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New Kohler Experience Center in Los Angeles hosts inaugural exhibition of David Franklin's Ghost School
Franklin working on Ghost School.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Kohler Co. is featuring the large-scale work of renowned sculptor, David Franklin, a Kohler Artist-in-Residence, in its newly launched Kohler Experience Center.

One of seven in the world and one of two in the United States, KEC LAX opened its doors at 8955 Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood on December 5, 2017 and offers consumers and design professionals a truly elevated brand experience. KEC LAX also serves as a dynamic art exhibition space for select pieces from the permanent collection of Kohler Co. and its Arts/Industry Program which fosters the intersection of art and the industrial process and allows artists to explore the use of industrial technologies in the creation of new bodies of work.

“Building vibrant, healthy communities through the arts is an integral part of Kohler Co., rooted in the value placed on design, innovation and craftsmanship,” comments Laura Kohler, Senior Vice President-Human Resources & Stewardship at Kohler Co. “Artists are invited to expand their imaginations in Kohler factories, fostering the intersection of creative practice and industrial design—transforming the lives of both artist and craftsman.”

KEC LAX inaugurates its new exhibition space with the unveiling of Ghost School (2015), a piece from the Kohler Co. permanent collection by renowned Washington State-based sculpture artist and two-time Kohler artist-in-residence David Franklin. The installation, crafted from clay during Franklin’s 2015 residency, celebrates life on the water while giving form to the artist’s continued concern of the ocean environment where he frequently spends time.

Trained in wood-carving, Franklin first worked with clay during his Arts/Industry Pottery residency in 2012. Franklin learned to love the medium and used it to create Ghost School during his second Arts/Industry residency in 2015. Ghost School captures the dense cloud-like swarm that bait fish form when threatened by larger fish. While staying at Kohler, Franklin learned that people fished for salmon in nearby Lake Michigan. Knowing this made him feel at home and led him to envision Ghost School.

“The work by David represents the exploration many artists experience within the Arts/Industry residency program,” said Kristin Plucar, Arts/Industry program manager with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. “Prior to his residency, David didn’t have exposure to or experience working with clay. The Kohler Co. factory is an environment singularly suited to support artists in the creation of works they may not be able to accomplish in their home studios. The KEC will showcase the work that results from the extraordinary collaboration between the artists and the program, and the Arts Center deeply appreciates this demonstration of Kohler Co.’s ongoing commitment to the creative arts.”

Arts/Industry is a world-renowned artist-in-residence program managed by John Michael Kohler Arts Center and hosted/funded by Kohler Co. Participating artists receive travel, housing, a stipend, featured exhibitions at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and 24/7 access to studios in the Kohler Co. Foundry and Pottery facilities in Kohler, Wis. Residencies typically last from two to six months.

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