Something significant changes when an artwork is set on a pedestal and encased beneath a clear polished museum vitrine. The necklace that was once casually worn to a party is now handled with gloves and tagged with new meaning.
That shift in significance is what we’re all pondering after the opening of the Terra Nova exhibit at the Racine Art Museum. The weekend exceeded all my expectations and you’ll see more as soon as I unpack and catch my breath.
In the meanwhile, you can order the lovely book here. I brought back this souvenir black tee with irridescent artwork for some lucky reader.
Register to win the limited edition Terra Nova t-shirt by leaving a comment below before midnight Tuesday.
RonRon Lehocky ,
I wish I was there. Congrats to all who’s work were included and who are now established as the pioneers of polymer. We should all aspire to create one “museum piece” in our life time.
Thanks for the pictures and the postings. Keep them coming.
The exhibit was wonderful. I purchased the book and had it signed!! I have to say that the quality of the photographs from the book were/are outstanding. It is just like being at the exhibit, only I think better. The photogogher took such care to capture the color and detail of each piece.
I would love to have the tee and give it to Carol Simmons. The only reason she was not in Racine to pick up her award and enjoy the festivities was because of me. Instead of making the 2 1/2 hour drive across WI, she was helping me, a beginning student, as well as two others, finish an advanced project. That was very giving and gracious of her. Such integrity.
I have only just begun to play around with polymer clay and was delighted when I first became aware of a museum-quality PC exhibit .. it definitely changed the attitude of some of my more serious jewelry making friends over my desire to experiment with the stuff. Would LOVE to be able to show off the T-Shirt to boot! ; )
I wear a lot of black and I love that T shirt- especially the gathered bottom. You inspired me to upcycle some of my old Tees by doing that!! Glad your home safe and sound.
I use polymer clay on gourds to make jewelry so to see where this is going inspires me to be more creative, more colorful and inspirational with my craft. Thanks for sharing everyday. Wow!
Dawn Stubitsch ,
Love the t-shirt! I also appreciate Elsie and the others paving the way for all of us to elevate polymer clay to the place it deserves in the art world.
Line Labrecque ,
You are so fortunate to have all this inspiration. I’m quite isolated and love your site every day. It’s like travelling and visiting all these artists from my home. thank you.
What an awesome accomplishment! Congrats to all of the fine artists who have brought polymer clay to this point.
Delighted that polymer clay work is finally receiving the recognition it deserves. Thank YOU for providing me/us with continued inspiration. Love the tee; nice to have the opportunity to (possibly) own it.
Molly J Fischer ,
Can’t believe how many comments!! The shirt is beautiful!! I’ve seen some of Ms. Winter’s work in person at Craft Boston. I would love to be the honored winner. Molly
Cathy Roth ,
Well, it’s about time, that Polymer Clay Artists are recognied by the Art Community.I wish that the Racine Museum was a little closer to my home. Polymer Clay Artists; Stand up and be proud of the beautiful and versatile clay that we love!
The right setting and context can indeed help us see an item (or person) in a different way. This exhibit sounds like a debutante ball, where the Art World formally recognizes that polymer clay has grown up and turned into a wonderful young medium that stands on its own fine art legs and also plays well with other media. (Enough metaphors yet?) By the way, I didn’t wear black until recently, and I still don’t wear black tops. I *would* make an exception for a black T-shirt that advertised polymer clay in the right context and setting!
isn’t it wonderful that PC has now been recognized as “real”art?! i would love to see the exhibit
unfortunately Switzerland is rather a far travel. but to own such a beautiful Tee, would reimburse me for not being able to see the real thing in person.
thanks Cynthia, once again for your sharing these events to all of us!!
What a wonderful show to visit! Love the T!!!
Dear Cynthia, iam so jealous! Wish i could be there! Unfortunately its an even greater travel for me than for our friend from Switzerland. I live in Cyprus! So I will have to do with your pictures. Keep them coming pls. Thank you for PCD in general! I follow it every day and get many ideas from it. When I saw a picture of the neck piece warn by Elise herself if i remember correctly, I just loved it! I would be so lucky to win the shirt 🙂
Wow, that tee is amazing. How did they do that Elise neck part?? Beautiful.
I ordered the book for the exhibit and can’t wait to see it. I’m waiting in England, but not so patiently. I think the tee would be fun to wear for all the conversations it would launch.
I’m so pleased to see polymer clay get this recognition! It’s been exciting to follow the growth of the use of this medium in the art world over just the last seven years or so. (Longer, I’m sure, but that’s been my involvement). What amazing strides. So many pioneers we have to thank. No other medium has captured my imagination in this way.
I can’t wait to take a road trip to RAM and see the exhibit for myself. Thanks for the sneak peek!
bonnie oneill ,
Wow, wish I could have seen all of those FANTASTIC polymer clay pieces. Hopefully, some of them can go ‘on tour’ and visit other cities….
Stuffing envy, but I hope you all had a wonderful time anyway. 🙂
Wow! Feelin’ lucky!
I was in Mineral Point, WI at Carol Simmons’ workshop. So sorry we were not able to attend the opening night, but “intensive” is the key word in her workshop and we just could not spare the whole afternoon and evening to drive to Racine. I’m sure it was a stunning event.
I would love to to have the shirt with Elise’s art. I have seen some of her art work at the Art School at Old Church, it is so fabulous, and inspiring! The book also looks amazing. Congratulations to everyone involved in the museum project!
It is so fabulous that this medium that we all appreciate working in, finally is receiving some appreciation from the “Art World”. I am so pleased that they have chosen to do a book. That also shows that there is finally the idea that we are here to stay. This also helps to elevate these polymer clay pieces from “crafts” to “Art”. Congrats to those artists whose work is shown. Anne
Marjon Donker ,
Wish I could jump on a plain to see it myself…..:-(
But… there’s internet, thank you Cyntia!!! so nice to read this article!!! And what a great shirt!!!
Shirley Rufener ,
Browsing through this beautiful book, this wonderful exhibit represents to me another exciting breakthrough for skeptics that still look at this material as just a crafting medium, mostly due to a lack of exposure to the true “art” possibilities that is polymer clay provides! A spectacular group of artist are represented, all chosen for their many hours of developing their own voice and incredible techniques, never even dreamed of or imagined in the early days (which I was a part of in 1984 with my soon to follow first clay booklet “Clay Jewelry Boutique” by Plaid enterprises. I am daily amazed at how far we have journeyed together and the talented artist who have graciously shared their techniques and secrets with us. Where would we be without that wealth of information? I’d like to single out a woman who sat down and wrote me a several page letter with answers to my many polymer clay and business questions back in the day…Kathleen Dustin. Her willingness and generosity was my inspiration to push the envelope of polymer clay and figure out what to do with what I had created. So again, “thank you” Kathleen for going above and beyond my expectations with you reply, especially when I know how busy you are and in my personal opinion, one of our most talented polymer artist to date.