Art on campus

Abstract orange, purple and black paint strokes on white canvasAcres of Walls

Artists: Johanna Barron
Exhibit dates: Sept 19. – Nov. 30
Location: Dengerink Administration Building Gallery

In the ongoing project Acres of Walls, artist Johanna Barron presents the first images from her efforts to access and re-create a collection of abstract paintings that hang in the original CIA headquarters building, loaned to the agency by art collector Vincent Melzac. Barron has used the Freedom of Information Act to access documents related to the collection, including research, denials, appeals, redacted pages, as well as her correspondences with the CIA, historians, curators, museums, politicians and scientists, among others.

Following an interest in the CIA’s covert operations during the Cold War, which supported and used art as a “cultural weapon” against the Soviet Union and communism, Barron considers how the Melzac collection is related to the work the CIA was secretly promoting. Barron’s re-creation includes the only images released by the CIA over the years, rendered in three-quarter scale, among them some works that were traded out to other collections. The loan to the CIA began in 1968 and continues to be in flux today with the Melzac estate.

Barron’s work is part of a larger project about art in government agencies and tests the FOIA against government transparency. It complicates a conversation about CIA history and its effect on the trajectory of the art world, as well as explores a gray area of art as information, creating a visual reference to the FIOA process.


Barron received her MFA from UC Davis, has exhibited nationally and internationally, including, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Disjecta, PDX Contemporary, The Headlands Center for the Arts, California College of the Arts, The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and Center Pompidou, among others. She is a fifth generation Oregonian, and lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Yarn, knitted gloves and hat on displayExploring Craft through the Eyes and Hands of Library Employees

Exhibitors include: Nicole Campbell, Karen Diller, Linda Frederiksen, Kerry Hodge, Jaki King, Sam Lohmann, Diane Manning, Sue Phelps, Yukiko Vossen and Brandon Wilkinson
Exhibit dates: Through November
Location: Library Building

Whether it involves needles, cameras, sewing machines or paint, WSU Vancouver Library employees are a creative group. See what some of the folks who help you in the Library do for fun by exploring this collection of handmade arts and crafts.

Entry to campus exhibits is free. WSU Vancouver galleries are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205. Parking is available at parking meters or in the blue lot for $3.00.