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The Road Less Traveled, a Three-Day Conference on Artist-Built Environments

Let’s talk chicken bones, concrete, and glitter! Scholars, artists, preservationists, educators, art historians, collectors & devotees will delve into the complex subject of artist-built environments during a three-day conference, September 27-29, 2017, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Works by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Nek Chand, Fred Smith, Carl Peterson, Herman Rusch and Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM) in the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collections Storage (photo by Rich Maciejeweski, 2016)

Continuing the legacy of the Divine Disorder Conference series, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Kohler Foundation Inc., and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center have joined together to present a three-day event focused on the complex subject of artist-built environments.

The Road Less Traveled Conference, September 27–29 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, will see scholars, artists, preservationists, educators, activists, curators, collectors, and devotees deliberating, debating, and discussing ways to enrich the understanding of these monumental constructions.

Topics will span the continuum from art environments remaining in situ to environment components no longer in place. Sessions include research and conservation methods, the curation of art environments in the gallery space, collaborative preservation, site stewardship, and community relations required for keeping sites in place and relevant.

With freshly conserved sites such Eddie Owens Martin’s Pasaquan in Georgia, and new projects on the horizon, these conversations will be influencing the way this artwork is thought about and cared for moving forward.

A variety of special events and performances offer different avenues of thought and experience. Sound artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe will perform an impromptu piece specific to Emery Blagdon’s Healing Machine. The acclaimed host of Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything will offer reflections about his road trip to Wisconsin art environments. Off-site events include a hands-on conservation demonstration at the James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden.

For registration and additional information, visit jmkac.org/conference or call 920-458-6144.

The Road Less Traveled Conference is an NCPTT Divine Disorder Conference and partnership of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Kohler Foundation, Inc. and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.