‘Symbolic Abstraction’ exhibit to open Jan. 14

Upper Iowa University will welcome a North Mankato, Minn., artist to its Fayette campus on Thursday, Jan. 14. Matt Willemsen, associate professor of graphic design at Minnesota State University-Mankato, will open “Symbolic Abstraction” at Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery with a reception from 3:30 – 5 p.m. The exhibit will remain open to the public during regular gallery hours through Friday, Feb. 12.

Willemsen earned bachelor of fine arts, master of arts and master of fine arts degrees at the University of Iowa. In addition to serving as a Minnesota State University-Mankato faculty member, he is a freelance graphic designer. His artwork has been exhibited in Minnesota, Georgia and South Carolina.

“My background as a graphic designer serves as the basis for my explorations of symbolism and abstraction. It is the language of graphic design that inspires the forms I use to build my compositions,” noted Willemsen. “Through the use of symbols, typographic form, and color I create richly layered surfaces of atmospheric planes and flat opaque fields by applying several layers of paint with an airbrush and multiple stencils. These works bring together the two sides of my creative interests – art and design.”

Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery is located in the Edgar Fine Arts Hall on the Upper Iowa University Fayette Campus. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The complete 2015-2016 Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery schedule can be viewed online at www.uiu.edu/ocm/news/2015/aug/bing-davis-schedule.html.

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