Lindsey Treffry, Inland360
Kristin Carlson Becker built her downtown Moscow in three weeks.
She poured her foundation after assisting in a lesson at Palouse
Prairie School, and hammered the framing after viewing old photos of
buildings. Walls and insulation grew higher after she drew more than 12
buildings. She built a still incomplete downtown through screen
printing, which included her representations of the Moscow Hotel, the
Moscow National Bank Building and more.
Becker’s collection, “Good(bye) Buildings,” is a series of screen
prints and postcards spurred by her love of architecture. After helping
complete an art and history project last year with Lizzie
Bromley-Vogel’s first grade class, Becker was inspired to create a
collection of art that featured local buildings as they stand now, with a
tinge of their past.
Becker puts her own twist on buildings, and emphasizes the part that she enjoys.
“I’m attracted to color and I’m attracted to typography,” said Becker,
who took the liberty to enlarge the “Drugs” sign on the Hodgins Drug
For her adaptation of the Holt Block and Casa Lopez building, the
right-handed artist decided to draw left-handed and use only two colors.
The McConnell building doesn’t have “Mingles” written on it, but you’ll
find an image of a shark holding a pool stick on a ground-level window.
Playing with history, Becker’s Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre print
is half black and white and half green, to compare the old brick with
the current tile siding. Her Storm Cellar corner has a historical
light-blue gas station in the sky above the building as it stands now.
Becker received an undergraduate degree in photography from the Rhode
Island School of Design, where the state’s old architecture and decay
caught her eye.
Becker said the dilapidation of a building can be the most beautiful part.
“Overall, it’s better if they’re rehabilitated … but making the
prints is a way for me to preserve that presentation,” Becker said.
Becker went on to receive her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking at
Indiana University, which led her to draw, stencil and then screen print
not only Moscow buildings, but ones in both Rhode Island and Indiana.
“I work from drawing on semi-transparent paper — a frosted acetate,”
said Becker, who moved to Moscow about three years ago with her husband
and now teaches as a Washington State University adjunct professor.
Becker moved to Moscow without ever having seen the town.
“I was looking for the most iconic, funny and unusual thing,” said
Becker, who found the City of Moscow Water Department Building to be
She drew the water building. Then, after the first grade class
project, and in preparation for the Moscow ArtWalk, Becker branched out
to draw and print the other Moscow buildings in three weeks.
“I have to live in a place for a while before I want to make a
place,” Becker said. “I have to build a relationship with the buildings
Most of her prints are about 11-by-14 inches. Some of her prints are
the size of a postcard — more for collecting than sending, Becker said.
Becker’s artwork is on the walls of a Moscow Yoga Center hallway, in
correlation with the buildings’ locations on Main Street. Some of the
artwork done by Palouse Prairie students is displayed, too. To view her
artwork, visit kristincarlsonbecker.com/mainstreet.html or
goodbyebuildings.com, or visit the Moscow Yoga Center during operating
hours. To purchase her artwork, visit
As seen in the Aug. 15 issue of Inland 360.