Monday, July 21, 2014

Kohler Art Center Midsummer Festival of the Arts

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center "serves as laboratory for the creation of new works, nurturer of interdisciplinary initiatives, originator of exhibitions, presenter and producer of performing arts, educator, publisher of critical writings, community builder, and advocate for issues affecting the arts. In essence, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center functions as a catalyst for and explorer of new art forms and new ideas that will impact the lives of both artists and public."

The Kohler Arts Center, located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is surrounded with gardens.  The Birdbath Garden features Carl Peterson's stone-embellished sculptures depticting castles, lighthouses, and ponds amongst smoke bush, hollies, wiegleas, Japanese tree lilacs, ninebarks, and coreopsis.  An ideal time to visit is during the Midsummer Festival of the Arts (July 19 and 20 in 2014) featuring over 100 artists, music in the gardens, and food in addition to the current exhibits inside the museum.

Carl Peterson's sculptures
Tom Every’s metal bird
Bronze bed created by Lia Zulalian called “Flower Bed”
Mosaic umbrellas
The Arts Center is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its Arts/Industry residency program with an exhibition of works created by artists in the Kohler Co. Pottery, Iron and Brass Foundries, and Enamel Shop.  Every year 16-22 artists spend 2-6 months producing original works of art in the Kohler Co. factory. The experience connects the artists’ work to the rich history of material culture and to the social context of the factory setting. More than four hundred artists have been able to produce new bodies of work and major public commissions that would have been impossible in their home studios.

"Buttersde Up Doughboy"
by Sue Johnson, VA, 2007
"Sprout and Dog Soup"
by Sue Johnson, VA, 2007
Believe it or not, one of the highlights of a trip to the Kohler Art Center is a trip to the Ladies room. 
The restrooms at the Kohler Art Center were selected by the Travel Channel as one of "The Best in the Number 1 and Number 2 Business". he article went on to explain that "At the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, you can do more than touch the art. You can pee on it. In 1999, the Arts Center commissioned 6 local artists to extend the collection from the gallery into the lavatories. It's now home to 6 unique art-inspired bathrooms that make up the only permanent art collection at the museum."

And though I've never had the opportunity to peak into the mens room, an internet search revealed a peak at what the men discover at the Kohler Art Center.

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