Located in the Lange Student Center, the Schwalbach Gallery features student and professional art exhibits throughout the year. Gallery hours are 10 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday, and all gallery events are free and open to the public.
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July 14 - September 25, 2014
Reception and Gallery Talk: Saturday, August 2, 5-6 pm
Ancestor by Rhea Ewing, 2013, mixed media
About this Exhibition:
Human beings like to make connections. I believe we are mythmakers, storytellers, masters of seeing the similar. My work explores our tendency to find human narratives in nature and science. I examine the ways those connections are successful—and how they often fail.
Most of the connections I draw are between my own personal and political life and the natural world around me. I see the natural world as fraught with fables and allegories of love, trust, and defense mechanisms. I see questions of what we should value about the world around us, about each other, and what it means to be human. I see my own anxieties and hopes reflected in the collaborations of bees and the midwinter insomnia of bats. I see battles against bigotry in the fight against invasive plant species and in our attempts to understand our ancestors. I see both the value and dangers of anger reflected in a prairie fire.
Some of the stories here are not my own. Living in Sauk Country I am fortunate to be surrounded by ecologists, land owners, farmers, and international collaborators working to understand and protect all of the value our land has to offer. Many people generously donated time to speak with me and share their stories, and I’m honored to include their stories here. I strongly recommend learning more about their work.
Rhea Ewing is a Baraboo-based artist and an alumnus of UWC-Baraboo/Sauk and UW-Madison. A transplant to the Midwest, Rhea calls Wisconsin “the first place that felt like home” and tries to capture that sense of place in her work. Rhea also calls upon the personal and political themes of living with a queer identity in a small town, finding spiritual connections to the natural world, and building safe spaces for all people. The value of art, by her reasoning, is the ability to create connections, question assumptions, and inspire others to do the same.
Heavily influenced by 3D artists such as Do Ho Suh and Kate MccGwire, Rhea’s work employs repetition, pattern, and collage to create depth. Rhea uses both traditional and digital printing and drawing techniques, frequently working back and forth between the two in the same work of art. Rhea is also heavily influenced by comics, and is currently working on a nonfiction graphic novel about gender in the Midwest called “FINE: a comic about gender”.
About the Gallery
The Schwalbach Gallery is named for Professor Emeritus James A. Schwalbach, a long-time chairman of the UW Colleges Art Department. Professor Schwalbach created many state and local art programs, and he also developed and produced the WHA radio program "Let's Draw," which was broadcast statewide for many years.
Professor Schwalbach taught at UW-BSC from 1968 until his retirement in 1976, and he received the Governor's Award for his efforts in art education. His estate continues to support the Schwalbach Art Fund, which he established through the Friends of the Campus Foundation.
The Gallery typically features six shows/year, showcasing the work of regional and nationally-renowned artists as well as local youth art projects. For more information about exhibiting your work in the Schwalbach Gallery, please contact: Letha Kelsey, Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-355-5243.