Strange Media

Melissa Jay Craig uses abaca/kozo in her creations.

When art imitates life in the Unusually Natural exhibition at Peninsula School of Art, it does so with uncommon, even strange, media. The exhibition is on view from Aug. 22 – Oct. 17, and is free and open to the public.

Rather than inviting shock, Unusually Natural is in search of awe. The idea of Massachusetts featured artist Jenine Shereos weaving strands of human hair to create leaf skeletons might seem odd. But, to view the elegant delicacy and authentic appearance of her art is something to admire, and to understand her choice of medium.

State-of-the-art technology is employed by featured artists Burton Isenstein and Lynn Tomaszewski, both of Chicago, for their interactive video installation, “Complex 7.” As the number of visitors and activity increases in front of the projected imagery, the movement and detail of its cell-like clusters is also heightened.

The process of forming trees from copper tubing by Door County sculptor Ben Anschutz is the antithesis of creating with technology. “I bend every piece completely by hand, using my body to create the curves and flowing lines that best mimic a tree’s natural form,” he said.

Florida artist Jessica Drenk uses simple everyday materials atypical of sculpture media, like pencils and books. In her work, hand and power tools shape pencils into cave formations.

Handmade paper takes on the shapes of cup fungi in the installation “Re: Morse” by Chicago artist Melissa Jay Craig.

Rather than imitating nature, Milwaukee artist Cassandra Smith embellishes it. Her canvasses are preserved animal parts embellished with acrylic paint or sequins in geometric patterns.

Peninsula School of Art and Guenzel Gallery are located at 3900 County Hwy F in Fish Creek. For more information, call 920.868.3455 or email [email protected].