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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Racine Art Museum Explores Animal Connection

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For at least 17,000 years, as evidenced by cave paintings in Lascaux, France, man has tried to capture the animal kingdom through art. The complex relationship that stems from sharing personal space with animals, whether explored through fantastical, mythical or realistic representations, provides a continual source of creative expression. The Racine Art Museum (RAM) opens two exhibitions in June to present contemporary interpretations on the connection between animals and humans.

Beginning June 10, “Animal Nature” features 17 artists presenting more than 60 objects that will delight and surprise through works of drawing, cut paper, embroidery, glass and sculpture. The prestigious artists in this exhibition boast impressive careers.

Korean artist Eunmi Chun stitches sculptures from animal parts; Teresa Faris crafts rings from wood chewed by birds; Miel-Margarita Paredes welds metal into imaginative sculptures; and Racine favorite Betsy Youngquist jewels elaborate creatures with human eyes. UW-Madison art professor Michael Velliquette cuts brilliantly colored, intricate paper that skews the line between drawings and small installations.

Each artist displays unique vision and ability in these uncommon, handcrafted objects. This exhibition will upend expectations of animals in art, expanding on the RAM's seasonal programming theme of “Museum Menagerie.”

The museum's permanent holdings are featured in the exhibition “Animal Magnetism: Sculpture from RAM's Collection,” opening June 24. The exhibit focuses on the human-animal connection through three-dimensional artworks created from ceramics, polymer, precious or non-precious metals and reclaimed materials.

Educational classes and special events related to these exhibitions will take place this summer. For more information, visit www.ramart.org.

Art Happenings


“Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition”

Cardinal Stritch University

6801 N. Yates Road

The Northwestern Mutual Art Gallery features seven Wisconsin artists, including Nathan Hatch, Bruce Niemi and Richard Taylor, who have contributed work to the university's outdoor sculpture garden. Meet the sculptors and walk through the garden at the opening reception, 5-8 p.m. June 8.

Marshall Arts Group Event

Marshall Building

207 E. Buffalo St.

The Marshall Building's quarterly event presents more than 25 galleries and venues throughout five floors for an evening of art, music and refreshments. The event runs 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 8, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 9.