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Studios & facilities

Our studios and classrooms are equipped to meet the needs of our Art majors, minors, and students taking art courses from across UWL programs. In addition to a large Foundations studio for our entry-level and General Education courses, we have studios for art education, blacksmithing, ceramics, drawing, graphic arts, metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Our main art gallery, the University Gallery, is a large space that hosts a wide range of exhibitions throughout the year. We also have a Student Gallery in 340 Center for the Arts where students learn professional practices in setting up and hosting their creative works.

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Art Education Studio

The Art Education studio is located on the second floor in the Center for the Arts (CFA) building, room 203. The studio is interdisciplinary and equipped with ceramic kilns, printing presses, lighting equipment for photographing work, paper cutters, large sinks, and work tables to support studies in methods and studio practices in various media including: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, installation, fibers, multi-media, photography, and digital media. The Art Education studio is also equipped with a 25” iMac, multi-media ports, smart board, document camera, and beam projector. Students have access to this technology as teaching tools to actively practice visual art instruction for professional teaching experiences, career preparations, and future careers as educators and artists who teach.

Various pictures of students working in the Art Ed studio

Ceramics Studio

The ceramics studio/work space is located on the ground level in the Center for the Arts (CFA) building, room 25. The ceramics studio is a spacious facility with both traditional wheel throwing and hand-building areas. A state-of-the-art gas-fired kiln was installed in March, 1998, enabling more frequent and efficient firing of ceramic works. Fire brick rescued from an older kiln was formed into the department's first wood-fired kiln. Firing this unique kiln produces more than beautiful ceramic finishes; it becomes a bonding experience for the students who take shifts tending the three day firing process.

view of ceramics studio from the front of the room

Click the image below to view the process of wood-fired ceramics at UWL.

Earth and Fire: the process of wood-fired ceramics at UW-La Crosse

Digital Art Studio

The Digital Art lab/studio is located on the first floor in the Center for the Arts building, room 145. We have 23 iMac desktop computers with the Adobe Creative Suit software, a 90” display monitor (perfect for class demonstrations), a 6 color Epson inkjet printer, Xerox office printer and a Large format HP Printer near the back of the studio.

view of digital art studio from the back of the room

The Digital Art courses help to prepare you for a wide range of design fields which include photography, film and animation, typography, social design, digital, book and editorial design.

Practical study in this area involves developing a professional portfolio that reflects your creative talent and traditional hands-on production techniques using the latest technology. Through practice, lab exercises, and creative projects, students will build on their existing aesthetic and conceptual foundations while implementing ideas using digital tools and critical thinking.

Students do not have to be art majors to explore various facets of graphic art using the Adobe Creative Suite software, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects and Premiere Pro.

Drawing Studio

The drawing studio is located on the 2nd floor in the Center for the Arts (CFA) building, room 207. This studio has a lot of natural light that comes in from the north facing windows. Large tack boards along the west and south walls allow for space for collaborative drawing projects.

view of drawing studio from the front of the room

Foundations Studio

The Foundations studio/working space is located on the first floor in the Center for the Arts (CFA) building, room 119. This studio is designed and equipped to support introductory courses in visual art with an emphasis on understanding the methods of art making in a variety of studio disciplines. The Visual and Performing Arts' Foundations curriculum allows students to experiment with various creative processes and media, while exploring artistic ideas. The studio is equipped to support introductory methods in painting, printmaking, drawing, and the construction of three-dimensional objects.

large rectangular studio with vaulted ceilings and fluorescent lights; plenty of natural light streams in from North-facing windows onto several counter-height work tables with storage lockers underneath and stools surrounding each table; there are two large sinks and storage cabinet in background

Metals Studios

view of metals studio from front of room; vaulted ceiling with fluorescent lighting;18 solid wood-top workstations with individual vices, work lamps, and stools

The Metalsmithing studios are located in rooms 15, 20, 20A, and 20B, on the ground floor in the Center for the Arts building. The curriculum is designed to meet the varied interests of students investigating the field of contemporary metalsmithing. Students are exposed to a broad range of methodologies and processes associated to metalsmithing which include fabrication, forging, raising, forming, casting, mold making and welding.  The studio is equipped to support research in specific areas such as jewelry, hollowware, and blacksmithing. 

The UWL Metalsmithing studios are equipped for:

- General fabrication
- Gas/compressed air and gas/oxygen soldering
- Small scale production casting and mold making
- Sheet metal raising and forming
- Non-ferrous metal forging
- Welding and fabrication
- Blacksmithing

Painting Studio

The Painting studio/working space is located on the second floor in the Center for the Arts (CFA) building, room 204. The studio is equipped to explore a broad range of  painting media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, and encaustic. There is a studio course concentrating on watercolor painting with an emphasis on technique and color theory, where traditional and contemporary modes of expression are studied, and stylistic and thematic developments are explored. 

The general painting courses (intro/non-majors) focus on approaches to creative expression, research of historical and contemporary painting, and explores a broad range of painting media including oil, acrylic, watercolor and encaustic. Various stylistic approaches are introduced including realism, abstraction, and postmodern painting. The intermediate and advanced courses focus more on the creative development within the discipline. Students develop their own visual language, creative expression, and conceptual understanding through active participation in collaborative painting, individual studio work, and critiques.

large rectangular studio with vaulted ceilings and fluorescent lights; several work tables and chairs are in the center of the space with easels on the left and in the back, and a large slat storage space on the right

Photography Studios

Photography Studios are in the Wing Technology Center in rooms 26, 27, 28, and 229. The photography studios include:

  • Two Digital Photography Labs, which serve as a workspace and classrooms for all digital photography courses. Each Digital Lab is equipped for flatbed and negative scanning, digital images processing, and large-format inkjet printing (up to 44 inches wide) and includes 15 workstations (computers & software). (WING 027 & WING 028)

WING 27 classroom with three rows of modern light wood-top tables with several iMac desktop computers, several black mesh-back cushioned roller desk chairs, and the main desk perpendicular to the middle row of computersWING 28 classroom with three rows of modern light wood-top tables with several iMac desktop computers, several black mesh-back cushioned roller desk chairs, and the main desk is perpendicular to the middle row of tables

  • A Darkroom, which serves as a workspace and classroom for chemical photography courses. This area includes a film processing lab equipped for black and white film development; a film-loading room; an alternative photographic processes lab; a print viewing and finishing space; and a darkroom equipped to print standard 35mm, medium and large format films, gelatin silver print processing (RC & Fiber), large-format and Mural printing. (WING 026)

  • A Lighting Studio, which is fully equipped with strobe/flash and contiguous lighting systems. (WING 229)

  • A Seminar Room, which serves as a classroom and critique space for all photography classes. (WING 026)

WING 27 classroom with a modern L-shaped light wood-top desk at the front, and moveable modern light wood-top tables and black hard resin chairs set up in a circle formation in the center of the room, with a large format printer in the background

  • An Equipment Cage, which houses equipment that photography students can check-out including cameras (DSLR, 35mm/Medium format SLR, View Camera, Pinhole) and other photo equipment (tripods, flashes, portable lights, grey cards, etc.). (WING 026)

 The Photography Studios are staffed by student employees and open for student use outside of class time.

Printmaking Studio

The Print Media area focuses on experimentation and self-discovery with the goal that students develop mechanisms that will enable their continued growth as young artists. Print technologies have had a significant role in shaping history and visual culture, and students are encouraged to see the medium of print as an expanded field that has always been inextricably linked to communication, dissemination, and technology. Print students are equipped with the tools and skills that allow them to become proficient in traditional printmaking approaches. Students are encouraged to find ways the medium of print can be incorporated into their larger pallet of art practice and combined with book arts, painting, installation, performance, social engagement, and other art media. 

Our 2000-square-foot studio is located on the 3rd floor in the Center for the Arts (CFA) building, room 334. This space is designed to equip students with the tools and resources to explore processes such as screen printing, lithography, relief printing, intaglio, digital printing, papermaking, and alternative photographic techniques. Students enrolled in printmaking classes have 24-hr access to the studio and are each given a private workspace that they can use throughout the semester. 

Student, Kohleen Lyon's printmaking projects

Sculpture Studio

large rectangular studio with industrial vaulted ceilings and skylights; power cords hang down from a track over four large square work tables with stools; storage, tools, and table saw are in the background

The Sculpture studio is located in rooms 15 and 23 on the ground floor in the Center for the Arts building. The sculpture curriculum allows students to explore conceptual development through a wide variety of materials and processes. The sculpture facility is designed to meet the needs of students working in traditional as well as contemporary formats. The Sculpture Studio includes a complete foundry for casting non-ferrous metals, kilns for lost wax casting and ceramic sculpture, welding equipment, woodworking equipment, forges, overhead lifts, sand blasters, hand tools and a range of specialty equipment for the production of three dimensional works of art.

The sculpture studio is equipped to support:

  • General fabrication including welding, gas/compressed air and gas/oxygen soldering

  • Sheet metal fabrication

  • Wood fabrication

  • Mold making, lost wax and sand mold casting in bronze and aluminum

  • Plaster construction

  • Ceramic casting and fabrication

  • Forging/blacksmithing, ferrous and non-ferrous metals

  • Conceptual, site specific and installation works

The Sculpture program is supported by facilities that allow students to work on projects large in scale and complex in development. The studios include a wood/dry shop, metal/fabrication shop, mold making studio and a large exterior courtyard.