Starting this fall semester, a new permanent installation by artist Jacob Hashimoto will find a home in the atrium of Penrose Library. The piece, titled When Nothing Ends, Nothing Remains, was acquired with the Gaiser Art Endowment, after a unanimous vote by Whitman’s Art Advisory Committee.
Hashimoto’s work, which has been shown in galleries throughout the United States and around the world, draws on the Japanese art of kite making, and incorporates traditional materials into the processes of print and collage.
“The combination of Hashimoto’s ‘kites’ as sculptural elements, along with their vibrant colors and graphics, results in the transformation of space into something that is simultaneously atmospheric and architectural,” said Sheehan Gallery Director Daniel Forbes.
Hashimoto’s work will replace Travel On, a canoe sculpture by Robby Thompson ’02, which will be reinstalled in the Sherwood Athletic Center.
In addition to the new piece in Penrose, the Sheehan Gallery will open its fall season with another installation by Hashimoto: Gas Giant Fragments and Silence, a new work that combines elements from two previous pieces. Both tie into the gallery’s yearlong theme of “local connections,” since Hashimoto spent much of his youth in Walla Walla.
Though he now lives and maintains a studio in New York, Hashimoto came to Walla Walla after third grade, and his father, Irv Hashimoto, was associate professor of English at the college. The town has “always been home to me. I’m really flattered and excited to bring my work back to Walla Walla,” he said.
“It has been a great experience working with the college that looked after my family for so many years. My great hope is that the artwork that I leave behind at Penrose will be well received by the whole community.”
Chloe Casey ’18—a race and ethnic studies major from Los Angeles—was one of six students who helped install Hashimoto’s works.
“It was great to be able to work alongside Jacob and his team,” Casey said. “I think the use of art on campus is important and inspiring. The piece in the library has changed the way I view the space completely—I am much more aware of the scale of the building and the wonderful amount of natural light that it has.”
Art major Mercer Hanau '18 also assisted with the installation.
"The experience overall felt focused, methodical, and at times awe-inspiring as we watched the piece in Sheehan come together," Hanau said. "Being part of such a large-scale project gave me a sense of community and hope that, as an art major, I can take on more ambitious projects in my future, since I know that through teamwork, breathtaking artistic visions can be fulfilled."
Gas Giant Fragments and Silence runs from Aug. 26 to Oct. 7 in the Sheehan Gallery, while Hashimoto will give an artist talk about his work on campus on Sept. 24. The dedication of When Nothing Ends, Nothing Remains and a reception will follow his lecture.