Student-Artist Spotlight: Theresa Hang

Bryce Parr – 

Theresa Hang

What sparked your interest in art?

Going to museums as a kid created a doorway for me to the art world. I wanted to tap into the thoughts and processes of certain artists to see how and where they started creating. Once I started doing art myself, I found that art generated a different challenge for me compared to math or science, and that challenge was conveying a complex idea to a universal, diverse audience. I wanted to challenge myself in this area of having to express emotions through the elements and principles of art and design by understanding my own emotions.

What styles or mediums do you prefer?

I enjoy studying typography in design and calligraphy. The idea of combining artistic or design technique with language to form an expression is something I’d like to explore. I like to think I’m training myself in the art of choosing fonts, but when you have to comb through millions of existing ones… it gets tough. So, I like to practice designing my own typefaces in hopes to gather enough skill to design the perfect one for every project.

Do you take influence from any artists or designers in particular?

I’m always inspired by Paula Scher. She served as the first female principle at Pentagram, a widely well-known design consultancy, and has designed for clients ranging from MoMA to Citibank to The Public Theater. Her work with typography inspires me to really push my use of type beyond its linear face and to always think about branding past the logo mark. On a side note, I really admire the craziness of her map paintings and how she includes a stark accuracy and personality in them. She just kicks ass.

Are there any projects that stood out to you during your career at Stout?

For Graphic Design II, we were given a poster series project on a given theme, and I based mine on cultural appropriation. I took photos of different students of color on campus whom represented certain cultures that have been appropriated. I paralleled the idea of cultural appropriation to a white person ripping out different sections of the students––akin to the idea that ignorance leads to taking from others without acknowledging the effects that occur. I like to revolve my work around social and political issues when possible, so I was really passionate about this particular project.

Another project that comes to mind is a print I made in Printmaking I: Serigraphy. The overall theme was identity. I decided I wanted to include a message about self-image, since that is something that I, like many others struggle to love about myself. My direct thoughts lead to the human body: the scars we obtain over years of internal and external struggle and the physical indications of gender that many may not associate themselves with on the inside. But what if everybody could change their skins, their body, as simply as changing their clothes? After this project, I took a strong liking towards screen-printing. I hope to find more chances to create more personal artwork, especially in relation to my sexual and gender identity.

Have you done any internships or projects outside of academia?

I’ve been working as a graphic designer in Housing Design for over a year. Housing Design is a team of graphic designers that design primarily for the University Housing staff at UW-Stout. We design for Week One (for freshman students), Move-in Day, various RHA events, student staff selection and other projects related to student housing. I personally contributed a shirt design for Move-in Day, postcards for parents and students, bulletin board designs, and branding for the University Housing’s End of Year Celebration. More recently, I designed a logo for UW-Stout’s upcoming escape room.