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Artist Reception: Michael Wartgow
March 11 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Meet and greet artist reception on March 11 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the UWO Fond du Lac campus Oberreich Gallery located in the University Center Commons.
Michael Wartgow was born in Wisconsin and earned a B.F.A in painting from the UW Oshkosh and an M.F.A in fine arts from Kent State University. His mixed media works recall landscapes, structures or spaces that encourage entry and explore various structural and behavioral barriers that impede our abilities to understand history.
Since 2015, Wartgow has been collaborating with the Women’s Center and Counseling Center at UW Oshkosh on an annual exhibition titled “Never Silent” which coincides with Take Back the Night and is featured at the Gail F. Steinhilber Art Gallery. He has exhibited his work nationally since 2002 and is part of several private collections, including the Progressive Art Collection. Wartgow is currently a lecturer at UW Oshkosh Fond du lac and Fox Cities Campuses, along with being on the faculty at Marian University. More information on his work can be found at michaelwartgow.com
I am interested in exploring various structural and behavioral barriers that impede our abilities to understand history. Currently, I see a climate where history is often perceived as having little relevance due in part to the immediate accessibility of information through various technological platforms. I’m interested in how this immediacy of information coincides with history and how it affects our personal experiences with it.
My work often recalls landscapes, structures or spaces that encourage entry and hint at a larger narrative. It takes on various forms intended to draw in the viewer and evoke feelings of solitude. Through a working process that begins with technology and ends with traditional methods, I focus my efforts on revealing history but preventing it from taking relevance at the same time. This attempt to find balance is where I see barriers creating the greatest tension between an understanding of history and a personal relationship to it.
At a time where our experiences are often immediately documented online or through social media, moments are lost to distraction and so too is the relevance of that moment in history. By investigating various structural and behavioral barriers, I look to create works that promote moments of pause and self-reflection in an effort to understand how history impacts us personally.