Coming from up in the panhandle, a drive down south to the nearly twin college towns of Moscow (University of Idaho) and Pullman (Washington State University) is not a quick trip. Better make it worth it and get two for the price of one, so to speak, especially when gas is nudging back up to three bucks a gallon.

Reason One
The photography of Mark Klett and Peter Vincent at U of I's Prichard Gallery. From the press release:

"Klett’s main concentrate is human interaction with the environment, both personally and as a society. Trained as a geologist, Klett established his artistic perspective on the Western American landscape as the chief photographer for the Rephotographic Survey Project (1977-79), which rephotographed scenes visited by the first photographic surveys of the West in the 1860s and 1870s.

Vincent, a local artist, has spent more than 20 years photographing the American Hot Rod with many books and magazine publications. He has a particular interest in car culture and its expression at the Bonneville Salt Flats and the endless variety of dry lakes and drag strips that dot the American landscape. Most of his photographs for this exhibit will be black and white, with a few select works in color."

Reason Two

The WSU art faculty exhibition at the Museum of Art, through September 26.

It's always surprising to me that the local press (in this case it would be Spokane-area media) doesn't make more of the proximity of such an impressive institution. When I lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania, local media clamored to support the arts at nearby Lehigh, Lafayette and even Muhlenberg College. Sigh...

Regardless, there is quite a diverse mix of faculty at WSU, including a refreshing concentration of sculptors. The exhibition ranged from the geometric abstractions of Chris Watts (below right), to Io Palmer's viscerally provocative installation using hair, to engineering tech Tim Doebler's stone carvings and assemblages.

While there at the Museum, don't forget to take a look at the adjacent gallery: Emily Ginsburg through September 30; Craig Cully through October 30; Mary Woodall through December 13.