Flight of the Mind, Exploration of the Heart 2006
Clark Center on the Washington State University Campus
Acrylic and oil on wood (25’x19’) and lazer cut design for marmoleum floor (2000 sq feet)
“Flight of the Mind” layers images of flight, exploration and education with elements of the history and landscape of the Vancouver area. The framework of the design is based on the original photo taken in first bubble chamber, which has played an important role in experimental particle physics. These photographs represent the study of science and technology while referring to mysterious patterns of life. On the right of the Columbia river three basalt stone pillars are painted with images of nurses and a Chinook woman. Next to the pillars is the well-known petroglyph, “She Who Watches”. A key part of the history of the Vancouver is the first Trans Polar landing and its role as a center for the early development of flight. The famous Russian airplane, the ANT 29, flies toward the top of the wall. An engineering drawing, by the artist’s grandfather Pete Blanchard, of a patented propeller design from this period creates a pattern on the left side while a large propeller circles off the wall to the right. Circular shapes move like planets around the spirals. The petroglyph of a bird flies upward and Mount St. Helens billows up in ash. Other images include a section of the Lewis and Clark map, Mount Hood, Fort Vancouver, coins and colonial buttons from the days of trading. Texts by contemporary Native American poet Gail Tremblay and by environmentalist Buckminster Fuller bring the viewer into the work through their words. The color, lines and words “Lifelong Learning” are inlaid in the floor to integrate with the painting. Commissioned by the Washington State Arts Commission.