Schwalbach Art Gallery

Located in the Lange Student Center, the Schwalbach Gallery features exhibitions by professional artists and students throughout the year. Gallery hours are 9 am-4 pm, Monday-Friday, and all gallery events are free and open to the public.

 Current Exhibition 


Of Truth and Fiction 

September 30 - October 30, 2014 

Reception and Gallery Talk: Tuesday, September 30, 2:30-4 pm 

Visiting Artist Lecture: Wednesday, October 1, 8:30-9:45 am, RG Brown Theatre


An Excess of Function by Jennifer Nelson

 An Excess of Function (detail) by Jennifer Nelson, 2014, ink wash on paper


Night Soil by Jennifer Nelson

 Night Soil (detail) by Jennifer Nelson, 2014, ink wash on paper

 About this Exhibition:

Artist Statement:

My work focuses on visual storytelling and the creation of place through the use of compositional space. I edit both of these ideas to their minimum forms. The works are influenced by narrative; this includes writings, oral stories and graphic narratives. While my compositions intentionally negate a clear progression of narrative by reducing the visual information to a single moment, the drawings appear as though they are a small part of a larger storyline. This type of single-scene or monoscenic narrative has been employed to succinctly imply a story visually through the depiction of a single event. As with all single-scene narratives, the choice of which scene to present becomes of great importance. The meaning of the work, and the narrative, become dependent on the single event. The literary strategy of in medias res or “in the middle of things” has proven very influential in the choice of what to depict. The phrase describes the practice of starting a story in the middle or at the end of a narrative. This type of storytelling creates a disruption in the chronology but it also reorders the events in a manner that allows us to examine the importance of single moments. In my works, these “events” are reduced to a minimum amount of subject matter in an isolated composition. The drawings are intentionally spare, often consisting of one or two objects rendered in ink wash with large amounts of white space remaining. The location or setting is unassuming, creating a focus on the event and characters. The openness causes one to become acutely aware space, and the things that are present take on greater meaning because of the isolation. Through this strategy the absence of a specific environment creates a new place. The isolation and emptiness create a location that becomes tangible through the actions of the things that inhabit the space.

-Jennifer Nelson


Jennifer Nelson was born in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. She graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a BS degree in Biology in 1996 and received an MA in Painting from the same institution in 2000. In 2002 Nelson graduated from the University of North Dakota with an MFA in painting and drawing. Nelson’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout the country. Her 2013-2014 solo exhibitions included shows at the Mills Gallery at Central College in Pella, IA, the John Sloan Gallery at Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, PA and the Doris Ulmann Galleries at Berea College in Berea, KY. In 2013, her work was included in the group exhibition titled Drawing to Conclusion at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, IN. Nelson was an Artist-in-Residence at the Jentel Artist’s Residency in Banner, Wyoming in 2003. An analysis of her work is included in the essay Desiring Place: Artist’s, HGTV/Travel Channel Cultures, and Eucharistic Topogenesis by Ryan Stander in the book Religion, Economics, and Culture in Conflict and Conversation published by Orbis Books in 2011. Nelson currently lives in Grand Forks, ND where she has a studio and teaches art as a Lecturer at the University of North Dakota.

Upcoming Exhibitions



UW-Baraboo/Sauk County Drawing and Design Students

November-December, 2014



Events Calendar

About the Gallery

Student Exhibition

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 or 608-355-5243.