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Nohl Fellowship Exhibit at the Haggerty Museum Explores History and Identity

Aug. 29, 2017
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The Nohl Fellowship exhibition at the Haggerty Museum of Art showcases recent work of artists who received this prestigious award in 2016. This year’s iteration follows the structure introduced in 2015, where five artists receive grants from a bequest established by the late Mary Nohl, an artist who was long established in Fox Point. The awards of $20,000 for two established artists and $10,000 for three emerging artists offer financial support for development of their artistic careers.

In a broad lens, identity and history are the lingering traits of the current exhibition. Personal experience translated through public displays of art is most clearly seen by emerging artists Rose Curley and Brooke Thiele. Curley produces a multi-dimensional exploration of growing up in Milwaukee as a person of Nigerian and European descent, raised by a Sicilian American and Irish Catholic family, through a combination of illustration, writing, video and artifacts. Thiele grew up in Green Bay, having been adopted from Korea as an infant. Traditional music and clothing, filtered through the experiences of Midwest adolescence, form the foundation for her installation. For both, the search for self is complicated by a presence and absence felt through distinct markers of culture and geography.

Established artists Jesse McLean’s video installation and Joseph Mougel’s photographic interventions take on history in the past and present through the incorporation of technology and media. McLean uses familiar touch points like computer desktop imagery as well as vintage postcards to explore the psychic landscapes of the digital world. Mougel turns this further through overlaying weird anomalies of Google maps and the like over antique photographs of wild western American landscapes. In his work, the navigational acumen of the virtual world is compromised and imprecise against the physical reality of what exists.

The large paintings of emerging artist Robin Jebavy stand out as an anomaly, but continue the echoes of the past through her luminous layering of colorful glass and references to Baroque still life. With vivid hues and disconcerting spaces, they glisten and shimmer as quiet counterparts, accenting the complexities introduced by this group of Nohl Fellowship artists. 

Through Sept. 17 at the Haggerty Museum of Art, 530 N. 13th St. 

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