Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ecological Fiction and Hidden Ubiquity

This past weekend I was able to duck out to Michigan for a day to attend a show opening for both my mom and my brother. The only downside was the drive out on Thursday night was so snowy and horrible that the trip took about ten hours, and it was so blinding at times I had to drive on the rumble strip for parts of it in order to figure out where the road was. My two daughters came with me, and they stayed wide awake until we arrived at 3:30 in the morning because the whole ordeal was too scary for them to sleep. (Although we did listen to Aden's version of a mix tape which was good and my new favorite song is She's Kerosene by The Interrupters.)

However! Having survived the drive we all felt a renewed sense of gratitude for life, and were rewarded with not only the beautiful shows, but time with extended family we haven't seen in a while. Plus my mom made a really good cake.

If you can't read the card, the shows are at the Rotunda and Connection Galleries at the North Campus Research Complex, University of Michigan, 2800 Plymouth Rd, Building 18, Ann Arbor MI    January 25-May 3 2019

Karen Anne Klein is one of the finest professional artists working today. I took for granted growing up that of course my mother had shows of her work periodically. But it didn't hit me until this show was announced that there hasn't been a single-person show of her work that my kids have seen. They were excited to experience their grandmother's work in a more formal context. They admire her work in her home or in the homes of family members, but to see it celebrated and appreciated by many was important.

My brother, Barrett Klein, is an entomologist who teaches at UWM LaCrosse. He's a talented artist and scientific illustrator and to see his work spanning decades so beautifully displayed was amazing.

The only bittersweet element of the whole event was that my dad would have loved it and didn't live to see it. I wish so much he could have been with us. He was always my mom's biggest fan, and the added bonus of his son having such lovely things on display in the same building would have delighted him to no end.

Sorry these photos aren't better, but at least there are a lot of them! Enjoy.

Some things from my mom's show:


My mom has been working on cabinets of wonder that she's had custom built to hold her art and collections. They normally live in her dining room, so it was interesting to see them in a new context:

 These are bird temples:

 These are designs for plates that would be cool to have made someday:

 And then several works that were new to me that I hadn't seen in progress:

Mom's invented money! My kids have individual bills in envelopes:
This is a game board (we have a color copy of it at home) that we keep meaning to develop rules for:

A few things from my brother's show:

 Sweet tribute my brother included to both his parents:
Insect books! I was excited to see my Luna moth book on display.

 Halloween masks!


 Me and my brothers. I love them.
What a great night. Glad I went, glad to be related to such talented and wonderful people, glad to be alive, glad to be home.


  1. I love your mom's work! We have her owl poster at the top of the stairs so I see it every time I go up. I would love to see Barrett's work in person!

    1. This is Gabby, by the way. I'm listed as "unknown".