UW-Parkside Hosts New Exhibit Material Matters: A Visual Exploration of Social and Environmental Transformation

Published: February 12, 2024

Material MattersKenosha, Wis.- The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is pleased to present a new exhibit, Material Matters: A Visual Exploration of Social and Environmental Transformation. This exhibition features the distinct yet harmonious works of Maureen Fritchen and Glenn Williams, two artists who delve into the impact of consumerism, waste, and social shifts on our world.

It will be displayed in the Emile H. Mathis Gallery inside the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts & Humanities Feb. 23 through May 15. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The opening reception will be held on Wednesday, April 10 from 4-6 p.m. in Mathis gallery. Each artist will also give an artist talk. Maureen Fritchen will give her Artist Talk on April 3 at 2 p.m. in Bedford Hall and Glenn Williams will deliver his on April 24 at 2 p.m. in Bedford Hall.

Fritchen explores industrial waste materials as her principal medium. Non-biodegradable packaging materials that threaten the planet are repurposed as sensuous biomorphic forms. Play, a vital element of Fritchen’s process, serves as a liberating force, allowing for experimentation and the freedom to fail. Materials dictate form, leading to surprising outcomes. Her foray into three-dimensional forms marks a pivotal moment in her career, promising a visually compelling experience for the audience.

Williams embraces the rapidly changing landscape of population demographics and the prevalence of environmental fluctuations. His work reflects a deep engagement with the transformative period we find ourselves in, where social reality is in constant flux on both local and global scales.

Williams deconstructs, reconstructs, and reflects accepted mores, exposing and occasionally questioning their impact on diverse social realities. The artist's exploration extends to understanding how these constructs shape our perceptions of the world and influence human interactions across social, political, and environmental dimensions.

About the Artists

Born in Chicago, Maureen Fritchen currently lives and works in Racine, Wisconsin, where she has had a studio at the 16th Street Studios for the past 15 years. Fritchen took a self-directed approach to art scholarship, focusing on painting at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, UW-Whitewater, Boise State University, and UW-Parkside. Fritchen regularly shows in regional juried, invitational, and biennial exhibitions.

Fritchen’s community art activism has spanned the last 25 years, earning her the Volunteer of the Year Award for Art and Culture. She was the founder and co-chair for ArtSite and Get Behind the Arts Studio Tour and chairperson for the 16th St. Studios annual open house. She served on the Racine Arts Council board as the gallery chair and the UW-Parkside Arts and Humanities Advisory Board. Fritchen currently serves on ArtRoot, an organization building arts infrastructure and community connections.

Glenn Williams received his M.F.A degree from UW-Madison with a specialization in Sculpture. In his work, he explores various social constructs and their impact on our perceived realities. Williams's work has been exhibited in numerous invitational and juried exhibitions throughout the United States. Williams is an Associate Professor of Art and Area Head of the Sculpture Program at UW-Milwaukee.

Click here to learn more about UW-Parkside's galleries

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national, and global communities. We are a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. The campus serves as a premier comprehensive public institution and a destination of choice, serving as a focal point of local, regional, and global progress. 

Media Contact:

Colin Matthes
Gallery Director
University of Wisconsin-Parkside

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