FISCH HAUS 21: AN ARTISTS’ COLLABORATIVE COMES OF AGE
Patrick Duegaw, John Ernatt, Eric Schmidt and Kent Williams
April 16 - August 7, 2011 Creativity, collaboration and community--Wichita’s Fisch Haus emerged from and consistently
promotes the intersection of these three principles. In 1990, four friends--Patrick
Duegaw, John Ernatt, Eric Schmidt and Kent Williams--formed the artists’ cooperative.
At first known for their temporary ad hoc exhibitions in vacant downtown buildings,
in 1994 the members established a physical location by purchasing a warehouse on Commerce
Street. A vacant building when they moved in, the warehouse now shares the artists’
name--Fisch Haus--and is home to an array of living, studio, performance and exhibition
spaces. Masters of ingenuity, the artists have spent years constructing these spaces
with scavenged, reclaimed and inventively repurposed materials. Walking through Fisch
Haus, one encounters creativity at every turn.
Over the past 21 years, its quartet of founding artists have developed their own distinct
creative careers: Duegaw and Ernatt are accomplished painters; Schmidt works with
sound and sculpture and patents inventions; and Williams’ thoughtful public art projects
can be found throughout the city. As these friends have followed their individual
artistic paths, Fisch Haus--the place--has become a cornerstone of the Wichita arts
community and is recognized for making critical contributions to the development of
the city’s increasingly dynamic network of alternative arts venues. Each year, Fisch
Haus presents a rich roster of multi-disciplinary exhibitions, musical and theatrical
performances, lectures, readings, films and festivals.
The Ulrich anniversary exhibition celebrates the important contributions that Fisch
Haus--Patrick Duegaw, John Ernatt, Eric Schmidt and Kent Williams--has made to Wichita.
The show presents a survey of artworks made by the founding Fisch Haus artists over
the past two decades. Including a new collaborative installation by all four artists
and the debut of a Duegaw painting commissioned by the museum, the show promises to
engage both those well versed in Fisch Haus history and Ulrich visitors unacquainted
with this vital arts collaborative. In typical Fisch fashion, it invites everyone
to enjoy and be inspired.
The Ulrich organized this exhibition, and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Emily
Stamey wrote the accompanying 56-page catalogue. This exhibition and catalogue have
been made possible through the generous support of Emprise Bank, Kansas Arts Commission,
National Endowment for the Arts, Edward and Helen Healy, the Docking Family and Jayne
S. Milburn. Additional sponsors include Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C., Bill Jinks, Mosby
Lincoln Foundation and Mike and Dee Michaelis. Support has also been provided by Chris
Brunner and Sonia Greteman, Dr. and Mrs. Hew Goodpasture, Rex and Denise Irwin, Herb
and Kathy Krumsick, Bruce and Linda Schreck and Keith and Georgia Stevens. The Wichita
Arts Council provided artist awards to support this exhibition.
Click here for a complete list of Fisch Haus events.