Student exhibit gives visitors starry eyes

Front Row Review


Sydney Wojcik

Pictured on the far left is a piece entitled, Swimming Constellations, followed by another piece called, Moon Jellies.

Sydney Wojcik, Arts & Recreation Editor

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design student Ashlyn Bledsoe is presenting her beautiful star-crossed works in Robertas Art Gallery located in the James R. Connor University Center Mar. 2-30 2022. The art work presents the audience with the refreshing theme of both water and space, blending the two in harmony with each other. 

The pieces depict animals from the sea soaring through space, such as the sting rays that are seen in Swimming Constellations. Appearing to find joy and peace in the infinity that is outer space, the sting rays are surrounded by bursts of color. The brightness of the colors that is used to offset the darkness cannot be expected to do anything but bring smiles to onlookers. 

“This feels almost euphoric and yet nostalgic. The objects together in this piece make no logical sense, but it reminds me of my childhood when I would imagine vibrant and unrealistic things to be possible,” said UW-Whitewater junior Natalie Hummelt. 

The other side of the exhibit displays perfectly opposite depictions of the two  themes colliding. Undiscovered Mystery, a colored pencil piece, shows two astronauts reaching for one another through crashing waves in an ocean covered by the night sky. Using much darker color than Swimming Constellations, the piece also carries a much graver tone. The two appear to be struggling for survival. 

“It makes me feel like I’m in a dream state, while also provoking an uneasy feeling. That feeling is the fear of the unknown… I don’t know how to describe the feeling past that,” said UW-Whitewater sophomore Steve Bramati. 

The idea between crossing the ocean and space makes the audience stop and contemplate which seemingly endless fate they would condemn themselves to as both appear to engulf their individual subjects. Each has the ability to provide comfort and peace, or rage and suffering, ultimately asking, “what do you believe would bring you endless freedom: sea or space?”