Rorschach Symmetry (Repoussoir) by Shane McAdams. Photo by Larry Sanders/courtesy of the artist

Rugged Landscapes

You’ll want to set aside a morning to take in this expansive exhibit at the JMKAC.

A stroll through “Wisconsin Wild and Tame,” a multi-part exhibit running through Sept. 11, takes a visitor on a journey through a variety of artistic disciplines and subject-matter fantasylands. One section, called “Super Natural,” nods to the magic-realist influence of late Milwaukee master John Wilde, and features 24 Wisconsin artists – a group that feels almost as random as the flora and fauna on the forest floor. Works include an exuberant glitter-collage by Simon Sparrow, taxidermy by JoAnna Poehlmann, and rural found-object explosions by Gary John Gresl. On the tame side lie paintings by Lynn Tomaszewski and sculptures by Jason S. Yi. When this abundance becomes over-stimulating, duck into the back room for the eerie, lab-like fabricated world of David Harper’s “My Own Personal Ghost” (through August 28), an ornithological installation that speaks of the limitations and distance between humans, science and nature. Another bit of respite comes from “Living Rooms” (through July 24), tucked into the old section of the art center. Here, Michelle Grabner’s marvelous textile-like paintings, Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg’s delicately domestic frameworks, and Beth Lipman’s glass and brass orchestrations balance the wild and tame with the elegant and sublime.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Ave., Sheboygan,

‘Rugged Landscapes’ appears in the August issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
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Debra Brehmer, an arts writer and curator, owns and operates Portrait Society Gallery, a contemporary art space in Milwaukee. She was also the former editor and publisher of Art Muscle Magazine and teaches part-time at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.