Falling into ‘mythical landscapes’ with Ben Moss

Whitworth’s Bryan Oliver gallery is hosting a new art exhibit by Ben Frank Moss titled “Mythical Landscapes.” Moss, a Whitworth alumnus, has been working in art since 1956. Throughout his career he has seen brutality in the world and drastic changes in the art community.

“Beauty is a bad word today,” said Moss on these changes. “Violence is shocking and gets your attention.”

Moss’ work in “Mythical Landscapes” is a return to beauty and invention. Those whose focus is not in an artistic area might hear “landscape painting” and think of pretty mountains and valleys, or of postcards on the refrigerator. Moss’ exhibit is much more than that. The works are not representations of a world we already know.

When asked where his works were painted Moss said, “This business of mythical, that is very intentional.”

Moss has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both Whitworth University and Boston University, along with the Charles Loring Elliott Award and Medal for Drawing. He has also received membership in the National Academy of Design and Christians in the Visual Arts.

Besides being an accomplished artist, Moss was also a professor in the art department at Dartmouth College, retiring in 2008. During his teaching career, he instructed Whitworth art department chair Gordon Wilson.

“We had as much of his time as we wanted,” Wilson said. “Less, not more, he was very good at pointing that out.”

With some of Moss’ paintings being the size of a postcard, he is certainly able to fit more into less.

“He was abstract but recognizable to everyone’s experience; he lets the viewer do a lot of the imagining,”  said sophomore Ashton Skinner.

The exhibit will be open until Nov. 2.

Story by Luke Eldredge Staff Writer

Contact Luke Eldredge at leldredge16@my.whitworth.edu