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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A coup de art by UW students across campus

Finals are approaching—if you didn’t know this by now, then I would start panicking. But I may inquire a solution to finding some Zen within this stress-induced week. Take the time to peacefully walk through the art exhibits found in both Memorial Union and Union South, put on by WUD Art.

About a week ago, WUD Art chose to display three exhibits that are all created by distinctive art graduate students. Luke Urbain, WUD Art committee director, talked to me about his enthusiasm for these shows and other events hosted by the committee.

“Grad art students are always a delight to work with,” Urbain said. “Their work is always really thought through and they have a really clear vision of what they want to do.”

The three shows include “Consider the Darkness and the Great Cold” by Sofia Flood, “For Reasons Which Remain Obscure” by Doug Bosley and “Shadow Play” by Maren Munoz. Even though themes are not coordinated throughout the semester by the committee, Urbain claimed that members were excited to have two women Master of Art/Master of Fine Art artists right next to each other in the Porter Butts and Class of 1925 galleries.

“Sofia Flood’s ‘Consider the Darkness and the Great Cold’ in Porter Butts is just an adventure,” said Urbain, “There are lots of assemblages and she creates these mini-environments that are all about setting up oppositions.”

“Maren Munoz’s show ‘Shadow Play’ exhibits the colorful wood blocks—wood blocks are typically used to make the print, so her choice to show the block adds this interesting sculptural component to her show.”

These ladies are not the only artists who Urbain described as “amazing.” Doug Bosley, the third featured artist who created ‘For Reasons Which Remain,’ has won the best show title in WUD Art’s Annual Student Art Show for the past two years and his work can now be seen at Gallery 1308 in Union South.

The artwork envisioned by these three graduate artists helps us to explore our imaginative mindset, but without the committee behind these exhibits, our campus would lack this innovative exposure. WUD Art committee is dedicated to presenting thought-provoking exhibits and spends hours going through submissions, deciphering which artists seem the most interesting for their Madison patrons.

“Every fall we send out a call for artists,” Urbain said. “We get a wide variety of submissions from international—this year we showed Taiwanese photographs—to local and everywhere in between.”

WUD Art also displays art outside of the traditional gallery scene. This past year, “Exhibit X” was created as a cinema series, similar to Starlight Cinema. Students and community members could see films like “Hamlet A.D.D.” or “Barbie-based claymation videos” by Lauren Kelley at sites such as James Madison Park and Gallery 1308.

Even with all of the exquisite cinemas in Madison, Urbain believes WUD Art has something truly unique to offer the community.

“I think we have the chance to showcase artists who are doing really incredible things that don’t necessarily fit inside a traditional gallery format or even within some of the more established venues in town,” he said.

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“Exhibit X” also tied in with WUD Art’s overall goal when presenting these unusual, but striking, artists.

“There are a lot of chances to get hands-on experience in the arts that simply aren’t available anywhere else in Madison,” Urbain said. “Everyone has unique interests, so it is also a forum to learn about all these different areas of arts that most people don’t know about.”

Although unable to speak for the entire committee, Urbain said his favorite exhibits of this past year were “Time (Im)material,” an exploration of time by four Madison artists, “The Mobile Uploads Project,” and the Annual Student Art Show and MFA.

“I’m notorious for getting excited about every single exhibition we have,”he admitted.

And that he should, for the impressive galleries displayed by WUD Art hold an inventive presence on our campus.

After finals, when we have all taken a big sigh of relief, the art galleries will still be available for discovery. WUD Art continues to show eight exhibits throughout the summer, open to anyone who wants to broaden their artistic mind.

Don’t know which WUD Art exhibit to visit first? Get Erin’s opinion at eberge@wisc.edu.

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