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Visiting artists featured in “Desk & Table” Show 

Gretchen Cortez
Ceramic Animal Plate and Bowls

On Friday, Feb. 2, visiting artists Frank and Denise Gosar were at Viterbo for the opening night of their show, “Desk & Table.” The reception was held in the third-floor gallery of the Fine Arts Center. The artists have been visiting La Crosse while their residence is in Oregon. Denise Gosar ran a sketchbook workshop on Feb. 6 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. On the same day, Frank Gosar ran a ceramic workshop from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The visiting artists taught Viterbo’s community a slice of what they do in their art world.  

Frank and Denise Gosar, husband and wife, both have art included in the show, which consists of Frank’s stoneware pottery and Denise’s handmade books and other paper art works. There is a large portion of pottery in the gallery such as bowls, vases, and plates that vary in different sizes. The stoneware pottery gives a whimsical but functional aspect to it. On the stoneware pieces are paintings of animals such as a squirrel, owl, lamb, hummingbirds, fox, rabbits, cows, wolf, and moose. Denise’s handmade books and paper art surround the walls of the gallery. All the work is for sale. 

The majority of Frank’s work has animals on it, almost any animal anyone could think of. When Frank was asked why he paints animals on all his pottery he responded, “It started as a trial, and they started to sell much better than the flowers I used to paint. It has been a passion of mine ever since my first animal drawing in college.” On one of Frank’s stoneware plates, there is a painting of an octopus. He was asked why he chose to paint it and responded, “I think it would be fun to paint, my reaction is generally, ‘Oh, that seems fun!’” 

Frank also earned two bachelor’s degrees in art and mathematics from Viterbo. He then got a Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from the University of Oregon where he taught for 10 years. Denise graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and public health. She worked as a microbiologist lab technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in La Crosse for almost 12 years.  

The couple opened their own studio, Off-Center Ceramics, in 1993. It started with stoneware ceramics that included cow and cat mugs, pig and elephant banks, pie plates, vases, and baking dishes. Today their work is available online and at art fairs and shops throughout Oregon and Washington.  

“Desk & Table” will be running from Jan. 31 to March 27 in the third-floor gallery of the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  



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Gretchen Cortez
Gretchen Cortez, Arts and Entertainment Editor
I'm a 5th year senior from La Crosse Wisconsin. My major is Ethics, Culture, and Society with a focus in...
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