Illustration nation


Story by Tyler Hart, Op/Ed Editor

The new exhibit at the Foster Art Gallery entitled “Illustrators 54” features many talented illustrators from around the nation. The gallery, which is on display until Oct. 25, contains work done for editorials, books, advertisements, and other forms of media.

Ned Gannon, a professor in illustration at UW-Eau Claire, said the show is a great opportunity for his illustration students and for any student in general.

“(Students) get to see that illustration is not just good, realistic art … It’s about more than just realism or representation,” Gannon said. “It’s about a personal visual vocabulary that you’re bringing to an idea.”

An exhibition is held each year by the Society of Illustrators in New York, and the touring show is selected from the finalists of each category. The works are chosen based on if they make the cut in the exhibition and whether or not the artists are willing to allow their work to travel with the show.

“It’s a really interesting exhibition, these are some heavy hitters we see in the show,” said Tom Wagener, director of the Foster Art Gallery.

One of those heavy hitters was John Hendrix, who visited the gallery, met with students, and critiqued some of their work.

The Foster Art Gallery usually features work commissioned by the faculty, but Gannon said the traveling exhibition was a great opportunity for Eau Claire residents and for his students.

“The technical processes are able to be discussed with a little more informed view of what the final product is,” Gannon said. He also said that an individual doesn’t need a background in art to appreciate the illustrations.

Sam Nelson, a junior at Eau Claire, works part-time in the Foster Art Gallery. “There are not as many (students attending) as the last show we had, but there is more interest,” Nelson said.

Gannon hopes that students will make the effort to see the gallery and appreciate the high-caliber art they have access to.