MADISON, Wis. — The city of Madison is rich in the arts as much as it is rich in students and Badger sporting pride. With two museums within walking distance of campus and four performing arts centers, downtown Madison alone offers an abundance of places for creatives to find inspiration. Senior Olivia Bratzke took full advantage of this fact.
“It’s really cool – Madison is one of the smallest big cities I’ve been to with the most community art opportunities available to artists,” Bratzke said.
As a fourth-year rower and an integral member of the team, Bratzke became Porter Boathouse’s current art expert.
“Every four years it seems the rowing team picks another artistic girl, which is actually very heartwarming because it keeps the creativity alive in the boathouse,” Bratzke said with a smile.
At the center of his interests, however, are people. Dual majoring in sociology and art (focus on graphic design), Bratzke can study people through ethnographic studies, as well as use her detailed eye to create posters and social media posts for people to learn and enjoy. appreciate.
“I enjoy creating art on a daily basis, but I also enjoy reading about different companies and why we [as people] do the things we do. It never gets boring either – I’m always messy, which is great fun,” Bratzke said.
While her classes tend to be serious, Bratzke always tries to keep life light.
“I go out a lot to eat ice cream with my friends and I never shut up about my dog [but] when I arrived on campus, I just tried to keep an open mind and [embrace] looking really stupid and messing up a lot – that’s normal for the course,” Bratzke said.
Outside of sports, Bratzke creates graphics for the @badgerwrowing social media pages and even spent 80 hours of his winter vacation painting a beautiful mural in the bay of the Badgers boathouse erg. Off campus, she gained experience as a graphic designer with Stem to Stern, a program in partnership with USRowing that aims to remove barriers to participation and increase representation in the sport of rowing.
“I have to create a more playful, childlike setup for the images, which always makes my art that much more interesting,” Bratzke said.
On top of all that, Bratzke is the president of marketing for SAAC and donates her time to Badgers Give Back.
Ultimately, Bratzke knows she’s playing to her strengths and following her passions along the way.
“I’ve always been good at visualization and presentation. Usually I can present my ideas better in pictures than in words – art is great for that,” Bratzke said.
After graduating in May, Bratzke plans to stay in Madison. She will be attending the School of Business to prepare for her Masters in Creative Enterprise and Leadership. Through the program, she looks forward to working with nonprofit organizations as a graphic designer doing community outreach. But first, catch her on a lake near you finishing her final season as a Badger rower!