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UWM Shows Husbands 'Hiding in the Light'

Apr. 10, 2012
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Husband and husband describes the relationship between Chicago artists Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger, creative and life partners for almost 20 years. Through unique multimedia images, the pair explores nuances in human relationships—invisibility and visibility, separateness and togetherness, pain and protection—while pondering gender equality in marriage. At the Inova/Arts Center, UW-Milwaukee's Peck School of the Arts presents the exhibition “Miller & Shellabarger: Hiding in the Light” through July 15.

The exhibition may be titled “Hiding in the Light,” but the husbands put their work front and center through book art, drawing, fiber art, painting, performance art and photography. One ongoing project involves a long pink tube crocheted between the men, connecting them as an umbilical cord might do. The longer this tube grows, the more separate they become. They have also embroidered their initials on pillowcases, placed side by side, as a way to explore intimacy in a marriage that many in America have asked to remain invisible.

In another piece of performance art, Miller and Shellabarger each dug a hole in the ground that was large enough to lie in. They crafted a tunnel between the two holes so that they could hold hands while lying in the underground spaces, a nod to the afterlife.

They also have been known to gather dead trees, hew them into human forms and then set them on fire, similar to a funeral pyre. So it should be exciting to see what happens at the Inova/Arts Center.

An opening reception for “Hiding in the Light” runs 5-8 p.m. April 20. The next day, April 21, a performance takes place at Kenilworth Open Studios. The husbands return for a 6 p.m. gallery talk May 3 and noon performances May 4-5. For more information, visit www4.uwm.edu/psoa/inova/schedule.cfm.

Art Happenings

“Abstract Nature” and “Green Fire”

Gallery 218

207 E. Buffalo St.

In celebration of Earth Day, Gallery 218 presents the exhibition “Abstract Nature” and screens Green Fire, a documentary about conservationist Aldo Leopold. Light appetizers and live music accompany a 7 p.m. screening Friday, April 20, and a noon-5 p.m. reception Saturday (with a screening at 3 p.m.).

Polona Tratnik Lecture and Seminar

Marquette University

Johnston Hall and Raynor Library

Polona Tratnik, Ph.D., an artist and a professor from Finland, explores the connections between art, science and biotechnology. On Monday, April 16, Tratnik will present an 11 a.m. seminar and a 3:30 p.m. lecture. For more information, email curtis.carter@marquette.edu.


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