The Wisconsin Project

Photographers in Hayfield Near Whitelaw, Wisconsin, July 1, 2012

Wisconsin Project (2009-present)

We grappled with complex perceptions of Wisconsin ranging from nostalgic, romantic, and idealized–as depicted on myriad real photo postcard and standard commercially generated cards for tourists–to mysterious, dark, and gothic as conveyed in works of art and literature while making our own views using vintage postcard photographic equipment. The project culminated in a residency with workshops and community collaborations and the installation “We Go From Where We Know” at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center 10.13.2013-3.7.2014.

View The Wisconsin Project blog on Blogspot

View images on Flickr

Read about the 2013 We Go From Where We Know exhibition

Listen to WPR Wisconsin Life 7.30.14 segment by Patty Murray



Essay by J. Shimon & J. Lindemann (2013)


Our research-driven Wisconsin Project contemplates the rootedness and state-of-mind resulting from inhabiting a single place, our native Wisconsin, for a long time. Through critiquing postcard views both made and found we learned a great deal about past and present Wisconsin. We began making postcard views of the places immediately around our studio and on our drives around Wisconsin in about 2008. We use the vintage postcard film format and print the cards in palladium and cyanotype. By communicating details of a specific place, seeming to register only marginally on the national radar, the project seeks to bring audiences into a Wisconsin mental space. Some in the art world would argue that the Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, makes for banal “fly over” subject matter. Our project challenges that by finding meaning in the ordinary and inviting audiences to examine, dialog, and reflect on the particular emotional quality of the idiosyncrasies of place and the perceptions of those both inside and outside of it. Sometimes distant memories are involved and a longing for a time now gone.


Wisconsin’s glacier inflected landscape and proximity to the Great Lakes creates an exotic arena for living that informs our project. The life cycle plays out and rural and urban ruins serve as monuments to existences as people, places, and ideas surface then vanish. Ultimately, we aim to grapple with complex perceptions of Wisconsin ranging from nostalgic, romantic, and idealized–as depicted on myriad real photo postcard and standard tourist postcards–to mysterious, dark, and Gothic as conveyed in works of art and literature.


3 thoughts on “The Wisconsin Project

  1. Love your Wisconsin Project. I grew up in Appleton but for the past 40 years have been a magazine editor in Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin scenes, such as the picture of Lake Michigan I saw today on Facebook, have a big emotional pull. I have a big print of Wisconsin Landscape. a painting by John Steuart Curry, up on my rec room wall and wish I had other Wisconsin prints or photos I could put up. Thanks for doing what you’re doing. –Jack Limpert

  2. I am so looking forward to your 2013 exhibition: The Wisconsin Project.
    Can you please give me the date of this exhibition. We are residents of beautiful Door County and in my retirement I am trying to pursue a hobby I have long wanted to do and that is photograph the countryside and nature.
    Mary Dunworth

  3. The Wisconsin Project (working title) exhibition opens October 19, 2013 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI. The dates are also listed on our Exhibitions and Events page. Good luck with your “hobby” photographing DC nature.

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