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If civilization is what separates humankind from the animal kingdom, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri has invited artists to cross that line and become uncivilized. Artists from across the United States will be exhibiting their works depicting the world's Wild Things.

Exhibition Dates:
June 5 – 27, 2015

Exhibition Location:
Gallery 100 & Lorimier Gallery
at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri
32 N. Main Street
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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Ruth Reese is known for her surreal porcelain sculptures where animal forms merge with human figures and flora grafts to fauna. From these fantastic beings, psychological questions concerning the nature of identity naturally emerge. At present, she is a studio artist living in St. Louis, MO and the founder of Reese Gallery, where she curates exhibitions of other emerging and mid-career artists. She graduated with her MFA in Sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis, where she used clay-dirt to create architectural installations. She has also been a Studio Assistant for Esther Shimazu at the Penland School of Crafts while exploring figurative sculpture and the nature of presence.

You will find her work published in “500 Plates and Chargers”, “500 Raku” and “Mourning the UnbornDead: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America”. She has exhibited nationally, including at NCECA, Visions in Clay, Red Heat and the Racine Art Museum. At PHD Gallery in St. Louis, Reese has had several solo exhibitions. In 2014, she was awarded the William K. Bixby Annual Bequest Prize at the St. Louis Artist Guild for her sculptural work. Currently, she teaches ceramics at St. Louis Community College at Meramec and at Maryville University.

Scroll down to see Ruth Ann Reese's Juror Statement!

Shelby Prindaville
Acrylic on Panel

To view more of the artist's work, please visit her website at:

The American Dream - The Visitor
Bin Feng
Digital C-Print

To view more of the artists work, please visit his website at:

The First Temptation
April Dill
Oil on Canvas

To view more of the artist's work, please visit her website at:

Michael Baird
Cape Girardeau, MO

Dave Carter
Cape Girardeau, MO

 Peter Mak
Hastings, MN
 Sarah Smith
Ringwood, NJ
 Sarah Basler
Bonne Terre, MO

April Dill
Herrin, IL
Janis McCracken
Warren, NJ
 Jens Svendsen
Grand Rapids, OH

 Matthew Beniamino
Philadelphia, PA
Bin Feng
Savannah, GA
Vicki Outman
Jackson, MO

Onna Jeanna Voellmer
Sahuarita, AZ
 Vicki Bollinger
Jackson, MO

 Becky Jaffe
Oakland, CA
Keith Perkins
Bucksport, ME
Teresa Wade
Salmon, ID

 Larry Braun
Benton, MO
Sarah Kendrick 
Monroe City, MO
Shelby Prindaville
Leavenworth, KS
 Hannah Walsh
Phoenix, AZ
 Joan Burds
Ste. Genevieve, MO

Kris Killman
Marion, IL
Mack Ramsey
Burfordville, MO
 Kurt Brian Webb
Palatine, IL

Paula Lincoln
St. Louis, MO

 Dawn Simon
Barnegat, NJ

Without hesitation, I can say it has been a joy and a privilege to jury the “Wild Things” exhibition at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. I was immediately impressed by this collection of work in a variety of mediums by so many strong artists. It was truly refreshing and inspiring to see such talented makers.

Many questions came to mind when I looked at the work. Does the piece have a strong visual impact, with a compelling composition and sense of design? How does the piece balance its fundamental concept with the skill and craftsmanship of making? Did the artists have a clear and driving understanding of their intentions and/or inspiration? How does ambition and confidence play into the piece? Am I surprised by something altogether new and absent of formula? I’m always impressed if the artist has a strong sense of their authentic voice as a maker. I am pleased to say that many of the images and sculptures in this exhibition are worthy of merit and praise. Truthfully, it was hard to choose from so, so many excellent pieces.

Although, I’m very pleased with this selection of works, I feel like so many interesting and powerful pieces didn’t make it into the show, but were on my “almost” list. A juror attempts to create a cohesive exhibition based on his or her own aesthetic background within the parameters of the overarching concept and limitations of space. So, a juror’s decision is not a definitive verdict of artistic merit or future successes. Instead, a variety of elements have to come together for a piece to be chosen. For instance, part of my vision for the space was to engage a range of mediums and a diversity of creatures. So to those that didn’t make it into this exhibition – persevere in making, remain true to your voice, and opportunities will emerge.

To all the exhibiting artists, congratulations is in order.

As a juror who has spent hours combing through your images, I’m very eager to see this exhibition in person, to examine work up-close and in the round. Also, I’m looking forward to reflecting upon the animal nature as interpreted through your work. Even more, the exhibit will allow the viewer to investigate, the human-animal difference and the human-animal connection. Animals partner our journey and are fundamental to our human experience – no matter the platform, it’s a profoundly intimate connection. Even as they pursue their own purpose, animals are also food, friend, helper, enemy, mythology and symbol. Moreover, our depictions of an animals can mask their true nature as much as reveal it. The animal can extend our human identity and in it’s eyes we see potential. In Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”, Max puts on his wolfish skins to adventure on a wild rumpus. By wrapping himself in an animal identity he is allowed to “become” wild and express some of his more culturally objectionable (and, yes, more thrilling) behaviors. We are indebted to you, exhibiting artists, for allowing viewers to engage with these ideas through your artistic compositions and investigations.

I would also like to thank Liz Montgomery for reaching out to me and for her dedication in organizing the exhibition and arranging the viewing of the artwork – allowing me to do my part as juror. Please let me extend my thanks to Dr. Joni Hand, Arts Council of Southeast Missouri Board Member and Associate Professor of Art History at Southeast Missouri State University for asking me the hard questions in the “Let’s Talk Arts” interview. To everyone who is a part of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, I can’t tell you how much I - as an extension of the community at large - appreciate your committed support of the arts!


For questions, please contact the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri by phone at
(573) 334-9233 or by emailing us at!