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“What a Relief” Art Exhibit Review

Sam Stroozas, Staff Reporter

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Art in the city is a staple for La Crosse. Whether it is a local artist or well known, UWL has an exhibit area located in the Center for the Arts to showcase those pieces.

Myszka Lewis, Curator for Tandem Press, a self-supporting printmaking studio in Madison, Wisconsin, gave the group a tour of the pieces that were in the CFA for the new exhibit, “What a Relief: Traditional to Experimental Printmaking at Tandem Press.”

All of the pieces were picked by Lewis and are from artists around the country that go to Madison to work with Lewis and her team in printmaking.

Lewis says, “Many students and parents see being an art major as only being a future art teacher. That is not true.  The major is so vast, you can work in a gallery, a print shop, a museum – it is collaborating yet independent. UW Madison offers an excellent grad program where they work hands-on with Tandem Press.”

There was a lot to talk about and pieces to give inspiration to emerging artists on the UWL campus. Artists such as Robert Cunningham and other sculptors and printmakers had pieces showcased that provided an accurate description of the printing process and the work and dedication that goes into each piece.

The student pieces that are shown in the exhibit  switch to professional pieces, students may get discouraged comparing their art to the professionals, but Lewis says, “There is fine detail and lots of work for everything, they don’t just start off doing this – it is an evolution.”

The steps one must take to enter the art world may seem overwhelming, “There is representational prints, figurative and abstract work, political work, and lots of experimentation.” Lewis added.

For any future artists, the steps and attitude you have speak more than the work itself, “You must learn how to handle the art. Art is icons of nostalgia and you have to treat it with full respect.” Lewis concluded.

In an interview with Lewis, she adds that her favorite piece from the exhibit is the Robert Cunningham keyboard print, “It represents a certain time in history and it is obvious that the work is one of  perseverance and the time that went into this piece was consuming.”

Between the bold messages of the art and inspiration behind each piece, UWL has received the honor of showcasing some of Tandem Press’ work and the chance to understand what goes on behind the channel of printmaking and how you can use an art major for a vast majority of things.

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“What a Relief” Art Exhibit Review