It’s no secret that putting together a museum exhibition takes thoughtful planning, organizing, and time management. Students participating in Wausau East High School’s IB (International Baccalaureate) Art Program coordinated by department chair Joel Pataconi experienced the process this year.
Starting in January, fellow Museum staff members Catie Anderson, Matt Foss, Shannon Pueschner, and I partnered with Wausau East students Nathan Contreras, Marah Gibbs, Emily Hahn, Nora Imhoff, and Anneliese Menning. We assisted the students as they edited their curatorial rationale statements, artwork labels, and selected their individual artworks to coordinate the presentation of exh-IB-ition, on view now in the Museum’s gallery adjacent to Art Park through June 2.
Our collaboration with Wausau East IB students began during the 2016-2017 school year and quickly became a beneficial partnership. Each year, our staff provides guidance to students, assisting with curating their artwork in a space, just one of the many submission requirements for the IB program. The Museum is eager to continue this rewarding collaboration, now entering its sixth year. Join us on Thursday, June 2, 5:30-6:30 pm to hear more from the students during exh-IB-ition Artist Presentations, when each artist will share insights into their artwork portfolio, inspirations, and processes.
Each year, this program brings a new batch of students creating artwork with different themes. This year, the students explored anthropomorphism, life and death, childhood emotions, identity, and global political topics. Anneliese Menning utilizes a variety of mediums, ranging from digitally rendered comics and hand-painted carnival cut-outs to an abundantly filled sketchbook spread. In contrast, Emily Hahn and Marah Gibbs employ more traditional mediums like graphite, watercolor, and oil or acrylic paint to depict close relationships with family. Nora Imhoff’s body of work takes inspiration from the notable Pop artist Andy Warhol. Her bright, bold color palette and use of text does not go unnoticed in the gallery. Nathan Contreras’ figural work is illuminated with intense contrast and saturated colors across two- and three-dimensional pieces.
Matt, Catie, Shannon and I served as mentors throughout the process of organizing exh-IB-ition, but the IB students deserve high praises. This showcase emphasizes the development of their comprehensive, challenging, and thought-provoking artworks and demonstrates the knowledge they gained putting together a successful museum exhibition.