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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, September 25, 2023
Marvel House

A four-ring circus made for Marveling

Come one, come all and step right up to an end and a beginning in the Madison art community. Well, not so much an end as a hiatus and a move, and perhaps more of an introduction than a start.

The Project Lodge, located at 817 East Johnson St., has hosted many shows in all areas of the art arena of both local talent and those trotting the globe, but come October 1, the space will “change hands” and booked shows will find themselves temporarily scattered at various venues throughout the city. However, the doors will close on a note as high as, say, a tightrope.

Those who venture a brief bike ride off campus to the space will find themselves at “Marvel House,” The Project Lodge’s final exhibition displaying the work of UW-Madison Art students Olivia Baldwin, Jessica Doing, Katie Garth and Sigrid Hubertz from Sept. 22-29.

The multifaceted media on display reflect a circus concept derived from a brainstorming session but finally decided after a trip by Doing, Garth and Hubertz to the National Circus Museum in Baraboo, Wis. last summer. Garth said the theme provided something “varied and dense enough” to allow for some compelling displays for the foursome’s first collaborative gallery.

“We felt that between the ability to address ethical issues and sort of the visual history of the circus that from a lot of different perspectives we’d have the ability to work from that,” Garth said.

Baldwin also offered her interpretation of the theme: “We were kind of interested in playing with the gallery and the idea of spectacle, and ‘Marvel House’ kind of can be read in that way.”

The varied approach is clear. One sweep around the venue will leave viewers in a blur of watercolors and canvas, but on a second trip around the room the individual personalities of these budding artists step into the spotlight.

Whether looking at the heavily implicating faces in one of Garth’s art books, the sparkling gemstones of Hubertz’s multimedia pieces, Doing’s penned elephants or a canvas painted by Baldwin that is twice her size, there is at least one medium to catch the eyes of all types of spectators, like a spotlight on the center ring.

They even represent the medium of film with a projector installment running old vaudeville and circus videos from the Library of Congress on a blank wall space, the only piece put together as a collaborative work from all four artists.

Yet Baldwin hopes what attendees take away is not overly focused.

“I don’t really hope that they get one idea out of seeing the show, I hope that it is something more personal,” she said.

Those who attend will have to determine for themselves what exactly they gather from the show, but such is the beauty of art.

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The gallery remains open during various times from now through Saturday, Sept. 29 where one can go to marvel at the work of these ladies who are drawing looks from the Madison art community.

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