On a windy Saturday afternoon, I made my way down to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Lofts to attend the Art Department’s annual Open Studio Day. The event took place from 12 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 5 in the Art Lofts Studios and George L. Mosse Humanities building, each home to different areas of the UW-Madison Art Department.
Families returning from the football game at Camp Randall and others of all ages milled around the Art Lofts throughout the day, exploring the building. Rather unassuming from the outside, the space is ample and modern, boasting many impressive gallery spaces and some truly unique facilities.
I didn’t know much about our visual arts program before Saturday. Art isn’t the first thing that came to mind when I thought of UW-Madison and its many programs. However, after seeing how many diverse disciplines and cool opportunities the Art Department offers, I think more UW students should get involved.
Historically, Open Studio Day was a graduate student-centered day where faculty visited student spaces. “In the past four years, [however], we’ve changed it to being more focused on undergraduates,” academic program manager Matthew Mauk explained.
Now, the event is more interactive, inclusive of all art students and the larger Madison population.
“We opened it up to the public — everybody [can] see student work, buy pieces, see exhibitions and just generally see the Art Department,” Mauk said.
This year’s event offered glassblowing tutorials, special presentations and print and glassware sales. There was an opportunity to visit and talk with over 50 graduate students in their studios, which featured their work on display.