Families, weekend travelers and arts aficionados alike are flocking to Wisconsin’s John Michael Kohler Arts Center to experience “Animal Magnetism”, a series of exhibitions about animals in art that critics are calling “compelling, full of beauty and fascination.” The Arts Center, which was recently featured in The New York Times and in Midwest Living Magazine’s “Best of the Midwest” issue, is located at 608 New York Ave. in downtown Sheboygan, Wis., a charming Lake Michigan harbor town just five minutes from Interstate 43. Directions, hours, and more information can be obtained by calling 920-458-6144 or visiting www.jmkac.org.
“Animal Magnetism” is a series of exhibitions at the Arts Center that explores the dynamic and complex relationship between people and animals through paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and mixed media works. Visitors have the opportunity to view these inspiring and thought-provoking works of art by internationally known artists at no cost as the Arts Center accepts only voluntary donations.
“Animal Instinct: Allegory, Allusion, and Anthropomorphism” features historic and contemporary work by 48 acclaimed artists. The exhibition, on view through June 5, 2011, includes work by Julie Buffalohead, Walton Ford, Laurie Hogin, Beth Cavener Stichter, Bill Traylor, Tom Uttech and famous conservationist John James Audubon, among others.
“Animals are central to the histories of every culture, and in art, creatures are often cast as stand-ins for people.” said Leslie Umberger, senior curator of collections and exhibitions. “The artists in “Animal Instinct” are carrying on the ancient tradition of using animals as portals and mirrors. In every age and era, animals in works of art consistently convey more about humans than the animals being portrayed⎯they serve as a powerful device for our own reflection.”
Other exhibitions on view as part of the “Animal Magnetism” series are “Jill Greenberg: Monkey Portraits,” “Billie Grace Lynn: White Elephants,” “Mia Mulvey: Cervidae,” “Jim Neel: Babel,” “Kamante Gatura: Survival of the Fittest” and “Norman Pettingill: Pretty Far Back in the Woods.” Wild Kingdom features dozens of whimsical creatures from the Arts Center’s renowned collection of vernacular art.
For years, Jill Greenberg has photographed presidents and Hollywood elites for magazines like Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. In “Monkey Portraits,” on view through Jan. 9, Greenberg uses her keen eye for portraiture to create large-scale photographs of spider monkeys, baboons and other monkey species. Viewers are gripped as they stare into her subjects’ astonishing human-like expressions, which suggest emotions from joy and surprise to shame and sadness. In the nearby “Babel” installation, 50 life-size chimpanzees stand in formation, reminiscent of China’s famed terra cotta warriors. The army of battle-clad vitreous china figures, created by artist Jim Neel in the Arts Center’s renowned Arts/Industry residency program, speaks to the human propensity toward war-making and will remain on view through April 2011.
A herd of ghostly elephants awaits visitors in Billie Lynn Grace’s “White Elephants” installation. Her life-size beasts loom large but peacefully, their gently swaying air-filled bodies hinting at the live animals behind the age-old metaphor of the white elephant. The ghostly herd will disappear after Jan. 2.
One of Grace’s elephants is also located in the Arts Center’s Artery drop-in art-making space, where visitors can use it as a canvas for collaborative expression or make their own smaller scale make-and-take art projects. The Artery is open daily as a resource for children and adults to explore the materials and techniques used by artists in the exhibitions and will hold extended hours the week of December 27-30 so vacationing families have more time create together.
The Arts Center opens daily at 10 a.m., but is closed on select holidays, including Christmas Eve and Day and New Year’s Eve and Day. The Arts Center does not charge admission to explore its 16,000 sq. ft. of gallery space, but suggests a donation of $6 per adults and $2 for children.
August 19, 2012 //
Question of the week: "Recently two former Negro Baseball League stars were honored by the Milwa...
August 19, 2012 //
Question of the Week: “Do you know on August 14 there is a primary election? Do you think there ...