Carol Emmons is an artist specializing in large, site-specific installations. She has exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art (Houston), Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (Santa Ana), SPACES (Cleveland), Raum 1 (Düsseldorf), Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art (New York), Philadelphia Arts Alliance, Elba Gastatelier (Netherlands), Carnegie Arts Center (Cincinnati), Milwaukee Art Museum, and Vanderbilt University, among others. She has been selected for eight Wisconsin Triennial exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
Wisconsin solo exhibition venues include the Madison Art Center, Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (Milwaukee), the Museum of Wisconsin Art, the Watrous Gallery at the Overture Center (Madison), the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Awards include two Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowships (for Sculpture and for Inter-Arts), and the Wisconsin Arts Board Percent for Art commission (with architect Paul Emmons) for UW-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Center for 20th Century Studies (UW-Milwaukee), and the Kohler Arts|Industry program.
She received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a Professor Emerita in Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, having taught there from 1987-2015.
This body of work consists of large, site-specific installations along with a few smaller pieces. They all share curiosity about how humans navigate the world, investigating facets like memory, place, desire, and time. Toward this end, the works draw from diverse disciplines such as astronomy, history, cognitive psychology, alchemy, and philosophy, mixed with elements of popular culture. This conjunction of high and low bears out an ongoing fascination with margins, including where word becomes image, object becomes symbol, and space becomes not merely context but content.
A central interest is the apparatuses and fallibilities for knowing the universe, and these approaches as lenses through which to experience the world. These installations are envisioned not as proclamations of specific meanings, but as places to physically explore and in which to compose personal reveries. In this way, the works also engage art itself, conceiving art as experience rather than object, and positing it as an ongoing collaboration between artist and viewer.