Written by Amy Beck
This summer’s immersive installation of colorful, assembled-object sculptures at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum offers appealing options that beckon like a shimmering spot to swim…
Visit with family, friends, or solo to bob along the surface, soaking up sunny delights, and return often for deeper dives.
Uribe’s ebullient sculptures of animals and jungle scenes are fanciful transformations of everyday objects reimagined and reconstructed in unexpected, often witty ways:
- Tennis racquets morph into a camel.
- Yellow measuring tapes become a pig.
- Carefully cut colored pencils become a giraffe.
The idea of changing perceptions intrigues and inspires this artist. When Uribe received thousands of scissors, he used them to create sheep — his whimsical riff on shearing and fleecing.
While installing his artwork at the museum, he commented:
“Objects have different meanings, like words. I like the idea of things that make me smile when I’m making them. It’s about opening eyes to the possibility of creating beauty in the world wherever you are.”
By tapping into the emotional relationships people have with objects, Uribe strives to foster experiences that resonate, generate connections, and create lingering memories of joy. He commented:
“You remember things that are emotionally interesting to you.”
Uribe assembles colored pencils, for example, into animal sculptures because most people have subconscious, good memories of drawing during childhood.
“People cannot stop smiling when they see them.”
Some Uribe sculptures are infused with irony — often conveying a reverse metamorphosis. He turns books into trees, shoe leather into animals, and bullet shell casings into bunnies. The surprising, sometimes startling, juxtaposition of materials and ideas prompts viewers to think, yet Uribe’s goal is clear:
“I’m more interested in making people smile, rather than telling them what to think.”
“I see the reaction; people are happy. It’s not really about impressing people with my skills. It’s about relating to people’s lives, souls, and humanity. Anytime you create a good experience, it creates affection, and you smile when you remember it. Life is just one instant at a time; it’s all about these small moments of joy that we’re able to give to other people.”
This summer, I invite you to bring friends and family to the Woodson Art Museum — always admission free — to plunge in, creating deep reservoirs of new memories, overflowing with joy.
The World According to Federico Uribe, an installation by the artist, was coordinated with assistance from Adelson Galleries, Boston, and Woodson Art Museum curator Andy McGivern.
Uribe’s exhibition remains on view through August 26, 2018.
The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum serves the northcentral Wisconsin region through its commitment to always-free admission and a myriad of services offered for area schools, agencies, and all those who call Marathon County home.
Marketing & Communications Manager | Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
A former journalist, Amy has considered it a privilege to champion the Woodson Art Museum since 2010. Drawn by the natural, outdoor beauty of Wisconsin, Amy and her family moved to Wausau in 2007. After living in southwest Florida, upstate New York, and Iowa, Amy; her husband, Michael; two sons; and a daughter fell in love with Wisconsin during a family vacation and continue their quest to explore this state’s biking and hiking trails. Email Amy Beck.
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