Contemporary sculptures featuring a diverse array of medias and designs

Foster’s Art Gallery features chosen sculptures from Chicago Sculpture International

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Photo by Brian Sheridan

The Foster Art Gallery showcases sculptures from Chicago Sculpture International.

From works of art made of steel, to 3D printed pieces, to works made from the human body, the current sculpture exhibit in the Foster Art Gallery in the Haas Fine Arts building brings it all.

The show Chicago Sculpture International: Themes in Contemporary Sculpture shows selected works of art created by members of CSI, a chapter of the International Sculpture Center (ISC).

One of the members of CSI contacted UW-Eau Claire in hopes of having some of the organization’s work displayed up here. Curator for the exhibit, Marie Cedar, said since the Foster Art Gallery is used as a teaching mechanism, it would be a good opportunity for the university and for students.

“Chicago is a hub of contemporary art,” Cedar said. “For our students to be able to see what is happening with contemporary art in Chicago by bringing that here, I think is a really positive experience.”

Cedar said the show features 23 CSI artists who are displaying 30 different works, all with a variety of perspectives, media and ideas. There are sculptures made from 3D printing, fiberglass, neon lights, and the less commonly used media of beard juice and fingernails.

With even more medias beyond those, Cedar said the large variety is a good message for art students to see.

“The world is a palette you can use and as an artist, as a designer, you can use anything in the world as subject matter and also as a material to express a particular idea,” Cedar said.

Senior illustrations major Madeline Ludtke said she likes the current show and enjoys the uniqueness and variety.

“It’s different,” Ludtke said. “We never had an all-sculpture exhibit before.”

One of the sculptures comes from CSI artist Perci Chester who is a full-time artist. Chester said she has been an artist all her life. Her piece “Squealies for Wheelies” was selected for the exhibit and is a steel sculpture with automotive paint.

The piece can look different from a multitude of angles, but it is meant to look like a car doing a wheelie. Chester said it comes from the idea of “chicks in a convertible” and represents the freedom of women.

“I like the dance of three dimensions, moving around the piece, having it change,” Chester said. “And the piece I have in the exhibit is painted steel so I was very excited to be able to combine my love of color with three dimensions.”

Cedar said we live in a three-dimensional world and it’s important for students to understand the importance of the dimensional aspect of sculptures in regard to communicating ideas. She said the same concept of lines and shapes done with graphic designers or painters is used in sculpture-making.

At the reception Oct. 22, a quarter of the artists featured in the exhibit came from out of state to talk, even “on their own dime,” Cedar said. They talked to students about what it is like to be a practicing artist.

Cedar said she hopes students and other people walk in and think it’s an interesting exhibit because of the “range of materials and ideas”. She also hopes more students from across the river will come over to see the gallery.

“I think it’s a missed opportunity to not come and see what we’re doing in this building, what students are doing and what the gallery is doing,” Cedar said. “This is a really vibrant gallery here and I think everybody should come.”

This show is free to everyone and is running now until Nov. 24.