BFA Showcases Senior Artwork


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

The UW-Platteville Bachelor of Fine Arts department opened their senior solo art shows on Friday, April 28 in multiple areas on campus and around the Platteville community from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Seniors that have their art on display within the community include Brad Bell in the Center for the Arts, Melanie Bisbach in Rountree Main Gallery, Sara Ditchman in Driftless Market, Jackie Dyrud in the Center for the Arts, Morgan Fuerstenberg in Rountree Upper Gallery, Ross Gulcynski in Busby Hall and Colee Pasinato in Platteville Public Library. 

Morgan Fuerstenberg Serenity in Chaos

Fuerstenberg chose the title “Serenity in Chaos” as the theme for her art exhibit as it exemplifies her feelings after the COVID-19 pandemic.

She described these feelings of nonstop movement and desire to relax with her more vibrant pieces as they are “supposed to make you feel anxious because the colors are more jarring” while providing the opposite in cooler tone prints to show the feeling of relaxation.

Fuerstenberg’s pieces are all examples of woodblock printing, a technique learned at UW-Platteville. The style is inspired by the Art Nouveau period and the utilization of Japanese woodblocks.

Fuerstenberg is a current member of the Rountree Gallery and has showcased her art once before; she hopes to come back and do more shows after graduation.

In Fuerstenberg’s artist statement, she states, “By making these pieces as a physical representation of psychological health, it allows for an outlet and reprieve of emotional turmoil.” 

Melanie Bisbach – Solitude 

Bisbach chose her theme “Solitude” because she felt as though it was “socially relevant” to her own experiences.

Through UW-Platteville, Bisbach has worked in multiple forms of media that she would not have had the opportunity to do elsewhere. She intends to use the current artwork from her show, as well as others she plans on making over the summer, to apply to graduate programs and eventually teach in a university setting.

In Bisbach’s artist statement, she states, “My work explores this impact (COVID-19) by intertwining the peaceful, but often uncomfortable aspects of solitude. I achieve this by exploring how imagery from nature evokes a sense of solitude and how subtle shifts in our expectations of a landscape can radically change our perception of it.” 

Colee Pasinato – Shaping Space 

Pasinato described the theme “Shaping Space” as “letter forms and extracting them.” These forms are derived from her being a graphic designer and being interested in typography. She wanted to take the letter forms and make them into simpler and unrecognizable shapes.

At UW-Platteville, Pasinato has gained new information on creating art from her professors and from other students, saying, “I think five years ago, I would have never imagined doing something like this.”

She is most inspired by contemporary and abstract artists. After graduation, Pasinato plans on applying her skills to the field of graphic design. In Pasinato’s artist statement, she explains, “I strive to push formal relationships to new possibilities, inviting the viewer to have moments of recognition as well as the formation of new ideas.”

Sara Ditchman – Intertwined 

Ditchman explained her theme as “an exploration of the serialist dreamscapes.” She goes further to explain how she is interested in taking ordinary items and presenting them in a way that is not usual in everyday life.

Her goals for her art pieces are for people to wonder what is actually going on. “I want my viewer to stop and say, ‘Wait a second, what is that?’” Ditchman highlights that she has always centers her art form around mixed media sculptures.

At UW-Platteville, Ditchman was able to explore different mediums that influenced how she created her art. Ditchman stated that she was inspired by fellow artist Sam Hensley.

Ditchman plans to make more art while submitting more pieces to galleries and shows to display her art. In Ditchman’s artist statement, she says, “Through my artwork, I hope to inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity in my viewers, inviting them to recognize the beauty and power in everyday objects and their own vulnerability and place within their own world.” 

Brad Bell – Journey of the Artist

Bell’s “Journey of the Artist” is an analysis of burnout. He describes the works as a mixture of horror and humor, bringing the grotesque elements of decay and meshing them with the concept of growth as an artist.

“I found it was really funny that as I got better at art, I hated the pieces more and more,” Bell said. “So, I wanted to capture that in these really weird, gross self-portraits that degrade.”

Bell’s collection was made first by recording a video of himself smiling for a while and taking captures as the video progressed. He also artificially aged the paper to give it a more degraded look. Bell emphasized seeing humor in his work, stating, “You can look at this and say, ‘it is a self-portrait falling apart, turning into a zombie. That is just funny on its end.’”

Bell has a notepad worth of ideas he would like to create in the future and is aiming to find a career in graphic design.

Jackie Dyrud – Behind the Doors 

“Behind the Doors” was Dyrud’s theme, which she chose as a way to express herself. “I had always strayed away from art that had an emotional attachment,” Dyrud said. “And felt that I needed to step outside of my comfort zone and show myself within my art.”

This self-expression is displayed as a collection of collages that are inspired by a type of art known as Dadaism, which utilizes chaos and abnormality to portray its meaning. Through this, Dyrud can portray her inner self in a distinct and almost dark way.

This journey takes Dyrud’s works to explore topics such as childhood, death and nature. Though these themes are explored individually, there is an interwoven connection between all the pieces. Whether it is color, shape or travel tags, the pieces all feel like part of a collective whole.

Dyrud is hoping to find a career in art education after graduation. In her artist statement, she said “By working with found paper materials and other aspects of collage, I found ways to step beyond what is comfortable.” 

Ross Gulcynski Visit Wisconsin 

Gulcynski’s one goal with his theme “Visit Wisconsin” is to get people back outdoors. “I feel that when things shut down due to COVID, we all got cooped up,” Gulcynski said. “My goal with my work is to get people back outside to see nature and explore.”

His art pieces are a creative work of display signs, each 3-Dimensional and built using vinyl and acrylic in order give it a formal look. Each sign is adorned with photos and information of one of four state parks; Blue Mounds, Governor Dodge, Copper Falls and High Cliff.

Gulcynski also explained he had two other motivations for choosing to make signs for his display. “I used all equipment from the Hoff Center,” Gulcynski said. “I want to show people that you can use this equipment for creative purposes, you don’t have to be an art major to create.”

His other motivation was a passion for making signs. “I’ve always been fascinated with the signs at museums,” Gulcynski added. “I feel graphic design is accepted as an artform, but display work, which is inside of that, isn’t treated as fairly, and I want to make it so people notice the work put into them.”

Gulcynski is currently interning at Signs To Go and plans to continue working for them after college. Eventually, he would like to work for museums making display signs. Gulcynski’s art will be open to the public on May 5.