“If any of my students’ work looked like mine, then I’d be a failure.” So says Fred Stonehouse, who has taught at UW–Madison in the painting department since 2006. To a great extent, this sentiment is the mark of a good teacher, who seeks to instruct, encourage, and push young artists to develop their own artistic persona and not copy the work of their teacher.
Sofia Arnold, Kim Benson, Tom Berenz, Melissa Cooke, Ben Grant, Alex Jackson, and Claire Stigliani all studied under Fred Stonehouse, but none of their work could ever be confused with his. By that measure, Stonehouse has succeeded spectacularly. These artists graduated and got “out of Madison”; only Berenz and Grant have remained in Wisconsin. Jackson relocated to Connecticut; Benson and Cooke to Minnesota; and Arnold went to Tennessee to pursue their careers or engage in further study.
Here at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, we celebrate artists who have had transformational experiences within the state. This group of former students of Fred Stonehouse are all successfully embarking on their professional careers. This exhibition brings them and their mentor under the same roof for the first time.
Watch Out of Madison at MOWA