Milwaukee artist Janelle Gramling's wall hangings are very on-trend.
Gramling, who began her career as a fashion designer, started working with clay in 2012 and found she liked making ceramics more than clothing. “I realized I was more of a sculptor who worked with cloth than a designer,” she says.
She didn’t abandon textiles entirely, though. Instead she began incorporating strips of fabric into her sculptures, creating naturalistic wall hangings timeless enough to appeal to art collectors looking for a long-term investment, trendy enough to attract the interest of mass-market retailers like West Elm, which stocks Gramling’s work online and in its Third Ward store.
“I like making work that’s affordable,” Gramling says. “But I find myself drawn to work that’s conceptual and maybe even a little weird, too.”
Objects of Desire
Through Aug. 4
Several of Janelle Gramling’s wall sculptures will be on view alongside other three-dimensional works by local artists (including Gramling’s husband, woodworker Matthew Gramling) at Var Gallery’s original location, 643 S. Second St.