Wega Arts Gallery Opening
February 9th, 5pm Reception
The Wega Arts Gallery will be showing works by Justin Siporski who regularly contributes his fish drawings to Peterson's Field Guide and other publications. Through March 10th.
Justin T. Sipiorski, is a Stevens Point native who now resides in Waupaca with his wife and two children. He started drawing as a toddler and started fishing seriously at the age of ten. He loved fishing so much that, after high school, he decided to enter the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) as a double major in Biology and Fisheries. Upon graduation in 1997 he recieved a Master's in Biology (fish neuro-physiology) from the University of South Dakota in 2000 and he completed his Ph.D. in Zoology (evolution of fishes) from Southern Illinois University Carbodale in 2011. He returned to Stevens Point in 2008 lucky enough to be able to pursue a "dream career" as a Professor of Biology and Curator of Fishes at UWSP. Justin never received any formal art training since high school but kept drawing throughout college and graduate school. While at UWSP he won several wildlife art competitions and he designed environmental interpretive signs for nature conservancies throughout the Eastern U.S. As a Master's student he drew and designed a logo for the Virginia Tech aquaculture program. As a Ph.D. student he illustrated baleen whales for the second edition of Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management and Conservation. Soon after, he was asked to contribute approximately 200 color fish illustrations for the second edition of the Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America: North of Mexico. That work was published in May 2011. Currently he is awaiting the printing of the third book for which he has contributed illustrations, A Field Guide to the Fishes of Nebraska. This book is due out in 2013. Justin contributed all of the 600+ illustrations for that effort. In Stevens Point in the summer 2008, he met his grade school sweetie, Emily (the founder of the Wega Arts, Waupaca Area Orchestra, WAO), for the first time since high school. Since then the two have rarely been apart for long and were married in 2009. Aside from serving as the Executive Director of the WAO, Emily is a violin instructor, whose studio comprises many local children. Currently at UWSP Justin teaches Ichthyology (Fish Biology), Introductory Biology and Biological Illustration. He enjoys numerous outdoor activities including fly-fishing. You may catch a glimpse of him out with his students sampling the fishes in local waterways for the UWSP College of Letters and Science, Museum of Natural History. He and his family enjoy swimming and boating in the area during the ice-free portions of the year. Also, they are known to host some pretty impressive game nights (board games, card games, etc.) when visitors stop over for dinner!
The Wega Art Gallery at the George Gerold Opera House
In 2008 we renovated the empty storefront on the West side of the Gerold Opera House into an inviting gallery space. In August 2008 we held our first art show featuring Marilyn Perry from New York and Doris Weed from Waupaca, Wisconsin.