Students win second place at Voices Art Slam

September 26, 2014

Voices Art SlamPLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Three University of Wisconsin-Platteville students won second place in the Voices Art Slam 2014 arts and cultural event competition in Dubuque, Iowa, on Sept. 20. The prize of $500 was divided evenly between them.

The students included Laura Grotjan, a senior fine art major from Neenah, Wis.; Ben Hying, a senior fine art: graphic design major from Dollar Bay, Mich.; and Robert Jinkins, a current sculpture student at UW-Platteville from Rewey, Wis.

During the competition, the students painted against other student teams from Clarke University, Dubuque; Loras College, Dubuque; UW-Madison; and University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa; as well as four professional artists.

Voices Art Slam was part of a month-long Voices from the Warehouse District art and cultural exhibit held in the 15,000-square-foot Voices Gallery in Dubuque’s Historic Millwork District.

Each team was provided with a 36-by-48-inch canvas and had 90 minutes to collaboratively create the best painting possible of four live model subjects, using a variety of mediums. Judges reviewed the paintings and chose the winner based on the artistic quality of the artwork. The top-placed school and the top-placed professional each received $1,000.

“It can be very challenging to create while under pressure,” said Greg Nelson, assistant professor of art at UW-Platteville. “These students were under pressure for 90 minutes to complete the work and be on stage as the audience watched their painting evolve. They performed exceptionally well and I admire their achievement. They should be extremely proud.”

“Art Slam was an excellent opportunity for our students to work in an extremely unique situation and to gain a new perspective on their approach to their work,” Nelson said. “This also allowed them to experience working on a team in a way they may not have considered before. It was interesting and rewarding to see how they worked together to collaborate with such success.”

At the end of the night, the works were auctioned off. The artwork created by the UW-Platteville students sold for $1,500. Half of this amount will go to the Voices/Art Slam organization and the other half will go to the artists.

To ensure that the UW-Platteville team was a true reflection of the voice of its art students, the students nominated themselves or others and then voted. Students who received the highest number of votes were chosen for the team.

Contact: Greg Nelson, assistant professor, UW-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1442,

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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