This session brought together a panel of professional conservators who have worked on projects ranging from the concrete expanses at Pasaquan to the delicate bone towers of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. Their projects have also included the home of Loy Bowlin, Emery Blagdon’s “The Healing Machine,” and the numerous works that make up Stella Waitzkin’s Lost Library. Their experience is broad and varied, involving various situational defined methodologies. The panel included a materials conservator, two objects conservators, and a painting conservator, all of whom have worked in unusual circumstances and challenging conditions.
Terri Yoho is the recently retired executive director of Kohler Foundation, Inc., an organization that has actively supported arts and education initiatives for more than seventy-five years. She has held this position since 1999. In addition, Yoho is the administrator of the Kohler Trust for Arts and Education and the Kohler Trust for Preservation. As executive director of the Kohler Foundation, she manages the Foundation’s preservation program, which includes the preservation of art environments and objects created by self-taught artists, folk art and architecture, and other collections of historic, aesthetic, and/or cultural interest. She has been responsible for the acquisition of several art environments and many collections of self-taught art. She has managed the preservation efforts at Pasaquan (GA), the Garden of Eden (KS), Hartman Rock Garden (OH), James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden (WI), and the Kenny Hill Sculpture Garden (LA). She has helped place gifts of art at more than three hundred art museums, colleges, universities, libraries, and other nonprofits across the country. Yoho holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lakeland College, Sheboygan, WI, and an MS degree in applied economics from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. She serves on the board of directors for the Friends of Wade House, Friends of Fred Smith at Wisconsin Concrete Park, and the Random Lake Educational Foundation.
Jason Church is a materials conservator in the Materials Conservation Program at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) in Natchitoches, LA. NCPTT is a research and training office of the National Park Service. Church divides his time between original research, field work on outdoor sculpture and architectural materials, and organizing various trainings and conferences. Before joining NCPTT, he was a conservator for the City of Savannah, GA, Department of Cemeteries. He earned his MFA in historic preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design and is a professional associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
Cricket Harbeck, LLC is an objects conservation studio based in Milwaukee, WI. Having formal training and a museum background, Harbeck specializes in preserving and treating fine art objects, historic materials, artifacts, and outdoor sculpture. Harbeck offers expertise in a variety of materials including ceramic, glass, metal, plastics, leather, and wood.
John Salhus is a senior conservator and structural engineer of paintings with Parma Conservation, Chicago, one of the country’s leading resources for the conservation of paintings and murals. He has worked on a wide variety of large conservation projects all across the U.S. including churches, courthouses, state capitals, schools, and many Works Progress Administration-era post office murals. Recently, he was the project manager for the conservation of paint and the painting of all artistic surfaces at Pasaquan, an intense two-year project with Kohler Foundation, Inc. At Parma Conservation, he has also worked on a large collection of Jesse Howard signs and paintings by Emery Blagdon, Ernest Hüpeden, Sanford Darling, and Mary Nohl. While in Georgia, Salhus established Buena Vista Projects, a gallery and workspace for student artists. He is an accomplished painter and sculptor and has shown his work at university and gallery venues. Salhus studied art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1989–93) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1992). He has been active in the field of art conservation since 2003. When not working on art conservation projects, Salhus is an avid cyclist.
Meghan Mackey is a conservator of decorative arts and sculpture in private practice in Middleton, WI. Prior to opening her private practice in 2006, Mackey interned at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and was employed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She holds an undergraduate degree in art history and visual arts from Princeton University and graduate degrees in art history and conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
Benjamin Caguioa is from Oxnard, CA, but now lives in Madison, WI. He received his BA in art conservation from the University of Delaware in 2004 and has since worked as a conservator in private practice focusing on concrete sculpture environments. He has been involved in the preservation of several folk art environments in Wisconsin and across the country including the Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden, Hartman Rock Garden, Garden of Eden, Pasaquan, Grandview, and Prairie Moon. He also assisted in the conservation of the Bernard Langlais, Dr. Charles Smith, and Carl Peterson collections.