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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kohler Arts Center’s ‘Celebration of Humor’

Plus: Art galore in Milwaukee’s Marshall Building

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On Sunday, June 27, Sheboygan’s John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) presents “A Celebration of Humor,” an event that kicks off its summer series titled “A Sense of Humor.” More than 20 artists provide provocative, satirical and/or witty approaches to art. Multiple mediums were chosen specifically to bring a smile to the face, and each piece warrants an up-close viewing to fully appreciate a particular artist’s humor.

In the main gallery, Massachusetts’ Jeffu Warmouth presents SuperJEFFUMarket, an installationdisplaying more than 2,000 canned products that illustrate his personal foibles. Stacked on shelves are brand names like “Crushed Hearts” and “Unresolved Guilt.” California’s Jean Lowe works in painted papier-mche to create The Loneliness Clinic Waiting Room. Uncomfortable chairs and magazine racks stocked with comical literature enhance the anxiety realized in torturous waiting rooms.

Other exhibitions that heighten JMKAC’s humorous theme include “Lynda Barry and Roz Chast: Comic Reflections,” “Mads Lynnerup: Flip-Flop Ordinary” and “Michael Velliquette: Inner Beasts.” All may be viewed at “A Celebration of Humor” on June 27 from 11 a.m-4 p.m., accompanied by gallery talks, workshops, refreshments and live music. “Laughter may be the best medicine,” says Senior Curator Leslie Umberger. “Everyone will find something that’s funny.”

On the corner of Water and Buffalo streets in the Historic Third Ward, the Marshall Building will soon see a new faade and interior presenting nearly 20 creative venues. The tentatively named Marshall Building Arts Association Galleries are planning special events to showcase their diverse galleries, artists’ studios and art conservators and consultants.

The lower level hosts Bridget Griffith Evans’ Bridget Paintsand the Milwaukee Potters Guild, home to ceramics classes and studios. Luminosity Inc. and a new, currently unnamed co-op led by artist Thomas Kovacich join them.

The main floor houses local favorites Elaine Erickson Gallery and Grava Gallery, both of which feature distinctive Wisconsin artists. The renowned Reginald Baylor Studio recently moved to a front location with a street window, and newcomer Timo Gallery offers abstract and representational work.

The second floor is home to a multitude of galleries and artists, including THE Fine Art Gallery, Gallery 218, Grotta & Co., Merge Gallery and individual artist Zina Mussmann.

On the fourth floor, conservator Cricket Harbeck complements the fifth floor and its longtime consultant, C.R. Davidson. The fifth floor also invites viewers to visit Jim Moy Photography and John Grant Photography, as well as artist Helga Hilbert-Robinson. In the coming weeks, Gene Evans will move his studio space near the treasured Portrait Society Gallery, which regularly offers intriguing exhibitions.