Foster Gallery hosts alumni art exhibition

Showcasing the work of 19 alumni from the department of art and design

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Photo by Sydney Purpora

The UW-Eau Claire Foster Gallery exhibition “Tributaries” contained a compilation of artwork from over 30 years of alumni. Tiffany Bailey graduated in 2006 with a BFA in ceramics; her work shown above is one part of her three piece series: “Silos,” “Reinvention of place” and “A scene framed for viewing.”

The Foster Gallery has exhibited self-expression through a variety of art forms over the years from local artists, current students and faculty members. Now, UW-Eau Claire graduates are given the chance to make their artistic mark on campus one last time.

Eau Claire’s Foster Gallery is hosting an exhibition titled “Tributaries” until Oct. 26, showcasing alumni artwork commemorating the past and present accomplishments of the art and design department.

In conjunction with the university’s centennial celebration, the Tributaries exhibition features unique talents from 19 alumni artists.

Jill Olm, associate professor of drawing and painting and Foster Gallery director, said the artists featured in the gallery were all nominated for the exhibition by current and retired faculty members from the art and design department.

Once they were nominated, Olm and Tiit Raid, local artist and retired faculty member, contacted each artist, asking if they had work they would like to submit to the exhibition.

“We asked them for some examples of work that best represented what they were making and how they saw their artistic practice now,” Olm said.

Dating back to the early 1970s, the alumni involved range from over 30 years of graduating classes, all from the department of art and design.

Matthew Bergs, sophomore art student and Foster Art Gallery employee, said he enjoys how the exhibition shows the progression of each artist over the years.

“It shows the depth of where people have gone with their degrees from Eau Claire,” Bergs said. “To see all of the different stages of their artwork, what it came to be and what they are doing with their lives is really cool.”

Although they might have graduated many years ago, each piece hanging in the gallery is contemporary and created within the past 10 years, Olm said.

The artwork itself is spread between the two rooms of the gallery, each created with a variety of different mediums. Some artists submitted a series of work while others focused on only one piece. Even though they were created to stand alone, Olm said all of the pieces tie in with one another in some way.

“Even though it is diverse in its medium and concept, there seems to be some interesting themes and connections,” Olm said. “They coincidentally created relationships we didn’t know the artworks would have.”

Outside the gallery, posters from previous exhibition openings, from 1973 to present, line the hallway leading up to the entrance. Not only can viewers see the different exhibitions from the past, but also the change in design elements from year to year, Olm said.

To showcase the alumni involved, the Foster Art Gallery is holding an artist reception from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13 in the gallery for students and faculty members to meet the artists behind each work of art. Find out more about the exhibitions to come at the gallery’s website.