August 18, 2020 - John Michael Kohler Arts Center - Between You and Me
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August 18, 2020

John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Between You and Me, installation view at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2020. Shown: works by (left) Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice: selected work by Lawrence Oliver; (center) Chloe Bass; (right) Christine Wong Yap. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Between You and Me
August 5, 2020–January 24, 2021

John Michael Kohler Arts Center
608 New York Ave.
Sheboygan, WI 53081
United States
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–4pm,
Thursday 11am–7pm

T +1 920 458 6144
F +1 920 458 4473
contact@jmkac.org

www.jmkac.org
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The John Michael Kohler Arts Center presents Between You and Me, a group exhibition focusing on the work of nine artists whose practices engage in connection and care. The exhibition is part of “On Being Here (and There),” a series of exhibitions and programs exploring the ways artists and cultural organizations initiate community connections, encourage belonging, and provide social sustenance.

Between You and Me features work by Chloë Bass, Sara Clugage, John Preus, Benjamin Todd Wills, Christine Wong Yap, and General Sisters (Dana Bishop-Root and Ginger Brooks Takahashi). A nested curatorial project by Bea, Elliot, Esperanza, Joyce, Nora, and Syncier from the Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice, led by artists Lisa Jarrett and Harrell Fletcher, features the work of Public Annex artist Lawrence Oliver.

In a gallery laid out as an interconnected community of spaces, visitors are encouraged to see artists not as people on the margins, illustrating modern life, or commenting on current events, but as citizens and neighbors integrated into our communities and integral to crafting a rich and complex civic life.

Chloë Bass’s The Book of Everyday Instruction investigates one-on-one social interaction. Unfolding in multiple cities, in public, in her studio, and within cultural organizations, Bass’s project focuses on the nuance between self and other in close correspondence.

John Preus’s “stoops” are part of a hybrid sculpture and design practice that combines reuse, community collaboration, and poetics in furniture making. These works evoke sites and occasions for dialogue.

Five years ago, Benjamin Todd Wills began writing letters to incarcerated citizens who never or rarely received mail. When he received a paper airplane from one of them, it so beautifully symbolized freedom that Wills asked others to send him one. He ultimately amassed around 500 planes that visually connect viewers to neighbors currently serving time. 

Christine Wong Yap has made exploring the process and conditions that beget belonging central to her work, developing a range of tools, games, and documents that guide participants toward recognition and acknowledgement of their course toward affiliation and fellowship.

General Sisters, founded by Dana Bishop-Root and Ginger Brooks Takahashi in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, began with the acquisition of a building. Their foundational question—“How do we build a neighborhood grocery store, as neighbors?”—laid the groundwork for a collaboration in which they learn and develop practices that nourish a neighborhood conditioned by systemic racial, economic, and environmental oppression.

To illustrate economic histories, Sara Clugage hosts dinner parties that draw on the culinary styles from different periods of art history, teasing out the interconnectedness of culture, labor, and wealth while guests hear short performative lectures and play trivia.

Nestled inside Between You and Me is another exhibition curated by the Portland, Oregon-based Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice, coordinated by artists Lisa Jarrett and Harrell Fletcher. Students at the Harriet Tubman Middle School learn about curatorial practice and art criticism across cultural fields, eventually applying their skills as a curatorial team working both in their school and at large. For this exhibition, they worked with Portland’s Public Annex, which serves residents with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The student curators chose to showcase the work of Public Annex artist Lawrence Oliver, a multidisciplinary artist whose work ranges from sculptural machines to drawings and objects inspired by nature, YouTube videos, cartoons, and video games.

All these practices foreground the many ways artists think about, and with, their communities to create art practices that host, support, nourish, connect, and care for those around them.

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