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In porcelain, sculpture Bethany Krull explores the human-animal bond

There’s nothing even remotely simple about the way humans relate to other animals. We keep some as pets and order others up medium-rare. We adore some in zoos and hunt others for sport. And we anthropomorphize them in exceedingly strange ways, from touching morality tales such as “Charlotte’s Web” to bizarre narratives on the order of “Babe: Pig in the City.”

For Buffalo artist Bethany Krull, those endlessly complex and ever-shifting relationships serve as the conceptual fuel for her growing body of porcelain sculptures. A solo exhibition of her work, “Where are the Wild Things?” opens Sunday in the Castellani Art Museum as part of its TopSpin series featuring emerging and midcareer local artists.

“Although humans take great measures to separate themselves from nature, and to keep the ‘pests’ away, we also cannot resist the need to be connected to that which we came from,” Krull wrote in an artist statement. “In and around our homes the evidence of both our unease and our desire to be connected to the natural world is everywhere, however contrived and controlled it may be.”

The exhibition opens with a reception at 2 p.m. Sunday and runs through May 4. Call 286-8200 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski