Providing Cultural Enrichment

Providing Cultural Enrichment


"Life without industry is guilt;
industry without art is brutality."
Ruskin

William J. Micheels' vision for Stout was one "...where art and industry can thrive...." Little did he know that 30 years later, the department of art and design and the College of Technology, Engineering and Management would share a building.

"We have a good relationship," Gene Bloedorn, Furlong Art Gallery director, said. "They recognize and enjoy what we offer, and there is a strong rapport between two entities which might seem to be at different ends of a spectrum."

Bloedorn is also pleased with the new location of the gallery because it's on the way to the computer lab. "It's beautifully situated," Bloedorn said. "Students who may never have wandered over this far have discovered the gallery."

Bloedorn, who has been at UW-Stout for 25 years, believes the new gallery has established a greater presence on campus. "I'm afraid that sometimes there is a perception that Stout is a fairly narrow entity," he said. "People may say, `Oh, you have a fine arts department here.'"

He added, however, that UW-Stout does have a reputation in fine arts not only in this country but in Europe as well. "We've had an exchange program with schools in Europe for 15 years," he said. He noted also that museums in New York City and the Twin Cities send art to the gallery which, in addition to the display of fine art, is itself architecturally and aesthetically interesting.

The openness and lightness and large glass windows are a welcoming invitation. "People just come to sit and enjoy it," Bloedorn said. "It's like a refuge."

Students, staff and faculty, as well as the public, are invited and encouraged to visit the gallery. A viable and dynamic art gallery with high quality work is "an essential part of a university campus," Bloedorn said. "It is cultural enrichment from which everyone benefits."

Outlook Spring '96