Arts and Entertainment

Marvin Lilley in book on CWU graduate artists

“Three Graces” by Marvin Lilley of Arlington, is included in a book about artists who graduated from Central Washington University. - Courtesy photo
“Three Graces” by Marvin Lilley of Arlington, is included in a book about artists who graduated from Central Washington University.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

An Arlington artist, Marvin Lilley uses art to try and figure himself out.

The Central Washington University graduate is included in book on CWU artist alumni, who were featured in a show two years ago.

The book is the catalogue of a show presented at the Sarah Spurgeon Gallery on the CWU campus and at the Gallery One Visual Arts Center in downtown Ellensburg, April 2007.

The attractive, softcover book, “Crossroads and Connections; Central Washington University Art Alumni Exhibition,” was published in 2008 by Washington State University Press.

It features full-color photographs depicting creations in paint, sculpture, photography, ceramics, metal, mixed media and fiber arts with succinct biographies of the former students, along with quotes about their artistic endeavors and accomplishments.

The featured artworks use such diverse media as pine needles, Honduras mahogany, volcanic ash, bicycle reflectors and a toilet float.

The featured artists have exhibited throughout the region, the United States and internationally.

Each artist had two works in the show and one in the book, said Marji Morgan in the book’s introduction.

“Although many genres, styles and philosophies are represented here [in the book], they all share the excellence and originality for which CWU’s art department is known,” said Morgan, the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.

The book includes fine artists, instructors and graphic designers, and artists who work in professions not specifically related to art. All are inspired to create by a wide variety of influences such as landscapes, childhood trauma, the plight of humans and even crop circles, a source of inspiration for Arlington’s Lilley.

These acclaimed artists had never come together to present their work until they were invited to take part in this show two years ago, Morgan said.

Included were selections from 58 alumni who graduated between 1954 and 1979 and currently reside across the country in nine different states. For many it was the first time their work had been displayed at CWU.

Lilley’s piece in the book, “Three Graces,” is an acrylic original from a 2003 series on flowers.

An earlier series on cafes in Arlington included depictions of the Blue Bird Cafe and a former manifestation of the current Broosters restaurant. One was featured on the Arlington telephone directory in the early 1990s.

“I mostly stay in my studio and try to keep up with the contemporary, experimental and explorative,” Lilley is quoted in the book. “I also try to figure myself out along the way.”

Also honored are three individuals who made significant contributions to the CWU art department as professors or alumni: Alma McConnell, Reino Randall, and Sarah Spurgeon.

“Crossroads and Connections” is 11 3/4 inches by 9 5/8 inch format, 128 pages in length, and has a list price of $29.95. The title is available at bookstores or can be ordered directly from Washington State University Press by calling 800-354-7360 or visiting their Web site at

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