Lynn Tomaszewski is a Milwaukee-based artist who received a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where she teaches foundations, painting, printmaking, and interactive digital media courses.
Her award-winning work has been shown in solo and group shows throughout the United States and Europe. Interested in how technology influences perception, her most recent body of work combines video images with painting as a way of exploring issues of survival. Lynn's work is in the public collections of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento, California.
For more information about Lynn and her work please visit: http://www.lynntomaszewski.com/
Will Pergl is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pergl received a MFA from Cornell University and a BFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Pergl's sculpture, video and drawing have been shown in more than 20 solo exhibits and has been included in more than 30 group exhibitions. Working with an affinity for minimalism and process Pergl's efforts in the studio produce objects that appear to be ubiquitous and invented, assertive and unstable, logical and absurd in equal measure.
Pergl has taught at Cornell University, Grinnell College and the University of New Hampshire at Durham, and he is currently an Associate Professor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
For more information about Will and his work please visit his website: http://willpergl.com/
Serving as jurors for this year’s Beloit & Vicinity Exhibition was an honor. Having the opportunity to view over 100 submissions from artists all over the region reminded us how diverse and vibrant our artistic community is. We were impressed with the ingenuity and engagement that these artists brought to their work. To that end, we would like to thank all of the artists who submitted work. Whether your work is included in this year’s exhibition or not, we truly appreciate the efforts of all of the artists - not only to make your work but also to take the time to share it.
Selecting the work for the Beloit & Vicinity Exhibition was challenging due to the diversity of entries, the sheer volume of submissions and the inherent flaws of looking at digital reproductions of work. We are not the first to acknowledge that representing works of art through digital images has limitations, but the digital format allowed us to view the work separately and then come together and talk about what we had seen prior to making our decisions. And while our reasons for including specific works were often different, we were in agreement most of the time. Once the show opens and we see the actual work, we will inevitably be surprised. We look forward to seeing how the work will connect to us in person as we make the award selections after the show opens.
Although certain themes came out in our selections: formal elements such as circles or grids or tightly cropped, crouching figures, we did not judge the exhibition based on any preconceived criteria. The selected works succeeded as works of art in their own terms and in terms of their own subject matter and medium. As such, the exhibition ranges from landscape painting to new media collage from performance art to still life. By process and not design, the selected artworks collectively represent the range of artistic interests and directions from the numerous regional artists who submitted their art to the Beloit & Vicinity Exhibition.
Overall, the work we included that explored historically rich paths like figuration, landscape or still life did so with distinctive contemporary focus. In jurying the work, a few pieces are worthy of note. Matt Irie’s investigations of the potential of the grid to explore both flatness and depth, mass and restraint--all at the same time. The work seemed to take familiar, modernist ideas in interesting, idiosyncratic directions. The compelling ambiguity and historical significance of Valerie Christell’s black and white photographs lingers with us. In the emerging category Evan Jarzynski shows strong potential and this work is worthy of inclusion in the exhibit with or without an emerging category. These are just a few of the connections that viewing the work initiated. There were, of course, many others. Whether it was a compelling idea or a rich engagement with material or something less tangible, the work that is in this year’s show reached out and begun a conversation with us.
Finally, we would like to thank Joy Beckman and her staff at the Wright Museum of Art as well as Beloit College for continuing their long tradition of hosting this exhibition. We look forward to continuing these conversations at the opening!
Lynn Tomaszewski and Will Pergl
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design