THELMA SADOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Calendar

Apr
30
Thu
Amy Jarvis: The Mythics: A Visual Story of Women Around the World
Apr 30 @ 6:00 pm – Jun 13 @ 3:00 pm

The Mythics: A visual story of women around the world

Exhibition will be on display from April 30 – June 13, 2020

This series of large scale paintings presents women across the continents and across the centuries. These paintings are meant to express inspiration by the shared journey of women everywhere. Offered as a tribute; a statement of love and an expression of fascination. The artist becomes both student and guide as she investigates various countries, looking for appealing or historical patterns, possibly artifacts or vegetation, maybe of past, maybe of future, and perhaps a little mythic imagery to invite the viewer to share the journey.

The spirits of women are portrayed in their elements, in their worlds, in their situations, and in their beauty. They are fair and they are strong, they are leaders and they are nurturers. They are the mothers of children and of cultures, bringers of values and of learning. They tell the story to help us find our way and guide us to our rightful place – where we are one.

Amy Jarvis is a Wisconsin visual artist and a 500 hour registered Vinyasa yoga instructor currently living in Thiensville, Wisconsin.  Amy resided in Fond du Lac for many years and she has remained active in that community teaching yoga events and is a former Executive Board Member at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts. She has participated in THELMA’s membership shows several times and has twice won the Viewer’s Choice Award prize.

Amy obtained a degree in Illustration from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) and spent years working for Milwaukee agencies and photographers as a digital retouching artist before coming back to painting. She credits her yoga journey for bringing her back to art.

For the past four years, Amy’s art has focused primarily on custom animal portraits. Her belief that animals make the world a better place is apparent in her art as she captures the spark in the eye, the animation and emotion displayed by her clients pets.

Joan Lobis Brown: Women of an UNcertain age: Indomitable Baby Boomers Challenging Cultural Norms
Apr 30 @ 6:00 pm – Jun 13 @ 3:00 pm

“Women of an UNcertain age: Indomitable Baby Boomers Challenging Cultural Norms”
Photographs and Text by Joan Lobis Brown

Exhibition will be on display from April 30 – June 13, 2020


Her Artist Talk has been postponed due to travel restrictions because of the Coronavirus. Joan is from New York and we are hoping to have her at a later date. Thank you for your consideration.

Artist Statement
How long does it take for a denied class to achieve parity? It took over 130 years after the Constitution was written for women to gain the right to vote on a national level. This year, 127 women are serving in Congress—more than any other time in our history.

There is no better moment than the present one to showcase the lives of ordinary/extraordinary baby boomer women. Baby boomer women have shown all of us how never to give up and forge ahead, how to lead inspiring lives and how to be truly free and capitalize on our talents and strengths and assume our rightful place in history.

“Women of an UNcertain Age: Indomitable Baby Boomers Challenging Cultural Norms” is a portraiture series— accompanied by text culled from interviews—that focuses on American baby boomer women of diverse races, religions, sexual identities, professions and socioeconomic backgrounds.

American baby boomer women—– women born between 1945 and 1964 were the first generation to expect that they could “have it all”: equality, family, careers, health and prosperity. Now, they face challenges brought on by the demands of growing older while continuing to enjoy those same meaningful and evolved lives.

Women have been, and still are, the targets of sexism and ageism. Older women are often invisible, remaining largely unseen by members of a youth-oriented society and underrepresented in popular culture and imagery. When they are visible, they are often and euphemistically described as being “of a certain age,” as though an acknowledgement of maturity might be taken as an
offense. Even worse, older women are sometimes thought of and depicted as crones or witches.

Since 2015, I have photographed and interviewed 39 unknown yet outstanding baby boomer women who have shattered stigma, dismantling stereotypes to become extraordinary women launching new careers, achieving physical goals, overcoming adversity and making society a better place for all of us.

I researched and networked to identify women to feature in my project who were born during this period and are living in the United States and leading inspiring lives. The women we meet in this project are strong, resilient, tenacious, courageous and unstoppable. Their stories cover a wide variety of accomplishments. They are athletes, scholars, activists, businesswomen, artists, migrants and survivors. They are role models all. These amazing women are a testament to the character, courage, vitality and spunk of American baby boomer women.

Each portrait in the series represents a collaboration between me and the particular woman being photographed. The women have been photographed in settings—whether at home or at their  workplace—that are meaningful to them and convey a sense of who they are. Additionally, together we made choices about their hair, makeup, clothing and even what objects would surround them. They are not only making sure that they are seen—they have taken charge of how they will be seen.

These photographs and stories bear witness to a generation that never gave up. As a bonus, the images and stories of these ordinary/extraordinary women will serve as a blueprint for younger generations, guiding them in how to live their truest lives as well as offering them encouragement and freedom to face the unique challenges that lie ahead of them. I learned a lifetime of lessons from listening to these women and wish I’d had them as role models as a young woman.

The large collages in this exhibition are made from postcards that have been collected at previous iterations of my traveling exhibition. In effect, these collages reflect the wisdom that comes with age.

I provide postcards, with an image that I took at the January 2017 Women’s March, asking women viewers to answer to the question “What would I tell my younger self?” (please see postcard uploaded as image #18).

I would like to add postcards from women who participate at the Thelma Sadoff Center for The Arts, as well as the greater Fond du Lac area and Wisconsin in general, to the collage part of this exhibition. Yet-to-be completed postcards would be on a small table in front of existing collages and will invite viewers of this particular incarnation of the exhibition to answer the same question and impart their own wisdom.

After completing them, viewers will drop the cards into a box to be collected at the end of the exhibition. These will then become part of a new collage to be included in my next exhibition of this project. In this way, everyone who views this exhibition is invited to become a part of it as it travels and grows.

To guide viewers through the exhibition, spiral bound notebooks will contain a page featuring a thumbnail image and story for every woman in the exhibition (please see image #19).

There will also be a mirror among the images. In this way, I hope to have viewers literally see themselves among these women and, figuratively, imagine their place among them.

Also featured is what I am referring to as a networking image, showing how I came to be connected to the subjects in my portraits, underscoring my own place among them (please see image #20).

There is also the possibility of having framed images. All prints are archival pigment prints.

May
21
Thu
Cassie Marie Edwards
May 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from May 21 – July 11, 2020

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 21, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6:30 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Artist’s Exchange: Stay tuned for time and date!

Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about her process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

One of my earliest memories was in my great-Grandmother’s house. She had an entire wall filled with shelves of figurines. I was fascinated by these tiny porcelain objects that were strange and exaggerated versions of the animals they represented. When we visited I’d always spend time looking at them, while being instructed to keep my hands behind my back (of course). Even then, as a very young child, I remember finding such quiet joy in looking closely and carefully at these small mesmerizing forms.

My family moved often throughout my childhood and my possessions became a much needed source of stability in my constantly shifting world. I began collecting small porcelain horses and unicorns from garage sales and secondhand shops that I frequented in Milwaukee with my grandmother. I have always been interested in the past lives of the objects in these places – and enjoyed scouring the remnants of peoples’ possessions for these mass-produced treasures.

In recent years, my desire to collect figurines was rekindled, which led me to begin using them as subjects for this series of paintings. I was interested in playing with the boundaries between the genres of still life and portraiture, and high and low art. I am also interested in exploring the limits of representation. Making this work is like a visual telephone game – they are paintings of painted porcelain objects. Many of the figurines are so distorted and exaggerated that sometimes it becomes hard to determine the animals they originally reference. I am intrigued by our ability to discern what these abstracted forms represent.

Within my paintings, I focus on subtly shifting color, composition, scale, and light within the still lives I paint directly from until I am content with how they impact the personality of the figurines. The figurines I am most drawn to are strange, comical, and sometimes slightly discomforting. In some of these works I intend to heighten the personalities of the figurines, and at other times I’m looking to completely alter the inherent qualities of these inanimate objects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi Jensen
May 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from May 21 – July 11, 2020

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 21, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6:30 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Artist’s Exchange: Stay tuned for time and date!

Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about her process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

In Claude Cahun’s monologue “Helen the Rebel”, the narrative of Helen of Troy is reimagined and retold. Rather than existing as a passive object of desire, Cahun’s Helen collaborates with her husband Menelaus to orchestrate the Trojan War. Her renowned beauty is the result of a training process. Helen relates instructions from Menelaus on how to become beautiful: “. . . sit comfortably in a darkened room and think of nothing. Just that, every day, for a few minutes – gradually and indefinitely increasing the time”. This project casts an oblique eye at subjects homely and humble, extravagant and decorative, and to the biological forces that create transformation in organic life forms.

A thread running throughout my work is confusion of the animate and inanimate, an approach to form leading back to the Surrealists. This work is influenced by readings including the diaries of Charles Darwin, the work of philosopher Elizabeth Grosz, who seeks to link Darwin’s research on sexual selection with Luce Irigarary’s theories on sexual difference, and Jane Bennett’s writing on new materialism. Their work informs my own interest in how biological and cultural life evolves, changes and develops in unpredictable directions, always in a state of flux. We seek to establish order by creating taxonomies and groupings, fixing things in place. Yet, forces such as desire can destabilize and upend systems and classifications, resulting in new configurations.

The subjects in many of these drawings are brushes and neck ruffs. They are designed to fit or complement the body, as tool or as adornment. They carry references to territories of the feminine, the decorative and the domestic. The neck ruffs and brushes share a degree of ambiguity. The elaborate neck ruffs may be perceived as feminine, though they were worn historically by both women and men. They are a display of excess and unrepentant ornamentation. In contrast, the brushes and dusters are consigned to a role of service, and they wallow in the dust. These anthropomorphic forms hover between the male and female, they contain tongue-in-cheek references to physical anatomy. There is an attempt, in my work, that seems to submerge and emerge, to wrestle with and stretch the boundaries of the feminine into a new shape.

Other drawings in the Small Animals and Tumblers series feature simple life forms, drawn in response to Darwin’s theories of sexual selection. These little organisms take on increasingly saturated colors and grow extensions, transforming beyond their original basic shapes and coloration to become more complex and vivid. In reading Darwin’s journals, I felt an affinity with Darwin’s curiosity, close observation and deep appreciation of his subjects. I also sensed a fissure between Darwin’s methods of study (capture, collection and dissection), and my own impulse to preserve and protect. The medium of gouache does not allow for extensive revision, so every decision must be lived with. This results in compositions that grow and sprawl organically from one form to another.

 

 

 

 

Jul
16
Thu
Adriane Little: Mapping Mrs. Dalloway
Jul 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Mapping Mrs. Dalloway by Adriane Little

Exhibition will be on display from July 16 – August 29, 2020

Opening Reception: July 16, 2020, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6:30 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Artist’s Exchange: Stay tuned for time and date!

Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about her process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Literature is riddled with dead or otherwise missing mothers. Virginia Woolf’s life and writing were partly, yet significantly guided by the death of her mother when Woolf was just 13-years-old. This loss reappears across her novels. As an artist, I am interested in studying both her writing and her as a woman who experienced this early and profound loss. Conceptually, this work is supported by continued research to advance the trope of the missing mother. Mapping Mrs. Dalloway represents a new way of visualizing text and image within my practice by incorporating data mapping in this new work.

For Mapping Mrs. Dalloway, I walked the streets of London and photographed along the path that Mrs. Dalloway walks in the novel. In doing so, I brought the walking path and Mrs. Dalloway forward 90 years into the present. These are the same streets that Woolf herself walked countless times. My intention was not to illustrate the novel, but instead to use stream of consciousness in capturing the images. This mirrors the literary strategy of the novel. This project challenged me to photograph in a new way. I was limited to a specific amount of time while in England. I knew where I would walk but I was not certain what I would actually find. As each day past, I became more familiar with the sense of place created by the movement of people in the city and the project evolved.

After returning from England, I divided the text of the novel into 20 sections. Each section is then visualized as a word count of the novel and layered over an image in the series. The circles grow larger the more often a particular word was repeated. The green that is used for the data mapping was color matched from photographs I took of the wall paint while inside of Monk’s House. The data visualization both obscures and reveals information within each image. I perceive the interaction of the mapping within each image as moments of loss.

Adriane Little is a conceptual artist and educator living in Kalamazoo Michigan. Her studio practice originates from the perspective of photographic processes, but also crosses media and theoretical positions. The underpinnings of her visual work and research are at an intersection of trauma and ritual through an interrogation of a presence and absence of the maternal body. The translation of this space is both literal and metaphor or the architecture of an ephemeral maternal space that is embedded within what she calls the matrilineal ghost. As a continuation of these ideas, recent work turns to literature as a source of visualization. Literature is riddled with dead or otherwise missing mothers.

By both committee and invitation, her artwork has received national and international recognition in numerous exhibitions and video screenings. Since arriving to Western Michigan University in fall 2006, her artwork has exhibited in 57 different venues in 52 international cities and in 87 different venues in 69 U.S. cities. Most notable and recent venues include; Gallery 1401 (Philadelphia PA), CEPA Gallery (Buffalo NY), the Institute of Culture (Trbovlje Slovenia), The Center for Photography at Woodstock (Woodstock NY), Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo NY), Chelsea Art Museum (NYC), Syracuse International Film Festival, Siouxland Film Festival, Milwaukee Short Film Festival, Dawson City International Film Festival in the Yukon, Macon Film and Video Festival, Three Rivers Film Festival and the Leeds International Film Festival in the UK, among others. She has curated several exhibitions including Plus 3 Ferris Wheels, 17 Days and several solo exhibitions in galleries and online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa Wilkinson: UnNatural Histories
Jul 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

UnNatural Histories

Exhibition will be on display from July 16 – August 29, 2020

Closing Reception: Thursday, August 27, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6:30 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

This series of paintings relates to my interest in dichotomies: obscuring and revealing, attraction and repulsion, good and evil, the past and the present. Through a tediously crafted watercolor painting practice I seek to make something strange out of the ordinary. I am deeply interested in the interaction of parts and am attracted to the tactile in an increasingly technological and dehumanized time. I appropriate imagery from 19th century naturalist illustrators such as John James Audubon, Jacques Barraband and Elizabeth Gould and pair with superficially sensual subject matter to develop a pastiche that fractures both into the surreal and suggestive. I draw from sensual imagery sourced from internet searches, bodies, fabrics, shells, gems, flowers, etc. in order to open a curio chest that examines the 21st century obsession with all things slick and hollow. The images break from their original sources into fragments, creating a complex visual experience that both irritates and seduces. I paint these images to investigate the slippery definition of both desire and corporeality.

The romantic process of painting allows me to meditate on issues of gender, identity construction and beauty. Though the paintings are initially conceived of using digital processes,they are made employing a very purist approach to watercolor. In doing so, I endeavor to uphold these painting processes while dismantling the elitism with which they are often associated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep
3
Thu
Alexandra Opie: Wonder Box
Sep 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wonder Box by Alexandra Opie

Exhibition will be on display from September 3 – October 17, 2020

Opening Reception: September 3, 2020, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6:30 pm exploring the current art exhibition.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Artist’s Exchange: Stay tuned for time and date!

Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about her process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

The antique forms of tintype, ambrotype, and prints from glass-plate negatives allow for a heightened awareness of the intense beauty and mystery of the mundane. These plant parts are photographed in extreme macro–with an eight-foot long camera and a scavenged military aerial survey lens–in a way that intentionally confuses perception. The resulting ambiguous scale, in conjunction with a composition reminiscent of portraiture, lends a corporeality to these plant specimens. Lines between plant and human are blurred as these organic forms mimic the familiar: silhouettes, hands, gestures, viscera, genitalia.