The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Foster Gallery presents biennual faculty art exhibition

The Eau Claire Art and Design faculty will be featuring their work until March 6 with a special presentation on Valentine’s Day
Photo by Willow Pawlisch
The exhibit titled “Scent of Lilac” is a combination of textile, photographic and print artwork.

The biennial faculty art exhibition opened with music, modeling performance art and interactive, mycelium tic-tac-toe at the Foster Art Gallery. 

The art show, free to the public and open from Feb. 1 to Mar. 6, will have a special presentation by two of the feature contributors on Valentine’s Day.

The gallery talks will be presented by Wanrudee Buranakorn and Karen O’Day from 3 to 3:50 p.m. on Feb. 14 about the process of creating art as much as about the art itself.

“I think this is one of the greatest shows–this current one–and it’s only gotten better,” Buranakorn said.

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Buranakorn has been teaching at UW-Eau Claire for 17 years. She is among the 10 featured faculty and professors from the Department of Art and Design. 

The departments of art and design are taught by great artists and also great teachers,” Buranakorn said. 

Amanda Bulger, director of the Foster Gallery, emphasized the importance of this show for students as well as faculty. 

“This show I think is special because it gives students the opportunity to be able to see that their professors aren’t just people who are teaching them,” Bulger said. “They are active professional artists and designers who are also making art and design that is going out into the world.”

Several students help manage the exhibit. Gabby Johnson works as a gallery assistant and is a fourth-year in the studio arts program. She said the show is as much for the students as it is for the teachers.

In the past years, they’ve been very popular,” Johnson said. “It’s just a way for faculty in art and design to show what they’re working on because we have the studio show, but it’s nice to see what our instructors are doing.”

The various art collections draw on inspirations in the personal lives of the faculty. The collections use pottery, sewn garments and even living plants. CV Peterson is featuring some of their mycelium-based artwork.

“I sculpt with fungus,” Peterson said. “In particular, I sculpt with fungus that comes from the environmentally focused company Evocative Design that they use as a bio-alternative for styrofoam.”

Bulger is also a featured faculty on top of directing the gallery. She said the faculty were given full freedom to select what pieces were featured and used her own pieces as an example.

“I teach drawing primarily in the department, but I also have this strong interest and practice in my work where I make sculptures, so this is an opportunity for me to show something that students wouldn’t actually see in the classroom,” Bulger said. 

The “Scent of Lilac” is the largest exhibit in size. Dr. Jyl Kelley worked with local artist and sewist Sabine Stark to create garments that Stark modeled on opening night. Videos projected in the exhibit now show the garment for the remainder of the art installation.

“There’s a lot of different mediums that are represented here,” Johnson said. “We have sculpture, we have 3D art, we have ceramics, we have an installation over there with live plants. We have the 2D and the digital art: So a lot of different things.”

The event takes place in the Foster Gallery in the Haas Fine Arts Center located on the right side of the main lobby. The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 10  a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

More information can be found on the Foster Gallery website.

Pawlisch can be reached at [email protected].

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