You wouldn’t think that insects could be considered pretty. Insects can remind a person of feelings of disgust. However, insects play an important role in our ecosystem, for both the environment and providing food for other animals. Even if an animal species isn’t considered endangered, that doesn’t mean their home isn’t endangered. Jennifer Angus’ work aims to have visitors who view her work to not only consider the beauty of insects, but also consider what they can do to protect their local environment. Her latest exhibit, The Other Side, is currently on display at the Paine Art Center and Gallery.
About the Artist
Jennifer Angus is a Madison-based artist. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Design Studies department. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain and Japan.
Her Work Process
The insects that Angus works with are real, and are dead and dried. She does not alter the color of the insects, which mostly come from Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand. The species she works with are not endangered, however their habitats are not safe from human interference. She hopes her exhibits inspire people to learn more about insects and consider how their behavior affects their local environment and animal population. You can learn more about her work process here.
On Display at the Paine
Angus’ exhibition is an installation piece. For those unfamiliar with the term, installation art is a modern art movement where pieces are created to be larger-than-life and customized for the site’s location. She adorns the walls of the main gallery with insects in geometric patterns. When you view this exhibition, you may experience both appreciation of beauty and distraught from seeing so many insects. In addition to the insects on the wall, she also displays her work using beeswax dollhouses, Victorian houses, and repurposed furniture. Her love of Victorian houses fits perfectly with Paine's vision of an old English manor. In addition to the Main Gallery, her work is also on display in the Gothic Gallery.
Visiting the Paine
The Other Side is on display at The Paine Art Center until May 30th, 2021. Reservations are required to view the exhibition. The Art Center is closed on Mondays, however you can view the exhibit on Tuesdays-Saturdays between 11am and 4pm. Ticket prices range between $5-$9, depending on your age; children under 4 years old and Paine members can view the exhibit for free. Admission fees cover viewing the exhibition, the mansion and the gardens.