Two alumni of the UW–Madison School of Education’s Art Department have been featured recently on Wisconsin Life, an award-winning co-production of Wisconsin Public Radio and PBS Wisconsin that celebrates what makes Wisconsin unique through the diverse stories of its people.

On Oct 4, Wisconsin Life featured Philip Salamone, a classical portrait artist who earned his bachelor’s degree from the Art Department in 2003. After some time living in New York City, he returned to Madison in 2010 and founded Atwood Atelier, which is devoted to teaching traditional drawing and painting from life.

Salamone shares that his goal — both for him and his students — is “to create a story with each painting. To be able to showcase who a person is just looking at their portrait.”

“When you’re looking at someone’s face, you can almost tell what type of life they lived,” says Salamone. “Why is that? I don’t know, but I feel like it’s my job to capture that.”

In addition, on Oct. 13 Wisconsin Life spotlighted Freida High, a professor emeritus at UW–Madison as well as an Art Department alumna. After receiving her MFA from the Art Department in 1971, the Afro-American Studies Department hired her to teach African American art history. For 41 years, she worked as a professor on campus — as well as a practicing artist — to expand the canon of African American art history.