Eyes of Eau Claire: Lindsay Rockwell

Senior art student follows her heart in pursuing photography and sculpture as a mother

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Photo by Elizabeth Gosling

Lindsay Rockwell is studying graphic design, photography and sculpture as a mother to 5-year-old Hadley, who Rockwell said she is inspired by to follow her heart.

One art student is taking the “Power of And” to another level by majoring in three subject areas as well as being a mother.

Lindsay Rockwell, a non-traditional student who studies graphic design, photography and sculpture, said she is following her dream by studying art at UW-Eau Claire.

“The world needs art,” Rockwell said. “Without art, there is nothing. Everywhere we look there is art — license plates, signs, advertisements. We need art, we need to keep art going, too, we don’t want it to die out.”

Rockwell said her daughter, Hadley, is her inspiration for making art. Although she said being a mother was one of her dreams, she also knew art was her passion, so at the age of 34, she went back to college.

Rockwell keeps something of Hadley’s in each piece of art she creates, making each creation making her a part of each piece. Currently, a hanging sculpture outside of the Foster Gallery holds a small trinket of Hadley’s.

Although her time at the university is coming to a close, as she graduates in December, Rockwell said she hopes to attend graduate school and teach sculpture or photography in her future.

“I just want to keep making art, I want to make sure that I don’t lose it, that it doesn’t fade, that I don’t get caught up in the nine-to-five,” Rockwell said. “You know how that happens — tennis and music lessons and being a mom.”

A native of Eau Claire, Rockwell attended high school in the area and always saw herself going into music. In pursuance of her dream of performing on Broadway, she studied opera and art history at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. However, she said art has always been there as a stable outlet for her, among the different variables in life.

“I always loved art, though,” Rockwell said. “It’s always been who I am, I just never thought I could do anything with it, but there’s lots you can do with it, and actually it doesn’t matter. I’m at the point where I just have to follow my heart.”

Ashley Schneider, a fellow senior student of photography, said Rockwell is an inspiration to her.

Through her participation in class and outside of the classroom with None of the Above (NOTA), she said Rockwell has a bright future and is extremely talented.

“When I met her, a lot of the topic of her work was Hadley, which I love, because when I talk with Lindsay about it, Hadley has been an amazing part of her life and I think it has influenced her work in that way with Hadley,” Schneider said. “I’m very happy I’ve had the privilege of having her in the art department at the same time I’ve been.”

Jyl Kelley, associate professor of art, who specializes in photography and studio art, said Rockwell is a vital part of the university’s art community. Through her photography, the art faculty will have portraits on the website, something it is currently lacking.

“This semester, she’s spent a lot of time working on several sculptures that have been displayed recently, and I’m really impressed with the sculptures that she’s creating,” Kelley said.

One of her sculptures, “A pound of flesh, no more no less,” is currently hanging in the hallway in the art department, located in Haas Fine Arts Center, beyond the Foster Gallery. Her photography can also be viewed on the second floor of the building in the back hallway.