Student art show gives seniors final chance for exhibition

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Copy Editor

While most of the Foster Art Gallery’s displays are usually professional works, the gallery is currently taking time to appreciate its UW-Eau Claire student artists.

The gallery will be presenting its 56th Annual Juried Student Art Show at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 in Haas Fine Arts Center. There will be over 80 pieces submitted by 60 students on display.

But before they can even hope to have their pieces being displayed, a professional artist or professor of the arts has to review all student-submitted pieces and choose the best. Then, only the ones chosen get to be displayed at the show.

Director of the Foster Art Gallery Tom Wagener said this year’s judge was Jen Peppers, a mixed media artist and professor of art at Cazenovia College (N.Y.). Wagener said Peppers came to Eau Claire and reviewed the submitted pieces earlier this week.

Wagener said people should attend this showing especially because student art isn’t regularly displayed in the gallery. He said the Juried Student Art Show is just one of three times all year that their work will be shown.  Awards and cash prizes will be presented to Pepper’s favorite artists on the show’s opening night as well.

“(The 56th Annual Juried Student Art Show) is our main venue for showing student works with the exception of our Bachelor of Fine Arts shows,” Wagener said. “When you are graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, your final semester you have to have a portfolio exhibition.”

Wagener also said the show isn’t just exclusive to art majors. He knows at least two different students who submitted and had pieces chosen for viewing that aren’t involved specifically with the department.

Senior illustration major Grace Fechner is one of the many featured artists in the show. She has two acrylic paintings that will be on display. She said her pieces explore financial and loving responsibility that stemmed from her relationship with her parents.

“It’s pretty special because your work gets chosen by a professional artist,” Fechner said. “Otherwise, it’s just hanging in the hallway so it’s nice to have it visited professionally.”

Fechner said she also hopes the show has a wide turnout separate from just art majors and faculty members. She said anyone who viewed this specific gallery would experience an appreciation for a wide variety of artwork if they decide to attend.