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Bachelor of fine arts senior shows to be featured in Foster Gallery

April 29, 2014

"Vera" by bachelor of fine arts candidate Emily Lau.

EAU CLAIRE — The Foster Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host two exhibits featuring works by senior bachelor of fine arts degree candidates. "Synthesis" will run from April 30-May 4 and "Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Show" will be on display from May 8-12. Each show will feature works by eight students.

The opening reception for "Synthesis" will be held from 1-3 p.m. May 3, and the "Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Show" reception will be held from 1-3 p.m. May 10. Following are details about each show:

"Synthesis" — April 30-May 4:

Courtney Benson, Byron, Minn., will exhibit a board game and its promotional materials created through a variety of mediums. Benson describes her work as simple, yet energetic with a desire to create an inviting atmosphere.

Samara Cobus, Germantown, will exhibit digital illustrations of fictional locations. She hopes to make the mythical places she portrays seem realistic so that her audience can imagine themselves there.

Hannah Fechner, Burnsville, Minn., will exhibit a brand identity for a fashion company that incorporates printed materials, stickers, clothing items with hand-stamped tags and wood burning. She describes her work as crisp, clean and eccentric, and says it conveys an overall tone of individuality and modernism.

"I want the audience to feel cozy and invited while looking at my work," Fechner said, "almost as if they are in a friend's closet or a quaint shop."

Mikaela Hammer, Hudson, will exhibit pieces one would generally find in an artist's studio. Her work will include a font she created, a hand drawn event poster, a bottle label design and both ceramic and embroidered pieces.

Emily Lau, Merrill, will exhibit illustrations, the majority of which will be done in watercolor. Her work is influenced by the San Juan Islands, Nancy Drew and graphic novelists.

"I am creating the images as well as the stories that are paired with them," Lau said.

Catelyn Mailloux, St. Cloud, Minn., will exhibit a sculpture installation composed of wood and steel. She is driven by an interest in how interpersonal relationships manifest themselves in language, written text and touch.

"The changing dynamics of relationships in my life have challenged me to think about and process loneliness, disconnect, longing and desire for emotional intimacy," Mailloux said. "I am interested in exploring the connectedness between these ideas and the nuances of human relationships, both familial and non-familial."

Betsy-Marie Olaussen, Mound, Minn., will exhibit photographs printed on transparency paper that will be displayed suspended from the ceiling and hung on walls. Her work focuses on the psychological effects of both technology and digital identity. Olaussen said she enjoys creating photography that makes her audience question photography as a medium.

"Recently, I've been exploring the idea of taking photography 'off the wall' and making it a more interactive experience," Olaussen said.

Jessie Pautsch, Rice Lake, will exhibit etchings, monotypes, relief prints and lithographs. She said that she enjoys the print-making process as much as producing the final image.

"Printing gives me a place to belong amongst thousands of years of tradition, innovation and inky art!" Pautsch said.

"Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Show" — May 8-12:

Nicholas Bellart, Wales, will exhibit a hand-crafted deck of cards as well as illustrations depicting Wisconsin. Bellart's work is done in ink and gouache.

Fallon Bittner, Mosinee, will exhibit multiple small watercolor paintings and one large oil painting. Bittner said her body of work is influenced by the energy life cycles of food and sheds new light on everyday objects that are overlooked.

Ashley Harrington, Waupaca, will exhibit process-based illustrations in water media altered with gunpowder and other destructive elements. With her work, she intended to display the dissonance between purity and elegance as well as elements of danger, violence and destruction.

"These pieces utilize the graceful configuration of the human form with a sincere approach to the medium," Harrington said. "Subsequently, they undergo disparate destructive processes in an exploration of scarring the paper through fire, gunpowder, tearing and cutting away. The damage obscures and corrupts what was once pure."

Jordan Martinez, Wausau, will exhibit large three-dimensional works and large oil paintings. His work is created using a wide variety of mediums including oil paint, wood, gunpowder, charcoal, tar, sawdust, acrylic paint and wood varnish. Martinez said his work is experimental and process based, meaning that it is created as a reaction to the mediums he uses.

"The work is influenced by the land, by people, the imprints we make on the land — our history," Martinez said. "I want people to consider our relationship to the world and the impacts we have on it."

Rachel Nokken, Onalaska, will exhibit a graphic design of a coffee company's corporate identity branding. Nokken said that she's passionate about being able to give a company a voice and personality — and that she's influenced by the Caribou Coffee brand.

Dustin Schipper, Holmen, will exhibit a sculptural work that incorporates a variety of media relating to trees. Schipper said his piece focuses on the interconnectedness of earth and the human experience.

Matt Steil, Champlin, Minn., will present graphic design work, specifically a playful rebranding of a music festival. He intended to give the festival a more contemporary design.

Serena Wagner, Eau Claire, will exhibit a piece that explores the idea of sound as a visible object. Her art relies on audience participation to achieve meaning.

"There's something curious about the human condition, and I wanted to build a piece that synthesized that," Wagner said.

For more information about the exhibits, contact Tom Wagener, Foster Gallery director, at



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