August 18, 2022–February 26, 2023
Over the decades, artists have frequently found inspiration in their own homes and in everyday objects. Sarah McEneaney and Lydia Ricci, two artists, have similarly drawn from their private lives for The Extra Ordinary, which is currently on display at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
The Extra Ordinary, which is on display through February 26, 2023, has paintings, miniature sculptures, and an animated video to showcase the often-overlooked possibilities in the everyday items and events that animate and populate normal activities.
McEneaney explores the wealth of possibilities for contemplation that abound around us through her daily practice of painstakingly painting images of her house, studio, and the activities that take place there. She lives in a richly colorful and intricate refuge with her constant companions, where simple tasks and occurrences like drinking water and a downpour are given poetic significance.
Paper and cardboard scraps collected by Ricci are used to create little items that stand in for emotionally challenging situations and connections. Their small size offers a secure distance for reflecting on the trying circumstances or memories they hold. In a series of stop-motion videos, Ricci gives the sculptures lives of their own by picturing them interacting in a variety of ludicrous but serious scenarios.
From the (un)limited settings of their homes and studios, both artists’ bodies of work cohere into complete universes that are populated with characters, drama, and plot twists.
In Philadelphia, artist and community activist Sarah McEneaney works. In 1979, she obtained her diploma from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. McEneaney’s debut gallery exhibition, Philadelphia New Talent at Locks Gallery, took place in the same year.
Since then, she has had solo museum exhibitions at the List Gallery at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, the Mills College Art Museum in California, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Over the past 20 years, she has consistently held solo exhibits in New York and Philadelphia and participated in over 70 group exhibitions across the Mid-Atlantic region.
Among other awards, McEneaney has received the Yaddo Fellowship in 2006, 2005, 1997, and 1995, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2002, 2001, and 1993, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2000, and the MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 1998. Her work is included in various public collections, including those at the Mills College Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
The majority of Lydia Ricci’s time is spent creating little sculptures of commonplace items “from shreds” of daily life. Her shattered 3-D collages have been widely published and displayed in Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco galleries. At the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Lydia teaches branding, design, and storytelling classes when she isn’t making retro typewriters out of cereal box lids and floppy disks.
Lydia is a Carnegie Mellon University alum who also attended schools in Cortona, Italy, and St. Gallen, Switzerland. She resides away from Philadelphia.
Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is free. Sarah McEneaney and Lydia Ricci: The Extra Ordinary is part of JMKAC’s Ways of Being , a series of exhibitions, programs, and performances exploring the role of artists as world-builders who can help us navigate the present, re-orient the past, and project viable futures.
Ways of Being is supported by the Kohler Trust for Arts and Education, the Frederic Cornell Kohler Charitable Trust, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
608 New York Ave
Sheboygan, Wisconsin 53081
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–5pm,
T +1 920 458 6144
F +1 920 458 4473