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Everland exhibit enriches student experience

'A Forest Allegory' sits on display. Artist Katie Creyts lectured at EWU on Sept. 28.

'A Forest Allegory' sits on display. Artist Katie Creyts lectured at EWU on Sept. 28.

Courtesy of Katie Creyts

'A Forest Allegory' sits on display. Artist Katie Creyts lectured at EWU on Sept. 28.

Courtesy of Katie Creyts

Courtesy of Katie Creyts

'A Forest Allegory' sits on display. Artist Katie Creyts lectured at EWU on Sept. 28.

By Shandra Haggerty, Reporter

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wice each quarter, EWU’s art department hosts exhibitions for students to get firsthand experience  from the successful artists of today.

The gallery is free to attend Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will take place through Oct. 26.

Located in the Art Building, the gallery of art is currently showcasing “Everland,” a collection of art by Katie Creyts.

Creyts has been an art professor at Whitworth University since 2008 and often showcases her work at universities and galleries in and around Washington.

Through many different materials, such as etched glass and graphite on paper, Creyts aims to use her art to visualize certain narratives, often inspired by her personal experiences. Though Creyts makes art that’s relevant for her, she understands that it will mean something different for each person.

“Everyone has so many varying backgrounds that you can’t anticipate what’s going to be a trigger for one person in a work and how that’s going to make meaning for them,” Creyts said. “It’s not something that you’re necessarily thinking it’s good or bad but rather what’s going on or why it’s going on. It’s creating a further narrative like why is this relevant to me or important, different art strikes us in different ways like that.”

Art is for everyone, not just artists, but we don’t often have the opportunity to experience it in ways that may be meaningful.

“In Spokane, there are art venues but not many which is why I think universities have the responsibility to curate and bring in shows,” Creyts said. “It can excite the dialogue about visual language be it whatever format.”

Those who attend art events are often knowledgeable about art, though it’s an experience anyone can benefit from.

“It’s not worked into our language in this particular culture for people to say ‘Hey we should go to a museum or gallery,’” Creyts said. “But have you thought about doing it? It’s free. Get a coffee afterward and talk about ideas.”

Creyts emphasizes how going to a gallery is really an experience just like going to a film, but people don’t make time to look at art because they don’t understand its importance.

“We get so overwhelmed with how packed our days are it’s hard to get out,” Creyts said. “But when you do go out to a museum or gallery it never makes you worse, it’s never a waste of time, it always fills something in your soul.”

“I feel like it’ll get to you if you decide to go,” Creyts said. “It’s about getting the mind to go there and understanding how to schedule it in and make it important.”

Galleries can not only expand your mind but help you develop different relationships with those close to you too.

“I think that it causes people to grow in new ways and understand each other too,” Creyts said. “It’s dynamic, in terms of going with a friend, partner or group you can discuss what you saw.”

EWU freshman Jaiden Haley is considering a degree in art but has always been hesitant toward the idea.

“My parents don’t think that art will make me a lot of money, so going to the gallery was an eye-opener,” Haley said. “People can really make money doing what they love.”

Though she goes to museums and galleries more often than others, she doesn’t go as often as she would hope.

“Living on campus I’m here pretty much all the time,” Haley said. “Having a gallery on campus is really convenient because I’m already nearby.”

Sometimes Haley attends galleries for entertainment but most often she likes to get ideas and inspiration from other artists.

“Walking through the gallery really inspired me to go home and pick up a pencil,” Haley said.  

EWU professor and art gallery director Nancy Hathaway believes that all students should experience the gallery, even if they aren’t necessarily focused on art.

“It provides cultural enrichment,” Hathaway said. “When you go to things like movies or the theater, it’s for entertainment but at the same time they also enrich us and make us think more deeply about particular issues.”

When you do go out to a museum or gallery it never makes you worse, it’s never a waste of time, it always fills something in your soul.”

— Katie Creyts, Whitworth Art Professor

Students don’t often get to experience a lot of contemporary art, and the EWU art gallery aims to change that. The gallery often features recently produced art from the artists of today.

“We are in a little town next to what is a fairly small city and we don’t have much access to art and in particular contemporary art,” Hathaway said. “This is one of the few opportunities that students and people from the community have to look at those sorts of works of art in our area.”

Though you can see images of the artwork online, seeing it in-person is often a much different experience.

“We see a lot of the world through images. But it’s not a substitute for getting to go to New York City or the oceanside or Italy,” Hathaway said. “Seeing those images is not the same thing as being in the place with the actual visual.” •

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