Ken & Michelle Workowski and the Nature of Things

Winners of the Driftless Area Art Festival Peoples Choice 2016 Award, Ken and Michelle Workowski.  Ken and Michelle are members of VIVA Gallery and we are honored to feature their work the month of May.

Ken and Michelle reflected in their work.

April 20, 2017VIVA Gallery’s monthly First Thursday artist reception will be held on May 4 and will feature the beautifully crafted natural furnishings of Ken and Michelle Workowski. The gallery sponsors the People’s Choice Award at the Driftless Area Art Festival, and the Workowskis were the winners of the award at last year’s festival. VIVA is doubly pleased as Ken and Michelle are member artists.

Ken and Michelle have always had a fascination with the raw beauty in naturethe absence of straight lines and the patterns and curves traced and formed by the elements. As their business, aptly called The Nature of Things, has evolved over the years, they have taken that raw beauty and transformed it into practical furnishings, including willow and wood furniture, birchbark frames, poplar bark baskets, lamps and lamp shades. Many of the materials they use come from their 50 acres of land near Viola.

In a world increasingly full of concrete, steel and electronics, the Workowskis understand that we all have a need to connect with the natural world. Their work is not only satisfying because of its strong design, but also because pieces often evoke an emotional response. The tactile pleasure of touching rough bark or smooth wood, the visual treat of intricately woven willow or laced poplar, the appreciation of the clever uses of natures palette in creating truly unique pieces of furnitureall are sensations that stem from their varied pieces. You are guaranteed to feel a connection.

The engaging natural works of art created by Ken and Michelle, along with the diverse works of VIVA’s other 16 member artists, will be featured at VIVA’s First Thursday reception on May 4 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and will be on display throughout the month. The gallery is located at 217 South Main Street in Viroqua. For more information about this and future First Thursday events, contact the gallery at 608- 637-6918 or