Notable Alumni

The Department of Art at Washington State University focuses on quality arts education, supporting Pacific Northwest artists, and promoting critical contemporary dialogue in the arts around the globe. Notable alumni include sculptors, abstract impressionists, ceramic artists, photographers, painters, and more.

Iris Scott

A contemporary American finger painting artist living and working in Northern New Mexico, Iris Scott (’08) earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington State University, and also took courses in Florence Italy during her junior year. She lived and worked in a Brooklyn, NY, loft space for six years. Her 2019 solo show, “Ritual in Pairing”, held in Chelsea, was praised by Jerry Saltz and received coverage from outlets including New York Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, and Artnet.
Photographs by Dean Karr, left image features Ozzy Osbourne, right image features Stevie Nicks.

Dean Karr

Dean Karr (’88) is a photographer and director who has worked with some of the biggest musicians, celebrities, and brands of our time. Karr directed the iconic Marilyn Manson music video “Sweet Dreams,” as well as “Kryptonite” by Three Doors Down and many more. Karr has worked with The Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, Velvet Revolver, Dr. Dre, Queens of the Stone Age, Chris Rock, AC/DC, Lenny Kravitz, Damien Marley, Ozzy Osbourne, Linkin Park, Slipknot, and many more artists, winning major MTV, Billboard, and MVPA awards.
Kirk Mangus with image of sculpture.

Kirk Mangus

Kirk Mangus (MFA ‘79) was an internationally renowned ceramic artist and sculptor known for his playful, gestural style, roughhewn forms, and experimental glazing. Mangus was head of ceramics at Kent State University from 1985-2013.
John Downer with detail of designed typeface.

John Downer

John Downer (’72) is a celebrated sign painter and typeface designer, type critic, and type historian. Some of Downer’s most popular digital fonts include Iowan Old Style and Triplex Italic. Downer’s work was featured in the 2014 documentary, Sign Painters.
Patrick Siler with image of painting.

Patrick Siler

Patrick Siler (‘61) taught in the WSU Art Department for over 30 years. His large ceramic walls, paintings and drawings, which draw from German Expressionism, comics of the 1930’s and 40’s, and traditional Japanese and Chinese brushstrokes, are collected around the world.
Rudy Autio with image of sculpture.

Rudy Autio

Rudy Autio (MFA ‘52) was a leading figure in the contemporary ceramics movement. While his early work reflects abstract expressionism, his later ceramic work developed a figurative style for which he is best known. Rudy Autio and Peter Voulkos were the first resident artists at The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. Autio headed the ceramics department at the University of Montana from 1957-1985.
Harold Balazs with image of large, outdoor sculpture.

Harold Balazs

Harold Balazs (‘51) was a sculptor and artist whose work has been featured in exhibits and public art installations throughout the Northwestern United States. He is known for creating large, abstract metal and concrete sculptures which can be seen in public spaces throughout the Northwest, including WSU’s Pullman campus.
Betty Faves with image of sculpture.

Betty Feves

Betty Feves (‘39) was pioneering modernist ceramic artist who helped shape the development of clay as an expressive medium in the years following World War II. Feves studied under Clyfford Still while at Washington State College (now University).
Clyfford Still with detail of artwork.

Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still (MFA ‘35) was a primary figure in the first generation of early Abstract Expressionists. Still’s contemporaries included Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko.