In Arts & Entertainment

Janelle and Matthew Gramling combined forces to create new pieces including this hanging wall sculpture and daybed. (PHOTO: Dre Hudson, @haidredre on Instagram)

Wife-and-husband makers wed creative endeavors with "Persistent Object"

Janelle and Matthew Gramling have worked in side-by-side art studios for almost five years in a warehouse building on South 23rd Street. Janelle, primarily a self-taught ceramic and fibers artist, creates sculptures, functional home goods and clothing. Matthew spends his days crafting wood furniture from local, fallen trees for commercial, gallery and design-based settings.

(Tabletop. PHOTO: Dre Hudson)

The parents of four have once again wed, this time their artistic talents and skills to create new life in their combined art worlds. "Our aesthetics work really well together," says Janelle.

(Credenza. PHOTO: Dre Hudson.)

The couple melded passions to create new work together made from fiber, ceramics, wood and sometimes – with the help of another artisan in their building – upholstery. They will unveil their exquisite joint efforts this week in a show called "Persistent Object."

"Persistent Object" opens at Between Two Galleries in Walker's Point, 423 W. Pierce St., on Friday, June 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. During this time the Gramlings will also release their first catalog.

"We both wanted to push ourselves creatively and show ourselves as well as others what we are capable of," says Janelle. "We've been making one-of-a-kind objects but are excited to make larger, more challenging furniture and art objects that are made to order."

(Hanging Lamps. PHOTO: Dre Hudson.)

The opening of "Persistent Object" coincides with with The Furniture Society's annual conference which is in Milwaukee this year from June 19 to 22.

The name "Persistent Object" comes from the opening essay in a book called "The Crafts of the Modern World" by Rose Slivka that Janelle found particularly inspiring.

Janelle says she and Matthew, who live with their four children three blocks from their studio in the Clarke Square neighborhood, had to adjust their creative processes for their collaboration, but luckily, found that like their personalities in life, their mediums complement each other.

"This surprises a lot people who ask 'how can you work with your husband?' And of course we have our challenges over things – especially when we are tired or overworked – but we're really enjoying this," says Janelle. "Wood and clay work together in really interesting ways and things have come together really well."

"Persistent Object" opens Friday, June 21 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m and will remain on display at Between Two Galleries through July 6. Matthew and Janelle will be onsite for the opening as well as on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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