January 3 - February 2Free
Wonderland Circus is a series of oil paintings by Jennifer Wheeler. She builds small paper sculptures, places them into her still life set ups, and paints her images – some intimate, some large scale. The exuberant color palette and glittering gold leaf elements suggest the playfulness of childhood.
Jennifer Wheeler has an MFA in Painting from Western Connecticut State University. She has been a College Instructor for more than 10 years, and is currently Lead Art Faculty at Dawson Community College, where she is also Director of Exhibitions.
The Wonderland Circus exhibition is on display from January 3 to February 2 at the MonDak Heritage Center, 120 3rd Ave SE, Sidney. The MonDak’s hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday from 10-4 and Saturday from 1-4. For more information contact MDHC at (406) 433-3500.
Artist Statement: Chaos rules in this lurid playground of scattered playthings, where grinning cats, menacing shadows, neckties, and whip-wielding ringmasters are unwanted predators, and we are propelled down the rabbit hole into a world which is no Wonderland, but a realm of dangerous games.
Creating images of themes that seem as if they should be happy ones – wonderlands, circuses, nursery rooms – but that have a content that somehow implies treachery interests me, and continues to impel my work in this direction.
The paper sculptures pictured in the paintings are whimsical, slotted together in a simplistic way, and are in the language of illustration, which harkens back to a childhood sphere. My use of gold leaf is a way of presenting an allegory of childhood – one that is glittering and bright, but the darkness of the content belies the optimism of the surface.