Up in the clouds

Current Foster Art Gallery features work of graduating seniors

Story by Lauren French, Freelancer

A lot of children grow up with the phrase “get your head out of the clouds,” but for UW-Eau Claire senior Zack Scheppa, the clouds are exactly where his head needed to be.

Scheppa’s love for art and creativity manifested at a young age with the cloud game, where he and his father would search for odd shapes in the sky.

Coupled with his love for comic books and technology, Scheppa’s artistic talent transitioned from a childhood interest to a college major.  Scheppa is a bachelor of fine arts, with a major in graphic design and a minor in web development.

With the bachelor of fine arts degree comes the BFA Senior Show.  All seniors who plan to graduate with a BFA degree have the opportunity to display their artwork in the Foster Gallery at the end of their last semester on campus.

The Foster Gallery in the Haas Fine Arts Center currently hosts nine students’ artwork in the Senior Show called The Third Act, including Scheppa’s.

Scheppa’s pieces include an eComic and a mobile app he plans to develop called College Cookbook.  The app does not yet have a planned release date.  In regard to his eComic, Scheppa said his artwork centers around an integration of traditional pen and ink and modern graphic techniques.

“I just really liked the old traditional drawings, like pen and ink, and I always felt that they were becoming obsolete,” Scheppa said.  “I wanted to find a way to bring back traditional media and integrate it into new technology.”

Foster Gallery Technical Director, Tom Wagener, said Senior Shows in the fall semester are typically smaller than spring shows.  A spring Senior Show will usually present about 20 students’ artwork, he said.

Although there are a small number of students presenting work this semester, Wagener said this show is unique.

“We have a very wide variety of mediums for such a small number of students,” Wagener said.  “We have painting and drawing, illustration, graphic design, sculpture…  It’s a very broad spectrum.”

The sculpture and ceramic pieces in the show belong to Abbey Berg, who said she was inspired to merge cacti and human figures after a road trip to California.

Berg said that preparation for this show took a lot of time and effort.

“I’ve been working on this for the last three months,” Berg said. “Starting with the research, and then developing the ideas and trying to figure out my process, and how to go about making each individual piece.”

Christine Dvorak, a graphic design major, decided to use this opportunity to rebrand the local Eau Claire farmers’ market.  Dvorak’s pieces include grocery totes, flyers, posters, and other promotional items.

Senior Matthew Mantl says that the artists’ work all convey different artistic feeling.

“Each display is completely different,” Mantl said.  “It seems like they all reflect the artist in some way.”

The exhibit will be on display until Dec. 14

Next up at the Foster Gallery is Lyrical Meditations, which will feature pieces by Clarence Morgan Jan. 28 through Feb. 19.