Opening Reception for Three New Shows

524 E Main St
Stoughton, WI 53589
  • Dates: March 1, 2024
  • Location: Abel Contemporary Gallery
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Rain Harris, Rachelle Miller, and Juliane Shibata - Flourish
Kansas City based ceramicist Rain Harris creates elegant sculptures drawing on imagery from 17th century Baroque and Flemish Vanitas and her own research in Jingdezhen, China. Her meticulously hand-formed ceramic flowers are arranged into lush tableaus that speak to themes of opulence, elegance, artificiality, and morbid excess. While her sculptures may appear to be true-to-life representations of flowering plants, Harris approaches her work with a critical and often satirical lens— often commenting on the tenuous line between high and low art and good and bad taste.

Madison based artist Rachelle Miller describes her work as "little colorful microcosms." Fascinated by the natural world, Miller’s work focuses on small, organic patterns and how these “communities” interact with one another. While her pieces may begin—and often remain—strong individually, Miller contends that each singularity is part of a bigger community. Her pieces form a relationship once together, and she takes great joy in seeing the ways they can interact. Miller uses the potter's wheel and hand-building techniques to create her work. She also uses printing, etching, layering, and multiple firing methods to achieve the complex, textured surfaces.

Juliane Shibata is a ceramic artist and educator based in Northfield, MN. Her work is informed by Japanese conceptions of beauty, such as wabi-sabi’s aesthetics of imperfection and impermanence, as well as the Pattern & Decoration movement. Juliane draws viewers to her work through the rhythm of repeated forms that visually energize the space around them. Her most recent outdoor installations aim to redirect our awareness to the constructed environment, the spaces we occupy, and the traces of human presence in and around the architectural structures we encounter.

Murder of Crows – Group Show
Few creatures have captured human imagination like those belonging to the Corvidae Family. These highly intelligent and social birds are among the only animals who have been observed making and using tools, and participating in complex rituals and games, owing in part to their incredible brain to body ratio, rivaled only by great apes and whales. While most are familiar with the largest species in this group, crows and ravens, their smaller cousins, jays, rooks, jackdaws, nutcrackers, and magpies too possess the family’s unique intelligence and curiosity. Their ubiquity, being found on every continent and climate with the exception of the polar icecaps, has also given corvids a special place in our collective consciousness, playing a significant role in nearly every culture’s mythology and folklore. Artists in this show include Barry Roal Carlsen, Craig Clifford, Kelly Connole, Mary Fischer, Kelli Hoppmann, Richard Jones, Debbie Kupinsky, John S. Miller, Ryan Myers, Daniella Napolitano, Tim O’Neill, Sandra Peterson, Erica Schlueter, Allan Servoss, Diane Washa, and Jonathan Wilde.

In no. 5: Ann Orlowski Moon Room
The Moon, our cosmic satellite, exerts an undeniable influence on our physical body and our psyche. As it waxes and wanes, from new to full, this reliable pulse marks the progression of time through the seasons. Diverse cultures have attributed names to the full moon, signifying this annual rhythm. Drawing inspiration from these names, Ann Orlowski created a series of works that reflect our personal connection to our environment. For each full moon throughout the past year, Orlowski placed intention on her observations of the natural patterns around her, forming the basis for each painting. This attempt to tap into the cyclical rhythms of the natural world is a means of pacing a busy life, marking time, and finding balance. A deeper connection to the environment emerges through looking, listening, and reflecting on the space we inhabit. The result is paintings that celebrate the elegant complexity of this cosmic body. In addition to the paintings, the installation will include sculpture and an ambient soundscape composed and produced by Nick Orlowski entitled “Companion to the Moon Room”.