Apartment 4 is the first in the Open House Project series, an ongoing Arts Center initiative providing a platform for emerging and underrepresented artists and art forms. Artists and organizations are invited to collaborate and experiment with new ideas and original content in exhibitions that use the galleries in the John Michael Kohler home as a place for artistic inquiry. The home, built in 1883, is a unique setting for the generation of new curatorial explorations of topics ranging from the familiar to the phenomenal.
These books were created by 10th grade students at Brown Deer High School in their English classes. The students visited the Arts Center in November of 2018 to connect their learning to the exhibition Apartment 4. During the fall semester, students were working on answering the question, “How do our perceptions and senses affect how we see reality?” through different class assignments and discussions.
While exploring the exhibition, students considered how Florence Hasard kept parts of her identity hidden in her studio space. They used their discussions and personal responses as a starting point to reflect on their own identities and create an Identity Book. On the cover of the book, students created imagery that represented their external identities, or how they present themselves to the world. Inside the books, students created imagery representing their internal identity. Some students realized their internal and external identities felt very similar while others share two very different sides of themselves.
This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the Chipstone Foundation, Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Frederic Cornell Kohler Charitable Trust. The Arts Center thanks its many members for their support of exhibitions and programs through the year. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) organization; donations are tax deductible.