Mountain Moods II, 1997

Bill Colby
(American, born 1927, died 2019)

Location: Sunset Elementary, Airway Heights


Mountain Moods II is part of artist Bill Colby's series of prints composed using mountain imagery from different wood and linoleum blocks, printed onto a variety of different papers. The resulting compositions are layered explorations into color, light and atmosphere. Colby notes that "the total image is like looking through a window of changing scenes."

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Cheney School District.


Tacoma-based artist and professor Bill Colby (1927-2019) created paintings, etchings and woodblock prints. In his own words: “Nature is a constant inspiration… Themes like rain, the forest and/or energy sources of nature are charged with expression of inherent power, yet peaceful.” He often uses texture and pattern, such as the wood grain in a woodblock print, to communicate form and movement.

Born in Kansas to a family of 11 siblings, Bill Colby showed an early talent for drawing. After high school in 1945, he served as a medic in Germany during World War II (1939-1945). He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Illinois. Colby taught art and chaired the art department at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Western Washington, from 1956 until 1989. He also served as director of the university's Kittredge Gallery, led studies abroad programs, and contributed to the Asian Studies Program. In the mid-1960s, he was the director of Tacoma Art Museum. He continued to make art from his home studio into his nineties.

Material CategoryWork on paper - print
MediumWoodcut and silkscreen prints mounted on rice paper
Dimensions19 in x 19 in
ID NumberWSAC2002.053.000
Acquisition MethodDirect purchase
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencyCheney School District
Artwork LocationSunset Elementary
Hallway to 400 wing, Near room 307
WA CountySpokane
Site TypePublic School
Address12824 W 12th Street
Airway Heights, WA 99001
Geo. Coordinates47.645051, -117.589116
Before VisitingSome artworks may be located in areas not accessible to the general public (especially in K-12 public schools). Consider contacting the site prior to a visit to ensure access.