Watercolors are the favorite of this contemporary artist
A contemporary watercolor artist who is a native of Wisconsin will visit UWL to share her work. Helen Klebesadel will visit campus Thursday and Friday, April 20-21, to give an artist talk and a watercolor workshop.
Klebesadel grew up on a dairy farm in southwestern Wisconsin next to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. This combination of ‘hands in the dirt’ and high culture has defined her creative path.
Klebesadel will give a talk at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the Theatre, Student Union. The talk is free and open to all. Her workshop runs from 9 a.m.-noon Friday, April 21, in 119 Center for the Arts. The workshop is free to students and open to the public to observe.
Klebesadel identified as an artist from her earliest years, learning to draw from her father, who was himself a farmer and painter. She completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Fine Arts and MFA in 1989 and accepted a position in the Lawrence University Art Department in 1990.
There she taught, exhibited her art, earned tenure and chaired the department while teaching drawing, painting, printmaking and contemporary art issues. In 2000, she accepted a position directing the Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium for the UW System and moved to Madison where she maintains her studio and teaches privately.
Klebesadel has taught courses and workshops on creativity, studio art, and the contemporary women’s art movement for over two decades. She continues to mentor and coach other artists in addition to her teaching.
Klebesadel’s watercolors push the traditional boundaries of the medium in scale, content and technique. Ranging in size from the intimate to the monumental, her paintings are transparent watercolors on paper and canvas. She starts with detailed drawings and developing the images with layer upon layer of color washes and dry brush technique mixed with occasional areas of wet-into-wet spontaneity.
Klebesadel exhibits her work nationally and internationally. She was invited to show her watercolors in several American Embassies through the Arts in the Embassies Program. Her artwork is represented in the numerous public and private art collections.
Klebesadel is a past national president of the national Women’s Caucus for Art, a member of the Wisconsin Arts Board, and as the director of the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies’ Wisconsin Regional Art, which was started by the artist John Steuart Curry and has offered exhibition and creative opportunities for Wisconsin artists for 75 years. Her recent artistic collaborations include two collaborative activist art projects, the Exquisite Uterus Art of Resistance Project and The Flowers Are Burning – an environmental and web-based project. Her watercolors can be seen on her website.
If you go—
Who: Visiting artist Helen Klebesadel
What: Artist Talk
When: 5 p.m. Thursday, April 20
Where: Theatre, Student Union, 521 East Ave N.