Commonwheel Artists Co-op is hosting Michael Lemke and Ruth Wydeven in our Gallery Space during February.

Michael Lemke has been a ceramics instructor at UNC for nearly 2 decades. In his studio practice, he attempts to educate about the ceramic process. This shapes the content of his ceramic work. “His work is direct and honest attempting to show processes used to create the objects but to celebrate them. In displaying pieces, his hope is to demystify and describe what happens in an artist’s studio on a day-to-day basis.”

Michael’s current body of ceramic art is designed to fit into people’s lives as well as the spaces they live and work in. These pieces are primarily porcelain and focus on utility.

Ruth Wydeven’s oil paintings are inspired by exceptional experiences, books, dreams, the natural environment, and TRAVEL. In addition to living in Niger, Africa for 2 years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. She annually spends 2 months each year ‘independently backpacking’ through countries in Central and South America, taking photos to use as references for future paintings.

Her desire is to conceptually honor indigenous cultures within natural environments that are rapidly changing. Having recently retired from teaching in 2016, she focuses more on painting and backpacking. In March of 2020, Ruth was stranded in a small town in Peru due to severe Peruvian COVID transportation restrictions – and was eventually able to return to the States on a U.S. Evacuation Flight.

“My artwork continues to be an intimate spiritual journey of discovery and a labor of love.”

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