The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Student art show set to open

UPDATE: Award winners posted at 10:00 p.m. 3/25/10. Awards are listed after the article.

By tonight, the Foster Gallery will be filled with artwork submitted by UW-Eau Claire students. Just two days ago, gallery director Tom Wagener was busy finding a way to arrange the eclectic 63-piece collection of paintings, photographs, jewelry and sculptures, plus digital pieces such as Web sites and videos.

The opening reception for the 53rd Annual Juried Student Art Show is tonight from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Foster Gallery. This year’s display will showcase artwork in a wide variety of mediums from various departments across campus. Because funding for the show comes from student segregated fees, all Eau Claire students were invited to submit artwork. This year, several non-art majors submitted artwork for consideration; two pieces from non-art majors were admitted into the show.

Each year a different guest artist is asked to visit campus to decide which artwork will qualify for the show. This year’s guest juror is Yuko Shimizu, a freelance illustrator and instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Eau Claire professor of art Ned Gannon came across Shimizu’s art and approached her about being a juror for the show. Shimizu agreed and visited campus last Friday to view the submitted artwork. She also gave a talk about her own work to faculty and students.

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Preparing for the show is a process that begins long before the judging, Wagener said.

“The biggest challenge before the juror process is getting students to frame their work,” Wagener said. “It has to be ready to frame on a wall.”

After the artists have finished matting and framing their work, the visiting juror selects the pieces that will be displayed in the show. While Wagener’s only requirement is that the artwork fits in the gallery and is ready to be hung, the juror’s criterion may vary from year to year.

“The juror has free reign on number of pieces, styles, mediums,” Wagner said. “Their assignment is to look at the work that was submitted and select what they feel is the strongest work from UW-Eau Claire students.”

The juror also chooses which pieces of art will receive awards. Tonight, prizes will be given for first, second and third place, plus five honorable mentions.

This year, the juror narrowed the 173 submitted pieces of art from 81 artists down to the 63 pieces from 46 artists that will be displayed in the student show. Although the number of entered pieces was lower than the average of past years, Wagener believes that one reason for this year’s dip is the show’s change of date. Typically, the portfolio show for Bachelor of Fine Arts students is held before the juried student show; however, this semester they reversed the order to give graduating students more time to prepare their portfolios.

When the BFA show falls before the student show, many seniors enter artwork for both shows, Wagener said. This year, however, he predicts many seniors are saving their best work to be revealed first at the BFA show.

Senior Stacie Weisse one BFA candidate that is happy about the change. Although she agrees that moving the student show earlier in the semester caused fewer submissions, she said making the BFA show the last show of the semester was “the greatest idea ever.”

This is the third student show Weisse has submitted artwork for; Shimizu selected three of her pieces. Weisse and other students from Advanced Two-Dimensional Art (Art 402) are responsible for helping Wagener arrange and hang the artwork before the opening reception tonight.

Weisse said creating, framing and submitting her artwork over the last three years has been a great learning experience and will prepare her for entering art shows in the future.

“It’s also a nice in-house opportunity; (it) really kicks students into submitting (be)cause I think that’s a hard thing, really, for a lot of art students,” Weisse said. “… Having a show every year that’s free to submit to, I think, is a great advantage for everyone to learn what goes into submitting a piece to a show.”

Wagener agrees with Weisse, saying the show looks especially good on resumes because it is a judged show.

“It gives the opportunity for an outside artist to critique their work, so they’re hearing from more than just their art professors. They don’t get any one-on-one critique, but they find out that there’s competition in the art world.”

The 53rd Juried Student Art Show runs from March 25 to April 21. Anyone is welcome to attend the opening reception tonight, especially those that submitted a piece of art. For more information about the Foster Gallery, visit


  • First: Hughey, Mathias Hughey for Untitled, burlap and jute installation
  • Second: Tiffany Bailey for Pitcher and Three Cups, slip cast porcelain
  • Third: Jason Eibel for The Good, The Bad, The Queen, ink/ acrylic
  • Honorable mention: Staci Weisse for Japanese Lady Beetles, relief print
  • Honorable mention: Catie Griffiths for Beautality, acrylic
  • Honorable mention: Anne Hines for Thirst, photograph
  • Honorable mention: Anne Backstrom for Familiar Passage, ceramic
  • Honorable mention: Jennifer Herman for Shut Down to Rise Up, sculpture

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Student art show set to open