Ridgeview Elementary Shines with New Art from Five Artists, Curated by Cozette Phillips, Featuring Yakima Artist Christie Tirado

Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 4/13/2021

Christie Tirado   Christie Tirado

"The Washington State Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places program enhances the spaces which serve the public with extraordinary artworks. The aspiration to capture and express the spirit of this program has informed the curation and addition of five artists and sixteen artworks to the collection at Ridgeview Elementary. Artists James Allen, Megan Martens-Haworth, Narsiso Martinez, Nicole Pietrantoni, and Christie Tirado each bring their unique voices as they join Washington’s State Art Collection.

The artworks that have been added to the collection span the mediums of book arts, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. There is a diversity of approaches and interpretations yet each artist shares in their ability to enlighten, alter perceptions, and open the viewer to new experiences. Artworks and artists were selected that reflect the people and cultures of the region, its landscapes, its agricultural traditions, and its dreams of the future; all that is essential and all those who are essential.

One will experience both a visual and physical journey while viewing the collection on display at Ridgeview Elementary. The dynamic architecture of the school is understood through its lofty ceilings, the abundant natural light that spills through its skylights, and its spacious corridors that offer expansive sightlines. Its impact inspires a dialogue between the artworks and their surrounding educational spaces. The intentional presentation encourages moments of reflection while paired with the curatorial goal of cultivating knowledge and a greater appreciation of the arts."

–Cozette Phillips, curator for Ridgeview Elementary, Yakima School District, in Central Washington (April 2021).

For information about the artists as well as photos of the art, please go to the ArtsWA portal here: https://www.arts.wa.gov/collection/?request=record;id=211;type=901

About the Ridgeview Elementary Curator Collection

Sixteen artworks were acquired by the Washington State Arts Commission in partnership with Yakima School District for the Ridgeview Elementary Curated Collection. They are part of the State Art Collection. The funding for this curated collection was made possible by the OSPI K-3 Class Size Reduction Grant, which funded the construction of additional classrooms at Ridgeview Elementary School.

Curator: Cozette Phillips

ArtsWA Curated Projects Coordinator: Valerie Peterman

Art Selection Committee:

  • Narae Collins, 2nd Grade Teacher, Ridgeview Elementary
  • Trina Hovsepian, Assistant Principal, Ridgeview Elementary
  • Brittney Jones, PTO President, Ridgeview Elementary
  • Shelli McDonald Hauk, 4th Grade Teacher, Ridgeview Elementary
  • KC Mitchell, Principal, Ridgeview Elementary
  • Maria T. Reyes, Kindergarten Teacher, Ridgeview Elementary

Yakima School District and Ridgeview Elementary assembled an Art Selection Committee. They gathered for a four-meeting process to select artworks for their school. The committee first met with ArtsWA Curated Projects Coordinator Valerie Peterman. They discussed Ridgeview’s community context, audience, and location opportunities for artworks. With this information in mind, they selected Cozette Phillips from the ArtsWA Curator Roster to research and recommend artworks.

Adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions, Cozette met with Valerie and the committee remotely to refine the committee’s criteria. Cozette then researched potential artworks that responded to the ideas and values shared by the committee. Cozette presented artworks to the Committee, who selected sixteen artworks by the following five artists to be placed around the school:

  • James Allen, Portland, OR
  • Megan Martens-Haworth, Spokane, WA
  • Narsiso Martinez, Long Beach, CA
  • Nicole Pietrantoni, Walla-Walla, WA
  • Christie Tirado, Yakima, WA

The artwork was installed over Spring Break.