RACINE — The "RAM Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Exhibition 2021" offers a series of concurrent solo shows featuring the work of five Racine and Kenosha artists — Martha Coaty, Nate Hunter, Christopher Johns, Marc Travanti and René Amado. It will be shown through Nov. 27 at Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, a campus of the Racine Art Museum at 2519 Northwestern Ave.
The RAM Artist Fellowship Program aims to showcase the diversity and vitality of the Racine/Kenosha visual arts community. Now in its fifth round, this biennial selection program supports the professional development of artists in this corner of southeastern Wisconsin through increased media exposure as well as monetary awards to be used for any expenses that assist in the development of new work.
New in 2020–21, an Emerging Artist Award was given to an artist under the age of 40 who is in the early stages of their creative development and demonstrates significant potential. Racine photographer René Amado is the inaugural recipient of this award.
The five award recipients were chosen based on how well their work will present together as a group, as well as individually. Jurors consider the merits of each artist’s work but also look at other variables, not limited to but including county of residence, gender, type of work represented within the group, experience, heritage and length of career. Each exhibition award cycle deliberately focuses on a group that represents a wide range of artistic accomplishments and types of careers.
About the Artists
Born in 1960, Martha Coaty lives and works in Wisconsin. Coaty received a bachelor of arts degree with a dual emphasis in both journalism and art from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1984. Her work has received many awards and has been featured in exhibitions at various venues including the Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend; Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee; and Manhattan Arts, New York. Her work is held in multiple public collections including the Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay and Mosaic Arts, Inc., Green Bay.
Ceramic artist Nate Hunter is based in Kenosha. He studied at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he received a bachelor of arts degree with a double emphasis in ceramics and sculpture. Hunter spent two years after college apprenticing with ceramic artist, Chris Gustin, during which he fell in love with the process of making and firing ceramics in large wood-fired kilns.
Christopher Johns was born in Racine in 1952, and passed away in spring of 2021. Johns’ successful career path included teaching, artist-in-residence positions, awards and a lengthy exhibition history. He began his university education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee but, after two years, transferred to the San Francisco Art Institute where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting in 1975. In 1977, he earned an masters in fine arts in painting from Stanford University, Calif. Johns received various awards throughout his lifetime, including a Visual Artists’ Fellowship from the State of Louisiana and a Visual Artists’ Fellowship from the Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts.
Born in Kenosha in 1956, Marc Travanti’s interest in art began at an early age. Travanti attended the UW-Parkside from 1974 to 1976, transferring when he learned that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater had just built a new ceramics facility. He received a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1978 with an emphasis in ceramics. He went on to attend graduate school at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he was accepted into their sculpture program, graduating with a masters of fine arts in 1980. Travanti moved back to Kenosha in 2018, and has since shifted from ceramics to drawing portraits of his family, friends and others.
Based in Racine, René Amado began honing his craft around 2013, in downtown San Antonio, Texas. For Amado, walking the streets and capturing the various scenes and unique individuals he encountered was a great way to flex his creativity while unwinding from a stressful workday. Since then, he has gone on to work in many other genres of photography, including concert and live music, photojournalism, fashion, wedding, culinary, automotive, portraiture and documentary.
Further information about this year’s featured artists as well as general information about the RAM Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Awards are available on the RAM website at ramart.org.
Wustum Museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. There is no admission fee.
In this Series
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