Vet student’s country photos on exhibit; reception Nov. 1

By Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries

PULLMAN, Wash. – Claire Tousley never knows when the perfect photo opportunity will present itself. Her favorite photo arrived during a break from laying down sprinkler pipes with her uncle in Wyoming.

Pioneer-Vision-400She climbed to the top of a hill, looked down and saw weathered wagon wheel spokes framing a river valley winding toward an unknown horizon. She called the photo “Pioneer Vision.”

“I never expected to get that picture. That’s why I carry my camera everywhere,” said Tousley, a third-year Washington State University veterinary student.

Her work is on display at WSU’s Animal Health Library during the twice-yearly “Art in the Library” exhibit through mid-December. A free, public welcome reception is planned 4:30-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the library in Wegner Hall 170.

A native of St. Anthony, Idaho, Tousley has captured the landscapes, cattle and horses she’s seen in her travels through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Washington.

Her photography started in 1999 when her grandparents gave her a film camera she used for two or three years for 4-H projects before switching to digital. As higher education and new jobs took her to different parts of the country, she chronicled passing scenery and livestock, often stopping on highways to snap her pictures – and reassuring highway patrolmen that she was okay.

Claire-Tousley-400“There’s generally a story behind each picture – the way the sun hits the mountains, the way animals stand in a field,” she said. “It’s always a challenge to capture an image the way I see it inside my head.”

Her work has been published in such magazines as Country, Country Extra, Country Farm and Ranch, and Rural Montana, as well as various calendars and photo contests. For the last several years, she has been the photographer of 4-H and FFA market animals in St. Anthony.

Tousley graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in animal and veterinary science before coming to WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She plans to become a bovine practitioner after graduation in 2015.

“Art in the Library” features animal-themed artwork, typically from artists with a connection to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine. For more information, visit Those interested in displaying their art can contact Claire Miller at



Claire Tousley, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine student, 208-315-2138,

Claire Miller, WSU “Art in the Library” committee member, 509-335-6343,

Vicki Croft, WSU Animal Health Library head, 509-335-5544,

Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries public relations/communication coordinator, 509-335-6744,