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Art Students & Alums Receive Awards, Fellowships

JULY 15, 2005-- Several students and alumni from the art department at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls have recently received prestigious awards, fellowships and invitations to national conferences.

The department, composed of 12 faculty including three part-time instructors, has more than 200 majors working toward one of three art degree options, including the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Approximately a third of those majors earn certification in art education.

All faculty are active professional artists and bring a unique insight to their selected media, says Michael Padgett, department chair and professor.   "I'm proud of this department, its students, and the contributions it makes to the regional art community," said Padgett.   "The department is well respected in the region, and the art program has grown to be the 10th largest in the University's major areas of study."

Two of Professor Morgan Clifford's students, Noah Kurth, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Sherri Albertson, of River Falls, exhibited their fibers work at the National Surface Design Conference in Kansas City in June. The annual conference is sponsored by the Surface Design Association, whose mission is to foster awareness, understanding and appreciation of textiles in the art and design communities and beyond.

Matt Fischer of Oshkosh, a 2005 graduate who was a printmaking major under the tutelage of Professor Bernice Ficek-Swenson, received a Hearst Fellowship to attend a 2005 Anderson Ranch Arts Center summer workshop in Snowmass Village, Colorado.

Formerly a turn-of-the-century sheep ranch, Anderson Ranch was transformed into an artists' community some 35 years ago, says Jeremy Swanson, director of communications for Anderson Ranch. In 1966, a handful of area artists cleared out the historic barns for studios, set up a gallery and inaugurated an informal workshop program.

Since forming as a nonprofit visual arts community in 1973, Anderson Ranch promotes the imagination of young people, revitalizes the expressive impulse of adults, encouraging the inventive experimentation of talented emerging artists, and supports the intensive inquiry and production of mature artists.

Following Fischer to the nationally renowned Anderson Ranch is Lisa Starrett (B.F.A. 04), who will study with Robert Irwin, a noted art philosopher, who is an instructor-in-resident teaching art history and criticism. Starrett studied ceramics at UW-RF with Professor Randy Johnston.

In addition, ceramics student Candice Jacobs of River Falls has been awarded a summer fellowship at Anderson Ranch as well as to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. She returns to UW-RF in the fall.

Greg Jacobs, a 2005 graduate from Cumberland, has been awarded a glass scholarship to study at the Haystack School, a renowned art school-residence founded in 1950 on Maine's Atlantic shoreline and featuring top instructors from around the world.  

Brett Kallusky, who received a B.F.A. from UW-RF in 1998 and studied with photography Professor David Heberlein, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study photography in Florence, Italy. Kallusky, from Oak Park Heights, Minn., recently received a master's degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

Joe Singewald, a 2004 fine arts graduate from Waverly, Iowa, will begin the graduate ceramics program at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

Cara Benedetto, a 2001 fine arts graduate from Wausau, has been accepted into the prestigious Tamarind Institute of Lithography in Albuquerque, N.M. An internationally respected program, Tamarind accepts only four to six students from an international pool of applicants each year. Benedetto was also accepted into the Montclair (N.J.) State University graduate program in printmaking, starting fall 2006.

For more information about the UW-RF art department, call 715/425-3266 or visit



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