“Into the Woods” to open at The Craft of Art Archive
Nowadays most shopping involves big box stores and strip malls filled with merchants’ goods and services that are found in every town. Where have all the stores with uncommon specialty items disappeared, and will they ever return? Visitors want to be intrigued and discover something unusual when stopping at a new storefront.
The gallery at 1921 Lathrop Avenue, Racine, WI was introduced last fall as a place to discover and learn about international arts & crafts. The Craft of Art Archive is a free 30-day Pop-up gallery featuring a private 50-year collection of unique international arts & crafts. Dale & Susan Staehle, longtime Racine residents, both curate and are at the gallery to answer questions about the collections.
Their Spring show “Into the Woods” showcases artists and craftsman who have created amazing wooden items both simple and complex, from whittling tree branches to elaborately carved and turned pieces of specialty harvested woods from the world’s forests.
What is the Craft of Art Archive?
We opened up our FREE gallery to the public for our first Pop-up in September of 2021, to showcase specific collections within our diverse collection of objects. We have items from the 1800’s to modern day, in both two and three dimensional ceramic, wood, metal and stone. We continue to be amazed by artists’ ability to capture both human and animal spirits from inanimate pieces of wood found in the forests of the world.
When did you start collecting wood items?
My husband purchased our first Japanese Sasano Bori rooster carving in the gift shop at the Milwaukee Art Museum in the seventies.
Where do you find items?
We visit antique shows and house sales, as well as flea markets like Elkhorn, and Grayslake. When we first started collecting, it was all in person. eBay did not exist. Until 1995.
How do you know what to look for?
Certain items catch your eye because of the subject matter, detail, or complexity of the piece.
How do you find out about them?
After seeing interesting items, you can inquire with the vendor or go online to research by photo comparison or subject to often find a specific town, artist, or manufacturer.
Do you specialize in specific countries?
German Black Forest carvings are well represented, though Asian countries do wonderful carvings, too. It is very hard to choose.
Is there anything to interest children?
We have interesting animal carvings, toys and puzzles on display, and vintage musical instruments that will intrigue kids.
Why 30 Days?
We would like people to come experience the show, tell others, and bring friends back with them to enjoy it, but we do not want it to get stale. We want to instill a sense of urgency, that you shouldn’t delay your visit or you will miss the opportunity.
Is everything for sale?
No, pieces from the collection are not for sale. But this show is different from our first show. We will have artisans from the Milwaukee Area Wood turners (MAWt) showing hand turned items that will be for sale during the 30 days. They have beautifully crafted, stunning pieces.
Where are you located and is there off-street parking?
Our address is 1921 Lathrop Avenue, located on the east side of the street between Washington Avenue and Durand Avenue. There is off-street parking in front of the building.
What are the days and hours you are open?
“Into the Woods” will be on display April 20-May 29, from 10-3 each day. We are closed Monday and Tuesday.
See more at archivepopup.com