John Michael Kohler Arts Center presents American Sites, Fred Scruton’s photographs of artist-environment builders

March 23, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Patricia DuChene
Media Relations Coordinator
pduchene@jmkac.org

American Sites brings together more than 60 of photographer Fred Scruton’s images that reveal artist-built environments as an enduring and ever-evolving art form in communities throughout the U.S.

Scruton’s photographs, on view at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI, April 16 through September 2, capture the ingenuity, creativity, and curiosity of the individual artists who create art environments and the depth of his engagement with the art form.

Fred Scruton travels extensively throughout the U.S. to photograph artists who are inspired to add to, alter, and transform their homes and familiar spaces into creations that reflect their life experiences. In the 1980s, while working in New York City, his attention was drawn to a brick four-story building covered in religious signs. The owner, Louis DiBraggio, continued embellishing the façade and sidewalk over the years. It was Scruton’s first encounter with an artist-built environment, and it made a lasting impression.

After moving to Erie, PA, in 2003 to take a position as a professor of photography at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Scruton began photographing art environments and their creators in that area and far beyond. Scruton frequently befriends the artists he photographs, making return visits to record the evolution of their work.

Photographs of 19 art-environment builders are included in American Sites, with a focus on Dominic “Cano” Espinoza, CO; Leonard Knight, CA; M.T. Liggett, KS; Joe Minter, AL; Prophet Isaiah Robertson, NY; Vollis Simpson, NC; and Billy Tripp, TN.

Since the 1970s, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center has preserved, studied, and exhibited art environments. Today, with well over 20,000 individual works of art by 30 different art-environment builders in the collection, the Arts Center is the world’s leading center for research and presentation of this work.

American Sites is one of 15 exhibitions on view throughout 2017 as part of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s 50th-anniversary series, The Road Less Traveled.

Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is free. The Arts Center, located at 608 New York Ave. in downtown Sheboygan, Wis., is open daily except major holidays. Call 920-458-6144 or visit jmkac.org for more information.

This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education and Sargento Foods Inc. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) organization; donations are tax deductible.

About the John Michael Kohler Arts Center: Founded in 1967, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is dedicated to making innovative arts programming accessible to a broad audience that ranges from artists and academics to families and youth of all ages. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts programs, community arts initiatives, and publications.

The Arts Center’s collections focus primarily on works by artist-environment builders, self-taught and folk artists, and works created in the Arts/Industry residency program. Since the 1970s, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center has preserved, studied, and exhibited artist environments. Today, with well over 20,000 individual works of art by 30 different art-environment builders in the collection, the Arts Center is the world’s leading center for research and presentation of this work.

Looking to the future, the Arts Center continues to generate new explorations in the arts that foster creative exchanges between an international community of artists and a diverse public. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is supported by corporate and foundation donors, government grants, and its many members. The Arts Center is not an entity of Kohler Co. or its subsidiaries. More information about the Arts Center can be found at jmkac.org.

VISITOR INFORMATION

Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is by voluntary donation. Arts Center members receive a discount on performance and other event tickets, classes and camps tuition, purchases at ARTspace gift shops, and free or discounted admission to many special events. Memberships are available at the Arts Center, by visiting jmkac.org, and/or by calling 920-458-6144.

Arts Center Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Arts Center is open at other times for special events.