Art students to display best works in senior art exhibitions

April 10, 2018

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The best works of four senior Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will be featured in individual, weeklong exhibitions, to be held Thursday, April 19-Friday, May 11 at various locations across campus, including the university’s Art Building, Markee Pioneer Student Center and Ottensman Hall. Each student’s exhibition will be kicked off with an opening reception at the exhibition’s location. The exhibitions and receptions are free, and all are welcome to attend.

Artwork will span a range of media and formats, including graphic design, painting, drawing, photography and printmaking.

Students whose works will be exhibited are pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art education at UW-Platteville. Both degrees were introduced at the university last year to help fill the growing demand for graduates who can think creatively and become innovative problem solvers.

The senior art exhibitions are a requirement of both degree programs, and provide students with training in how to plan, edit, prepare and mount a gallery exhibition. Students complete all of the physical display work needed in preparing the event space and mounting their exhibitions, with the assistance of Gregory Nelson, associate professor of art at UW-Platteville, who oversees the Bachelor of Fine Arts program.

“The senior Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibitions are a pivotal moment in the academic careers of the students,” said Nelson. “These exhibitions represent a yearlong process of conceptualizing, articulating and presenting their thesis to the art faculty in the fall semester and culminate in the creation of a new body of work based on this thesis in the spring semester. It is a body of work that is truly their own, from start to finish. It showcases their artistic skill and vision in one unique exhibition.”

Students whose works will be featured in the exhibitions include Mia Nottrott, a senior art education major from Scales Mound, Illinois; Alexandra Waller, a senior graphic design major from Potosi, Wisconsin; Janice Kuhn, a senior graphic design major from Warrenville, Illinois; and Kari Aaby, a senior graphic design major from Freeport, Illinois.

Nottrott said the purpose of her exhibit is to examine what makes a portrait and to create portraits that give insight into the person beyond his or her physical features. She noted that planning and implementing the exhibits will greatly benefit her and her classmates as well as the university community and beyond.

“The exhibitions are self-directed, which really develops our skills as artists and as advocates for our art,” said Nottrott. “We have faculty assistance, but the concept, organization and execution are up to us. The exhibitions also benefit the community in that they show what the art program can do and hopefully open some eyes as well as touch people because of the personal nature of most of the pieces.”

On the education side, Nottrott said that working with students has been the most helpful. On the art side, she said the more that she experiments and develops her skills, the more she will be able to relate to students and help them. When Nottrott is creating art, it is the creative process that brings her the most joy.

“Throughout the creative process, I might feel six different emotions toward the piece,” said Nottrott. “It is frustrating, but also incredibly freeing, and it always makes me happy in some way. In my future career, I hope to help people find, or remember, their creative passion and feel the freedom that comes with creating art.”

The schedule of exhibitions is as follows:

• April 19-25: Mia Nottrott Art Exhibition, Art Building. Opening reception: April 19, 5-7 p.m.
• April 23-May 11: Kari Aaby Art Exhibition, Ottensman Hall. Opening Reception: April 26, 6-8 p.m.
• April 30-May 4: Alexandra Waller Art Exhibition, Art Building. Opening Reception: May 1, 5-7 p.m.
• April 30-May 11: Janice Kuhn Art Exhibition, Game Lounge, Pioneer Student Center. Opening Reception: May 3, 5-7 p.m.

Courses within the two degree programs are taught by Nelson, Tyler Ostergaard, assistant professor of art; Steve Vance, professor of art; Richard Moninski, distinguished lecturer of art; Daniel O’Brien, lecturer of art; Carole Spelic', senior lecturer of art; and Scott Steder, lecturer of art.

High-impact practices, such as the senior art exhibitions, are an important component of UW-Platteville’s 2017-2018 strategic work plan, which includes the institutional priorities of improving student learning, data-informed decision making, budgeting and planning, supporting student success through retention and recruitment initiatives, and campus climate.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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