Amy Cropper, associate professor of art at Carroll University, is a featured artist at The Fine Art Gallery in the Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 210, Milwaukee, now through July 19, 2014. An opening reception will be Friday, April 25, from 5-9 p.m., during Gallery Night.
"Field and Sky: Mixed Media Landscapes" is a series of agricultural landscapes that verge on fantasy because they loosely incorporate her knowledge of field rituals practiced by a group of contemporary Mayans called the Zinacanteca from Chiapas, Mexico. Cropper is interested in how the Zinacantecan field rituals suggest a vertical understanding of the landscape, with acute attention given to what is beneath and above a field's surface. Their use of symbols to understand and control unseen aspects of nature connects to her ongoing interest in the Midwestern agricultural landscape, where she sees a constant struggle between order and chaos.
On Friday, May 16, Cropper will give an artist talk with her husband, Bert Kreitlow, a Latin American historian. "Art, Corn and Ritual: Revisiting the traditions of the Zinacanteca through landscape" will be from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Cropper's work ranges from sculpture to installation to drawing and, since the early '90s, has been concerned with notions of nature and culture. She exhibits her work nationally and regionally and has completed two public art commissions. For the Waukesha Public Library she made two large, mixed media paintings. She created large, outdoor chairs using boulders and steel for the University of Wisconsin-Steven's Point. Some of Cropper's outdoor works are temporary. In 2011, she collaborated with fellow artist, Stuart Morris, to create an outdoor installation using altered trees for the Lynden Sculpture Garden in River Hills.
She teaches sculpture, drawing, and freshmen and senior seminars at Carroll University. Cropper received her Master of Fine Arts degree in intermedia arts from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor's degree in art and English from Whitman College in Washington.
The Fine Art Gallery is open to the public Thursday and Friday noon-5 p.m., and Saturday noon-4 p.m. For more information, call 414.688.2787 or visit www.thefineartgallery.org.