Abel Contemporary Gallery will display two new exhibits, and extend a current one to allow it more viewers during the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning Saturday, Feb. 27.
The gallery, 524 E. Main St., is planning to host two virtual events for the new exhibits over the next few weeks, gallery assistant Ann Orlowski told the Hub. The first event is at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, which will be livestreamed on the gallery’s website and Facebook page. It is centered around the new exhibit, “Meticulous” by Reid Schoonover and Sandra Byers. The second event, set for March 20, will feature the group show, “Clever Birds.”
For the Feb. 27 show and exhibit, Schoonover and Byers will be tuning in from their studios to answer questions and talk about their work, Orlowski said. The gallery grouped their works because both artists make small-scale objects with special attention to detail, she added.
The March 20 show and exhibit will be made up of several artists who specialize in different mediums such as print or sculpture, Orlowski said. However, all of them will feature Corvidae birds like ravens, she said.
The artists include Barry Roal Carlsen, Craig Clifford, Mary Hood, Kelli Hoppmann, Richard Jones, Lynne Hobaica, John S. Miller, Ryan Myers, Wendy Olson, Tim O’Neill, Allan Servoss, Jonathan Wilde, Kelly Connole, Debbie Kupinsky and Erica Schlueter.
Abel Gallery staff extended jewelry and metal-smithing artist Cate Richards’ gallery exhibition to allow more people to see her work, Orlowski said. Richards’ exhibit explores ways in which people decorate their bodies, Orlowski said.
Schoonover is a Wisconsin-based artist who makes wood-fire ceramics and creates wooden containers for them, Orlowski said. She said his work is inspired by Japanese culture and is a “nod” to tea rituals.
Byers works with porcelain to make objects that are usually no larger than a few inches. Orlowski said that Byers can take weeks to make the pieces look “organic” and almost translucent.
The two artists were paired together in a single exhibit because of their long tradition in working with ceramics as well as creating objects that feel, as Orlowski described, precious.
“Part of why we picked the term meticulous for both of these artists’ work is because they’re very detail oriented,” she said.
The group show will feature a variety of artists, styles and mediums, but what they will all feature is a bird from the member of the Corvidae family, such as a crow or raven.
Viewers can expect to see a range of pieces, such as a print of a raven by Madison-based artist John S. Miller. Orlowski said there will also be oil renderings of birds, ceramic pieces and even a piece by Kelly Cannole that looks like the head of a crow coming out of the wall.
Orlowski said that birds from the Corvidae family are featured in art around the world, and that many cultures have a lot of symbolism attached to these birds. They’re one of the few groups of animals that make their own tools, hence the name ‘clever birds,’ she added.
Richards’ exhibit uses multimedia elements and features objects such as jewelry that she has crafted. The full exhibit includes a video of Richards wearing some of the pieces and interacting with them, Orlowski said.
The exhibit pulls ideas from history, supernatural elements and worship rituals, Orlowski said. Richards has a fascination with both adornment and the raw elements that go into making these objects, she said.
Given the COVID-19 restrictions over the last few months, Orlowski said that the gallery wanted to extend Richards’ exhibit so more people could come in and experience her work.