September Exhibiton 

Opening Reception Sept 1 5:30-8

Exhibition runs from August 31- Sept 25

Lee Mothes

Lee Mothes painting

I love nature, especially the ocean, and have been fascinated by beaches, waves, and the ocean’s energy as far back as I can remember. I grew up on the California coast, spent most of my childhood on the beach, and began drawing beaches and waves (and imagined tsunamis and other disasters) while still in grade school. 

I studied art at Cal State University at Long Beach, California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and received my Bachelors Degree in Art at Western Oregon University. In 1987 my wife Vicki and I moved to Wisconsin from Oregon to raise our three daughters and be near family.

It was probably the irony of being away from the ocean that compelled me to spend a lot more time painting it than I otherwise would have. I found that I could “be there” by painting imagined beaches not so much from California but from some other place. In 1990 I began creating and exhibiting my ocean paintings full-time beginning with art festivals and expanding into gallery shows and commissioned work. I also teach art to high school kids part-time in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, I continue to paint the ocean, and return to it as often as I can.

Joyce Simoniak

show photo1

My work focuses on the correlation of atmospheric moisture and the changing light of day within a landscape. I incorporate the reflections of diffused sunlight from the surrounding environment into my grey scale drawings.  This allows my dark values to dictate the movement of fog and mist within the environment.    This environmental effect bestows my work with the drama created by extreme light, in a world frozen in time. 

This atmospheric phenomenon within the environment is often over looked or frowned upon. My intent is to bring the viewer into my landscapes allowing them to become one with nature.  I attempt to place my viewer within the landscape in a moment of complete silence and solitude. Yet, allowing the viewer to find peace with the unknown elements which are eluding the scene or are cast into the shadows.

My imagery originates from places in my life where I have found my own inner peace and solitude incorporating a Daoism appeal.  Most images are only reflections or memories of places, some which no longer exist, from Virginia, North Carolina and western Illinois. My drawings start with a simple sketch, and at times many different sketches, and then evolve into compositions in which line and form develop the foundation for my values. Each piece is a mixture incorporating graphite, graphite powder, and fumage, selected for their carbon composition and diversity of values.  The graphite washes are applied as stable values, and incorporate the defined elements of the landscape. Fumage is a technique created by utilizing the emancipated motion of a flame.  The flame is allowed freedom to stream over the surface creating a soft line or eliminating edges from a solid formation.  Layering the components helps to achieve the natural movements within a landscape.


Nicholas Danielson



Nicholas Danielson was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. After 20 years he moved west to Montana. There he completed his BFA in ceramics at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana in 2012. Following his graduation, he held a short term residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana. He went on to earn his MFA from Utah State University in Logan, Utah in 2016. While a graduate student he completed a study abroad program at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea. Most recently Nicholas was chosen as a 2016 Long Term Resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.


Artist Statement

I create objects to present food, offer conversations, invite touch, and enrich space. The work grows from a deep love for historical communal wares; I am inspired by their humility and unapologetic functionality. With inspiration comes adaptation. I touch clay with sensitivity and momentum in order to imagine and design pieces that integrate strength and softness. My work explores the boundaries of function, and the relationship between object and viewer—finding balance between the utility and visual intrigue.


September 1st  we will be featuring Nicole Woodard, Corey Michael Smith, Ethan Kastner, Ella Anderson, and Kristina Thalin in a pop-up show! Pop-up artists set up in front of the gallery from 5:30-8.

Nicole Woodard

Nicole Woodard is an artist from southeastern Wisconsin. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics from the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 2017. Woodard's ceramic work focuses on issues in femininity and body image to create figurative sculptures as well as functional wares for everyday use. 

She's currently interning at James May Gallery for the next year, and hopes to attend graduate school next fall.

Ethan Kastner

Ethan Kastner is a multidisciplinary artist working in mostly ceramics and printmaking. His work is centered around community projects and dialogue as well as social situations in general, and is inspired by social justice, color combinations, and mark-making. He earned his BFA from the Peck School of the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2017 and is currently organizing a studio and event space, “Yours Truly” with six other Milwaukee artists.

Ella Anderson

Ella Anderson is a fiber artist who recently graduated with a BFA from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Anderson uses surface design, fabric dyeing, and hand stitching to express emotion and experience, drawing influences from her daily routine, television, and paintings. Her work ranges from functional accessories to soft sculptures. Recently, Anderson received the Outstanding Student Award from the Surface Design Association, a textile publication and organization. Within the next couple years Anderson hopes to attend graduate school to further her education in fibers.

Kristina Thalin

Ever since Kristina can remember, she knew she was meant to be an artist. She pursued her dream on a full scholarship at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received her B.F.A. in painting. Kristina works in several types of media such as: painting, drawing, mixed media, and installation work. Her work has been shown in multiple exhibitions in Florida, New York, and Georgia.

Kristina is a native of South Florida, and can never be too far from a beach. She loves being outdoors and exploring the world around her. Fascinated by the concept of chaos—order we do not yet understand—she creates work influenced by patterns found within nature. Through her artwork, viewers explore the order within the organic, and the more time spent examining the details in the work, the less chaotic it appears to be.

james may gallery© 2017