An art exhibit spanning two galleries at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fond du Lac campus showcases the work of alumna Aisha Ullius of Campbellsport.
Ullius works in mixed media to explore a whimsical sentimentality. In the “Food” exhibit, she questions how junk food may affect the body and how food makes the body feel a sense of comfort. The pieces in the “Animal” exhibit reveal how easily the human mind can be deceived through a simple, but clever visual experience.
The exhibit is open through Friday, March 27, with a closing reception that day at 4-6:30 p.m., in the Oberreich Gallery in the University Center Commons on the Fond du Lac campus, 400 University Drive. Additional pieces can be viewed in the Visual Arts Gallery in the Art Building, Room A-125.
After earning her associate degree from the Fond du Lac campus in spring 2017, Ullius transferred to Mount Mary University where she is planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in art education and art therapy in spring 2020.
In addition to her studies, Ullius teaches “try-it” ceramic, drawing and metal courses at the Peninsula School of Arts in Door County. Her art was recently included in the “Forge, Form, Fabricate” exhibition in the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
With her love for art nurtured from a young age, Ullius knew she wanted a career that combined art with helping others. As a sophomore in high school she began mentoring another student who was having a difficult time at home and school. Ullius put together a basket of supplies, including knitting needles, yarn and knitting books, and taught the student to knit during free time at school.
“I didn’t realize the positive impact I was having on a person’s life until her teacher approached me with tears of pure happiness,” Ullius said. “I found it extremely effortless to plan and provide support, and with it being very successful, I knew I found an attachment with art therapy in my career. I believe that it is important, especially in the school environment for students to feel that they can use art to cope with changes happening.”
Starting near home
While Ullius considered possible career paths, she began her college journey at the Fond du Lac campus because it was close to her hometown and affordable.
“I was not exactly sure what I wanted to pursue when I first began college, so focusing on my general education credits seemed like a good choice,” she said. “I continued to attend UW Oshkosh, Fond du Lac campus since the credits transferred nicely to almost any other college.”
She hopes to bring the therapeutic aspect of creating art into our school systems, while continuing to work as an artist.
“I want the art room to be a safe space, where students can experience flow or loss of time because they are so invested in their design. Artists have so many choices, but knowing the materials allows one to use everything it has to offer,” she said.
Looking to the future, Ullius hopes to remain near the Fond du Lac area teaching all grade levels.
“I have so many memories of my time at the Fond du Lac campus. I enjoyed the activity and the life of the campus. I cherished being part of the Art Students League on campus and working hard with peers to put together Art Momentum, the annual campus art show,” Ullius said. “I am most grateful for my art instructor at the Fond du Lac campus, Wendi Turchan, because she taught me about seeking opportunities.”
Two of Ullius’ sisters, Aricka and Amber, currently attend the UWO, Fond du Lac campus. Her younger sister, Aricka, is pursuing a career as a veterinarian and plans to transfer soon.
“My older sister, Amber, lives with cerebral palsy, but is determined to continue her higher education. Even though I competed my degree before her, I find her extremely inspiring,” Ullius said.