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UW-RF Seniors Exhibit Work at the Phipps

FEB. 17, 2006--Two University of Wisconsin-River Falls senior art majors have been chosen to hold their capstone art exhibit at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson Feb. 17 to March 26.

"Journeys of the Figure" features the work of 2006 B.F.A. candidates Rachel Oostdik, of River Falls and Lake Mills, and LeAnne Ptacek of River Falls. An exhibit reception is scheduled for March 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the gallery at the Phipps. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at the reception.

The exhibit features two distinct and sophisticated investigations of the figure. Oostdik's sculptures explore her struggles with the portrayal of the female form in her own life and in society. Her ceramics delicately envelop the female body through rourgh textures and elegant lines; the end work portrays a sensitive exploration of the figure as form.

"I have adopted my own version of what the ideal female is and I use this idea of a female to shape my pieces," says Oostdik. "They are meant to be modern-day Venus forms, more iconographic than representational figures. I treat the forms as if they were blank canvases. I manipulate the clay in slab form to create exaggerated volume and depth. The slips and glazes I use are meant to give a primitive feeling, as the forms draw upon a theme used repeatedly throughout history."

Ptacek's prints tell the stories of the struggles and hope within her own life and those around her. Her prints are immersed with texture and seek to draw in the viewer with the poetic use of emotion.

"The idea of journey is what surrounds my most recent group of prints," says Ptacek. "The constant tension between struggle and hope in my life makes it a continuous journey. I wanted to be able to capture these journeys, or stories, in my work. My audience may not see the entire story as I do, but I want them simply to be able to understand that the light, and the hope, will always be there in the darkness."

The galleries at the Phipps Center for the Arts are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Phipps Center for the Arts has celebrated the creative spirit for more than 20 years by offering exciting performances, outstanding exhibitions, and professional instruction for all ages. The $7 million facility was built and funded by the William H. Phipps Foundation, area individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations. For more information about the Phipps, visit its Web site at or call 715-386-2305.

For more information about the exhibit, email .


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