UWL senior art students present: “Introspection”


Katy Davidson with her work, photo taken by Jessica Fitzgerald

Nine senior art students from The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse have filled the University Art Gallery for “Introspection”. This particular exhibition contains work that spans several different mediums, but that all surround the theme of looking inwards to find something new.

According to UWL senior art student Amanda Scarborough, this exhibition is the end product of a class that they call “professional practices”. Scarborough said, “In this class we learn some of the more worldly tips about how an artist survives out of college and continues practicing, but it also leads us through making our own senior show. This show, “Introspection”, was a baby step for me to show the world what I can do and that it’s my every intention to continue to develop my skills.”

Another UWL senior art student, Katy Davidson, said that the class is a requirement for the art major and that it acts as a capstone for the students. She also said that a majority of senior art students take this class during their last semester of studio work before they either graduate or move to their student teaching placements if they are art education majors. The class bookends the students’ art education at UWL, so they put a lot of thought into creating this exhibition and the art that is displayed.

About the work that the students put into the exhibition, Davidson said, “This was a very interesting experience for all of us. This was definitely a learning experience, and it was a very community-based project that we all worked on. We are all super excited about what we’ve done.”

Both student artists credit the UWL art department for getting them to this place. Scarborough said, “I have barely stepped outside the UWL art department in these last three years of school. I have enjoyed getting to really deep dive into some things that I had no idea I would find a passion for, which is both ceramics and digital art. The programs have allowed me to develop my practice so much both because of the classes but also the professors.”

Davidson credits the community environment of the UWL art department for furthering her artistic passion. She said, “I just like how it’s a very inclusive community. All of the professors are so welcoming, but also super helpful with their remarks to better my artwork. And all of the friends that I’ve made! Everyone’s just been super supportive of my art practices.”

Davidson said that this exhibition is the first time she has publicly displayed her art. She said, “It’s really interesting to see people look at my artwork and also having to discuss the art and seeing their reactions to what I’ve done.” Davidson created representations of flowers using three different mediums to demonstrate the similarities and differences across the three studios that she works in: ceramics, metals, and printmaking.

Scarborough took this exhibition as an opportunity to appreciate different people through the use of different mediums. She said, “In a presentation that mixes modern and classical, I created my own installation built to recognize and appreciate as many people as I could. I care about caring about people. There will also be an opportunity within my installation that will allow for your face to be a part of my space, you will have to come in and see how!”

Regardless of the differences in their own art and mission statements, both Scarborough and Davidson said that they hope that people discover something new about themselves after viewing “Introspection”. Davidson said, “An idea we were tossing around when we were coming up with the title was that we want people to come in not knowing what they’re going to see, but still be able to find something that they appreciate that they can reflect on to find something that they didn’t know they needed.”

Scarborough said, “The title says it all! We were hoping people could walk into the space with a mindset to rethink their current perspectives. Maybe that’s on other people, maybe that’s on themselves. I think the exhibition and our work does its job to provide a space for that contemplation.”

This exhibition provides these nine student artists with a space to show their art, but it also contains a public interaction component that encourages the public to look inwards to explore how the exhibition makes them feel. Davidson said, “There’s a polaroid camera near the entrance of the gallery. The prompt is ‘In a single photo, capture your exhibition experience’, so if people want, when they’re walking through they can take the polaroid to photograph whatever they want to show how the exhibition makes them feel. We have a string along the windows where they can hang their photos so they can share their experience with others as well to become a part of the exhibition.”

Scarborough said, “This exhibition is about gaining a new perspective, maybe you have been to many of the exhibitions in the Center for the Arts, maybe you have never stepped in the building. This is your invitation to see what the minds of nine unique artists are about to offer into this world!”

“Introspection” is taking place in the University Art Gallery inside of the Truman T. Lowe Center for the Arts through Dec. 18. Admission to the gallery is free. Gallery hours are 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mon-Thu and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fri-Sun.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Sarah Antoniewicz, Katy Davidson, Emma Hanson, Dana Leis, Kayla Rippe, Amanda Scarborough, Collin Schone, Diana Strahl, Greg Voves