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New Bergstrom-Mahler exhibit features neon, plasma sculptures

Free admission to Neenah museum for Bending Brilliance

September 7, 2016

Community First members with a love of art or a curiosity about creativity will enjoy a new exhibit starting Sept. 10 and going through Feb. 19 featuring unique neon and plasma artwork.
New Exhibit Sept. 10-Feb. 19
The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, 165 N. Park Ave., Neenah, will open its newest exhibit Bending Brilliance: Neon and Plasma Sculpture from 1-4:30 pm Sept. 10 with Community First as a sponsor. Admission to the museum – and its world-renowned collections of glass paperweights – is always free.
The exhibit opening starts with a discussion of the history of neon and plasma from 1-2 pm at the Neenah Public Library with artists Jacob Fishman and Ed Kirshner.
It will continue then from 3-4:30 pm at the museum with gallery walks and demonstrations of neon and plasma sculptures in the museum galleries. Three artists will offer demonstrations and provide insights: Tom Galbraith, about process and science, as well as the differences in plasma and neon; Jed Schleisner, about process and initial use in signage and its history; and, Jacob Fishman, about history, process and science.
Exhibiting artists will be present for gallery tours.
Ever since neon lights emerged in advertising signage in the early 20th century, they have also been used by artists to “transform an environment, create a composition or extend the familiar genre of signage to playful use of puns and thought-provoking themes,” according to the Bergstrom-Mahler website.
Plasma sculptures blend science and art to “provide a sense of animation, science fiction and wonder.”
Art After Dark on Thursdays
Anyone looking for a unique memory surrounding art can attend Art After Dark from 5-7 pm, Sept. 15, at the museum on the third Thursday of each month through February. Local actors will bring the museum to life amid galleries aglow in neon and plasma sculptures while visitors enjoy music, craft beer and soda.
Admissions is free to the Art After Dark events slated for Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 19 and Feb. 16. Beverages are available for purchase.
Exhibiting artists include: John E. Bannon, Bradley Corso, Roy Tom Galbraith, Ed Kirschner, Bruce Nausman, Wayne Strattman, Michael Young, Sarah Blood, Jacob Fishman, Petrie Fishman, Mitch LaPlante, Jed Schleisner and Monika Wulfers.