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Art and Musing Arts & Entertainment

ART GALLERY PROVIDES CHANCE TO SEE PROFESSIONAL WORK

ZACH HINEY, KNIGHT WIRE STUDENT SENATE REPORTER

“We will have a little bit of everything this term.” 

Those were the words of Johanna Kramer-Weston, the director and exhibitions manager for the Waldemar A. Schmidt Art Gallery.  

The gallery will feature all different kinds of artwork from two-dimensional art to life-sized sculptures and digital illustrations. The first exhibit coming this semester is called “It’s Not Easy to Stop a Train.” The work is by Raluca Iancu, an artist from Iowa and current faculty member at Iowa State University. Kramer-Weston said that this exhibit focuses on human nature and how “we as a society have been conditioned to seek out spectacle.” 

The next exhibit arrives in March and is called “Electronic Drift.” This will feature the work of Tibi Chelcea. He’s an artist with a doctorate in electrical engineering, and like Iancu, a faculty member at Iowa State.

“His work focuses on the beauty of electronic circuitry and its minute intricacies through the mediums of graphite, pastel, and resin,” said Kramer-Weston. 

Finally, on April 12, or RICE Day, the Senior Exhibit 2022 will open. This will feature the artwork of 11 Wartburg senior art students. 

The gallery mainly focuses on the work of professional artists, usually from the Midwest. Wartburg art majors get a chance to show off their work at a professional level starting on RICE day. They also help with some of the exhibit planning.

“They take a hands-on approach with the exhibit and work with me on everything, from planning, promoting, lighting and installation,” Kramer-Weston said. 

The art gallery was started in the 1990s when the Bachman Fine Arts Center was built. It was a project that was led by then-Wartburg professor Arthur Frick. The art gallery still calls the Fine Arts Center home today.

“At the close of the show, Bart gifted one of his works to the Wartburg permanent art collection. It is currently on display at the entrance of the Mensa,” said Kramer-Weston.

That was one of Kramer-Weston’s favorite moments from her time in charge of the art gallery. That specific exhibit was called “Mandalas” and featured the work of Bart Vargas, an artist from the Omaha area. Another of her favorite exhibits was “The Environment Calls for Action Now,” by Margaret Whiting and Renata Sack. 

“It was very well received by the Wartburg community and general public. I think that the timely nature of the subject matter was what resonated with patrons,” said Kramer-Weston when asked about why that exhibit stuck out in her mind. 

The art gallery has hosted many exhibits over the years and will continue to host new ones. If you have any questions,  email Kramer-Weston at j.kramerweston@wartburg.edu.

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