By Charlotte Berg, Rachel Krause, & Melissa Hamilton
The 2021 Senior Show began with considerations about COVID-19.
On April 3, the Lawton Gallery opened for both in-person and online galleries, which feature the artworks of University of Wisconsin – Green Bay senior students through May 13. The Senior Show also features the artwork online for those who may have COVID-19 concerns. Information on how to view the show and find out who has artwork in the show can be found here. Emma Hitzman, the Curator of Art for the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, encourages people to view the show, either in-person or virtually.
Hitzman mentions a few differences that are put in place between the previous shows and the current Senior Show are safety precautions put in place due to COVID-19. According to Hitzman, “The 2020 Senior Exhibition needed to be rescheduled after the COVID-19 shut down occurred about two weeks before it was due to open.” Hitzman also discusses the seniors who already graduated before the 2020 Show, “We did have some who chose not to participate in the rescheduled exhibition.” In previous years, she says the show was meant to be a large celebration of accomplishments for the senior students who put their works in the show, and “Students [would] throw a large reception for their friends and family to see the exhibition and show off their hard work, which we were unable to do.” Despite the limitations of the current show, Hitzman still “highly recommends you either stop by the gallery or check out the virtual gallery.”
One of the senior artists featured, Amanda Sheppard has porcelain and copper pieces on display. In her work, Sheppard used learned techniques called inlaying and enameling. Overall, her pieces took a total of seven months to create.
“My inspiration was toxic traits that humans can sometimes possess, but we never truly see right away. The plants I created are poisonous, representing the traits [that grow] out of humans. Even though they are beautiful creations, they are toxic and can kill you if you consume the poison yourself,” says Sheppard.
As for her future post-graduation, she has many options.
“I have a few options ahead of me. Mainly, I would like to take a year off and then attend graduate school for my MFA. I would like to utilize my master’s degree to become an artist in resident to travel the country to teach at different colleges. Another idea would be to open my studio and gallery space. I would then like to have workshops where I can have my setup to teach in and display my work and other artists’ work,” says Sheppard.
When looking at the other pieces featured this year, Sheppard says the Queer Monsters (made from wood) display by Kieran Krueger, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay artist, stands out because of the meaning and importance of the LGBTQ + community.
Sheppard hopes that viewers look deeper into the art, discovering the meaning behind each piece.