2012 Wahitis Elementary School, Othello, WA
"Wahitis" is an Wanapum Indian word which means "to view the world from a high place." The project consists of seven painting/constructions along the main corridor of the school. The works combine aerial views of the landscape with close-up views of plants, animals and objects thematically related to the area and they span the natural and cultural history of Eastern Washington. Each piece incorporates faux basalt columns, a distinctive geological feature of the region. These are inscribed with petroglyphs (designed by the students) echoing prehistoric petroglyphs found in the area.
The individual paintings depict: the volcanic formation of its distinctive columnar basalt formations, the prehistoric floods that shaped the many pothole lakes, the heritage of the native Wanapum Indians, the arrival of the first white settlers, the current agricultural richness of the area, and the stunning natural beauty that is an inspiration for childrens' imaginations.