Voices: A Sculptural Book at Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Inspired by the “Dictionary of American Regional English.” Exhibited at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Oklahoma.

This installation is a sculptural book, a collection of 500 regional American words and phrases that don’t exist in any traditional English dictionary. The collection represents the evolution of language in America that has resulted from the co-mingling of diverse cultures and ethnicities. The D.A.R.E. celebrates our interconnectedness through language. The piece explores the idea that America’s strength and potential lies in its rich diversity of ethnicities and cultures.KohlerThielkingBrunettVoices Exhibitionsmall

Its pages consist of more than 500 highly polished cast-brass and cast bronze tongues mounted on waist-high rods bent to resemble wheat blowing in the wind. Each tongue features a word and its definition selected from D.A.R.E. The text is sandblasted into the surface of the tongues creating an indentation in the cast metal that can be felt when touched. The tongues are installed so that multiple viewers can walk through and interact with the piece simultaneously. The tongues will sway and vibrate as viewers touch and move through them. Each person is a vessel of language. An individual moving through the piece further illustrates the idea that language is alive and always changing, evolving and connecting us with our fellow humans.

Research for D.A.R.E. began at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1962 under the direction of the late Frederic Cassidy and has been recently completed under the current chief editor, Joan Hall. Some examples include words such as “diddly squat,” “discombobulate,” “flabbergasted,” “kvetch,” “ace-boon-coon,” “it tastes so good your tongue will slap your brain,” and “thinga ma bob.” We are interested in bringing this research to a more public forum. We have selected words for the piece from a wide range of regions across the United States, including selections that are humorous, poignant, familiar, unfamiliar, human nature, behavior, relationships, and words that have evolved from the co-mingling of diverse cultures and ethnicities,.

This project is funded in part by the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, a University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point Professional Development Grant and the John Michael Kohler Arts and Industry Residency Program.

 Materials: Brass, bronze, steel, 500 words;  16’X32’ 4’ tall



Source: Wiconsin Percent for Art Public Commission

Wisconsin Percent for Art Commission for the Lee Sherman Dreyfus State Office Building, Waukesha, WI, Kinetic Sculpture and Light Installation: 


This large sculptural installation consists of twenty, thirteen-foot tall and seven-foot wide weather vanes that simulate flowing water.  Below the piece are fourteen cast-glass puddles embedded in a “dry river bed” of stones. Each glass casting has embedded within them engraved quotes about water and the environment from a variety of authors and historical figures. The glass is lit from below with fiber optics.

Waukesha Puddle Details copy

Glass War Reliquary Exhibited at the Mulvane Art Museum in Kansas

Crafts National 2012 | Mulvane Art Museum
Topeka, KS


Exhibit runs May 5 – August 19, 2012
The glass War Reliquary series was produced collaboratively by Keven and Kristin.

Juror: Gail M. Brown is an Independent Curator whose focus is to enhance visibility and education about contemporary craft in the larger visual arts community. She trained as a print maker at the Philadelphia College of Art, and she has been watching the contemporary crafts movement since the early 1970’s. She curates focused exhibitions which share the exceptional work of mature and mid-career artists and introduce younger makers. She also lectures and writes on craft and professional practices for emerging artists.
Her impressive resume includes exhibitions curated for NCECA; the Brookfield Craft Center; the Folk Art Center of the SHCG; and U Mass Dartmouth.  A selection of exhibits she has curated include: The Edges of Grace: Provocative, Uncommon Craft at the Fuller Craft Museum; Life In/Sight: The Human Experience at the Kentucky Museum of Arts & Crafts; of lineage and legacy: Jewelry & Metals at the Savannah College of Art & Design; Next Iconoclasts at the Oregon College of Art; RE/ACTIONS(s) at the Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO; and DIS/Arming Domesticity at NCECA, Philadelphia, PA.