UWL student artists: Mickey Redington and Kylie Zimmerman


Kylie Zimmerman with her artwork. Photo retrieved from Kylie Zimmerman.

Alexia Walz, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse junior Mickey Redington has been an artist since they were about 8 years old. “I would sit and stare at things for hours and then I would try to recreate that and if it wasn’t good enough then I would scrap it and do it again,” said Redington. 

Today, Redington’s work has a theme of femininity. “I found out early on that I like drawing women and feminine folk more because I am good at it. Feminine folks tend to have softer features and more curves. I am totally comfortable drawing that,” said Redington. 

Redington uses art as an emotional release as well. My first big emotional art piece was when I first had depression in high school. It is a three feet by four feet poster and you can tell it’s depression. It is all done in BIC pen and by the time that I was done with it, I was essentially done being depressed. Iwas really cool,” said Redington. 

Redington has multiple pieces that they are proud of. “I did one of my best friend and it was on Illustrator and I was really proud of myself because I haven’t done that before and it is really hard to go from two-dimensional to on the computer. I have murals on campus—fourth floor of Hutchison Hall and fourth floor of Eagle Hall. Those I am really proud of,” said Redington. 

UWL senior Kylie Zimmerman also discovered her affinity for art at a young age. “When elementary school teachers ask what you want to be when you grow up, my answer was always artist. I was always drawing and doodling,” said Zimmerman. “My parents actually got me a kid’s pottery wheel when I was 7, so I was doing pottery things at home. That is what I loved doing so I did it all the time.” 

Most of Zimmerman’s art is pottery and calligraphy. “I get a lot of inspiration from nature and forms in nature. A lot of my pieces are organic and flowy. They have a lot of details like flowers and leaves,” said Zimmerman. “When I am stressed, I’ll just do calligraphy and it calms me down. It is an outlet for my anxiety.” 

Zimmerman currently has two pieces in the student art show called “Heart of La Crosse” and “Pitcher and Tea Cups.” Zimmerman said, “My thought process of creating ‘Heart Of La Crosse’ was the bluffs, so I made the bluffs on the top and a depiction of the river at the bottom. I am super happy with the way it turned out. It was probably the most difficult piece that I have made.”

Zimmerman and Redington are not students in the art department. Redington is pursuing a degree in psychology and Zimmerman is a biology major on the pre-physician’s assistant track. “I didn’t think I could take art classes because I was a biology major and being a biology major takes up most of your time,” said Zimmerman. 

Redington has found difficulties in being a non-art major artist. “Materials are so expensive. If you are in the art department you have to purchase a few of your things but you know what to purchase and know cheaper alternatives. You don’t get a whole lot of that if you are not within the art major,” said Redington. You have to make time for it if you are an art student, but if you are not an art student, teachers don’t really think you do art. I think that’s the kind of connotation you get with it.” 

Zimmerman has had positive experiences with the art department. “The art classes they have here are great. I took intro to ceramics for non-art majors last semester and I thought that I was going to be intimidated by it, but they are very welcoming,” said Zimmerman.  

Zimmerman hopes to keep art in her life after graduation. “Career wise, I am going to apply to PA [physicians assistant] school this summer and hopefully get in. I hope to continue to create calligraphy, pottery and different kinds of art throughout my PA career. I want to have a room in my house that is a pottery studio so I can continue to make art because it is my passion,” said Zimmerman. 

Redington will continue to create art into their career as well. “I want to be an experimental psychologist or a social psychologist. We are still working out the kinks, but I want to do research and that’s what I am really dedicated to,” said Redington. “Even making small sticker designs is going to keep that muscle for art strong. If you don’t use it, you lose it in my humble opinion.” 

According to Redington, students shouldn’t feel intimidated to share their art. “If they tell you that there are no careers in art, they’re lying. If you really want to make something work, you will find a way,” said Redington. 

“Feel empowered by your art. If it means something to you, that is all that matters,” said Zimmerman. 

Zimmerman currently has pieces in the student art show, but to see more of her work, such as her calligraphy, follow Zimmerman’s Instagram: @kylie.jz. 

Redington also has some of their pieces on their Instagram page, @mickthemaverick. To purchase their work, send an email to [email protected].