Wausau, Wisconsin: An exhibition featuring innovative and bold sculptural forms by contemporary Japanese ceramists opened on June 3 and remains on view through August 27 at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.
Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics evokes visual associations with the natural world via artwork by ceramists who helped redefine an ancient and revered art form. Whether reminiscent of windswept branches or serene pools, an array of exquisite flower vases, whimsical sake cups, and robust platters reveal the earthly beauty of Japanese ceramics, both inspired by nature and created from its basic elements – earth, air, water, and fire.
Featured ceramists are closely associated with many of Japan’s traditional pottery centers and are supporters of the mingei movement, in which objects of unsurpassed beauty are made for everyday use. Vessels for tea, sake, and flower arrangements highlight three vital areas of Japanese cultural life. Accompanying photographs by Taijiro Ito highlight the poetic connection of the ceramic objects to nature. “Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics,” from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection, was developed by Mingei International Museum, San Diego, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.
Summer programs for all ages complement exhibition themes. Highlights include Let Art Move You, Art 101, and Hands-on Art programs during Night Out @ the Woodson on the first Thursday of each month, an “Exercise Your Imagination” workshop for older adults, a three-part Raku pottery workshop for teens and adults, Open-Air Ceramics summer art sessions for children, and a community celebration on Thursday, August 3, commemorating the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum winning a 2017 National Medal for Museum Service, the nation’s highest museum honor.
National Medal Ceremony in Washington D.C. & Community Celebration in Wausau
As a 2017 National Medal winner, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is one of only two art museums among the five museums and five libraries named National Medal winners by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency supporting the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, all of which were eligible for the award. The IMLS on May 15 announced the 10 winners, selected from 30 national finalists.
The 2017 National Medal award ceremony will be on Monday, July 17, in Washington D.C. at a federal cultural agency near Capitol Hill. Woodson Art Museum director Kathy Kelsey Foley will attend with community member and nominator Linda Haney, who will provide a personal account of the power and impact of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on north central Wisconsin.
A community celebration commemorating the 2017 National Medal recognition will be part of Night Out @ the Woodson on Thursday, August 3.
Woodson Art Museum director Kathy Kelsey Foley credited the community’s and the region’s enthusiasm for embracing the full range of engagement opportunities and propelling staff continually to raise the bar. “It is a privilege to share observations and firsthand experiences of how a visit to the Woodson Art Museum can change someone’s point of view, expand their understanding of the world beyond the community, or brighten a day,” she said. “Recognition of the Woodson Art Museum by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as a winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service is among the highest forms of validation, not only for those of us who work in the museum field, but also that can be appreciated by community members at large. Being honored as a National Medal winner brings recognition to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum from a federal agency on a national stage. We are grateful beyond words.”
After the Washington, D.C., National Medal award ceremony, StoryCorps – a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – will visit the Woodson Art Museum to document stories from our community.
From experiences via ever-changing artwork in the galleries, the sculpture garden, and Art Park – the Museum’s interactive family gallery – to visiting artists’ presentations and workshops, and other hands-on art-making opportunities, the Woodson Art Museum offers programs for all ages and life stages – from babies, children, and families to students during class visits and teens and adults. Woodson Art Museum programs such as SPARK!, for individuals with memory loss, and Art Beyond Sight, for individuals with blindness or low vision, offer multisensory ways to experience the visual arts.
The Woodson Art Museum’s contemporary and historic collection sets a world standard for avian- and nature-themed art. The Museum’s flagship, internationally renowned “Birds in Art” exhibition each fall attracts more than sixty participating artists from throughout the world as well as visitors who flock to Wausau to see each exhibition’s all-new, avian-inspired artwork.
“Winning the National Medal is incredibly empowering; this makes us want to do more,” Foley said. “We want everyone to know there is something at the Woodson Art Museum that will pique curiosity and engage; just give us a try.”
Hands-on Programs for All Ages Make Contemporary Japanese Ceramics Connections
Woodson Art Museum programs engage and educate visitors of all ages throughout the year, and during this summer’s exhibition, Museum programs incorporate themes of nature and Japanese ceramics and culture. For details about all summer programs, check out the Museum’s online events calendar, the visiting artist webpage, and call the Museum to register, if specified.
In Art Park, the Museum’s interactive family gallery in the lower level, all ages fold origami cups, explore ceramic textures, and visit a sensory teahouse, simulated rock garden, and a child-sized vessel-designing station.
Adults refresh and reinvigorate via yoga and Tai Chi this summer in the inspirational setting of the sculpture garden – if weather permits these outdoor-only sessions – led by a 5 Koshas Yoga and Wellness instructor during Let Art Move You programs on Thursdays, June 1, July 6, August 3, 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Please register at www.5koshasyoga.com/yoga/class-schedule/. Bring a mat or blanket. Sessions will be cancelled if weather requires; watch the 5 Koshas Facebook page for updates.
During Art 101: Indoor Birdwatching on Thursday, June 1, 5:30-6:30 p.m., and Wednesday, June 14, 12:15-1 p.m., explore the “Passionate Pursuits: Birds in Our Landscapes” exhibition from curator Andy McGivern’s perspective as an area birdwatcher and a longtime friend of many artists represented.
During Art Park Open Studio on the first Saturday of each month, 1-3 p.m., all ages drop in for hands-on art making inspired by artwork on view in the galleries.
SPARK! programs for individuals with memory loss and an accompanying friend or family member on June 8, July 13, and August 3, 10:30 a.m.-Noon, offer social interaction in the galleries, followed by a hands-on art activity; call the Museum to register.
During Exercise Your Imagination: Textile Marbling, Thursday, June 15, 10:30 am – Noon, adults ages 60+ join specially trained student artist Molly Hassler to explore creativity – through textile marbling – in a supportive environment. Molly is part of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s Student Artist in Residence (SAIR) Program, created by Professor Anne Basting, a 2016 MacArthur Fellow. Funded by Bader Philanthropies, the SAIR Program pairs art students with organizations serving older adults to provide intergenerational connection and creative engagement through workshops. Anne Basting states, “Research shows that engaging in the arts in late life, as a beginner or lifelong artist, has multiple benefits for health and well-being. It has been a joy to watch both generations thrive in this program.”
During Toddler Tuesdays on the third Tuesday of each month, 10:30 a.m.-Noon, little ones, 18 months-4 years, and accompanying adults drop in to sample art making and interactive play in Art Park. During an Extra Terrific Toddler Tuesday on July 18, drop-in family yoga sessions will be offered in the sculpture garden – weather permitting – in addition to art-making stations.
In a three-part Raku workshop for teens and adults, Wisconsin sculptor and ceramist Gene Reineking leads participants as they discover how fire and smoke create dramatic textures and patterns on clay. The first session on Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. focuses on forming ceramics, followed by glazing in Part 2 on Saturday, July 8, 9 am-Noon, and firing during Part 3 on Sunday, July 9, 10 am-4 pm. Total fee: $65, members; $85, non-members. All materials included and lunches provided on June 24 and July 9. Support for this three-part Raku with Reineking workshop is provided by the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.
During Art Kids: Suminagashi on Thursday, June 29, 4:30-6 p.m., children, 5-12 years, experience and learn the art of Japanese paper marbling to create vibrant textures and organic shapes; call the Museum to register.
Check the events calendar and call to register for Art Time for Tots, Art Babies, and Art 4 You programs offered during the last week of each month this summer.
During Art 101: Ceramics Gallery Walk on Thursday, July 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m., and Wednesday, July 19, 12:15-1 p.m., gain insights into the rich traditions of Japanese ceramics and how these practices inform contemporary artists through a gallery walk with Museum educator Lisa Hoffman.
Open-Air Ceramics summer art sessions will be offered for children ages 5-8 years on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 11-12, 9 a.m.-Noon, and for children ages 9-12 years on Thursday and Friday, July 13-14, 9 a.m.-Noon. Drawing inspiration from “Contemporary Japanese Ceramics” in the galleries and during outdoor exploration, participants will create original, hand-formed pottery using white-earthenware clay. Referencing the organic forms and natural motifs of the Japanese ceramic tradition, children will develop their pottery designs while exploring how pattern and texture are created in clay. Participants’ ceramic pieces – once sufficiently dry – will be pit-fired days later by Museum educators, revealed during Art 101: Pit-Fired Pottery on Thursday, August 3, 5:30-6:30 pm, and then displayed at the Woodson Art Museum through August 27. Fee: $25, Museum members; $35, non-members; all supplies and materials included. Call the Museum to register.
During Art 101: Pit-Fired Pottery, on Thursday, August 3, 5:30-6:30 p.m., and Wednesday, August 16, 12:15-1 p.m., Museum educator Catie Anderson and artist Shannon Pueschner explain the centuries-old pottery process of pit firing through samples, images, and hands-on materials.
For details about upcoming programs, check the events calendar. To learn more, visit www.lywam.org, e-mail the Museum at email@example.com, call 715-845-7010, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Exhibition summaries, links to high-resolution artwork images, and captions are provided below.
June 3 – August 27, 2017
Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics
Innovative and bold sculptural forms by more than forty contemporary Japanese ceramists, inspired by the natural world, depict mountains, waterfalls, ocean shores, and bamboo groves. More than sixty ceramic works – from exquisite flower vases and serene tea bowls to whimsical sake cups and robust platters – reveal the earthly beauty of Japanese ceramics. Accompanying photographs by Taijiro Ito highlight the poetic connection of the ceramic objects to nature. The featured ceramists are closely associated with many of Japan’s traditional pottery centers and are supporters of the mingei movement, in which objects of unsurpassed beauty are made for everyday use. The exhibition was developed by Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California, from the collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.
Click on the following press packet links to download a zip file with high-resolution images of artwork, and caption information
Click on the following link to download high-resolution images of artwork:
Please use the following caption/credit information with each corresponding Contemporary Japanese Ceramics image used.
Satoru Hoshino, First Snow of Spring Vase, 2009, hand-formed glazed stoneware, Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer, photo courtesy of Tim Siegert
Mitsunori Tokuzawa, Sea Spray Breaking on Rocks, 2011, glazed stoneware, Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer, photo courtesy of Ken Kondo
Yasuhiro Kohara, Handled Basket, 2006, glazed stoneware, Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer, photo courtesy of Tim Siegert
Tetsuya Ishiyama, Lidded Water Vessel, stoneware with natural-ash glaze, Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer, photo courtesy of Tim Siegert
Also on View:
Black & White: Andrea Rich – on view through July 30, 2017
A selection of Birds in Art Master Artist Andrea Rich’s woodcuts – printed only with black ink and utilizing only one woodblock – complements M.C. Escher’s black-and-white artworks in M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion, on view March 4 through May 28, 2017.
Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Black & White: Andrea Rich to see low-resolution versions of images of artwork.
High-resolution images of artwork to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided upon request; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.
Andrea Rich, Octopus, 1991, woodcut on paper
Andrea Rich, Painted Turtle, 1988, woodcut on paper
Andrea Rich, 300 Year Old, 2008, woodcut on paper
Andrea Rich, Boat Canal, 1994, woodcut on paper
Andrea Rich, Ferrera Landscape, 2001, woodcut on Hosho paper
Enduring Beauty: Art Nouveau Glass – on view through July 30, 2017
American art glass was greatly influenced by the tenets of Art Nouveau. Between 1890-1910, artists eschewed the elaborate Victorian decoration and repetitious designs of the industrial revolution. Instead, favoring form following function, they used sinuous asymmetrical lines, floral- and plant-inspired decorations, and deep vibrant colors highlighted with metallic iridescence – favrile. Louis Comfort Tiffany, Emil Galle, the Daum Brothers, and others pushed the boundaries, creating beautiful decorative and utilitarian glassware for all to use and enjoy. Enduring Beauty is a survey of works from the collection produced during this nature-inspired era.
Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Enduring Beauty: Art Nouveau Glass to see low-resolution versions of images.
Click on the following underlined link to download high-resolution images of artwork to accompany news or feature articles for print.
Please use the following caption/credit information with each corresponding Enduring Beauty image used.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Favrile Vase, 1909, blown glass
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Favrile Lava Vase, 1908, blown glass
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Opalescent and Blue Favrile Vase, ca. 1900, blown glass
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Blue Favrile Diatreta Vase, 1909, blown glass
Louis Comfort Tiffany, Favrile Bowl, 1925, blown glass
For more information about the Woodson Art Museum, check the events calendar at www.lywam.org, e-mail the Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 715-845-7010, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Woodson Art Museum Hours
First Thurs of each month 9am–7:30pm
Thursdays during Birds in Art 9am–7:30pm
Closed Mon & holidays, including New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas