John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Press Release

Shannon R. Stratton named interim lead curator by John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Stratton will be supported in her Arts Center role by a curatorial fellow.

By - Jul 9th, 2019 12:45 pm
Shannon R. Stratton. Photo by Carrie Schneider courtesy of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Shannon R. Stratton. Photo by Carrie Schneider courtesy of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center announced today that Shannon R. Stratton has been contracted as interim lead curator following the departure of Senior Curator Karen Patterson in June.

A nationwide search for a new senior curator is underway. Stratton will be supported in her Arts Center role by a curatorial fellow. Applications for the fellowship are being accepted at hr@jmkac.org.

“Shannon brings the right mix of skills and experience to ensure a successful transition to our bringing a new senior curator on board. She is a seasoned professional, and in her past work with the Arts Center she has revealed the collaborative and innovative sensibility that is so much a part of what we do,” said Sam Gappmayer, Arts Center director.

As interim lead curator, Stratton will curate the Arts Center’s main gallery exhibition running April–October, 2020, title to be announced. She will also act as consultant for all 2020 curatorial projects through the development and execution stages, providing additional planning support and ideation for 2021 exhibitions

Stratton is one of four collaborators for the Arts Center’s upcoming exhibitions series Lenore Tawney: Mirror of The Universe. Her exhibition Even Thread Has a Speech (September 1, 2019–February 2, 2020) features the work of eight contemporary artists responding to Lenore Tawney’s artistic legacy. Karen Patterson, who has been hired as curator at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, will continue as the series curator, including curating the Tawney retrospective, In Poetry and Silence.

Stratton is an independent curator and researcher with a focus on contemporary applications of craft in art and design, artist-run and grass-roots cultural organizing and developing climate conscious strategies for cultural programming. Her previous work with the Arts Center includes curating the 2017 exhibition An Encounter with Presence: Emery Blagdon that paired Blagdon with modernist artist and designer Harry Bertoia and sound artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. She served four years as chief curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York where she programmed 35 exhibitions, launched the Burke Prize and curated Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care and Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound, among others.

Previously, Stratton co-founded and served 12 years as director of Threewalls, a Chicago-based contemporary arts organization. With Threewalls, she co-founded the Hand-in-Glove Conference, which led to the formation of Common Field, a nonprofit national network that supports and advocates for independent arts organizations and organizers. Her Threewalls’ exhibition Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries, A Retrospective, toured venues in the United States from 2014–2018, and was nominated for Best Presentation in an Alternative Venue by the International Association of Art Critics (AiCA-USA). The monograph, Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries, edited by Stratton, was published in 2018 by Intellect books.

Stratton is Core Faculty in Warren Wilson’s Critical and Historical Craft Studies MA program. This spring she was awarded one of two Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Research Grants for her work on Slow Frequency, a biannual itinerant exhibition that seeks to model climate conscious cultural practices.

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, promotes understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts programs, and community arts initiatives. Information about current and upcoming exhibitions is available at jmkac.org.

ABOUT THE JOHN MICHAEL KOHLER ARTS CENTER

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, was founded in 1967. It is dedicated to making innovative arts programming accessible to a broad audience that ranges from artists and academics to families and youth of all ages. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts programs, and community arts initiatives.

Since the 1970s, JMKAC has preserved, studied, and exhibited works by art-environment builders and has earned a worldwide reputation for its work in this area. Artist-built environments involve an individual significantly transforming their surroundings—for example, their home or yard—into an exceptional, multifaceted work of art.

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Art Preserve, which is now under construction and set to open in August of 2020, will be the world’s first facility to focus entirely on artist-built environments. The Art Preserve will offer insight into the display, preservation, conservation, and interpretation of the Arts Center’s premier collection through tableaux as well as a unique system of curated, visible storage of the works of art.

The Arts Center’s downtown Sheboygan facility will continue to offer approximately 12 original exhibitions annually in its eight galleries, and presentations of performing arts in its two performance spaces. Among its program offerings are community arts initiatives; artist residencies; a free weekly summer concert series; classes and workshops; and an onsite arts-based preschool program. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center also administers the renowned Arts/Industry residency program, which is hosted by Kohler Co. For more information please visit: www.jmkac.org.

Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is free.

Location
608 New York Ave.
Sheboygan, Wis.

Hours
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Mentioned in This Press Release

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