Faculty art fills the Foster Art Gallery

A variety of pieces produced by UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire-Barron County faculty are on display

More stories from Alanna Huggett

Pura Vida
May 15, 2019

Photo by Sam Farley

A student examines the graphic portion of the gallery.

Walking into the Foster Art Gallery located in Haas Fine Arts Center, one gets an immediate sense of serenity. The hard work of faculty fills the open space.

The Foster Art Gallery opened a faculty exhibition Oct. 26. This exhibition contains artwork, research and projects created by UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire-Barron County faculty. Artists featured at this exhibition included Li-Ying Bao, Amanda Bulger, Wanrudee Buranakorn, Ned Gannon, Jyl Kelley, Hyungjoo A Kim, Cedar Marie, Susan O’Brien, Jill Olm, Christos Theo and Suzanne Truman.

In the past, the faculty exhibition has occurred annually. In recent years it has become a biennial event, said Bulger, interim Foster Gallery director and associate professor at UW-Eau Claire.

In accordance with the opening of the exhibition, there is a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1. This event is free for the public to attend and will function as an opportunity for people to meet the featured artists. There will also be live music at the opening in the form of a student quartet, Bulger said.

In addition to her role as interim Foster Gallery director, Bulger is one of the featured artists at the gallery. She has five pieces on display including one sculpture and four digital drawings. Bulger said she draws her inspiration from agriculture and the idea of life work.

“I explore the idea of having routine that never ends, and repetition,” Bulger said, “and what that ultimately does to your body and to the environment.”

Another faculty artist is Susan O’Brien, an associate professor at UW-Eau Claire. O’Brien’s work is with ceramics and she has five pieces on display. O’Brien said these pieces refer to the female form and are intended for the dining room.

“Metaphorical interwoven layers of humor, exaggeration and subtle sarcasm allow me to be somewhat of the bad girl in the dining room while expressing my vision of contemporary decorative functional ceramics,” O’Brien said.

The faculty exhibition is a benefit to students, Bulger said. It provides an opportunity for students to see what practices their professors specialize in and professional art pieces that develop over a longer period.

O’Brien said the faculty exhibit is also an opportunity for the Eau Claire community to see the diverse talent of faculty members.

“When it comes to the art world, our work isn’t made just to show a small group of people but it’s made to be on public display,” Bulger said.

Bulger said that people should visit the Foster Art Gallery more than one time to fully appreciate the work on display.

“A show like this you can come you can see everything you can come back a second time and notice things you didn’t necessarily notice the first time,” Bulger said.

The faculty exhibition will be open through Nov. 18. The Foster Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Huggett can be reached at [email protected].