Italy, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin are just some of the destinations for recent and upcoming graduates in UWEC’s Art & Design department. Faculty reached out to them to ask that they share their experiences and insights for current and prospective students interested in studying the arts. Below are their responses to our questions to help you envision how committed faculty can help guide you through a culturally inclusive art program. And then it's about seeing the world through your eyes at UWEC!
Why did you select UWEC's Art & Design program?
“I was drawn to UWEC’s Art & Design program because I knew that would be an excellent place to foster my growth as artist. I was also excited to be a part of a community that cares about and encourages each students’ success.” –Cassandra Broeren
“I was first interested in UWEC Art & Design’s illustration and Art Education programs. Illustration is a unique concentration. Most of the schools I was looking at did not have such a specific offering.” –Catelyn Mailloux
“During my crisis of determining a career goal, I discovered art conservation. I was immediately drawn to the field as it combined my interest in materials, art history, and the scientific process. I began researching graduate programs in art conservation and tailored the rest of my undergraduate study to prepare me for a career as an art conservator. My course of study changed from a BFA to a BA in art history, with minors in studio art and chemistry.” –Christine Manwiller
“I chose UWEC’s Art & Design program because it gives me more opportunities to touch art and ideas that interest me, and to satisfy my curiosity. My major covers a wide range of highly applicable courses including Photography, Drawing, Ceramics and Sculpture.” –Qian Liu
“The fact that the Art & Design building was also physically linked to the music, theater and dance space was very important to me - the architectural connection of the arts and of my own interests symbolized the interdisciplinary opportunity I was looking for - while the access to courses in other departments like American Indian Studies, Foreign Languages, and Marketing was also attractive to my diverse interests.” –Jo Alexander
What important influences, experiences, and achievements at UWEC have inspired and prepared you for attending graduate school?
“One of the most important things I've achieved at UWEC was the completion of a curation project with one of my Art History Professors. I was able to assist with research and writing for an exhibition in the Foster Gallery titled "German Expressionist Prints and Paintings from the La Vera Pohl Collection". This allowed me to experience the curatorial aspect of art history, which has influenced my career path of Museum Studies. I was also lucky to learn about the process of art installation.” –Emmaleigh Huston
“Study at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in the US has not only equipped me with basic knowledge and skills, but also taught me how to think and act from an international and multicultural perspective that will contribute to my future learning in Hong Kong.” –Qian Liu
“I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art - Illustration. Winning first place in the 54th Annual Juried Student Art Show and having work commissioned and published are some important achievements during that time. However, my most important achievements really were the relationships I formed with fellow students and faculty members; these are the valuable resources I turn to now when I need advice, role models, or someone to kick around ideas and creative progress.” –Jo Alexander
“The faculty members I worked with in Sculpture and Art Education were instrumental in challenging me to pursue sculpture seriously while offering incredible support. Also, participating in juried student art shows, and working on projects made through the UWEC faculty/student collaborative research grants were also valuable. I spent one summer collaborating with a fellow student to complete a community based art project, and with another student during my final semester of my senior year on a commission to create a permanent sculpture for Centennial Hall.” –Catelyn Mailloux
“I began my studies at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in 2010, planning to pursue a dual degree in piano performance and studio art. During my first year, I decided to focus on studio art. This decision was mainly due to key mentors in the art department who supported and encouraged my own work, while also inspiring me with their own passion for the arts. My interest in art was, and continues to be, the discovery of a variety of materials and techniques deeply rooted in art history. Printmaking, became my emphasis as the technical process satisfied my affinity for methodical work. During my crisis of determining a career goal, I discovered art conservation. I was immediately drawn to the field as it combined my interest in materials, art history, and the scientific process. I began researching graduate programs in art conservation and tailored the rest of my undergraduate study to prepare me for a career as an art conservator. My course of study changed from a BFA to a BA in art history, with minors in studio art and chemistry.” –Christine Manwiller
“In pursuing my Education Major at UWEC, I had the opportunity to take a wide variety of studio classes (sculpture, painting, photography, printmaking, etc.). Because of this, the most valuable skill I took away from my undergraduate education was the ability to express my ideas in any visual format. I created artworks that I am proud of and exhibited a ceramics piece in the student juried art show. Looking back, the most valuable experience of my undergraduate education was the opportunity to study abroad in Central Europe. During our four-week trip to Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Poland, I was introduced to the incredible historical art and architecture of this region. This study abroad experience sparked my interest in the study of architecture, as well as my interest in learning foreign languages. The UWEC Art Department faculty’s passion for art and architecture encouraged me to keep learning about these subjects after graduation.” –Cassandra Broeren
What do you hope to achieve by attending graduate school?
“Following the completion of this program, I will be prepared to get a job in a professional museum setting before working towards my PhD. The majority of students from this Masters of Art History program go on to pursue careers as professional artists and museum curators, with a large percentage of them attending PhD programs.” –Emmaleigh Huston
“My general plan is to become a professor in a college setting and also work as a freelance illustrator post-grad school.” –Sierra Lomo
“I have created a network and relationships in the arts community here that are invaluable. From university-led events and research interviews, to local artistic initiatives and the relationships I’ve formed with fellow students, I feel culturally connected.” –Jo Alexander
“I hope to learn more about art media, creative dissemination of information and art planning management. I have set my career goal to run my own creative design enterprise in my hometown in the future.” –Xingyu Du
“My goal remains to be a practicing book conservator while continuing to pursue book arts. My immediate plan is to attend a graduate program in art conservation to continue my training.” –Christine Manwiller
“I plan to pursue teaching in higher education or find work in which I can engage with contemporary art while cultivating my studio practice. I hope to continue the practice and tools of making I have discovered and developed while in school into the next stage of my life as a working artist.” –Catelyn Mailloux
“My plan is to become a licensed architect and to practice architecture.” –Cassandra Broeren
So where are our students headed now?
- Masters in Art, Culture & Society at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Jo Alexander
- Masters of Architecture program at the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee. Cassandra Broeren
- Masters in Creative Media, Hong Kong City University China. Xingyu 'Jason' Du
- Masters of Art History program at SACI (Studio Arts College International) in Florence, Italy. Emmaleigh Huston
- Masters in Creative Media, Hong Kong City University China. Qian Liu
- Illustration Practice MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Design. Baltimore Maryland. Sierra Lomo
- Masters in Fine Art, Ohio State University. Columbus Ohio. Catelyn Mailloux
- Masters in Fine Art, University of Iowa, Center for the Book with emphases in bookbinding and letter arts. Christine Manwiller
- Masters in Creative Media, Hong Kong City University China. Naiyue Zhao