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John Michael Kohler Arts Center celebrates 50th anniversary with yearlong exhibition
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, untitled (various works), c. 1940-1980. John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection.Photo: Rich Maciejewski, 2016.

SHEBOYGAN, WIS..- The Road Less Traveled, a yearlong series of 15 exhibitions at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis., offers fresh perspectives on the unique field of art environments.

This series presents a rare opportunity to experience the work of more than a dozen artist-environment builders from the Arts Center’s world-renowned collection. In addition, it incorporates new writing and works of art produced by scholars, curators, musicians, visual artists, and theorists from wide-ranging disciplines in response to art environments. Through connecting its collection with internationally respected thinkers, the Arts Center aims to expand the conversation surrounding of this compelling art form.

Since the 1970s, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center has preserved, studied, and exhibited art environments. Today, with well over 20,000 individual works of art by 30 different art-environment builders in the collection, the Arts Center is the world’s leading center for research and presentation of this work.

The Road Less Traveled is presented in three rounds of exhibitions rotating through eight gallery spaces at the Arts Center. The first round, which will be celebrated with a public opening night event on Sat., Feb. 25, features artist-environment builders Levi Fisher Ames, Emery Blagdon, Loy Bowlin, Nek Chand, Nick Engelbert, Ernest Hpeden, Eddie Owens Martin, Fred Smith and Albert Zahn with responses contributed by Dr.Iain Jackson, Jennifer Joy Jamieson, Ruth Kohler, Faythe Levine, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Norma Jeanne Maloney, G Orthof, David Rhodes, Stacey Rozich, Shannon Stratton and Jonathan Walz.

Round two of the exhibitions showcases artist environments by David Butler, Mary Nohl, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein and Stella Waitzkin with responses by Rita Barros, Michelle Grabner, Brett Littman, Catherine Morris, Lisa Stone and Leslie Umberger. Additionally, a gallery will feature photography by Fred Scruton, and the Emery Bladgon and Loy Bowlin exhibitions that opened earlier in the year will remain on view.

The artist environments created by Jesse Howard and Dr. Charles Smith with responses from Heather Hart and Raechell Smith will highlight round three of the series, accompanied by a gallery featuring SPACES Archives. The Blagdon, Bowlin, Von Bruenchenhein and Watizkin exhibitions will also be on view through Dec. 31, 2017.

To complement the exhibition series, the Arts Center will host a a three-day conference, Sept. 26–28, to capture the conversations and exceptional ideas generated throughout the year.

Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is by voluntary donation.

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