Author Archives: kevin

Infinite Games


OPEN HOUSE CONTEMPORARY, 740 N. Ogden Ave. Chicago, IL

Come see over 50 artist’s adaptations of materials salvaged from closed Chicago Public Schools, including a pair of lamps made by Yours Truly.

Site Update

Hello!  I have recently updated a few items on my webpage.  If you have a moment, check out my recently expanded portfolio, featuring new work (from my recent show Animal Architecture) and new photos of old work (see Gestures, Jigs, and Steam Bent).   There are also new links to projects in which I have had significant involvement (see Fabrication), and all new candid photos of my last few workspaces (see Studio).  Thanks for visiting!!

Animal Architecture

Animal Architecture
by Kevin Reiswig
A one-night-only preview of new work and send-off party!
November 4, 2016 — 7pm-11:59pm
Dilettante Studios


Hello friends,

When I first moved to Chicago, I thought I would be here for no more than a year… Six years and many wonderful memories later, I’m finding it time to make a change.  There are some exciting new opportunities for me on the horizon, but more on that another time.  For now, I hope you will take the night of November 4 to come hang out and send me off!

I want to take the opportunity of a gathering to show you some of the sculptural work I’ve been doing over the last year. This body of work, which I call Animal Architecture, showcases the poetic language of woodcraft–familiar to us in the creation of furniture for the human body–in forms which are more directly related to animal bodies. In studying these objects of domestication, I have contemplated problems of our own humanity, and estimate that any consideration of these questions would be beneficial to the survival of the human species:  What stereotypic, abnormal, or maladaptive behaviors have resulted from the civilization of people? How does our environment influence our behavior, health, and happiness? Who owns that environment, and can we influence it, and how?




“Wreathe In, Wreathe Out” — 2016 — Salvaged pine lumber, spilled coffee — 5′ in diameter

I just returned from a six week residency at Hangzhou International School in China.  During my time there, I worked with students grades 5-12, introducing them to some basic techniques in wood working.  I made the school this piece of sculpture to thank them for the experience.  It now hangs on the wall in their campus cafe.  It’s really fun to leave a mark on the other side of the planet.  I think the circular form emerged because I was thinking a lot about global travel.  Thanks HIS!



My most recent table, made out of maple stair treads and desk pieces, chestnut from a piano, steam bent quarter-sawn oak, and LVL.

Recycledelic Table

Organism, 2015

Recycledelic Table (Top)

Organism (Top), 2015


Organism (detail), 2015



I recently made a tandem rake for some newlywed friends of mine, to remind them to work together.

Recyledelic Bookshelf

Recycledelic Bookshelf

My latest piece of furniture, commissioned by R. Michael Winters IV and Claire Riggs Miller (Atlanta, GA). The piece is made with salvaged barn siding, and functions to display books and pottery.


Chairs in Pink

I was proud to display these chairs at the Sculptural Objects and Functional Arts Expo this year in the Anderson Ranch Arts Center special exhibit!  I felt very honored to be alongside so many artists I respect and admire.  It was fun to see everyone, too.  Thanks ARAC.

The Beast by John Preus

The Beast is a large-scale installation by my friend and oft-collaborator John Preus.  I am proud to have assisted in bringing his vision to fruition.  I hope you will visit HPAC and traverse its cavernous bowels, in which I have collaborative works on display (skinned leather upholstry stretched like pelts on wooden frames).  On may 3 (3:00-4:30pm), I will be joining the house band New Material for a performance.

More information and a calendar of programs below:

BeastRendering“Intertwining spectacle and site, John Preus’ The Beast, becomes a new space for cultural inquiry, public dialogue and creative production within the Hyde Park Art Center. Preus will transform the main gallery’s interior with a complex architectural framework inspired by the form of a dead steer emblematic of violence and sacrifice, fabricating the structure from harvested materials including upholstery leather and discarded wood and furniture from recently closed Chicago Public Schools. Existing as an type of community center throughout the span of the exhibition, The Beast will be activated through corresponding performances, discussions and educational offerings programmed by the artist and collaborators. An updated calendar of events is provided.  The belly of The Beast includes storytelling, live music, sermons, panel discussions, dinners, and more to explore the use and social value of public space, and how collective experience can encourage the development of a better city.”

…read more and view event calendar

Studio Visit

A few weeks ago, I invited Maureen Sill (a friend and talented photographer) to bring her camera over to my studio.  Thanks Maureen!  Here are a few resulting photographs from her visit: