Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Earth meets stars in ‘Terrestelle’

Kyiah Nelson / Advance-Titan Many community members attended the art gallery reception to support UWO alumnus Ryan Steiskal on April 5

The Annex Gallery recently opened “Terrestelle,” an exhibit displaying a variety of UW Oshkosh alumnus Ryan Steiskal’s art that will be open for viewing through April 18.

Steiskal said that the themes in his art were inspired mainly by his own interests, specifically his fascination with nature and love for science fiction. Through his art, he wanted to share them with others.

“I designed my posters for the show and I made two separate posters for that reason: one that depicts the nature and one that depicts the astronaut because someone is gonna feel some pull with either one of those and then get to experience all of them,” he said. “In fact, the ‘Terrestelle’ is ‘Earth’ and ‘star,’ and hence nature and the sci-fi.”

Rich Norenberg, a local artist and community member, said Steiskal’s work stands out because of his use of color and his overall vision.

“I think that’s powerful for an artist: stay true to your vision and what you do and then create themes in your work, and you’re going to tell a story eventually,” he said.

Norenberg also commented on Steiskal’s choice of theme for the gallery.

 “This connection between the earth and intergalactic … I just find that very interesting,” Norenberg said.

Steiskal was chosen by UWO gallery curators after winning his second poster contest for the Wisconsin State Fair in 2023.

“Ryan was someone we reached out to because he had graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2015. A lot of our faculty had still been keeping up with his art career since graduating,” Gallery Director Leslie Walfish said. “We learned that his work was accepted for the second time as the poster for the Wisconsin State Fair.”

This makes Steiskal the first artist to have two posters for the Wisconsin State Fair, since the normal rules dictate an artist can only win the poster contest once.

“For the State Fair, you can enter as many times as you want but once you win, that’s it,” Steiskal said. “They were coming up to their 10-year celebration, and they decided to have the previous nine artists compete for 2023. It was me versus the previous nine, and I won, so I am the first to do that.”

Steiskal said a key aspect of his art was connecting with his roots and focusing more on what he wanted to make than how it would look in a gallery.

He said, “I enjoyed the more fun aspects of the art-making and when I stopped trying to [think] ‘What’s my message? What would fit great in an art gallery?’ Just like ‘What do you want to make?’ And like I want to make that kid who was 12 years old … happy.”

Steiskal said his goal for this exhibit was to ignite his inner child.

“I think that’s what I did; I did it for that person I feel like I lost,” Steiskal said. “We were all young and trying to be something we’re thinking that we’re supposed to be. You hit 30 and you’re just like ‘I just want to bring back what made me happy.’”

Steiskal also included some pencil sketches in his exhibition.

“A lot of the pencil work that I do is what I do for the original pieces, but it gets covered up so I wanted to show what I did beforehand,” he said.

Terrestelle will be open until April 18 in the Annex Gallery on the second floor of the Arts and Communications Center. The Annex Gallery hours are 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday with additional hours from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 2 – 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Check the Annex Gallery’s hours online at

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