Senior art majors display visual art exhibits

Graduating students showcased their work to the Platteville community.

The work of four senior Bachelor of Fine Arts students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will be featured in individual exhibitions held at various locations on campus and downtown. Each student’s exhibition will start off with an opening reception which are free for anyone to attend.

The exhibition’s artwork will span a range of media and formats, including graphic design, painting, drawing, photography and printmaking. 

The senior art exhibitions are a requirement for the Fine Arts program and provide students with the training for how to plan, edit, prepare and mount a gallery exhibition. Students complete all the physical display work needed in preparing the event space and mounting their exhibitions. The students are assisted by Gregory Nelson, associate professor of art who oversees the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. 

The four students in this year’s senior exhibition are Cassidy Langill, Hannah VanHoe, Bernadette Hawley and JoAnna Polebitski.

Langill, who is graduating with a degree in graphic design, held her show in the Rountree Gallery, located on Main Street near the public library. 

The theme of her thesis show was “Through My Eyes.” She took self-portraits of significant people in her life and how she sees them. 

“I chose this theme because I wanted to have significant people in my life in my project. I wanted to capture their personalities through art,” Langill said.

She first created the pieces by picking out different kinds of wood and choosing different stains, then cutting and staining the wood in different ways. After that, she chose self-portraits of her family and friends. 

“I picked the best photos that described their personalities the most. After that, I screen printed their portraits onto the wood,” Langill said. 

VanHoe is graduating with a degree graphic design and ceramics and a minor in art history. Her show was located at Badger Brothers Coffee on Main Street.

“I have always loved art, and I knew that I wouldn’t be happy in life if I chose an occupation where I wasn’t able to use my creative side,” VanHoe said. 

Her theme for the exhibition was “70s and 80s rock bands.” It was titled “Getting the Band Back Together” and was a series of 30×30 wood screen prints. 

“My dad was always very into 70s and 80s rock music. That is what my sisters and I grew up listening to, and I thought it would be an awesome theme for my exhibition,” VanHoe said.

She created the pieces by cutting wooden boards down to the right size. She then sanded, stained and put polyurethane on them. She created her images on the computer using Adobe Illustrator and printed each one on six sheets of acetate paper. She then pieced those sheets together and burned them into a large screen that she had previously put emulsion on. After it burnt the image in, she sprayed them out and screen printed them on to the wood by pulling ink through the screen.

Hawley is graduating with a degree in graphic design, and her show was located in the Art Building.

“My show is located in the art building because it is the place where I spent a majority of my days as a student at UW-Platteville, and it is the place that helped me grow most into the graphic designer I am today. I became a graphic design major because I have had a passion for art since I was a small child. I always knew I wanted to become an artist. I also love working with technology, so graphic design is the perfect way to combine working with a computer and creating art and design,” Hawley said.

The theme of her show was “A Few of My Favorite Things.”

“This gives viewers a taste of who I am through the commodities that I treasure. My theme is rendered through digital illustrations inspired by pop art and Andy Warhol with my own personal twist. I chose this theme because I enjoy playing with bright color combinations. I enjoy painting on the computer and creating my own digital brushes. My theme expresses who I am as a graphic designer and my personality in a fun, colorful way,” Hawley said.

She created the pieces by first deciding which of her favorite things she wanted to showcase. She then gathered her own photography of each item and placed it in Adobe Illustrator, where she created her own brushes and painted her illustrations in a multiple layers using the photo as a template. Lastly, she duplicated the items and spent time changing the colors of each image within the trio that comprise one piece until she was happy with the color combinations. She then printed, framed and hung each illustration in the art building after carefully sanding and painting the walls.

Polebitski’s show will be located in the Art Building, as well. She is graduating with a degree in graphic design with a minor in art history.

“The kitchen herb garden project includes the skills and knowledge gained from studio courses during my time with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville art department. The semester-long project unifies graphic design, printmaking, illustration, ceramics, 3D design and sketching into a single mock product design,” Polebitski said. “The importance of this project was to experiment with old and new techniques gained as a student and apply various art mediums to a product design that is visually cohesive. Art is expressed in many ways, and outside of the visual arts. This project was inspired by freshly grown herbs in the kitchen. The herb garden was designed as an easy to assemble project product and seeks an audience that is looking for something to do on a rainy, sunny or mundane day.”