Like a Striking Simile

A Series of Objects by Helen Hawley and Chele Isaac

Artists Helen Hawley and Chele Isaac maintain studios one block apart in downtown Madison. They each work across a variety of media and over time noticed an uncanny simultaneity of ideas, images and insights. Curious about the recurring and serendipitous parallels, they decided to explore the source and terrain of this shared language with a collaborative exhibition. Throughout “Like a Striking Simile” Hawley and Isaac explore a fascination for how, under careful observation and consideration, the materials and objects often overlooked in daily life seem to suggest something else entirely. Though produced independently the work of the exhibition evolved in a sort of call and response to each other’s sketches and experiments.

Helen Hawley is a visual artist whose multidisciplinary projects include books, sculpture, painting, prints, performance and video. Upcoming and recent exhibitions include the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Drawing Lines Across Mediums at Site: Brooklyn and Performancy Forum Quinquennial at Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY. She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center and Wassaic A.I.R. Special projects include collaborations with The Willy Street Chamber Players in Madison, WI and the True/False Film Fest in Columbia, MO. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a graduate fellowship. She lives in Madison, WI and is an instructor of drawing at Beloit College.

Chele Isaac works across several media including video, sound, sculpture and photography. Her installation works have been shown locally and nationally in art centers, project galleries and museums. Her short films have been screened in group shows and film festivals in the US and internationally. She was the Windgate Artist in Residence in the Spring of 2015 at the University of Indiana Pennsylvania which culminated in shows at the Pittsburgh Center for The Arts/Summer 2015 and Pittsburgh’s SPACE Gallery 2016. Upcoming projects include a solo show at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in 2017 and learning how to be a farmer. Isaac has been an adjunct professor teaching Digital Arts Studio for the UW-Madison Art Department where she also serves on the Board of Visitors. She holds an MFA from the UW-Madison and maintains a studio and collaborative arts space in a renovated former church, downtown Madison.

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Summer gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday 12-5pm and Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.

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