Builders Research

In June 2014 I spent nine days on a solo road trip through Wisconsin, searching for art environments. I visited folk art environments scattered throughout the state, and paid visits to the Kohler Foundation and the John Michael Kohler Arts Centre, two organizations dedicated to the preservation, maintenance and display of art environments around the world. I was lucky to be granted access to the collections in storage at the Kohler Foundation and JMKAC, and was able to see works by Mary Nohl, Madeline Buol, Stella Waitzkin, Emery Blagdon, Eugene Von Bruenchenheim among many others.

I visited eight different environments all around Wisconsin:

Mary Nohl’s house in Fox Point, Milwaukee
Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron in Baraboo
James Tellen’s Woodland Sculpture Garden
Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips
Herman Rusch’s Prairie Moon Museum in Cochrane
Nick Englebert’s Grandview in Hollandale
The Dickeyville Grotto in Dickeyville

The trip immersed me into these environments and practices of making, which I’ve been researching for the past year and a half. This preliminary research will eventually evolve into a devised theatre piece based on these environments and their makers for my MFA graduating project.

Below are photos from Mary Nohl’s House, the Forevertron, Prairie Moon, Wisconsin Concrete Park, and James Tellen’s Woodland Sculpture Garden. All photos © Megan Stewart

2 responses to “Builders Research”

  1. […] The Builders is a devised performance I am directing and creating in collaboration with an ensemble of performers. It is the final project for my MFA studies at Simon Fraser University. The show is based on research I’ve been doing for the past couple years on the worldwide phenomenon of folk art environment builders. […]

  2. […] as Maud Lewis’s house and Andy’s Dummy Farm in Eastern Canada, as well as Mary Nohl’s house, the Forevertron, and Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park in Wisconsin, it is ready to be shared with an […]