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'Symbolic Abstraction' exhibit opens Jan. 14

Matt Willemsen

Matt Willemsen

FAYETTE, Iowa (January 8. 2016) – 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.


About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,800 students–nationally and internationally–at its Fayette campus, 25 U.S. education locations, as well as locations in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit uiu.edu.

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