Foster Art Gallery hosts ‘Surfacing’ exhibition

Artists from various locations in North America showcase artwork created with systems and mapping

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Photo by Kelsey Smith

UW-Eau Claire Foster Gallery presents “Surfacing” an exhibit highlighting artwork by artists across North America.

The UW-Eau Claire art department kicked off the start of the new semester with their exhibition titled “Surfacing.”

The exhibition features artists from various areas in North America by displaying a variety of two-dimensional prints, paintings and drawings. The artists involved include Susan Stacks, Nick Conbere, Leslie Vansen and James Bailey.

Jill Olm, the gallery director, said the artwork in this exhibition is made by artists who interpret or use a systematic approach to produce their work.

Olm said she and the illustration professor, Ned Gannon, both worked together on starting this exhibit. Each picked artists with whom they had connections and had worked with on mapping and systems. They then invited them to Eau Claire to show their selected individual works.

“I think it’s a great exhibition,” Olm said. “I think it’s nice to see a group of diverse artists who approach a similar theme. At the same time, their work looks well together in the space aesthetically, and it offers a nice range of applications of an idea of a system in producing work.”

The featured artwork implemented a variety of different techniques, materials and styles that were used to show the theme: systems, structure and mapping.

In particular, Susan Stacks, a featured artist, displayed paintings that demonstrated how simple repeated marks form structure, while Leslie Vansen, another artist, presented more abstract images. In addition, Nick Conbere and James Bailey examined landscapes by creating artwork that particularly employed their own design and style.

Sierra Lomo, an art and design student who works in the gallery, said this is one of her favorite exhibits from visiting artists at the university.

“I think it’s phenomenal,” Lomo said. “I am really blown away by the range of work from paintings to printmaking and then more drawings and stuff like that. I am just fond of it all, really.”

Lomo said she enjoys when people approach her to ask about the artwork. Students and community members who are just interested in art come to the gallery and ask her questions. She is able to use her art and design experience to help them to understand something they see she said.

Jennifer Her and Felicia Som, Eau Claire seniors attending the gallery, were both in agreement when they said they think it would be really nice if students would come and check out the art.

“I thought it was very unique to see different ideas incorporated into a portrait and how many different designs and even photography and photos were incorporated into landscapes,” Her said.

This is the first of four Foster Gallery exhibitions this semester. “Surfacing” will continue until Feb. 15. A compilation of other exhibits that the Foster Gallery has featured in the past can be found on their website with their corresponding themes, times and posters.

The next exhibit will be “German Expressionist Prints, Drawings and Paintings” from the La Vera Pohl Collection from Feb. 24 to Mar. 15 with an opening reception from 6-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 23.