The Labor Day weekend offers a host of opportunities to appreciate Wisconsin's vibrant art scene.
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center presents "Civil Liberties" in Sheboygan. Most intriguing is the "Vested Interest" component (through Sept. 6), where national artists display garments that demonstrate cultural and political issues. The exhibit features They Are All One, a staggering installation by Cuban-born team Guerra de la Paz. Michele Pred's "(Dis)possessions" (through Oct. 12) features confiscated objects from 9/11 airport security, and "Under Surveillance" (through Sept. 28) portrays photography captured through the intrusive "all-seeing eye."
In Sturgeon Bay, the Miller Art Museum exhibits uncommon photography with a juried show titled "The Focus of Our Lives: Door County Photographers Invitational" (through Sept. 16). The show displays the work of 30 renowned photographers covering subjects that range from international portraits to abstract prints of nature to images of surrealistic dream worlds.
Also in Sturgeon Bay, the Fairfield Art Center opens a new exhibit of work by acclaimed American furniture artist Michael Doerr, whose sculptural wood pieces function as living art for the home.
In Egg Harbor, the renovated barn of Margaret Lockwood houses the work of 30 avant-garde artists alongside her conceptual paintings of nature at Woodwalk Gallery. The building contains Lockwood's studio as well as a theater where edgy new plays and songs are performed on summer evenings.
Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek celebrates 40 years of the sculpture garden that complements well-known featured artists. Their impressive season ends with "Exhibit IV," featuring five new artists at a gathering on Aug. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. On Sept. 27, 1 to 5 p.m., an opening reception kicks off an exclusive exhibit of artwork featured in an upcoming cookbook.
The highly regarded Fish Creek Peninsula School of Art presents the sculpture, video and two-dimensional work of up-and-coming artists in "12 Under 30" (through Sept. 12). The exhibit includes the work of Camille Demarinis, Logan Woods and John McCaulley.
Newport House Gallery, which participates in Ellison Bay's Fall Art Crawl on Oct. 25 and 26, focuses on contemporary folk artists. William Hemmerling, a Louisiana artist who paints appealing portraits of Southern traditions, joins Texan Terrell Powell, award-winning carver Bob Guge and Georgia painter Sandra Erickson-Wright.
At West Bend's Museum of Wisconsin Art, Arthur Thrall's "Sensuous Line" (through Sept. 28) includes an artist's reception on Sept. 7, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. On Sept. 10, "All Fired Up" offers a contemporary view of Wisconsin's finest ceramics. A reception takes place 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 14.