Visual Art

Stuffed Animals

UWEC gallery explores different approaches to taxidermy

Thom Fountain |

Taxidermy is kind of a weird thing, right? The art of stuffing and primping long-lost animals to show off the fruits of a hunt or a deceased family friend seems morbid, but holds huge cultural significance. The Foster Gallery at UW-Eau Claire is taking taxidermy head-on with a new mixed-media exhibit, Animal Skins: Visual Surfaces, which runs through Oct. 31. The exhibit features 18 international artists and addresses the many ways taxidermy comes about, including the out-of-the-ordinary. Two of the artists – Sarina Brewer and Robert Marbury – are founding members of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, which experiments with the art of taxidermy in ways you wouldn’t imagine. Take Marbury’s “vegan taxidermy” – which consists of stuffed animals (the toy kind). The show features sculptures, photography, and video and was co-curated by UW-Eau Claire professors Stephanie Turner (of the English Department) and Jyl Kelley (of the Art Department). Animal Skins: Visual Surfaces is open on weekdays from 10am-4:30pm and 1-4:30pm on weekends. It’s also open a couple of extra hours – from 6-8pm  – on Thursdays. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31.