Oliver Ressler — Catastrophe Bonds

Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies (2003-2008)

In an exhibition I expect to be widely popular across the St. Norbert campus and community, Oliver Ressler merges art, politics, economics and social activism into an impressive interactive gallery experience: Oliver Ressler–Catastrophe Bonds.

Ressler, hailing from Vienna, Austria, was invited to both the St. Norbert College and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campuses as part of a joint project between the two institutions, the International Visiting Scholars Program, created to enrich the educational experiences of Green Bay and the surrounding communities.

Ressler’s work will be shown on both campuses and both SNC and UWGB will hold several events regarding the artist’s work, all of them open to the public.

Fly Democracy (2007)

The pieces being shown in SNC’s Baer and Godschalx Galleries include Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies (2003-2008), a 16-channel video installation exploring just what the title suggests as rejections to the rule of capitalism, Fly Democracy (2007), an installation paralleling the drop of the leaflets the U.S. Military deposited in Iraq and Afghanistan, and finally, Emergency Turned Upside Down (2016), a 16 minute film inspired by the migration of Syrian and Middle Eastern refugees to European states, posing the question “what is the true emergency: the new presence of refugees in Europe, or the wars that drove them here?”

Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies (2003-3008)

Oliver Ressler: Catastrophe Bonds is now open in the SNC galleries there will be several events on Thursday, March 1 to celebrate its opening: at 4 p.m. in the Michels Commons Ballroom there will be a panel discussion entitled Art. Social Action and Grassroots Democracy, sponsored by the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding and will feature the artist himself. Following the discussion there will be an opening reception for the exhibition with a special opening-night screening of The Right of Passage in the Bush Art Center Galleries from 5-7 p.m. 

For a full list of public events connected with this exhibition, please refer to the poster below:Ressler Poster 18x24

What’s in the Galleries: Jan 22-Feb 16

The show, Lightforms, in the Baer gallery.

Interested in what we are currently showing in our galleries, but couldn’t make it to the reception last Thursday? Read below to find out what is currently living in the Baer, Godschalx and Permanent Collection Galleries, and then come on down to see the work for yourself.

Lightforms: Heather McKenna, Maria Rendón, Paul Simmons, and Nicholas Szymanski

The show, Lightforms: Heather McKenna, Maria Rendón, Paul Simmons, and Nicholas Szymanski, is guest curated by Kate Mothes and resides in the Baer Gallery. In the statement provided at the exhibit, Mothes emphasizes the influence of the enigma of light on the works in the show, particularly the relationship between “light, form, and space.” The artists represented in this show hail from Brooklyn, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Brooklyn, NY, and Grand Rapids, MI respectively, bringing a wide variety of style and experience to St. Norbert’s campus.

Gold, God, Glory III (left), and Yellow Rising (right) by Maria Rendón.
Untitled (related but unrelated all the same, 1) (left), Untitled (related but unrelated all the same, 2) (middle), and Untitled (related but unrelated all the same, 3) (right) by Heather McKenna.
Works by Nicholas Szymanski (all untitled).
Daylight Savings (Green) (left), Daylight Savings (Pink and Green) (middle), Daylight Savings (Yellow, Yellow) (right), and Daylight Savings (Violet on Mint/Green) (far right) by Paul Simmons.

Rafael Francisco Salas: Ballads of the Middle


In his solo show in the Godschalx Gallery, Salas reflects on “American culture and identity,” and our “indignant desire for a dream continually just beyond reach,” as he so eloquently expresses in his artist’s statement. Using mixed media and a motif of musicians as witnesses to the “dispossessed and forgotten” Salas creates a show that is both comforting in its familiarity and nostalgia, yet unsettling in its demonstration of its intimate knowledge of the American public.

Musicians and a Patch of Dirt by Rafael Francisco Salas.

Preserving the Landscape

Preserving the Landscape is guest curated by one of SNC’s very own students, Kasey Pappas. The exhibition features four photographs by James Cagle, pulled from SNC’s own art collection. Check out this previously written blog post to find out more about the show and read an interview with Pappas herself about her experience curating her first show.

Preserving the Landscape

Student Curator Interview: Kasey Pappas


If you’ve visited the St. Norbert Art Galleries recently you may have noticed a humble, yet entrancing show tucked away in the Permanent Collection Gallery. This exhibition, Preserving the Landscape, features four photographs taken by former SNC art faculty member James Cagle, but is very special for one other reason as well: the show was curated by SNC sophomore Kasey Pappas.

Pappas curated Preserving the Landscape as a requirement of the Admissions Fellowship in the St. Norbert Art Galleries that she was offered her during freshman year. In the short booklet provided at the exhibition, Pappas explains her process curating the exhibition from entering SNC’s permanent collection storage, to researching Cagle and his work, and finally, deciding what pieces to show.

I won’t delve into too much of what is said in the booklet here as I believe standing in front of the artwork and reading Pappas’ eloquent discourse a rather magical experience that should be given its due, but I am honored to say that I was able to relay some additional questions to Pappas regarding her experience curating her first exhibition. Pappas’ answers reveal the depth of thought and heart that was put behind this show, something I believe that could only have been pulled off by an especially intentioned and hardworking student.

Q: In the booklet you’ve created to go with the exhibition you write very passionately about preserving nature and landscapes no matter their perceived beauty. What relationships have you had with nature in the past that fuel this passion? Are there specific locations or spaces that you feel connected with?

A: I grew up in Spring Green, WI which is a very small town and lived in a home surrounded by pines and oaks so nature was an aspect I came into contact with in my everyday life. The area I grew up in has always been heavily influenced by the surrounding landscape. This interest in landscape also derives from my past experiences working for the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation. I was able to see art through a different perspective and developed a love for art that incorporates nature and learned more than I could ask for while working for that preservation. Since I had lived in Spring Green for over 10 years, the reasoning for choosing Cagle’s work was because I missed the type of influential landscape I had grown up around and his photographs reminded me of those places. I ultimately wanted to curate this show to push for a greater appreciation towards preserving the landscape.

Q: What have you learned from your first experience as a curator? Has it changed the way you perceive art?

A: I learned more than I anticipated while curating this show. Despite the show being relatively small, I was able to conquer a lot of obstacles while curating it. I learned to take my time instead of rushing through finding what information to put in the booklet that is included in the show. I also learned to not shy away from asking for help; I worked with the research center on campus and Shan Bryan-Hanson who worked with me to curate this show. It was a goal of mine to do the best I could do and grow while doing so. Curating this show did alter the way I perceive art; there is so much more that goes into displaying work than just hanging work onto a wall. The way a show is curated and displayed can be what can makes the work more or less attractive and I enjoyed learning how to successfully curate artwork.

Q: Has curating this exhibition influenced your future career goals?

A: Definitely! I was interested in curating a show the moment I applied for the fellowship and saw it as an opportunity to expand as a person and gain better insight to what goes on behind the scenes. I am also appreciative to have been able to experiment and work outside my comfort zone. Since I had never curated anything before, I was doubtful at first but this experience resulted in being able to better how I conduct research. Throughout the research process, being able to collectively put information into a small booklet and design the front and back cover helped me to realize the passion I have for graphic design. Curating this exhibition influenced an even greater interest in design and working with others to display art.

Pappas further elaborates on her appreciation of landscape in the aforementioned booklet and believes Cagle’s black-and-white photographs of scenery around Dartmoor National Park to be exemplary in doing just that: in the absence of color the viewer must turn their eye strictly to the natural form and composition of the land. Cagle’s work in Preserving the Landscape is timeless and reminiscent of a golden age of photography–when everything viewed through the lens was exciting and novel, and brought new appreciation and light to easily overlooked beauty. We owe a debt to both Cagle’s work Pappas’ curation for reminding us in our busy world to stop and enjoy the simple beauty of nature.

To see these works for yourself and to celebrate Pappas’ achievement join us Thursday, January 25 from 5-7p.m. for the first gallery reception of our spring season, and while you’re there, take the chance to view our other current shows: Lightforms: Heather McKenna, Maria Rendon, Paul Simmons, and Nicholas Szymanski, and Rafael Francisco Salas: Ballads of the Middle.

Preserving the Landscape will run from January 22 to February 16 2017.


Art Break

top-view-of-black-coffee-and-beans-on-yellow-background-picture-id626629272Need a few minutes away from your work to spark your creative juices or see your current project from a different perspective? Take an Art Break in the galleries!  Stop by the Bush Art Center for coffee, tea and treats and a stroll through the galleries.  Art curator Shan Bryan-Hanson will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the art on exhibit, or you can stroll in silence. Warm drinks and a fresh take await!

Art Break will take place on the following dates; stop by for five minutes or settle in for a longer visit, whatever your schedule allows.

Friday, January 26, 9-11 a.m.

Thursday, February 1, 1-3 p.m.

Tuesday, February 6, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Monday, February 12, 2-4 p.m.

New Shows for the 2018 Spring Season

The campus is in a flurry of activity as the fall semester comes to a end. We wish it were not so, but the Bush Art Center Galleries will be closed for winter break. However, don’t fear, we will return for the spring semester!

Check out the shows and dates for the upcoming season and plan to come and enjoy them.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year.

BushArtGalleryFront1 (2)

SNC Juried Student Art Exhibition 2017-2018

As of this week the SNC Juried Student Art Exhibition for 2017-2018 is open for viewing. This year’s show features some truly breathtaking pieces. As you’re gearing up your stomach for the fast-approaching Thanksgiving feast, make sure to stop by and treat your eyes to this colorful spread.

This year’s awards judge is SNC alumnus Zane Statz, and awards will be announced at the exhibit reception this Thursday, November 16 from 5-7 p.m.


What’s Happening Around the BAC?

As October ends the start of this year’s Juried Student Art Exhibition draws closer and with it a chance to view some of the best student artwork SNC has to offer in a formal and professional setting. To get us in the mood, let’s take a closer look at some of the student artwork currently being displayed around the Bush Art Center (BAC).




The second floor of the BAC features some photographic selections from two of Professor Brandon Bauer’s classes: Introduction to Photography and Digital Imaging, and Contemporary Photographic Strategies. These selections make up a beautiful mosaic of digital imagery that shows just how powerful these students are with a manual camera in their hands.



Also on the second floor, Professor Katie Ries’ Beginning Printmaking class has a display of hand-made monotypes. These monotypes were made by both adding and removing ink from a piece of square plexiglass that is then run through the press with a piece of high quality paper to create the print. By using only black ink, the students are able to showcase their composition and design abilities, demonstrating that you don’t need color to make a powerful image.



The display case on the first floor of the BAC features a selection of self-portraits from Professor Debbie Kupinsky’s class Introduction to Studio Art. Each student had to create a portfolio of 25 self-portraits for the assignment and then chose their best to display. Through the variation of line and style of mark making, the personality of each student truly shines through in each of their images.



Debbie Kupinsky’s Introductory Sculpture class is also garnering a lot of attention on the first floor with their installation of “Monumental Foam.” Each student took a small object and sculpted a larger-than-life-size version from only sheets of large foam board. These sculptures are a favorite of students and faculty passing through the art building. That’s some art that is certainly hard to miss!

Clubhouse Gallery


“Window Pains” by Jim Rogers


“Untitled” by Ben Wylie
“Flesh Eater” by Emerson Bartch


Finally, students Emerson Bartch, Jim Rogers, and Ben Wylie currently have a sculpture display in the Clubhouse Gallery–the student-run gallery space on the second floor of the BAC.

The craftsmanship of these pieces, created for Debbie Kupinsky’s Intermediate Sculpture class, is truly phenomenal, and reads as a cohesive, professional exhibition. You would be remiss to miss out on seeing these pieces, so make sure to go and check them out.

If you enjoyed this selection of work by SNC students, make sure to attend the Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition in the Baer Gallery to see other great pieces. The show runs from November 13-December 8 with a reception on November 16. It will surely be a display you will not want to miss.



This Month in the Galleries: October 2017

Although the coming of fall this year has been somewhat unreliable of late, you can count on the changing of the exhibitions here at the SNC Art Galleries to be dependable and swift.

We have two new exhibitions this month, each with their own enticements and merits. Read on below to discover what’s new and get the details for this month’s gallery reception.

Baer Gallery


The Baer Gallery currently holds the exhibition Johanna Winters: What the Pleasures Told Us. Winters, as she tells us in her artist’s bio available on her official website, “hails from Minneapolis, MN and received her BA from the University of Wisconsin…In her work she applies modes of printmaking, hand-driven animation, and puppetry to consider ideas about vanity and shame.” Her work in this particular exhibition, as she tells us in her artist’s statement available for viewing at the exhibition, “…behaves as coping rituals for anxieties about aging, vanity, disappointment, shame, and pleasure.” Winter’s is currently working towards her MFA at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Winter’s exhibition at the Baer Gallery is guest-curated by Katie Ries, SNC Art Faculty member. Ries provides an insightful statement about Winter’s work also available for consumption at the gallery. One line in particular sums the mysterious and poetic work up beautifully: “This is how it feels to be human, coming up short, loving things, and figuring it out as we go along.”

Godschalx Gallery


This month the Godschalx Gallery features the show Graphic Design History & Rock and Roll. This show is comprised of work made by St. Norbert College art students. The show features dozens of original band posters, each variously influenced by a historical graphic design style. Some of the bands featured are well-known, and some come out of the imaginations of the students themselves.

Each poster in the show is impressive by itself, but collaged together in one space they present a power-punch of movement and color that is not to be missed.

Gallery Reception

A reception for both of these shows will be held on October 19, from 5-7p.m. and will feature a performance art piece by Johanna Winters. Light food will be available as well as wine for those of age. All of us at the gallery bid you welcome and hope to see you there!