Student artwork to enhance UW-Platteville Bridgeway Commons

April 19, 2013
Bridgeway Commons Artwork

PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — The inclusion of student artwork at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Rountree Commons residence hall was so successful that additional student artwork is planned for Bridgeway Commons. The newest residence hall is on schedule to open this fall.

“When we were building Rountree Commons, I wanted to incorporate a way to connect the building to the campus, and I thought there would be no better way than to have students from the university provide artwork to give that connection,” said Bill Kloster, director of the UW-Platteville Real Estate Foundation. “It’s been very well received by the students who created the art and the students who live in the building. It just made sense to continue this on to our second project in Bridgeway Commons.”

Students in the Studies in Art I: Art for Public Places course, taught by professor Bruce Howdle, and students in Carole Spelic’s Crafts II: Fibers and Fabrics course, are contributing artwork to the project.

After the Rountree Commons artwork project, Howdle had been thinking about how to start a program that would teach students how to get their work out into the public sector by allowing them to gain experience with submitting an idea, relating it to the space, and estimating materials and cost. “If you give students the opportunity to excel, they will,” he said.

The team of students, who are currently enrolled in Howdle’s course are Austin Glendenning of Darlington, Wis.; Jacklyn Baumgart of De Pere, Wis.; Corey Jenny of Platteville, Wis.; Robert Jinkins of Rewey, Wis.; Brandon Marteny of Milton, Wis.; Michael Prohaska of Pewaukee, Wis.; Michael Ward of Camby, Ind.; Cameron Doerr of McFarland, Wis., and Erik Schlicher of Platteville.

Spelic’s group of 15 students was divided randomly into five groups of three. Each team is in the process of producing a piece of artwork for Bridgeway Commons. “Their ideas are terrific and very adaptable to the setting,” said Spelic’.

Students in Spelic’s course include Carissa Wolf of Lancaster, Wis.; Holly Brimeyer of Dubuque, Iowa; Elizabeth Tanner of Gays Mills, Wis.; Searra Maas of Dubuque; Rebecca Kinstler of La Crescent, Minn.; Alex Brueggeman of Sparta, Wis.; Emily Haverland of Potosi, Wis.; Lynea Axelson of Oregon, Ill.; Nicole Bieniek of Sparta; Haley Hurst of Mayville, Wis.; LaRonda Ingham of Avoca, Wis.; Blair Lingk of Dodgeville, Wis.; Kyle Martin of Reedsburg, Wis.; Abigail VanOrden, of Butternut, Wis.; and Sara Zinkle of Platteville.

The students toured Bridgeway as it currently stands and Spelic’ noted there is a massive amount of wall space available for the students’ imagination. “They are doing great stuff,” she said.

Kathrine Gailloreto, an art education major from Milton, Wis., is in Howdle’s course and is helping to coordinate the project. She recently completed an internship at the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, Ill.

Each of the artists submitted a statement outlining their vision for their artwork. “I have chosen to create a sculpture that has captured the essences of UW-Platteville,” said Baumgart. “This sculpture will be a pedestal piece that stands approximately four feet tall. The location will be in the south main entrance on top of the stairs.”

“It’s an interesting juxtaposition through the art object, new students who are going to live and experience that space will have a connection with the people who made the work when they were at school,” said Spelic’. “It is very personal.”

The UW-Platteville Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement funded last year’s project and has contributed a grant worth nearly $9,000 to this year’s project.

“We would like to be able to sustain this program,” said Howdle. “There is no reason it can’t continue.”

The College of Liberal Arts and Education Alumni Board is sponsoring one of the art pieces and has donated $1,000. The College of LAE has provided $1,000 and the UW-Platteville Real Estate Foundation has set aside $2,000 for the project.

CD Smith Construction Services was very helpful with last year's project and has again offered their assistance for the Bridgeway art project. “They loaned their equipment to the artists to assist with the installation,” said Kloster. “They were also flexible when it came to rearranging their schedule in order to accommodate the art installations.”

“We appreciate the Real Estate Foundation for allowing us the opportunity to think on a large scale,” said Spelic’.

Howdle and Spelic’ agree that the PACCE funding was instrumental in making this project a reality. They are hoping that additional funding can be secured to help move the program forward.

Donations may be coordinated through Stacia Nemitz, UW-Platteville Foundation development officer, at (608) 342-6122 or

Bridgeway Commons, which is located adjacent to Southwest Hall and close to Engineering Hall, will be home to approximately 440 students. It will also include a 500-seat dining area.

Contacts: Bill Kloster, UW-Platteville Real Estate Foundation,; Bruce Howdle, art professor, (608) 342-1228, or Carole Spelic’, art professor, (608) 342-7301

Written by: Barb Weinbrenner and Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,


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Bridgeway Commons Art Installation Preview

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