Blake Williams — Commonplace

Blake William’s Commonplace is anything but ordinary. The show, which was housed in the Baer Gallery at the start of the spring semester, includes ceramic and wire sculptures, as well as furniture sourced from Williams’ family, like her great-mother’s dining room table. These sculptures explore the human condition, how an individual relates to their surroundings, and how identity is formed and reformed.

Gammy’s Runner, Great-Mother’s Table, 2009-2010. Porcelain, wire, and table. In the back, Secret Recipes, 2019. Porcelain, wire, digital decals, and chair.

Through imagery of bones and flowers, Williams studies the ghosts of the past in the everyday, the transience of life, and the search for identity. Her work places a special significance on the contributions of domestic work and honors the memories bound up in objects of ancestors.

Gammy’s Runner, Great-Mother’s Table, as well as Resilience II, with Waiting for Summer in March on the far left.

Blake Williams is an artist and Associate Professor at Michigan State University. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and she has pieces in national private collections, as well as the Jingdezhen Ceramics Museum. Williams has also been featured in American Craft and Ceramics Monthly magazines.

Nourish 2010. Porcelain, wire, and chair.

This peaceful, contemplative exhibition was on display between January 24 and February 17 in the Baer Gallery. It was a quiet space to consider home and self, and to honor the sacredness of memory.

2022 Senior Art Exhibition

The Senior Art Exhibition is the capstone experience for all art majors. Each art major creates a body of work centered around a theme of their choice and exhibit their work in the Bush Art Center galleries. This year’s exhibition, featuring work from eight seniors, explores a wide range of topics, including the greatest moments in sports history, a fantasy world that feels like home, and the power of water.

Our graduating art majors this year are Francesca Facchini, Cora McMains, Marybeth Koss, Kori Halstead, Ally Laidlaw, Trevor Cornell, Megan Huth, and Rita Hamm. The 2022 Senior Art Exhibition is on display in the Baer and Godschalx Galleries until May 6.

Works of Water. Marybeth Koss
Ophidiophobia—Fear of Snakes. Francesca Facchini
Bare Witness (detail) Ally Laidlaw

Third Coast Prints: A selection of work from Really Big Prints 2021

Be drawn into the Godschalx Gallery to experience a series of large-scale relief prints from last summer’s Really Big Prints! Organized by Berel Lutsky (UW – Manitowoc), Ben Rinehart (Lawrence University), and Katie Ries (St. Norbert College), this biennial event in Manitowoc, Wisconsin allows printmakers to stretch the limits of printmaking and produce work up to 4 by 6 feet in size. By carving into large panels, made out of birch plywood or medium density fiberboard (MDF), only the uncarved area can be covered with ink. When paper is pressed to this inked surface, the resulting image is known as a relief print. Prints on this scale are too large to be pressed witg a traditional printing press, so a City of Manitowoc steamroller steps up to the task.

A steamroller press in action. Underneath the steamroller is board and a thick foam mat, protecting the paper and the carved, inked block from shifting.

Woodblock prints on this intimidating scale can take hundreds of hours to carve and create, months before any steamrollers are involved. On the day of, each artist’s printing process depends on a whole team of “clean hands” and other assistants. After each event, artists wheat-paste one of their prints in an alley in Manitowoc, Wi on Washington Street, across from the courthouse. Though those prints have come down, each artist also contributes a print to the Really Big Prints Archive, to be shared in future exhibitions.

Wheatpasting Really Big Prints in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The selection of prints from the 2021 event currently on display include work by a St. Norbert art professor, Katie Ries, as well as illustrator Rebecca Jabs, who exhibited in SNC’s Baer Gallery last year. These immersive paper-and ink worlds can initiate reflections on a sense of self and place, the role of stewardship, and the meaning of the natural world. Take an opportunity to surround yourself with these incredible prints before the exhibit closes on March 31!

Althea Murphy-Price ─ From Me to You

The current exhibition in the Baer Gallery, From Me to You, explores topics of self-perception, beauty and the Black female identity through photography and sculpture. Murphy-Price reflects on the problematic weight of expectations as an inherited female legacy, “passed down from me to you.” 

Althea Murphy-Price is an artist and professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville whose work explores the social implication of beauty and its relationship to female identity, women, and culture. Her pieces, which range from screenprint collages to rugs made from human hair, have been shown internationally, including in Spain, China, Japan, Italy and Sweden. She has also been featured in Art Papers Magazine, CAA Reviews, Contemporary Impressions Journal, Art in Print, Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Process, and Printmakers Today. She studied at Spelman College and received a Master of Arts in Printmaking and Painting at Purdue University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

Much of Murphy-Price’s work grapples with the social perceptions and the sense of personal identity tied to Black women’s hair and hairstyles. Her Goody Girl series of photographs responds to the high expectations of #blackgirlmagic, a hashtag intended to uplift and empower, but can also feel like a pressure to perform. Through a metaphor of barrettes and bows, Murphy-Price explores how trying to live up to fantastical expectations can have real consequences.

Her more recent prints, including Black Bird Girl and Requiem, feature 3D printed objects arranged sculpturally in young children’s hair. The dizzying array of hair accessories used in these photographs also composes her sculpture Counter. Some of these accessories, like bows and flowers, are innocent and childlike, but others, like satellites, bullets, and birdcages, have connotations associated with heavier subjects. All have implied expectations, and carrying their weight can be difficult.

Counter (detail) 2021. 3D printed polymer.

From Me to You opened in two stages, on Feb. 28 and March 3, and can be visited through March 31.

Spring 2021 Senior Art Exhibition Artist Talks: Audrey Shreiner, Sophia King, and Grace Beno, Will Donohue, Rebecca Jacques, Olivia Platz, Annicka Rabida, and Neale Tracy

The Senior Art Exhibition is the capstone experience for all art majors. Art Majors produce a body of work around a theme of their choice and exhibit it in the Bush Art Center Galleries. The Spring 2021 Senior Art Exhibition is on display in the Baer and Godschalx Galleries of the Bush Art Center, St. Norbert College through May 5.  In these videos students reflect on their concepts, process, and techniques.

Rebecca Jabs – Illustrating Nature

Rebecca Jabs is an artist and freelance scientific illustrator based in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She began her professional career as a K-12 Art Teacher in Manitowoc before graduating in 2016 from the Science Illustration Graduate Program at California State University at Monterey Bay. She has had her work displayed in a variety of exhibitions including Illustrating Nature, her most recent solo exhibition. Illustrating Nature, on display in the Baer Gallery at St. Norbert College through March 12, 2021, features a collection of watercolor, gouache, and ink pieces which illustrate some of the flora and fauna of Wisconsin. Jabs explained that her journey as a naturalist was a recent one and stated that, “When we grow up in a place, we become so accustomed to it that we aren’t as amazed by it as we probably should be,” when speaking about her love of wildlife and nature in Wisconsin. Her favorite birds native to Wisconsin are the Caspian Tern and the American White Pelican; which she illustrated in her gouache and watercolor painting, American White Pelican, 2017. Many of her paintings in the exhibition in the Baer Gallery illustrate flower species in Wisconsin as well. Although Jabs was never really interested in illustrating botany originally, she has found a love for the shapes and how she could piece the plants together in a composition commenting on how she is, “very drawn to geometry and pattern in my artwork.” In fact, Monarda punctata is one of her favorite flowers and she used this plant to study flowers when she painted Monarda Puctata & Bombus spp., 2020. The project that Jabs is working on currently is a collaboration with Wisconsin naturalist, John Bates. He is working on a book about the last undeveloped lakes of Wisconsin, and Jabs is illustrating plant and animal species found in those habitats; some of which are included in her Illustrating Nature exhibition such as four watercolor paintings of turtle species. Jabs’ work for Illustrating Nature beautifully illustrates Wisconsin wildlife in a variety of ways; from scientific illustrations for research to personal projects which celebrate the amazing plants and animals found in the state.

“Light doth beguile the shining dark.”

This month in the Bush Art Center’s Godshalx Gallery, you control what you see: sisters April Beiswenger, Gina Williams, and Dr. Lisa Beiswenger’s exhibit features objects that glow and shine––but only if you tell them to.

Their show, which is visible through March 12, casts the gallery in darkness. Quiet and unsuspecting though the room may seem, once you step inside, you may notice that it appears to glow. Each piece incorporates reflective and glow-in-the-dark surfaces which pass around what little light is available from the small strip of LED guides trailing near the walls of the galleries. This alone is a curiosity, but switch on the flashlight supplied at the gallery’s entrance, and the show comes to life.

Wherever you point the flashlight beam, an artwork will return an opalescent glow. Patterns jump to life, a long and trailing mobile appears to move with the light, casting dappled shadows around the gallery. The pieces offer themselves to the imagination, and the shadowed room feels like a little world of its own.

April Beiswenger is an Associate Professor of Theatre and a Scenographer here at St. Norbert College. Her previous shows in the Bush Art Center Galleries include The Making and Giving Project from August and September 2018. Light Doth Beguile the Shining Dark was created in collaboration with her sisters Gina Williams and Dr. Lisa Beiswenger.

Current Exhibitions

Image: Rebecca Jabs, Painted Turtle, 2020, Watercolor on paper

Rebecca Jabs: Illustrating Nature

Baer Gallery, February 1-March 12

Rebecca Jabs illustrations center on the intersection between art, science, and education. By observing and recording nature through art, we gain a greater understanding of the world and our place within it. This exhibit features works portraying notable species from Wisconsin’s native flora and fauna. Selected illustrations from an upcoming book written by Wisconsin Naturalist John Bates will be on view.

The following exhibition-related events will be open to the SNC community.  Important Note: you need to be logged into your SNC account to access the Zoom meeting. 

Artist’s Talk: Illustrating Nature with Rebecca Jabs
Time: Feb 23, 2021 12:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada). This event is one hour long.

Zoom Meeting link for this event:
https://snc-edu.zoom.us/j/81894127237?pwd=cmNPQitaa3RkOU9tV05lQ01nS3U4Zz09

Meeting ID: 818 9412 7237
Passcode: 434922

Topic: Workshop with artist Rebecca Jabs
Time: Feb 25, 2021 10:15 AM Central Time (US and Canada). This event is one hour long.

Zoom link for this event:
https://snc-edu.zoom.us/j/82328525963?pwd=QUthNWRaTEViKy9WR2VmN1VIM2szZz09

Meeting ID: 823 2852 5963
Passcode: 433650

“Light doth beguile the shining dark.”

Godschalx Gallery, February 1-March 12

Featuring objects that glow by sisters April Beiswenger, Gina Williams, and Dr. Lisa Beiswenger

2020-21 Juried Student Art Exhibition Awards!

Watch the St. Norbert College art faculty announce the 2020-21 award winners! Awards are:

Three Honorable Mentions, $50 each

Third Place, $75

Second Place, $100

First Place $150

Many thanks to our judge, Nick Patton, who is a senior graphic designer at St. Norbert College and a 2003 alum. He designed the college’s SNC monogram, the Green Knight identity, and the admission marketing materials. He is the creator and host of the Picturebooking Podcast and has published over 150 podcast episodes and two picture books.

Awards announcers are Debbie Kupinsky, Brandon Bauer, Shan Bryan-Hanson, Fr. James Neilson, Brian Pirman, and Katie Ries. Special thanks to Brandon Bauer for filming this video.

Award winners watch for an email from Shan Bryan-Hanson with more information about your award.

Congratulations to the award winners and all the artists who had work selected for the 2020-21 show!