Kat Murrell

“Slow Start, Long Beginnings” at WPCA

By - Feb 4th, 2011 04:00 am
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“Untitled” — Collaborative installation. Photo courtesy of WPCA.

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts opens the languidly titled Slow Start, Long Beginnings, featuring collaborative installations by Karin Haas, Jessica Steeber, and Cassandra Smith.

Steeber and Smith may be familiar to Milwaukee art aficionados as the duo behind the now-defunct Armoury Gallery, a venue that consistently hosted challenging and smart exhibitions from local and national artists. Their most current project is the art journal, Fine Line Magazine. But along with their editorial duties, they are still active as artists in their own right.

Smith has recently exhibited locally and nationally, including at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh. Gallery goers to (the also defunct) Hotcakes Gallery might recall her pieces such as Snack Cake Board, a large-scale decorative design made of bejeweled Twinkies, cupcakes, and other sugary snacks. Smith’s motifs include similarly sparkling treatments of mounted deer heads and stuffed pheasants, creating glittering patterns on taxidermied trophies.

Steeber’s previous works include small-scale installations that mix dollhouse-sized furniture with normal (or comparatively giant) bunches of fruit. Even on a miniature scale, Steeber can create a sense of drama through the juxtaposition of objects and backdrops, using unexpected proportions to develop intrigue in ordinary things.

Karin Haas, a Milwaukee native whose work has been shown most recently in Chicago, creates intricate prints and works on paper with a beautiful sense of line and delicacy. Primary motifs in her art include organic forms derived from plants and animals. Haas’ complexity, along with the drama and decorative penchants of Smith and Steeber, suggest that this will indeed be an interesting show.

Walkers’ Point Center for the Arts is located at 839 S. 5th Street. The exhibition opens tonight with an artist reception from 5-9 p.m. and continues through March 19, 2011.

Categories: Art

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