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Art Dept. Faculty Work

Lisa Marie Barber
Chair & Associate Professor

Ceramics, Foundations

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"The majority of my ceramic work, often formatted as figures within dense environments, portrays how I wish to understand people in the world. I strive to create worlds composed of multiple, individualized parts, meant to be celebratory, shrine-like collections. Within them, the human is presented as a passive being, aware of life's weight, yet confident in its value. Often, the figures are children. Chosen for their purity of being, I use children as models of simplistic, unalienated living. To me, they represent a connection to the world that can be simultaneously awkward and full of possibility. In addition to these large-scale sculptures and installations, I also create series of paintings, drawings, and mixed-media works in the forms of quilts and assemblage sculpture. These works explore similar themes, as well as divergent subject matter."




Kristen Bartel
Assistant Professor

Printmaking, Photography, Foundations

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"Originally from the Southern U.S., I currently live and work in Racine, Wisconsin. As an artist invested in contemporary print-media with a strong background in traditional printmaking, my practice remains firmly rooted in multiplicity and duplication- always seeking the most efficient methods in creating and broadcasting ideas. I combine traditional print techniques with drawing, video, photography and digital media as a means to conceptual ends.

"I am currently interested in the impact of our culture on the Western Landscape- looking at the large and small implications of the American Dream."




Trenton Baylor
Associate Professor

Sculpture

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" My work is inspired by both the young seedlings growing in the backyard and machinery that hums, rumbles, shifts, and glides. I developed a love of nature as a young boy while helping my mother in her garden, and I am certain that the many trips South in the passenger seat of my father's semi-truck account for my interest in machinery. It has been these experiences throughout the years that have shaped my aesthetic. As an aesthetic element, nature is alluded to in the surface coloration, forms, organic transitions, and natural materials. In contrast, the use of machine-made parts, polished surfaces, steel, aluminum, and hard edges connote the mechanical. In combination these two opposing visual elements contrast and complement each other in a way that requires a delicate balance."




Tom Berenz
Assistant Professor

Painting, Foundations

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"My paintings are about my relationship to the world around me; cerebral and physical, intellectual and visceral. I use the disaster motif as a metaphor to discuss personal, sociopolitical, environmental and ideological issues. Through the motif of disaster, I explore the existential self and examine personal narratives, with some being more literal and others more enigmatic. Notions of loss, place, memory, space and time are central as I reexamine personal experiences from my past and present. The imagery is in constant flux, but always returns to a pile. A pile is everything and it is nothing. It is a mound that once was and now isn't; a mass of information, both physical and metaphysical, organized and chaotic. I am interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and sublime. Everything we live with as Americans is delicately balanced-the cars (magic carpets/ death traps), houses (castles/ prisons), and wilderness (paradise/oblivion)."




Judi Golombowski
Lecturer

Introduction to Digital Art

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Judith received her Masters of fine arts with honors from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She has been creating visual works of art based on her observations of her world as long as she can remember.Her inspirations vary from nature, to structures, to abstract ideas from her past and present and recently old portrait photos.

She believes her most valued ability is to learn from her world around her and to share what she has learned. She is a teacher, an academic of creative and conceptual problem solving for the visual arts.




William "Doug" Singsen
Assistant Professor

Art History

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"My research right now focuses primarily on the interaction between the avant-garde and popular culture. My dissertation, which was completed in 2013 and was entitled "An Alternative by Any Other Name: Alternative Comics between the 'Mainstream' and the Avant-Garde, 1976 to the Present," examined the history of "alternative comics," a category roughly comparable to alternative film or music, which combined influences from mainstream superhero, horror and crime comics, the countercultural underground comix of the late sixties and early seventies, and other avant-garde traditions. In 2014, a revised chapter from my dissertation was published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and I have plans to publish other chapters from it in the future. My dissertation also raised broader questions about the history of interactions between the avant-garde and popular culture. I wanted to put alternative comics in a broader historical perspective but was confronted by the fact that there are very few studies of this area, and those that do exist are generally focused on one medium, time period, or society. I therefore began studying both the history of interactions between the avant-garde and popular culture and the theoretical models that have been applied to them, and I hope to begin publishing work on these topics in 2015."




Paula Swisher
Assistant Professor

Web Design/Graphic Design, Foundations

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"As a hybrid artist/designer, I find myself moving fluidly between digital and traditional media. Yet regardless of the project, I approach each task with creative problem-solving skills. When designing for clients, I place a great deal of emphasis on analyzing the target audience and carefully understanding the intended tone and goals of the product. In interactive design in particular, I follow a careful process to create the best user experience possible. By following current best practices in web design, I do my part to keep the web the most accessible and democratic experience for as long as possible."

"Remnants of my design work, such as info graphics and technical imagery, frequently appear as motifs in my fine art. Birds are the most common subject matter in my work of late, but I'm as equally attracted to the potential metaphors for the human condition as I am to their beautiful structure and poise. I find that layering detailed drawing over book pages and found paper creates an intriguing interaction of the technical and the hand-made. Additionally, the recent series of drawings on bills and other mail explores a common stressor among creative people-paying bills and managing finances-but also makes a playful commentary on predatory businesses and the role of lending institutions in the financial collapse."




Carey Watters
Assistant Professor

Graphic Design

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"A found object can be a mysterious thing. Inherent in every object is a narrative that describes the object itself or the life of the owner. The reality of an object's function is defined by the original owner. Every found object has a story to tell, a story I try to uncover. In my work, the found object is reinvented, and a new narrative is discovered through the manipulation of structure. By investigating sequential design and book structures I create a new way of engaging with an object. A new identity emerges. The users' interaction with the object creates a new history. The lines of function and design are blurred, and as the object is manipulated a new definition appears."




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