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Two new exhibits set to open Friday at MAC
Two exhibits titled "Cranial Cognitions in Clay" and "Chris Mouse: Ready for Your Closeup" showcase the artwork by Kathy King, Phil Lyons and Helen Endres. Shown above are ceramics pieces "A Little Bird Told Me" by King and "Garden Head #2" by Lyons. (Photo supplied)
MONROE - Two new gallery exhibits open at Monroe Arts Center on Friday.

"Cranial Cognitions in Clay" by Monroe artist Kathy King and Madison artist Phil Lyons will be displayed in Wellington Gallery, and "Chris Mouse: Ready for Your Closeup" by Monroe artist Helen Endres will be on display in Muranyi Gallery. Both exhibits will run through Jan. 13.

"Cranial Cognitions in Clay" is a collection of work that comes from the hearts and heads of artists King and Lyons. They extend their scope from whimsy to work with meaning, often using figures and favorite objects in their ceramic artwork. These two teachers have worked together each summer for more than a decade at Madison's Bethel Horizons Adamah Clay Studios to develop and inspire ceramic enthusiasts.

King is a Monroe High School art teacher with a master's degree in education, is the school district art chairman and has 25 years of teaching experience. Lyons is a Madison West High School ceramics teacher with a master's in ceramics and 25 years of teaching experience.

"Chris Mouse: Ready for Your Closeup" is a selection of watercolor paintings by artist Helen Endres. The paintings are the source of the images found on numerous Colony Brand metal food tins. The character known as Chris Mouse was Endres' creation and has endeared itself to literally thousands of children and adults across the country. Some of the tins featuring the Chris Mouse character also are on display.

Endres had an illustrious career as a graphic designer at Colony Brands, where she created an enormous body of work. That work still is used by the company today in the promotion of its products. Endres trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and worked for Hallmark Cards before Colony Brands.

The opening reception for both exhibits is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in MAC's Wellington and Muranyi galleries. A brief gallery talk begins at 5:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

This exhibit has been made possible by MAC corporate underwriters Colony Brands Inc. and season media underwriters Monroe Publishing LLC and Big Radio, with additional support from Michael and Shelley Muranyi, Paul and Sue Barrett, Pete Guenther and Barb Woodriff and Lee and Chris Knuteson.