Exhibition Statement:

With just one hand held up high
I can blot you out, /Out of sight.
Peek-a-boo, little earth.

—from Hello Earth, by Kate Bush

The world is chaotic and slippery: the solid ground beneath our feet is not solid but moving; the body standing on this ground is problematic; and the fact or fiction of this moment can and does blur in recall and in the invention of a new story. As artists, we make the concession that our attempts at creating order are fallible, but keep going anyway. To paraphrase Proust: an unfailing world doesn’t yield incentive for fruitful investigations. This moment of unbalance is good; each of us uses this uncertainty as motivation to study and create worlds of our own. These worlds act as substitutions, stand-ins or places to find temporary order.

Our artworks also share an interest in saturation: a tendency towards decoration through pattern, layers of color, information and fragmentation, whether it be work that is printmaking or paper-based or performative in nature. Melissa Wagner-Lawler works with printmaking and gouache and at times includes embroidered text and cutouts. Angela Zammarelli uses fabric, cardboard, and herself to make sculptural objects and installations. In my work I use printmaking, papermaking, drawing, and sewing to make small size works to large-scale paper based installations.

Enjoy the show.
—Tim Abel
Precarious Worlds
Tim Abel, Melissa Wagner-Lawler, and Angela Zammarelli
Artist Biography's:

Tim Abel’s artmaking practice is interdisciplinary in nature: he makes objects, sews, and employs drawing, printmaking and papermaking techniques to construct spaces. In the work itself changes in scale, space relationships, the sewn lines, loose threads, and various types of map imagery become strata-like. The process of reworking, expanding, further fragmenting or re-puzzling the work back together also reflects a desire to discover a sense of order through the process of making.

Tim Abel is a faculty member at Alverno College and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as at College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. He has also taught art in a variety of settings outside of the collegiate environment over the past seven years: in community centers, in parks, in after school programs and in a museum setting. He currently holds an M.F.A. from Minneapolis College of art and Design with a focus in Printmaking and a M.A. in Art Therapy from New York University.


Melissa Wagner-Lawler is an interdisciplinary artist based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2002 and Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2007, both with an emphasis in printmaking.  Her work explores printmaking in multiple dimensions, incorporating sculptural and two-dimensional elements together.  The current focus of her work addresses the fragmented body and mortality through metaphor.

Currently residing in Milwaukee, she keeps an active studio practice and exhibits locally, nationally and internationally.  Wagner-Lawler is currently teaching in the Foundations and Fine Arts programs at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and in the Printmaking department at University Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Angela Zammarelli creates playful installations, videos and performances using textiles, found objects and domestic imagery. 

Zammarelli received a BFA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In the winter of 2010 she was an artist in residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE.  She was named a 2009 "Hot Pick" by Smack Mellon's Artist Studio Program in Brooklyn, NY and participated in the Elsewhere Artist Collaborative residency program in Greensboro, NC in 2005 and 2006.

She recently completed a 72 hour performative installation “All the Trappings: Ask Me About It Later” at Mobius in Boston, MA.  The images presented here are from this performance.

If you would like to see more information about her process and work, she keeps a blog at  www.little-lungs.blogspot.com