Photo: Jeff Miller/ University of Wisconsin-Madison
"…Sometimes a $50 purchase can become an investment as students continue in their art careers. One example of this is the Union’s purchase of an early Bruce Nauman piece in the 1960s. Nauman, a science major at UW–Madison at the time, went on to become one of the most well-known modern artists of the last few decades. The Nauman painting, Schmoldt says, spends most of its time in storage due to wear and tear causing paint damage, but it was recently brought out for a student-curated show in the spring.
The Union also displays an early glass sculpture from Dale Chihuly, who attended graduate school at UW–Madison. While these are just a few examples, pieces like these illustrate the strength of UW–Madison’s art department, Gunther says, and the high quality of artwork produced by its students. “UW–Madison is known nationwide for its art department, particularly for its printmaking,” she says. “All of my peers at NYU are aware of and comment on UW–Madison’s excellent standing in art. The Student Art Sale customers are purchasing high-quality work at an affordable price, which is a win-win for all involved.”
A look at past and present exhibitors
Katelyn Alain, in her final year in the art graduate program, is no stranger to the business side of art. After graduating from the Hartford Art School in Connecticut, Alain worked to get her pieces into various venues — from juried exhibitions to gallery shows — before entering graduate school. “Maybe because I’m a little older or feel like I’ve been doing it a long time, I’ve just set myself up in a different way. It’s important to me to try to make money doing this,” she says. In addition to art shows, the Internet has been a prominent factor in Alain’s career. From her personal Web site to online galleries such as Saatchi Online, Alain sells her work from a number of online venues. Alain’s most recently sold work, a painting titled “The Girl in the Red Tunic,” was featured in an Oct. 10 Wall Street Journal story on online art galleries, which generated a wave of interest in her artwork.
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