Neville Public Museum’s 60th Art Annual

Thirty-five artists from across Northeastern Wisconsin are included in the Neville Public Museum’s 60th Art Annual, represented by 38 different pieces of work ranging from traditional and representational to conceptual.

Always a highly competitive exhibition, the 38 works of art by these 35 artists were selected from a total of nearly 300 different entries by 98 artists. They were chosen for the exhibition by jurors Annemarie Sawkins, Ph.D., who is Associate Curator at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, and Max Schultz, Director of the Aaron Bohrod Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley.

Nan Curtis, Curator of Art at the Neville Public Museum, was particularly impressed by “the increase in proposals for installations, as well as a proposal for an outdoor sculpture, an experimental sculpture and two pieces that utilized sound. This departure from the traditional indicates an evolution in the local arts community that reflects an awareness of contemporary trends in the arts community at large.”

Ms. Curtis continues, in her Introduction to the exhibition, that “The pieces selected by the jurors range from figurative to conceptual. Along with traditional paintings and prints, this year’s exhibition includes works that utilize a variety of media including hand-felted wool; soil and grass seed; lingerie and lawn furniture; plastic figures and photographs; and stainless steel.”
This year’s exhibit does indeed extend beyond the gallery walls. A monumentally large (12 feet tall) outdoors sculpture of fabricated steel—titled Babble—by De Pere artist Ned Cain dominates the Museum grounds, and another impressively large piece is installed in the Museum’s foyer. The latter piece, a mixed media (wood, soil, grass seed), is by an artist known as RJPJR, from Kaukauna. RJPJR visits the Museum weekly to photo-document the progress (process) of grass seed sprouting and growing in his eight-foot tall installation, titled Column of Dirt/Column of Grass.

The Neville Public Museum established the Art Annual in 1942. It has been held each year, with few exceptions, ever since. It is open to artists living throughout the counties of Northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

As Curator of Art Nan Curtis says in the exhibit’s introductory statement, “In addition to providing selected artists opportunity to exhibit their work in a museum, the Art Annual also provides all entrants the opportunity to have their work evaluated by museum professionals throughout the area.”

Regional artists not already on the Museum’s current mailing list and who would like to receive the prospectus for the 61st Art Annual, which opens on April 30, 2005, can call the Neville Public Museum at 920/448-4460, Ext. 0.

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