Discover Compelling Stories in Racine Art Museum's Windows on Fifth Gallery
The Racine Art Museum commissioned Wisconsin artist Martha Glowacki to create a new exhibition for its Windows on Fifth Gallery. Open August 2, 2013 through July 20, 2014, If Only We Had Met - Six Stories, contains a series of tableaux inspired by historical photographs found at Wisconsin flea markets and antique shops. Drawing on her interest in natural history and science, "the power of objects and artifacts," and the psychology of collecting, Glowacki fuses found images and items with elements that she crafts with great care and attention to detail. In so doing, she creates complex and compelling narratives that explore the relationship between human beings and the natural world.
Martha Glowacki, Study for RAM Installation (detail), 2013
Digital collage on paper, Varied dimensions
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
From an early age, Martha Glowacki demonstrated a curiosity about the world around her as well as a desire to study, build, collect, and create that was encouraged by her parents. Glowacki's interest in photography stems from spending time with her father, an amateur photographer, in a darkroom
Through hours spent re-touching found photographs, Glowacki fosters an intimate connection with the mostly anonymous individuals in her Windows on Fifth exhibition. The title of the installation, If Only We Had Met - Six Stories, hints at an intangible connection that the artist makes with the subjects. Glowacki describes how the process of finding what are, in essence, abandoned images, triggers a response in her. She states: "I often feel a sense of regret for the person in the photograph and want to give the photograph a safe home in my collection. Maybe I can give them a new life in a piece of sculpture."
Rather than offering a definite story to follow, Glowacki uses the photographs as starting points to structure individual scenes that suggest larger, open-ended narratives. She combines her long-standing interest in the natural world, science, and the acts of collecting and cataloging with the mystery and potential romance of found images of people who lived in another time and place. The constructed tableaux-with lines purposefully blurred between what was created and what was found-pay homage to cabinets of curiosities and old machines whose use and purpose may be lost to most today.
Martha Glowacki holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has shown her work at the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Michael Lord Gallery in Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Art Museum. She has twice been a resident in the John Michael Kohler Arts Center's Arts/Industry program. Glowacki was director of the Gallery of Design at University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently co-director of the James Watrous Gallery of Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters.
Meet the Artist Event
On Friday, August 2 at 6:30 pm, Glowacki will guide visitors through a behind-the-scenes tour of If Only We Had Met - Six Stories with RAM Curator of Exhibitions Lena Vigna. This is during First Friday in downtown Racine when RAM offers free admission from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm along with a free hands-on art event from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. In addition, the drawing for RAM at 10 | Anniversary Raffle happens at 8:30 pm. Raffle tickets may be purchased at http://www.ramart.org/content/ram-10-anniversary-raffle for a chance to win CASH!
This exhibition in RAM's Windows on Fifth Gallery is made possible by Presenting Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, The Estate of Emile H. Mathis II, in Memory of his Parents: Emil H. and Anna T. Mathis, SC Johnson, Windgate Charitable Foundation; Gold Sponsors - National Endowment for the Arts, Racine United Arts Fund; Silver Sponsors - Elwood Corporation, Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, W.T. Walker Group, Inc., Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors - The A.C. Buhler Family, CNH America LLC, Corner House, E.C. Styberg Foundation, Inc., Educators Credit Union, In Sink Erator, The Norbell Foundation, Real Racine, Robert W. Baird & Co., Runzheimer Foundation, Ruud Family Foundation.