Artist Spotlight: Abigail kosberg

Every year, Lawrence hosts the Senior Arts Majors Exhibition in the Wriston Art Center to showcase artwork and projects by senior studio art majors. This year the exhibition will be from May 27 through June 3 in the Leech, Hoffmaster and Kohler Galleries.

Art history, German and studio art triple-major and senior Abigail Kosberg will have some of her artwork featured in the galleries. Surprisingly, it was not until her junior year that she considered adding studio art to her other two majors. Kosberg stated, “I started off to be a[n] art history major and then I think the German and studio art kind of just fell into place.”

The Department of Art & Art History has been a place of inspiration for Kosberg. “I love how we just have some really fantastic faculty who are just really invested in the students and work really hard to get you where you want to be,” Kosberg mentioned. “They’re willing to do independent studies with you if you don’t jive with the curriculum…[and] they’re willing to push you into other things.” Kosberg noted the department’s willingness to help and flexibility when she went abroad twice her junior year.

In Fall Term of her junior year, Kosberg had the opportunity to visit Germany and then London, where she had an internship at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery. “I would kind of help [Hossack] with restoring artwork, selling things, setting up art fairs, creating list documents of buyers [and] I got to sit in and run the gallery for events at some times,” Kosberg recounted.

Alongside the internship, Kosberg has had other gallery experience as the current director and curator for the Rabbit Gallery, a Lawrence student-run “pop-up” gallery. It is a space for students and local artists to showcase their work in a professional setting, creating a shared space between the Lawrence and Appleton communities. Kosberg mentioned that she hopes to work more in museums, but working in gallery curating and helping with sets and displays is important experience to have. “Honestly, [you need a] Ph.D. to do anything with curatorial stuff, so I’m just trying to build up experience for that now,” she said.

Kosberg shared the recent opening of the Rabbit Gallery’s new location on College Avenue. “[W]e had a fantastic opening…the biggest we have had—we had over 250 people come through. We had a lot of fantastic artwork, and we liked doing great fundraising. I think the space is really cool this year.” The Rabbit Gallery had its grand opening on May 16 and is now located at 10 E. College Ave.

With only a couple weeks left until graduation, Kosberg looks forward to the senior art exhibition where she will be displaying unique pieces combining both painting and embroidery. Kosberg explained how she paints her portraits and then places them on patterned fabrics, adding embroidery, words and other color on top of the pattern and original painting. Working with intricate details, she shared that she wants her work to be interactive for viewers and to be seen at a close-up level. “I think mostly I want people to get up close and look at [artwork] because they all have text to it, but it’s all very hidden text so you have to get up very very close, just kind of look at the texture of the fabric to see what I’ve written with it and what I’ve added to it,” Kosberg explained.

Life after Lawrence for Kosberg involves attending the University of Georgia for a graduate program in art history in hopes of one day becoming a curator. For aspiring artists at Lawrence, Kosberg recommends to “just get involved as soon as possible with [art], because for me, I thought I didn’t want to do studio art at all. I thought it was just like kind of a hobby, but the faculty honestly is so fantastic that I wish I had gotten involved in it earlier.”