Rosita Johanson
No Escape from Destiny, 1991
Dyed cotton, dyed cotton thread, metallic thread, paper, beads, found metal objects, wood, foam board, and acrylic paint
9 1/4 x 8 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator

August 5 – October 3, 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted life in ways that are difficult to comprehend. Massive illness and loss of life, economic hardship, daily restrictions, anxieties, and uncertainties—all things that are concerns for so many simultaneously. In the midst of this—indeed in the midst of other major crises as well like World Wars and the Great Depression of the 1930s in the US—artists create. In contrast to ancient times, when artists’ attentions were often invested in commissions, many contemporary artists are able to create work about the things that matter to them in one way or another—intellectually, culturally, socially, and personally.

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator, drawn from RAM’s collection, features works that reflect themes and topics that motivate artists to action, inspiring them to comment, investigate, and care. For example, in the 1990s, Ben Cunningham created a series of objects—including adornment—that reflected his concern about HIV as well as the controversies and issues surrounding it. Meanwhile, Rosita Johanson took on war and conflict in her colorful stitched narratives. Further historical perspectives are offered by artists like Dorothea Lange, a documentary photographer who captured the desolation of towns in the Midwest during the 1930s. Her images—depicting scenes of hardship in the United States—may have seemed remote many months ago, but now feel familiar in the midst of current economic circumstances.

To bring this conversation closer in time and space, this exhibition has an online counterpart that focuses on current work produced by members of RAM’s community. It can be accessed on the iPad in the gallery and through the RAM website, ramart.org.

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator

August 5 – October 3, 2020
Rosita Johanson
No Escape from Destiny, 1991
Dyed cotton, dyed cotton thread, metallic thread, paper, beads, found metal objects, wood, foam board, and acrylic paint
9 1/4 x 8 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted life in ways that are difficult to comprehend. Massive illness and loss of life, economic hardship, daily restrictions, anxieties, and uncertainties—all things that are concerns for so many simultaneously. In the midst of this—indeed in the midst of other major crises as well like World Wars and the Great Depression of the 1930s in the US—artists create. In contrast to ancient times, when artists’ attentions were often invested in commissions, many contemporary artists are able to create work about the things that matter to them in one way or another—intellectually, culturally, socially, and personally.

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator, drawn from RAM’s collection, features works that reflect themes and topics that motivate artists to action, inspiring them to comment, investigate, and care. For example, in the 1990s, Ben Cunningham created a series of objects—including adornment—that reflected his concern about HIV as well as the controversies and issues surrounding it. Meanwhile, Rosita Johanson took on war and conflict in her colorful stitched narratives. Further historical perspectives are offered by artists like Dorothea Lange, a documentary photographer who captured the desolation of towns in the Midwest during the 1930s. Her images—depicting scenes of hardship in the United States—may have seemed remote many months ago, but now feel familiar in the midst of current economic circumstances.

To bring this conversation closer in time and space, this exhibition has an online counterpart that focuses on current work produced by members of RAM’s community. It can be accessed on the iPad in the gallery and through the RAM website, ramart.org.

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

The Estate of Karen Johnson Boyd
David Charak
Judith and David Flegel Fund
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Racine Community Foundation logo
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

City of Racine’s Grow Racine Grant
Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation
Ruth Arts Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Anonymous
Tom and Irene Creecy
Richard and Patricia Ehlert
Trio Foundation of St. Louis
W.T. Walker Group, Inc.
Wisconsin Arts Board

Silver Sponsors

Anonymous
Baird
Beta Diagnostic Labs
A.C. Buhler Family
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Jim Harris
Sharon and Tom Harty
Horizon Retail Construction, Inc.
Lise Iwon
J. Jeffers & Co.
Johnson Financial Group
Dorothy MacVicar
Jan Serr and John Shannon

Bronze Sponsors

Ellen and Joseph Albrecht
Andis Foundation
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Dave’s Wine Garage
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Bill and Debbie Keland
Susan Manalli
Jean and Alex Mandli, Jr.
The Prairie School
Cathy Stanghellin
Twin Disc, Inc.

Love Art?  You’ll Love RAM!

The mission of the Racine Art Museum is to exhibit, collect, preserve, and educate in the contemporary visual arts. Stay up-to-date about special events as well as support the mission of the largest contemporary craft collection in America: