From Nature: Contemporary Artists and Organic Materials

February 17 - October 6, 2019


From Nature features primarily objects—sculptural, functional, and wearable—that incorporate items from the natural world as a means to explore materials and a way to investigate a variety of social, personal, environmental, and cultural issues. RAM’s collection, with its emphasis on contemporary craft, offers a unique platform for this conversation as so much of the work is built is from organically-based media such as wood, paper, and clay. The works included here emphasize the natural as a found object—perhaps manipulated, but not in a way that dramatically disguises the source. Elements such as feathers, stones, shells, twigs, and hair play structural, metaphorical, or decorative roles in these artworks created during the last few decades.

Exhibition Notes
Press Room


Dorothy Gill Barnes
Nova Scotia Spruce, 1985

Red Spruce bark and Lichen
17 1/4 x 14 x 9 inches
Racine Art Museum,
The Cotsen Contemporary American Basket Collection
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

Kyong Ae Cho
A Statuette and a Snail, 1992

Pine needles, copper wire, plastic tubing, and synthetic thread
11 1/4 x 6 7/8 diameter
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Dale and Doug Anderson
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

Jan Hopkins
Isadora, 2008

Grapefruit peel, waxed linen, Alaskan yellow cedar bark, lotus pod tops, and Sharlyn melon peels
28 x 14 x 9 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Karen Johnson Boyd
in Honor of Bruce W. Pepich’s 35 Years of Service to RAM
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

Daniel DiCaprio
Ring, 2014

African blackwood and sterling silver
1 1/2 x 1 x 4/4 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Robert W. Ebendorf and Aleta Braun
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

Lillian Elliot and Pat Hickman
Opening, 1984

Branches, sticks, animal gut, and paint
36 x 14 1/2 x 15 inches
Racine Art Museum,
The Cotsen Contemporary American Basket Collection
Photography: Jon Bolton. Racine


Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Contemporary Clay is made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors
Friends of Fiber Art International

Windgate Charitable Foundation

Diamond Sponsors
Tom and Irene Creecy
Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation

Ruffo Family Foundation Inc.

Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
A. C. Buhler Family
Evinrude Outboard Motors
Lucy Feller
Racine County
Bill and Mary Walker
Bronze Sponsors
John Cram and Matt Chambers
David and Ellen Easley
Fredrick and Deborah Ganaway
William A. Guenther
Dorothy MacVicar
The Norbell Foundation
Janna and Dr. Edward Waldeck
Media Sponsors