Jeremy Popelka and Jason Rohlf Exhibitions Reviewed in the Shepherd Express

Jason Rohlf’s paintings are abstract, yet conjure ideas of maps or stories. In the exhibition “Kismet,” on view at Tory Folliard Gallery, endless rings of circles, rows of arches, hanging diamonds and more play out in bright acrylic colors, sometimes painted on the relatively modest materials of shop rags or tarps.

New sculptures by Jeremy Popelka in his exhibition “Gravity” are also on view, and it is a good pairing as his figurative pieces share this type of synthesis. Inspired by his recent time in Thailand, Popelka fashions masks out of glass, incorporating textured surfaces that reference symbolic concepts.

Read More

CHROMA featured in Milwaukee Magazine - January, 2015

The exhibition CHROMA was featured as a "Best Bet" in Milwaukee Magazine's January issue. Here is what editor Clare Hanan had to say:

Tom Berenz , GARDEN ABOVE THE LAKE, Acrylic, Oil, and Spray Paint on Canvas, 60 x 72"

Tom Berenz, GARDEN ABOVE THE LAKE, Acrylic, Oil, and Spray Paint on Canvas, 60 x 72"

Color Rush

Bright, permeating and myriad colors can often be curative in an oppressively cold environment. This month, works of all shades fill Tory Folliard Gallery, including those of metal sculptor Richard Taylor, along with Jason Rohlf’s geometric, dizzying acrylic paintings and Derrick Buisch’s oil abstractions. Jeremy Popelka’s amoeba-like glass sculptures will provoke and perplex. And Mark Ottens’ multilayered, psychedelic paintings will offer a study in painstaking self-discipline. Collectively, it’s a remedy with just enough burn to get those neurons firing again. (Claire Hanan)

➞ Chroma (Jan. 9-Feb. 28). Tory Folliard Gallery. 233 N. Milwaukee St., 414-273-7311, toryfolliard.com.

Forward 2014 - A Survey of WI Art through June, 2014

Every two years, the Charles Allis Art Museum hosts Forward: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now, a juried exhibition showcasing the work of Wisconsin artists. Laurie Winters, Executive Director | CEO of the Museum of Wisconsin Art is this year's juror. Tory Folliard Gallery artists participating in the show are:  Craig BlietzTerrence CoffmanJeremy Popelka, and Stephanie Trenchard.

Read More

Jeremy Popelka - Sand Cast Glass Process - January, 2014

Like much of my other cast glass sculptures this body of work is inspired by observation of natural forms and processes.  After a series of sketches and investigations, a wood mold is created and then often deconstructed.  The separate elements are then cast in glass sections and then once cooled assembled back into different forms.  Making the work in sections has allowed me to imply a sort of skeletal infrastructure to the whole form as well as entertain an adolescent conceit to putting the puzzle back together again.  In addition “Veiled Monuments” is a group of objects tied together as artifacts that allude to a personal interpretation of the forces that hold the Universe together.
Jeremy begins the process by making wooden forms.

Jeremy begins the process by making wooden forms.

Jeremy Popelka pouring glass into a sand mold at Pilchuk in 2005, photo courtesy of the Seattle Times.

Jeremy Popelka pouring glass into a sand mold at Pilchuk in 2005, photo courtesy of the Seattle Times.

Some of the pieces allude directly to mathematical equations and their uses in architecture .   “Catena”,   for example, is the Latin root of Catenary which refers to the curve created when hanging a link chain from two points and observing the shape it creates.  It literally refers to the links of a chain and how it represents the founding fathers connected creating one complete legacy in a literal form. Structurally a very strong form, a Catenarian curve has been utilized for centuries in structures and buildings.  At the same time its utilitarian origins seem to be derived from a natural form vaguely recognizable.  It is an example of how a mythological human historical overview, can be represented in an equation.  Often the calculations and examples in the natural world were linked to the idea that the clarity of the answer to an equation was confirmation of a divine origin.
CATENA, Assembled Sand Cast Glass, 24 x 15 x 4"

CATENA, Assembled Sand Cast Glass, 24 x 15 x 4"

Sand Mold section for COLLIDER right before being poured. The powder is ground glass and used as pigment.

Sand Mold section for COLLIDER right before being poured. The powder is ground glass and used as pigment.

Collider  is titled literally after the particle accelerators that are well known in Chicago and Switzerland.  The Cern collider in Switzerland, is a dramatic unprecedented apparatus that is stunning visually and may reveal the underlying structures of the Universe that have evaded physicists for millennia.  The cylindrical form that is presented in “Collider” is relatively flat and projects an optical illusion of depth and volume.  The curving of a flat form that projects three-dimensional shapes can in some ways be related to how light is bent by gravity.  Ultimately, this piece is about the vessel and how glass becomes a container to hold and define light.
COLLIDER, Assembled Sand Cast Glass and Steel, 36 x 19 x 12"

COLLIDER, Assembled Sand Cast Glass and Steel, 36 x 19 x 12"

GIBBOUS plywood molds.

GIBBOUS plywood molds.

The title “Gibbous” refers directly to a specific phase of the moon.   I have investigated historical astronomy and how devices were created to chronicle the phases of the moon and other heavenly bodies.  The ability for mankind to predict such things as the return of a comet or an upcoming eclipse was a monumental achievement that helped establish the Age of Enlightenment.  My work has blue objects that in different light project different phases like the moon.
GIBBOUS, Assembled Sand Cast Glass, 17 x 10 x 3 1/2"

GIBBOUS, Assembled Sand Cast Glass, 17 x 10 x 3 1/2"

Center section of Core after pouring into sand mold.

Center section of Core after pouring into sand mold.

CORE, Assembled Sand Cast Glass, 19 x 12 x 6"

CORE, Assembled Sand Cast Glass, 19 x 12 x 6"

These descriptions of my work help to offer a glimpse into my artistic process and my approach to conceptualizing and executing my work.  My naïve take on science and its history is a tactic to glean imagery and ideas for forms that act as artifact to this methodology. The title “Veiled Monuments” is intentionally ambiguous like the answer to every piece of arts ultimate meaning.

~Jeremy Popelka

Jeremy Popelka Art Review - January, 2014

Molecular Mysteries: Jeremy Popelka’s Sculptures

by Peggy Sue Dunigan for Door County Today

In a new body of sculpture created exclusively for the exhibition “Veiled Monuments,” Sturgeon Bay artist Jeremy Popelka is displaying his compelling artworks at Milwaukee’s Tory Folliard Gallery. His eight pieces play with scale and proportion to consciously “blow up” or explode images inspired by the delicate microorganisms and forms that delineate the beginnings of life on the molecular level.

Read More