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Emerging Wisconsin artists featured in 'Ten at Ten' exhibit at Museum of Wisconsin Art

Lindsey Yeager, Delusions of Grandeur, Which Wrecked Us All, 2021. Gouache and gold leaf on Canvas (detail)
Museum of Wisconsin Art
Lindsey Yeager, Delusions of Grandeur, Which Wrecked Us All, 2021. Gouache and gold leaf on Canvas (detail)

The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) has an extensive history dating back to its initial formation in 1961. The museum has been housed in different locations and has seen various iterations through its decades. Its current configuration consists of secondary locations in Milwaukee and Madison that coincide with the main location in West Bend. Commonly known as "Mothership," the main West Bend location is celebrating its tenth anniversary of operation this year.

In observance, the museum is celebrating with a variety of exhibits and special guests throughout the year, beginning with "Ten at Ten." This exhibition features ten new and emerging Wisconsin artists that are considered the upcoming generation of influential artists for enthusiasts to watch in the coming years. According to MOWA executive director Laurie Winters, the exhibit is an exciting opportunity for both the museum and the featured artists.

"We are excited about working with and supporting young and emerging artists," says Winters. "We spent about a year looking at what we thought were young, emerging artists, and we put the exhibition together based on that."

Sturgeon Bay native Meg Lionel Murphy is a featured artist in the exhibit. Her vivid paintings reference her experience coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from domestic violence. While describing her work, Murphy explains, "I want them to lure you in with this almost childlike dreamlike wonder and then keep you there, with a bit of pain."

After recently showcasing her work in New York and Los Angeles, Murphy relishes the opportunity to be featured in Wisconsin.

"I just feel really grateful to be emerging at this time in my career while living in Wisconsin, in a place that I didn't think would support me as an artist. To have this recognition just, it, makes me feel like I'm in the right place," says Murphy.

UW-Green Bay alumna, Johanna Winters, is another featured artist in the exhibit. Her work challenges the social conditioning that encourages the repression of female sexuality, empowerment, and agency through videos and other tangible representations. "I'm particularly interested in video as a way of constructing these worlds where this protagonist can exist, and you can start to experience the kind of interiority that she's experiencing as a body that wants to be desired and wants to be witnessed," she describes.

Returning to Wisconsin for this exhibit brings things full circle for Johanna Winters. She says, "It feels like a homecoming in a way. I first became an artist as a student in Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and then, I lived in Green Bay for a number of years after college and taught there for a bit. I feel a sense of pride and gratefulness to be able to show work in a state that has felt like a second home to me."

Despite all of the differences in approach and style, Laurie Winters sees one constant element across all the works. "I was kind of struck by the humanity of the work. It's a very passionate voice, but it ties us. It's a voice that ties us all together as humans," says Winters. "And so I think that's sort of the common thread of the exhibition, and I'm really proud of that."

The exhibit is open and runs through April 9.


Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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