Photographer Lois Bielefeld Unveils Captivating New Works at MOWA 

On view: April 9–June 26, 2016

March 1, 2016
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(WEST BEND, WI) This spring, the Museum of Wisconsin Art will premiere Lois Bielefeld’s latest project, On Faith, a photographic foray into the intimate relationships between individual people and their religious beliefs. On Faith will be on view from April 9–June 26, 2016. In early 2015, Bielefeld traveled to Luxembourg as MOWA’s first artist-in-residence abroad thanks to a partnership with the museum and Ansay Development Corporation.  Immersed in the towns and villages of that European nation, Lois was struck by the integral role played by the Catholic Church in daily life.  Fascinated by people’s habits, homes, and beliefs, she chose to explore one of the most personal aspects of someone’s life – their faith. These portraits depict everyone from parishioners to clergy in the places they feel most connected to the church and their religious beliefs.

“I have always wanted to do a project on the church, having been raised in an acutely evangelical Christian home,” says Bielefeld.
“A key point of interest for me was that Luxembourg, a majority Catholic country, decided to separate church and state only a few weeks prior to my arrival. The final deciding factor for me was attending mass during the carnival season as part of my initial research on the church. The mood was very festive with a huge turnout. During the homily the priest had the entire audience laughing and listening attentively. I was struck by the collective buoyancy of the group. This, coupled with the recent separation of church and state in Luxembourg, made me curious about the cultural shift transpiring for both avid church-goers and the occasional attendee.” It became clear to Bielefeld that this was a pivotal moment in the lives of Luxembourgers. 

On Faith incorporates audio interviews with the photographic subjects for a multidimensional show. In all, Bielefeld created 30 portraits of various church figures: parishioners, priests, a nun, a monk, and even church employees who weren’t necessarily believers.


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At A Glance

Lois Bielefeld: On Faith
April 9–June 262016


Opening Party 
Saturday, April 9 | 2:005:00

On Faith opens concurrently with two other photography exhibitions, Gregory Conniff: Watermarks and Roadside Attractions. This trio of shows represents the versatility and talent of Wisconsin’s photographers. Join us for an opening party to honor a selection of the State’s finest visual storytellers.

Artist Talk
Thursday, April 21 | 6:30

Make sure your carry-on is stowed in the overhead compartment and your seatbelt is fastened because you’re about to be whisked off to Luxembourg for the evening.  Lois will share stories and photographs from her time abroad as MOWA’s artist-in-residence at Bourglinster Castle in the capital of Luxembourg.


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About the Museum of Wisconsin Art 
The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) explores the art and culture of Wisconsin. Founded in 1961, MOWA is one of the top museums of regional art in the United States, with almost 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 artists. Through rotating exhibitions and educational programs, MOWA provides an innovative forum for the culturally engaged.
 
In 2013, MOWA opened its new 32,000-square-foot facility in downtown West Bend. The building, the first museum commission by acclaimed architect Jim Shields of HGA Architects, is situated along the west bend of the Milwaukee River on a triangular plot of land that inspired the facility’s modern wedge shape. An expansive wall of windows follows the curve of the river bank and minimizes the boundaries between interior and exterior. The museum houses five permanent collection galleries, three temporary exhibition spaces, and two classrooms as well as visible art storage, a shop, and a large atrium for public events.  The Museum is located at 205 Veterans Avenue, West Bend. For general information, call 262.334.9638 or wisconsinart.org
Jessica Wildes, Director of Communications and Marketing
jwildes@wisconsinart.org, 262.247.2266