Letter from the Chancellor

Does art matter? Absolutely.

This music always rescues me, There’s a melody for every malady, Prescription: Song, you see. — Stew, Passing Strange

As an educator for nearly 40 years, I have heard the same questions you have: “What can you do with an art degree? Can you really mold a career out of a lump of clay?”

People wonder if art matters. Can it translate into a family-sustaining livelihood or economic growth?

I offer an emphatic “Absolutely, art matters.” No art, no community.

Our cover story shows how our art students and graduates, every day, sculpt careers out of their academic experience. Their talents and contributions influence how we define quality of life. Consider that our state tourism industry is, these days, as vested in bird watching (and painting) as it is in bird hunting. That’s just one example.

As I prepare to retire in August as UW Oshkosh chancellor, I find myself reflecting a lot on art. From my view, art extends well beyond our galleries and performance stages. Its beauty is not just in “things” but also in “ways of doing things.”

With partners, we are not unlike sculptors helping recycle and revitalize riverfronts for the betterment of our community and region. Our graduates are artful in offering vision and leadership to countless companies, nonprofits, schools, governments and other organizations. UW Oshkosh’s artistry radiates everywhere students, staff and faculty invest their knowledge and expertise.

The wisdom we cultivate and share is a symphony.
Our faculty and staff are the virtuosos making the music.

For 14 years, I have had the honor of helping conduct what I believe is Wisconsin’s finest orchestra.

Richard Wells, Chancellor

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