Series of drawings takes Best in Show in year-end student exhibit

Senior examines the question of how well we truly know something
​Jerry Poling | May 21, 2018
Thomas Weger with “B5 on View,” his drawings that won Best in Show.
Thomas Weger with “B5 on View,” his drawings that won Best in Show. / Contributed photo

When we see or experience something, typically momentarily, how well do we really understand it?

Thomas Weger explored that question in his mixed media quadriptych, “B5 on View,” which was named Best in Show in the Year End Juried Student Art Show at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

The exhibit, which will remain up through Thursday, Sept. 13, at Furlong Gallery, features dozens of pieces by UW-Stout School of Art and Design students.

Weger created four drawings inspired by the original tubular steel chair, B5, which was designed in 1926 by Marcel Breuer. Weger’s chair drawings generally look alike, but upon closer inspection they vary.

“We are limited in experiencing the entirety of something, especially in a single instance,” Weger said. “Presenting a quadriptych of drawings allowed me to elaborate on particular experiences with a common, everyday object and how our focus may vary depending on the experience with that thing.

“I began to refine certain areas of these loosely drawn chairs. By arranging these drawings near one another, viewers can experience one moment compared to the other, allowing one to put these pieces together to visualize something as a whole,” he said.

“B5 on View” was part of Weger’s senior thesis exhibit “Something Unseen.”

A closeup of one of Thomas Weger's "B5 on View" drawings.He graduated May 5 with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in industrial design and in studio art. “This work marks a moment where my studio practice and my design work meet,” he said.

Weger, of Edgerton, has been hired as an industrial designer for Mercury Marine of Fond du Lac, and he hopes to continue to make his own art in his spare time. “Balancing these two passions will be my next challenge,” he said.

Second place in the year-end competition went to Emily Gordon, of St. Paul, with “Gurgle Up All,” ceramic and tar. She is majoring in studio art with a focus on ceramics.

Third place went to Edward Erdmann, of Winona, Minn., with “Idle Spring,” dirt on canvas. He is majoring in studio art with a concentration in painting.

Honorable mentions went to:

  • Galilee Wojahn, of Minneapolis, studio art, “Excerpt from Every Room is Open 1,” graphite
  • Kasey O’Brien, of Jefferson, studio art, “Part Time Zero,” mixed media
  • Ali Strangstalien, of La Crosse, studio art, “Portrait of a Cottonwood,” enamel, copper, cottonwood, seeds, bark

Furlong Gallery is in Micheels Hall.

Micheels Student Artists-in-Residence

At the awards for the year-end student show, two students were announced as the Bud and Betty Micheels Student Artists-in-Residence for the 2018-19 academic year. They are Gordon, of St. Paul, and Melissa Lackey, of St. Paul.

Both are studio art majors with a concentration in ceramics.

Each will receive a $2,000 grant along with up to $1,000 each for materials, a dedicated work space and have two exhibits of their work during the year, one in Furlong Gallery and one in the University Library.

Also, one piece from each artist will remain in the university’s permanent art collection.

The grant program is named after benefactors William “Bud” Micheels, former UW-Stout president, and his wife.



A closeup of one of Thomas Weger’s “B5 on View” drawings.

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