Mammoth, 2018

Ilan Averbuch
(American | Israeli, born 1953)

Location: Central Washington University, Ellensburg


Mammoth is a large-scale steel sculpture created by artist Ilan Averbuch. It is located outside of the Samuelson Building at Central Washington University, which houses the departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Information Technology and Administrative Management. The installation stands as a striking and iconic landmark.

Shaped like a monumental mammoth tusk, Averbuch's sculpture appears to pierce the ground and emerge from the other side. It was inspired by a femoral bone fragment of the Wenas Creek Mammoth that is housed in the University's collection. Averbuch states, "The bone stands alone without its body, asking us to use our imagination to reconstruct its skeleton. It brings to mind the natural, anthropological, archaeological, and geological history of the area of Central Washington. The composition suggests the continuation of the mammoth tusk as still being buried underground, encouraging the mind of the viewer to fill in the blank and continue the curve. The visible elements are large and wide, but it is the invisible part beneath the ground that engages the mind to complete the work. Thus, each viewer participates in creating the work."

Click to watch the installation of Mammoth with some comments by Ilan Averbuch.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Central Washington University.


Ilan Averbuch creates large-scale outdoor sculptures, made from raw materials such as stone and wood, as well as metals and glass. In his own words, his art “involves the recycling of images and materials, moving from one time span to another.”

Averbuch grew up in Israel. He studied art at the Wimbledon School of Art in London, England, and then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (1981) from the School of Visual Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree (1985) from Hunter College, both in New York City. He taught in the Department of Art at State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook from 1994-2000. Averbuch is based in Long Island, New York.

MediumWeathering steel, concrete
Dimensions15 ft x 49 ft x 10 ft (overall)
ID NumberWSAC2017.010.000
Acquisition MethodSite responsive commission
Artist LocationNew York, United States
Location Information
AgencyCentral Washington University
Artwork LocationCentral Washington University
Both sides of walkway opposite samuelson building
WA CountyKittitas
Site TypeUniversity
Address400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Geo. Coordinates47.001328, -120.539208
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.