A SERIES OF AGRI/CULTURAL EXPERIMENTSTest Plots, a series of unique exhibits, lectures, and field trips in Reedsburg and other Sauk County locations, are named to reflect the role of experimentation in generating community dialogue, learning, and engagement. Each features the work of local and regional artists and thinkers representing the healthy rural/urban flow that is vital to any thriving region. Times and details will be continuously updated so check back often!
Corn Again: Maiz de Nuevo
Art Exhibit Opening Reception
Friday, August 18, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Curated by Catherine Schwalbe
Four artists, all of whom have shared more dialogue with corn than with each other, are thrilled to share their work with Wisconsin. This show will affirm their passion for corn and fuel yours, through painting, encaustic, sculpture, and mixed media work.
Hector Duarte was born in 1952 in the small town of Caurio, in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. He developed an early fascination with public art by observing the wall and ceiling paintings in Catholic churches. He first studied art through correspondence courses advertised in the back of comic books. Duarte went on to study mural painting at the Studio and School of David Alfaro Siqueiros in Cuernavaca in 1977.
Duarte attended a conference in Chicago in 1978 and was struck by the dynamism of the Chicano and Community Mural Movement. In 1985 he moved to the Chicago area to be a part of that energy. Since then, Duarte has participated in the creation of more than 50 murals. His works adorn libraries, schools, a CTA train stop, and many other walls in Chicago and communities throughout the Midwest. Duarte also produces smaller-scale work; he has exhibited his paintings and prints in solo and collective shows at such venues as the School of the Art Institute, the State of Illinois Gallery, the Chicago Historical Society, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and Casa Estudio Museo Diego Rivera in Mexico City.
Margaret Berry grew up on a farm in Wahoo, Nebraska, received her BA from Creighton University and completed a graduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She continues to manage the family farms and be involved in agricultural issues.
When a truck ran a red light in 2000 and collided with her vehicle, Margaret spent her recovery learning about encaustic from a library book. As exhibitions director of International Encaustic Artists she organized and curated several shows. Her art has been juried into exhibitions at numerous galleries and museums in 27 states. She continues to be an artist-in-residence with the Nebraska Arts Council and has been invited to give her innovative Hot Wax/Cool Art™ workshops across the country. A former executive director of the Lincoln Arts Council, she is a full-time studio artist and traveling art workshop leader based in Lincoln.
Alfonso Nieves Ruiz is a self-taught artist from Queretaro, Mexico who moved to Chicago in 1997. He is a skilled sculptor who works primarily with clay and recycled materials to create dramatic, surreal pieces that deal with social issues. While Nieves draws upon his Mexican upbringing for many of his sculptures, the themes he explores are universal. Alfonso is also an art teacher and has been sharing his knowledge with youth and adults through workshops in community centers, parks, and schools around Chicago and its suburbs since 2004. Most recently he exhibited his work in Cabeza de Barro, one of the most successful shows at the National Museum of Mexican art.
Catherine Schwalbe Born in Wisconsin, Cathi has lived and worked in Chicago for 30 years. She completed a BFA with a sculpture concentration at UW Milwaukee in 1983 and took additional classes at Artist Bookworks, Columbia College for the Book and Paper Arts, Lillstreet Art Center, and Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center. Her work consists of social practice as well as object-making including mixed media, sculpture, found objects, bronze & iron, installation & site specific works and was featured on the first Farm/Art DTour. Cathi goes by this Fluxus philosophy: “The distinction between Art and Life is irrelevant.” She also works as a Recreation Therapist/Consultant in long term care communities in the Chicago Area.