For two weeks this summer, nine Project Onward artists lived under one roof in Sheboygan, WI. Sadly, we did not walk away with a salacious reality TV show. But instead, we have this collection of drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures, lovingly crafted in this home away from home.
The work in “Spirit on the Lake” is infused with the influence of Sheboygan. The house on Niagara Ave (lent to us by all-around mensch Jack Connelly) was a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan and the show features many meditations on that rippling blue expanse. The residency was also right around the corner from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, a museum that has preserved and promoted self-taught art since 1967. Our friends at the JMKAC shared visionary masterworks from their collection with our artists; there are a few tributes to the concrete & scrap metal sculpture of midwestern original Carl Peterson on view.
The show features Dijon Barrett, David Holt, Sheila Smith, John Behnke, Blake Lenoir, Bill Douglas, Kenneth Williams, Louis Demarco, and Cherylle Booker and finds many of them edging out of their comfort zones, experimenting with new techniques and media. You’ll also get to listen to Louis Demarco’s gem of a musical tribute to Sheboygan: “I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich toasted / Ooooohhhh Sheboygan”
Under the steady hand of Residency Director Elaine Pawlowicz, we’re planning for the Sheboygan residency to happen annually. “Spirit on the Lake” shows the fruits of a change of scenery among friends.