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201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI

Exhibitions


December 2016 / January 2017


Diane Endres Ballweg Gallery (3rd Floor)

Mandy Rogers Horton  Rise And Fall

The current body of art reflects on the ongoing construction of our lives and culture from eclectic and disparate sources. The combinations yield surprising harmonies as well as daunting tensions. We are in constant negotiations-- what should go, what will remain? All times are times of change in which something is lost, something gained. Systems and structures rise and fall or fall into disuse and await reclamation. The process is always, for all of us, ongoing. The work is unfinished and unfinishable.

In the two dimensional work, the process of collage parallels the process of composing both our physical lives and world views with pre-existing forms, language, and ideas. Likewise in the sculptural works, materials scavenged from demolition and construction sites have been repurposed, recombined. These fragments stitched together from varied origins afford unexpected beauty as well as tenuous inconsistencies.


SECOND FLOOR

Amy Bethel  Strange Bones

According to legend, L.C. Smith and his brother Wilburt, of Smith Corona typewriters, originally owned a gun factory, but they got turned on to typewriters by a guy they brought in to improve their guns. The parts of a typewriter are surprisingly similar to those of a shotgun, so it was easy to start making typewriters, and they became incredibly successful at it and stopped making guns. There would be a “pen is mightier than the sword” lesson in there somewhere, except they really just cared about making more money.

 Despite their chequered capitalist past, I really love typewriters. I take them apart—along with some adding machines and clocks and music boxes—and make new stuff. It’s fascinating to me to open up an old machine, see the insides, and learn how it works (girls didn’t get to take shop class when I was a kid). Some of the parts that you’d never see from the outside are so elegant, and I like the layers of dirt and grime and ink. To some it may be a sacrilege to “destroy” an antique, but to me it feels like I’m freeing the parts to get back into life and speak to the present.

I’m curious about the life of machines. They are often thought of as the opposite of humanity, and yet we create them. We adapt the shapes and functions of our instruments to our messy lives, and their workings reveal our social structures and the shoulders we stand upon, as well as our desire and confusion. Our lives are “processed” through machines of our own making—what if we could reshape machines to “unprocess” us? 

Those are a few of the things I think about.

 As for my history, I was born in Clayton, MO and lived the Midwest until I was almost nine, when my family moved Raleigh, NC (just a couple years after the final deadlines for desegregating the public schools). I fled after high school and studied and lived in the New York/New England area for a number of years before coming to Madison, where I have lived since 1990. I earned a BA in art and an MA and PhD in the psychology of creativity, with a concentration in women’s studies (all from radical, experimental schools you’ve probably never heard of). After several years as a painter/printmaker, I spent 16 years involved in the performing arts as an aerial dancer, choreographer, and neo-burlesque performance artist before focusing again on visual art, this time working in three and four dimensions.


SECOND FLOOR INSTALLATION

DARE (DictionARY of American Regional English): Words Count

JOAN HALL, CARRIE ROY, AND JULIE SCHNEBLY

A RANTUM SCOOT THROUGH DARE

Words Count is a collaborative exploration of the vocabularies, statistics, and text in the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE). Hall, Roy, and Schnebly travelled to the crossroads where lexicography, digital text analysis, and the visual arts meet to look at DARE in new ways. This rantum scoot* resulted in Roy’s interpretation of the data coming to life through her extraordinary works of art.  

Carrie Roy, Ph.D., Artist, Text Analyst, and recent TEDx Speaker works at the intersections of art and computation. Roy, an alumna of Wisconsin Institute of Discovery’s Living Environments Laboratory group and UW-Madison’s Humanities Research Bridge, creates art that offers alternative data and information experiences. She is currently based out of Denver but works with groups across the country and is always interested in connecting with others to explore how humans engage with data, information, and ideas. 

DARE  is an ongoing reference work that documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another place across the United States. Challenging the popular notion that our language has been "homogenized" by the media and our mobile population, DARE demonstrates that there are many thousands of differences that characterize the dialect regions of the U.S. The project has been based at UW–Madison for more than fifty years.

Joan Houston Hall, Ph.D., is Chief Editor Emerita of DARE and a nationally recognized expert in regional English. Now retired, Hall continues to volunteer her time to the DARE project as editor, administrator, fundraiser, speaker, writer, and researcher.

Julie Schnebly, Digital Text Specialist, has been with the project for nine years and prepares DARE’s research for publication in a wide variety of formats, including data sets and art exhibits.  

*The term rantum scoot is an entry in DARE and means "An outing with no definite destination."


FIRST FLOOR

Jennifer Bastian  How We Keep Our Fears

Work based on a series of questions about fear. Artist Jennifer Bastian conducted a survey on the emotional experience of Fear. Responses are compiled (anonymously) into an archive and installed as a part of an exhibition in the First Floor Display Space at Madison Public Library.


PAST EXHIBITIONS

2016

2015


2014


2013


Call for Artists:

Central Library Art ShowsThe next deadline for applications is February 5, 2017

Click here to apply