Two UW-W students awarded gallery space in First Citizens Bank

Two UW-Whitewater students have been awarded the opportunity to display their galactic and nature inspired artwork in the First Citizens Bank of Whitewater until the end of February.

Senior Sara Hoag is inspired by galactic and celestial bodies. She hopes to combine her passion for art and science and illustrate medical textbooks in the future. Hoag and Karen Gilbanks have artwork on display in the First Citizens Bank downtown. Photo by Andrew Smith

After being featured in the Deeper Insights Gallery last May, senior Sara Hoag and post-graduate Karen Gilbank were chosen to have their artwork displayed in the bank as part of an art contest for area college students.

Both students’ artwork focuses on elements of nature and the environment. Hoag and Gilbank said they were fascinated with the world around them.

Hoag said she has been interested in art ever since she was a young child. She is majoring in art and double-minoring in psychology and biology. She combines her passion for art and science to create unique pieces.

Hoag’s collection of artwork at the bank is titled, “An Observation of Relatedness: Light, Energy and Matter.” In these pieces she depicts celestial and galactic scenes.

Hoag said she is fascinated at the fact that everything is somehow interconnected to one another.

“Even though these two objects, galactic bodies and micro-organisms may seem light-years apart from one another, they are really more similar than different,” Hoag said. “Everything in the entire universe is made up of matter.”

Hoag uses oil paints in all of her artwork at the gallery. She said she prefers this type of paint because she said that is what the “masters used.”

In the future, Hoag said she wants to use her passion to illustrate medical textbooks.

Gilbank also gets her inspiration from the environment around her.

Growing up in Guam, Gilbank said her first memory of art is when she was in first grade when she drew a water buffalo.

While she attended high school, Gilbank took art classes to fulfill all of her elective requirements.

Gilbank’s artwork depicts environmental scenes she observes while driving to campus. She alsoplans to create artwork based on her photographs.

“I get my inspiration from the environment around me,” Gilbank said. “Living in Wisconsin I do a lot of the scenes from my drive to school, like cows on the side of the road.”

She said she prefers the monotype printmaking technique for her artwork. When making a monotype, one unique piece of art is made.

Gilbank uses a soy-based ink called akua which is water-soluble, so it is friendly to the artist as well as the environment.

This past semester Gilbank has been working with oils and creating seascapes. For her senior show this coming May, Gilbank said she plans to display some artwork from both the oil and monotype mediums.

The gallery is located in the First Citizens Bank in downtown Whitewater and will be on display until the end of February. The gallery is open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon.

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