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UW Professor Wins National Art Exhibition

June 24, 2019
painting with a tree and altered reflection
“Sanctuary” by UW Professor Ricki Klages was recently named best in show in the 2019 Contemporary Art Survey at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colo.

Ricki Klages is a reminder that the University of Wyoming’s Department of Visual and Literary Arts boasts award-winning faculty.

The department head and professor of painting recently had her “Sanctuary” painting named best in show in the 2019 Contemporary Art Survey at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colo.

The 5-foot, oil-on-canvas piece depicts an image of a beech tree from the Epping Forest near London. Despite being on the outskirts of the city, the forest retains the wildness of the original outgrowth from the last ice age, as the trees within have achieved great age and gravitas.

“The beech trees were used for centuries for making charcoal, and the use of coppicing and pollarding produces incredible growth patterns that give each tree a distinct personality,” Klages says. “The tree is testimony to the profound presence the natural world can have, despite proximity to an urban population.”

The exhibition features a combination of work from 32 artists in all genres and media, presenting a broad survey of contemporary art in America. Selected from a national call for artists, guest juror Kim Dickey, an artist and professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, chose works reflecting the artists’ capacity to consider the wide world of issues, objects, imagery and ideas they encounter in creating art. Representational, abstract and conceptual works are included in the exhibition.

Klages’ painting will be on display until July 13. For more information on the exhibition and the center, visit

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