The Art Department Celebrates 50 years with the Reunion Gallery

Art is Alive on Campus

Krystal Dodge

To commemorate Parkside’s 50 Year Celebration, “Reunion” is an exhibition featuring artwork from Art Department alumni, faculty and retired faculty. This is an unforgettable showcase of generations of the UW-Parkside Art Department family. The gallery opened on Feb. 4 and will be open until Mar. 22, and there will be a reception on Mar. 21.

“Self Portrait – Hand” by Kristina Murphy     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

The gallery is an eclectic look at five decades of the Art departments history. There are many styles of art and various mediums used. They have paintings, ceramics, wood working, photography, digital art, screenprint, embroidery and mixed media. It is part of Parkside’s history to showcase alumni’s art. The school takes great pride in the Art department and their contribution to the creative community. Art is very much a big part of culture on campus.

Focal Point

The piece that was used to advertise this exhibit was oil on linen self portrait by Kristina Murphy.  This painting was a portrait of a hand that was in homage to Sofonisla Anguissola, an Italian renaissance painter. Anaguissola worked with Michelangelo and many other prestigious people of her time.  Her most well-known works were self-portraits. The portrait show cased a hand in the forefront over a blue dress. There was great detail on the jewelry, that adorned her beautifully painted hand. The painting captured beauty in something most people would not ordinarily classify as such.

“Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow” by Lisa Bigalke     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

Eye Catching

There was such a variety of creative and remarkable pieces. However, there was one piece in particular that grabbed my attention. “Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow?” by Lisa Bigalke. I caught myself spending the most time looking at this piece. It was a combination of screenprint and embroidery.  At the center of the picture was an adult and baby sea cow and they are surrounded by a ring of crimson red. There are rings of fishing boats, oil rigs and fishing lures cascading out from the sea cows. The sea cows looked so sad and it really triggered raw emotion, especially with all the concerns we are facing with animal extinction and environmental issues.

This sea cow is actually extinct, but they had inhabited Commander Isles in the Bering Sea. These were massive creatures that could easily reach 8 to 10 tons as adults. It is just hard to understand how something so enormous and magnificent could be eliminated completely.

This exhibit is diverse. The rich culture of the arts is very alive on campus. The exhibit will be up until Mar. 22. In the words of the late Albert Einstein, “creativity is contagious, pass it on”.