Graduate shows and sells her art in professional gallery
July 28, 2014
Mia Russell's career and recognition as an artist seem
to be taking off, much to her delight and amazement.
Recently after her final year at University of Wisconsin-Stout — Russell
graduated with a B.F.A. in studio art in May — she sold two art pieces from her
senior show in the Simon Gallery in Morristown, N. J.
Russell had the rare and fortunate opportunity to
display her work for the month of June in the contemporary gallery.
One of her instructors, Robert Atwell, Furlong Gallery
director and associate professor in the School of Art and Design at UW-Stout, arranged
with the gallery to exhibit work from two students at two universities. The
idea would "allow the students a hands-on experience and foot-in-the-door
introduction to the commercial art world," Atwell said.
doesn't happen around the country too much," Atwell said. "Some Master of Fine
Arts programs around the country work with galleries, but to find an undergrad
in such a situation is rare," he said.
Russell, of Appleton, with artwork in hand traveled to
New Jersey at the end of May for her student exhibit. She was accompanied by Atwell,
Daniel Atyim, lecturer in the School of Art and Design, and two fellow
students, Jake Popek,
majoring in entertainment design, and Jordan Clark, majoring in studio arts.
The show was a success, and gallery owner Harry Simon
likes the idea of supporting emerging artists, Atwell said.
Russell's work is related to abstract expressionism,
she said. "I work in a series of layers, responding to each layer as I consider
how each decision would affect the already standing parts," she said.
still in a state of disbelief over the show and sale of her work."As much as I was going to
work very hard to get gallery representation, deep down I didn't think it would
ever happen," she said.
"There are so many artists that are more talented than
I am trying to do the same thing that I am, so I can't believe that it happened
to me," Russell said.
But it did, and the Simon Gallery has chosen to
represent her work. She will be expected to have a solo show, with new work,
every other season. When her work isn't on display, it will be held in a
storage area for people to look at by appointment in order to purchase.
Russell will continue to be an exhibitor until the
gallery chooses not to represent her. That "would potentially happen if no work
sells for a few consecutive seasons, or if I am not prepared for a solo show," she
For now she is happy doing what she loves to do. "I am
not sure exactly what I want to do (in the future); I just know that I can't
stop making art. It is something I have to do," Russell said.
Atwell has been exhibiting his work at the gallery
For more information about the School of Art and Design
Image 1: "Kinship For a Moment"
Image 3:"An End to Reluctance"