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May 1, 2019

MOSES LAKE — The opening reception for an exhibit by a Seattle artist who took his inspiration from a cross-state trip is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday. “Fred Holcomb: I-90 Project” will be on display through June 7.

Admission is free. Children are encouraged to bring their own travel art for the “Wanderlust” exhibit, which will be displayed through the show’s first week.

Holcomb’s paintings take their inspiration from the trip across Washington on Interstate 90 – literally. The entire exhibit is the view from I-90, but not just what’s visible along the roadside. Anybody who’s taken a car trip knows that sensation of blurred images – a passing truck, trees, road construction – glimpsed as the car speeds from one side of the state to the other. Holcomb works to put that feeling on canvas, both the crystal-clear scenery – from trees to farm buildings, farm fields and roadside businesses to sagebrush – as well as the passing objects zooming by, or the objects travelers see as they zoom by.

The series is, in part, a way to show the two sides of the state what they have in common, Holcomb said. “Eastern and Western Washington sometimes feel like opposing universes,” he wrote. “It was in hope of finding a common thread between those two worlds that led me to begin this series of views of the I-90 corridor.” The freeway “connects and supports the entire state, stretching like a spinal cord from Seattle to the Idaho border.”

He said he was intrigued by what he could see at 70 (or so) miles per hour. “The landscape through which I-90 flows is relatively unselfconscious territory, where along with the aesthetic character, the political, economic and social life of the land may be glimpsed, as we travel on to somewhere else.” Holcomb is a native of Tacoma, and a veteran of trips back and forth across Washington as a child, said Erika Kovalenko, the museum’s artistic coordinator.

Holcomb received a grant from the Artist Trust to start the series, he wrote. The Artist Trust is designed to “support and encourage artists working in all disciplines to enrich community life in Washington,” according to its website.

The reception will include a no-host wine bar, with wine from Kiona Vineyards, Benton City, and refreshments. Live music is planned.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at

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