Foster Gallery hosts Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Exhibition

Students from the art department showcase their semester’s work

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Photo by Sydney Purpora

UW-Eau Claire student Allison Trainor created a poster series of the planets for the Foster Gallery Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Exhibition.

In honor of the talented students within the art department, UW-Eau Claire is ending the fall semester with the Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Exhibition.

Displaying work from six graduating seniors, the exhibition showcases the work of students through a variety of mediums within the art department. The students involved include Amanda Brunner, Allison Collins, Carley Isham, Cheyanne January, Jacob Kohner and Allison Trainor.

Cheyanne January, who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) as an illustration major, said the exhibition will help her with prospective jobs.

“This community is pretty vibrant and interested in art,” January said. “Hopefully from this someone who I would be applying to might see my work and be interested in my work.”

January said the exhibition is similar to a thesis for the students from the art department graduating with a BFA. Each student is required to participate in a gallery showing to gain experience for the real world.

All the works on display embody the unique abilities of each student. Whether they are a graphic design, illustration or drawing and painting student, all are given the opportunity to go through the process of constructing a gallery display, seeing their work hung in a professional setting and receiving feedback from students, faculty and community members.

Allison Trainor said she received her inspiration from stargazing growing up, so she wanted to construct a passion piece focused on what she enjoys most: astronomy. She created a poster series where each poster represented a different planet.

Trainor described her work as “minimalism with a twist,” illustrating what she thought it would be like at the surface of each planet.

Looking at illustration as a medium, she said it combines a mix of disciplines like psychology, sociology and research into a single project for viewers.  

“You get to influence people’s behaviors and how they feel,” Trainor said. “If you are designing something, you want someone to look at your work and read the message that you are sending, make them look.”

With the whole semester to plan, research and execute their pieces, all the students demonstrated their journey through the department with their submitted work.

Carley Isham, an illustration student with work in the gallery, said regardless of medium, getting to display work for everyone to see is not only thrilling but a learning process as well.

Isham said she found the excitement and anticipation of the whole process in getting her work to the final stages and displaying it the most rewarding.

“It didn’t really hit home for me until I had them in the frames and up on the wall,” Isham said. “I went home to my mom and said ‘I can’t even describe the feeling I am feeling right now.’ My work is up, all of the hard work I put in over the whole semester … It was so relieving and just a happy feeling to have it up and people seeing it in such a nice, professional space.”

The Foster Gallery held four exhibitions this semester with themes varying from faculty work to alumni pieces to the current student display. A collection of the exhibit archives can be found on their website with the theme of the exhibit, when it occurred and the posters that correspond with each event.

Coming next spring will be the “Surfacing” exhibit from Jan. 27 until Feb.15 with an open reception from 6-7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Foster Gallery. The exhibition will contain work from artists who use systems or structures as a means of producing images.