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Welcome to the Department of Art!

Thank you for visiting the Department of Art at UW-La Crosse! We hope you find our website helpful in answering any questions about our department, but please don't hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a tour of all we have to offer.

The Department of Art at UWL provides the traditional and non-traditional art studio and art history courses. We offer an Art Major (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science), and an Art Education Major (Bachelor of Science), as well as offering the following minors:

Our large studio areas are furnished with a mix of new and traditional equipment for ceramics, metals, blacksmithing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. The photography studio was just recently remodeled and updated with the latest equipment. A drawing studio, design studio, and Macintosh computer lab (for our Graphic Design courses) complete the studio/laboratory areas. We also have a large, amazing Art Gallery space on the main floor of the Center for the Arts building, and a newly renovated Student Gallery on the 3rd floor.

The majority of our art students come principally from Wisconsin and other surrounding states in the upper Midwest, but we do have students from different parts of the United States as well as other countries from around the world. We offer small studio class sizes so that we can offer individualized support and mentoring. However, if you are anxious to really expand your horizons, there are several study abroad options to choose from and UWL participates in the National Student Exchange program if you would rather stay in the U.S. More information about these programs can be found on the International Education & Engagement (IEE) website.

 UWL Department of Art faculty members have all earned the terminal degree in their discipline and have amazing experiences through their travels and research to share with their students. All of our faculty strive to be excellent teachers and provide our students with the skills they need to succeed in the world post-graduation. Creative and scholarly research by faculty are presented through international, national and regional exhibits and publications.


From Boring to Beautiful

UWL art students with their newly completed paintings

Inaugural student artwork collaboration coming soon to Murphy Library

By Amber Leibundgut-Peterson 

Have you been in the library recently? If so, you may have noticed a very monochromatic look that does not represent or highlight our most important assets – the students, faculty and staff who use our spaces! In response, Murphy Library embarked on a project to bring more color and creativity to our walls. Thanks to a grant from the Murphy Library Endowment Fund, we partnered with Professor Jennifer Williams in the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Art Department to bring student art into our library. The finished 4’ x 4’ paintings offer students a challenging and unique learning opportunity (that is one large canvas to fill!) and will benefit all who visit the library. More of the story...


"The Thinker Reboot"

A virtual gallery exhibit at UW-La Crosse provides a satirical view of today’s prevailing social media impact and technology use.

Art Department Chair Professor Brad Nichols says his idea for the forged and fabricated steel pieces featured in the show was born in about 2005 when his then 6-year-old son asked him to draw a picture. While his son wasn’t impressed and crumpled up the drawing, Nichols got an idea from his work — that it would transfer well into steel.

Nichols experimented with that idea with his work, eventually culminating during a sabbatical in fall 2019. See more of the story...



Spring 2021 UWL Senior Art Exhibition

Due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions on the UWL campus, the Senior Art students (Amber Boesel, Sarah Conley, Athena Gates, Katheryn Horne, Kyra Litwin, Ellie Schaap, and Keegs Sturdevant) hold an online exhibition of their art May 1 - November 1, 2021. They also have a physical exhibition of their art at Grounded Patio Cafe in downtown La Crosse, 308 Main Street, May 2nd - May 31st. Be sure to check it out! More of the story...

La Crosse Then and Now

Brianna Graw, a 2021 UW-La Crosse graduate

UWL grad’s photo project shows city through the decades

A photo might say a thousand words, but rarely does it capture how a community has changed over 100 years.

UW-La Crosse graduate Brianna Graw, ’21, set out to do exactly that with her project "La Crosse, Wisconsin: Then & Now" — a collection of new and historic photographs taken in the same locations throughout the city. 

“I thought it would be interesting to see how these locations have changed, or haven’t changed, from ‘then’ to ‘now,’” says Graw, who majored in marketing and minored in art, with an emphasis in photography and graphic design. “I grew up in the La Crosse area, but I had never really paid much attention to the city’s many historic buildings and landmarks.” 

Graw’s collection includes photos of 30 sites, including Grandad Bluff, Riverside Park, UWL’s Graff Main Hall and several locations downtown. More of the story...

'Painting us Forward'

UWL Art Professor Jennifer Williams paints a portrait of Tami Plourde

Professor’s images of pandemic despair, hope on display

The artwork of a UWL professor that depicts local faces of COVID-19 will be displayed during an upcoming exhibition at the Pump House.

Jennifer Williams’ "Painting us Forward" series began at the start of the pandemic as an artistic and empathic approach to connect with family, friends and community.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we all have a story to tell that reveals our experiences and vulnerabilities, and it’s this understanding that reinforces our human connections,” Williams explains.

Debuting at the Pump House, the project is comprised of paintings of the people closest to Williams and people she reached out to along the way, including local business owners, some of whom Williams had never met. More of the story...