Michelle Grabner | wisconsinacademy.org
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Michelle Grabner

Artist / Curator

  • Fellow
  • 2024
Arts, Arts Administration, Higher Education, Visual Arts

Artist, writer, and curator Michelle Grabner is an internationally known cultural powerhouse who has remained committed to her Wisconsin origins, nurturing local artistic communities and celebrating the state’s craft traditions.

As an artist, she works in multiple media - in drawing, painting, video, and sculpture. Much of her art draws on the repetitive, and meditative, nature of patterns found in the craft traditions of Wisconsin and foregrounds domestic work and objects, honoring all of the unseen labor that attends everyday existence. She shows her work internationally, in museums and art fairs, with several galleries, including James Cohan and Milwaukee's Green Gallery, but is fiercely committed to her Wisconsin-based studio practice and community.  She most recently curated an exhibition on painting for the Milwaukee Art Museum.

In addition, Grabner runs two spaces in Wisconsin – The Suburban in Milwaukee and The Poor Farm in Waupaca. Both of these act as regional, experimental incubators for contemporary art and artists – connecting Wisconsin to a national art conversation. Grabner is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and a National Academician in the National Academy of Design and is currently the chair of the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Like her artistic practice, Grabner finds inspiration and resiliency on the edges of the dominant. She has remained a steadfast Wisconsinite, insistent that a renowned and deserving artistic life can be found in the Midwest. She brings people in, establishing a rich claim to Wisconsin’s identity, here and now.  

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