September 25, 2019

Kruk Gallery hosting visiting artists for comedy, community

The University of Wisconsin-Superior Visual Arts Department will host artists John Sebelius and Chris King for an art exhibition and series of events celebrating humor in art and our role in creation.

The artists will present a public workshop geared toward area veterans on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. in UW-Superior’s Kruk Gallery.

A public artist talk will take place Friday, Oct. 11, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Holden Fine and Applied Arts Center and will be followed by the exhibition opening from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Kruk Gallery.

During their two days at UW-Superior, Sebelius and King will explore the role of humor in art and will feature a participatory comedy club as part of the installation.

Sebelius, from Lawrence, Kan., is an interdisciplinary artist who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors from Rhode Island School of Design. Sebelius’s work has been featured in Harper’s, Express, DETAILS, Review, CNN, Aspen Daily News, The Washington Post, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Sebelius has shown work in Gallery Two (Sydney, Australia), Woods-Gerry Gallery (Providence, RI), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Kansas City Artists Coalition, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and had a solo exhibition at the Gonzo Museum (Aspen, CO). Sebelius’s short documentaries have screened at Austin Film Festival, Tallgrass Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, Free State Film Festival, and The American School of Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The citizens of Lawrence voted Sebelius the Best Artist of 2017 and The Kansas City Chiefs selected him as the featured artist for My Cause, My Cleats 2018 and 2019. Sebelius’ art program Artistic Expressions Healing Arts Initiative teaches art to veterans suffering with PTS and it was awarded a Rocket Grants (Spencer Museum, Charlotte Street Foundation, and Andy Warhol Foundation of Visual Art) in 2018 and TOPArts Grant (ARTSConnect) in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Sebelius currently serves as Artist-In-Residence at Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment at University of Kansas and lives with his wife Allie and dog, Norman.

King lives and works in Natchitoches, La., where he serves as the head of the Visual Arts Program and gallery director at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and The Arts. Born in 1970 in Taunton, Mass., he attended the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in both sculpture and art education. In 1995, King received his master’s degree from The California Institute for the Arts in Los Angeles. King’s artwork includes painting, sculpture, performance, and video and has been exhibited in venues such as Diverse Works (Houston), Acadian Center for the Arts (Lafayette, La.), The Front Gallery, (New Orleans), Healthcare Gallery (Baton Rouge, La.), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

“As we each have our own personal history, we each have our own relationship to words and images,” said King. “As my ideas change, so does my work, often reflecting things that are happening around me. I am interested in art theory, as well as contemporary popular culture and my work sometimes draws from both. I associate making art with the idea of ‘freedom’ and see opportunities for things to become part of my work all around me; In images, and things that already exist or it might come from an accident. Incorporating found objects, introducing known things, affords you associations that I hope ignite curiosity in the viewer. More than simple juxtaposition, my manipulation of text, images, and materials disrupt the viewer’s recognition of an object as a specific or known thing and places it in the context of unexpected thought, who upon further investigation can explore a variety of interpretations that can embrace broad topics, such as memory and presence, materiality, femininity and masculinity, and the flattening of high and low culture.”

All events are free and open to the public. The exhibition will be open for viewing weekdays Oct. 11 through Nov. 8. The Kruk Gallery is open Monday from noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, contact Anne Dugan.

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