Kahler’s ‘Compelled to Make, A Retrospective of Work from 1980-2017’ Opens Nov. 3


“Caroline Kahler: Compelled to Make, A Retrospective of Work from 1980-2017” opens Friday, Nov. 3, in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The public is invited to an opening reception scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Nov. 3, with an artist’s talk at 6 p.m. by Kahler, chair of Southeast’s Department of Art and professor of art.

The exhibit will remain on display through Jan. 28. Admission is free.

“Compelled to Make, A Retrospective of Work from 1980-2017”is an exhibition of art representing Kahler’s 37 years of artwork that began with graduate studies at Purdue University.

“Each piece illustrates the knowledge and experiences that preceded that moment,” said Kahler.  “The common phrase ‘art reflects life’ is certainly demonstrated by this exhibit. The constant thread in my work has been the urge to make art and it never mattered to me what medium, only the intrinsic need to create. I refer to the natural world, life cycles, and the influence of humans on the planet as motivation. Repurposing, recycling, and combining materials that are different from one another has often led to new discovery.”

As an educator and artist, she has always felt the commitment to good craftsmanship along with a thorough understanding of process, added Kahler.

Caroline Kahler, chair of Southeast’s Department of Art and professor of art.

“This provides me with the ability to liberate my creativity,” she said. “My life as an artist has been one of a problem solver, solution seeker, a prophet and a maker.”

Kahler is a current member of Missouri Fiber Artists, Art Council of Southeast Missouri, Visual Artist Co-Op of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the American Crafts Council.

Her work has appeared in over fifteen publications. She has led many workshops, and been chosen as juror and panel member in multiple Midwest states. Some of Kahler’s significant pieces reside in personal and museum collections in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Georgia and Alaska.

She was nominated for the Mortvedt Distinguished Teaching and Campus Leadership Award, Bethany College in 1995.

Kahler earned a Bachelor of Science in art education at Kutztown State College, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a Master of Fine Art in ceramics at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, and a Master of Arts in creative arts and textiles at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, located at 518 S. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 1-4 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. For more information, call (573) 651-2260 or email museum@semo.edu.