Mirroring the image of a seasoned Olde World guild craftsman’s workshop, a studio space exudes consummate attention to detail. Jars and wooden vessels store troves of pens, like scaled-down silos stuffed full. Straight edges and obscure stencils of great variety each have their place, arranged meticulously.
Tiling the tables and walls, the flourishing offspring of Nick Ludwig’s utensils have qualities expected from a currency mint engraver’s plate, a preciseness however rendered only with ink and a small metal sprocket as a stencil guide.
Ludwig’s designs each spiral from a vertex with mathematical symmetry of natures order, as curved structures radiate with his discretion for line and complementary pigment. Fanning out, each petal-like appendage has a main color fill. The final touches of texture are given with a sensitively graded cross-hatch, channeling folk stories and wisdom centuries old.
Ludwig shares a 1st floor studio space with several artists at the Hide House. Bay View Gallery Night is tonight from 5p to 10p.
In the undergrowth of the Hide House, creative spores germinate in a first floor alcove, a respite for a few recent MIAD products. Spring Gallery Night in Milwaukee gave them a chance to showcase their toils, carving dedicated display space into sections for each studio mate’s work. Bay View Gallery Night may prove more of a debutant dinner party.
One wall stood out. Sparse and drained, outlines of a horses’ head vaguely pressed against the art paper’s surface. Other mammalian taxidermy busts stuck to the wall as well. The strokes appear once over and the chosen colors contrast muted purple shades adjacent to white. Why do I like these? Maybe the concept? Tegan Andrich has conjured these images as game hunter would aim, fire, kill, lop off a trophies head, stuff and mount it, on a wall.
Another of Andrich’s paintings, braced over the canvas stretcher bars, holds a large format. Loosely defined, the composition’s meticulous figurative themes finish craggy, defining the outermost edges sometimes with a blur of paint. The center-most portions of the painting render blindness, conspicuously possessing a subtle and thoughtful wash.
Searching for a reference in Andrich’s work to an art movement, led me to Dee Ferris, a cagey contemporary artist in the UK. A now defunct indie art mag Under/Current had one of the only early written reviews out there of Ferris’s work. A exceedingly well-composed critique by Yannis Tsitsovits suggested a possible stylistic answer, a Russian literary device: ostranenie.
Bay View Gallery Night runs tomorrow at various locations through out Bay View including the Hide House.
The full blown quakes shaking the current discourse surrounding Niki Johnson’s Eggs Benedict, reached me as a mere tremor aftershock, a rumor of spectacular occurrence. I witnessed the aftermath of Johnson’s creatively seismic work during the day session of Gallery Night Spring 2013. Astounded, I expected to like the piece not to have my afternoon taken over by it.
Debra Brehmer, gladly spending some time with her patrons, candidly observed of Johnson’s piece a quality indescribably awe inspiring, a gestalt nearly impossible to render in contemporary art. Brehmer, Portrait Society Gallery’s Director, profoundly noted that the weaving technique Johnson used to ensnare Pope Benedict’s image mimics fine needle point work made so often from women’s hands; an irony for a woman’s craft to have created an irreverent iconic reference to an institution women have been so systematically subjugated within.
Depending on which side of Eggs Benedict pedestal display you approach from, you either feel duped or immediately captured. The portrait’s verso is exposed, revealing the tied medial regions and exposed openings of the many contraceptives. They are so carefully secured on the wire grid, in appearance, sloppy and awkward with no semblance of the intended likeness; a vestige of the personal made uncomfortably public. This window into Johnson’s artistic process demystifies the piece’s craft work, increasing its power.
Eggs Benedict by Niki Johnson on display at the Portrait Society Gallery, 2013
I stood with a couple hand fulls of people for much longer than you may traditionally imbibe an artwork, contemplating whether on a metaphysical level the Catholic church could oppose condoms as a mere object if not used for a contraceptive. Upon further deliberation, given that the portrait of Pope Emeritus Benedict referenced in Eggs Benedict originates from a group of press photos associated with his now infamous statement that condoms help spread AIDS in Africa, and the unequivocal prohibition of contraceptives of all forms in Catholic dogma, it is absolutely impossible to parse the medium from the message. In fact, in no more certain terms could the adage “The medium is the message” hold true.
The stage of Eggs Benedict will always be heightened by Pope Benedict’s historic resignation, an eerie stroke fate for Niki Johnson. I sincerely hope they meet someday in some realm. Johnson has put Eggs Benedict up for auction, with proceeds going to benefit AIDS research. The opening bid came in at $20 thousand.
Johnson’s Eggs Benedict secures a moment in art history for Milwaukee; the Portrait Society Gallery serving as the vessel to bring this piece into the art world internationally; April 19, 2013 its semi-official first public opening.
Eggs Benedict remains on display at the Portrait Society Gallery through July 28th, Thursday – Saturday 12 noon to 5p. It will join a series of Niki Johnson’s work opening June 6, 2013 entitled Sourcebook: Martha Wilson and MKE.
Rains drenched the week leading up to this spring’s Gallery Night in Milwaukee and a tornado warning. No worries there are plenty of great place to get stuck in the Third Ward tonight. Cohesion, would be the word that best describes what the Third Ward has achieved in the arts and entertainment lobe of its identity. A permanent scene has undoubtedly formed there to support the City’s high-end fine artists, its cornerstone sits on the intersection of Water and Buffalo Street at the Marshall Building.
Once an informal stash of professional artists and collectors, the building now supports an evolved and varied ecosystem of art and design disciplines. Some are highly recognizable like Reginald Baylor/Plaid Tuba and the Portrait Society. Others like Katie Gingrass are synonymous with fine art galleries in Milwaukee. All of the residents of the Marshall Building deserve notoriety.
Look Who’s Looking
Spring Gallery Night 2013 at the Marshall Building will feature 26 studios and galleries spread about all 7 levels of the building, making it very nearly an informal Contemporary Art museum. One highly anticipated show in particular at the Portrait Society Gallery will feature Nikki Johnson’s Eggs Benedict, a pixelated portrait of Emeritus Pope Benedict made entirely of colored condoms.
Another effort to look forward to comes from recent resident Marlene Hecht Simmons who lower level gallery features her own original paintings ranging in style from pop to portrait to folk. Phil Saxon’s work is also displayed there, a mixed media set that distilled something potentially neo-movement-like.
Timothy Meyerring appears to have quite an experience formulating in his first floor space Timo Gallery. If you don’t like his paintings which is really hard to do, there should be a little revelry to go with them to keep you engaged too.
From the Bottom Up
Gallery Night Spring 2013 kicks off tonight April 19, 2013. Most galleries are also open April 20 as well. Here are the who’s and where’s:
Milwaukee Potters Guild
Marlene Hecht Simmons
Elaine Erickson Gallery
Grotta & Co.
Blustein Brondino Gallery
The Fine Art Gallery
J. Nikolai Art
Too Much Metal
Christine Plamann Photography
C. Harbeck Object Conservation
CR Davidson Art
Portrait Society Gallery
She’s crushing the drums relentlessly, not smashed in the back behind the amps, but on the front line. Accompanied by a guitar or two (Pat Boyce and Bill Grasley), bass (Brandon Domer), and sometime keys (Domer), Nichole Rae concusses the tension out of her drum heads while vocally exhuming all manners of their collective innards, thusly The Traveling Suitcase. For the Eastside Music Tour they made their 5:00p slot feel like headliner, that’s a pretty good sign of gnarl even if day drinking is involved. Something cool from Madison for a change.
The Traveling Suitcase, Carry Out Show via Brandon Domer on YouTube
Give them shades from other bands of now, or the future, and their eyes will blaze through those tinted lenses and burn your face off. The Traveling Suitcase rallies harmonic, desperate, and mercurial spirits. Spreading themselves as thin as artistically possible, they’re getting around the Midwest for live shows, keeping their edges tattered.
Slated to return to Milwaukee for Raw Artist Showcase in May, it wouldn’t surprise if The Traveling Suitcase finds time to squeeze in a couple of shows around here in the meantime.
Mark “Madden Miles” next project (Download the Kate Upton Beat EP) dropped on the net on Valenine’s Day. If you just couldn’t get enough of that you could have got out to the Kate Upton EP Beat Tape Release Party live in Racine February 21, 2013. Well if you missed that I suggest you cop the download, the play is extra nifty. Click on your favorite part of the Kate Upton EP cover art below and check the details.
Madden Miles’ last joint the Candace Baily EP Beat Tape dropped last year and is still bouncing. If haven’t pressed the player play button to get a snippet of Madden Miles’ beastliness you missing it!
The irony of robots is that they are kind of low tech now. In Brian Rott’s latest amalgamation of ideas, props, plot and actors Robot Cabaret, we find out that quite possibly robots have feelings too.
Extraordinarily imaginative, Rott, in creative tandem with Michael Guthrie, centers an underlying point of tension around a Robot Detective that seeks out and dismantles fritzing robots that are passing around a terrible virus. In this robot world, companionship develops between human and machine, as robots of various persuasions, interests and intelligence seek to emulate the best humans have to offer; or wait do the robots want to rid the planet of humans and keep the highest points of human invention preserved in exacting semi-conducted binary logic?
The best thing about Quasimondo’s productions (Robot Cabaret being no exception) is that they spin fractal like stories, within sub-stories within metaphorical vignettes, woven into loosely devised plots that don’t follow a logical or sequential pattern, their plays at least don’t seem to do so until you get home and say silently, “oh”. Most likely you’ll just have had several dramatic flashbacks to some completely outrageous joke that you missed live.
Quasimondo’s full commotion multi-sensory response inducing hijinks, always stack the shows with ample pop culture references and true renegade efforts from very talented performers of many different corners of stage art. Robot Cabaret even has guest cameos from famous imposter musicians of various glory ages that a conniving salesman has put his robot minions up to studying so that he can make sideshows out of them. Bits and jokes galore litter the show, spewing from human and robot alike, and backed up by a house band… a house band? Yes!
If you’re into theater, nothing can bring more enjoyment than not knowing what to expect next from the next scene, or part of a dialog. Robot Cabaret far exceeds this threshold and the ensemble is an attractive bunch to put a bit of icing on the show.
The Quasimondo’s Robot Cabaret opened Thursday night and runs February 16, 18, 21, 22 and 23 and the following weekend all at 8p at the Fortress. There’s also a Matinee show on February 24 at 2p and pay-what-you can on February 18. Advanced tickets are available.
Picture a couple of everyday smart assess interlocking hands in an Exclusive Company dance instrumental section while reaching for the same rare Dan the Automator CD, their deranged minds forever become intertwined, morphing into a mighty entity called Deletah. They Glitch and Dubstep with a high degree of technicality, carrying well thought out concepts that warp the dance floor to a distant nebula. Deletah generally finds some way to squeeze infinite variations from similar pulsing modulated lazer synths. At the end of an otherwise boring day, keeping the commotion going at Beyond Awesome was really not a problem for Deletah.
Very Recently released Deletah track via Deletah
Taking in a deeper listen of Deletah’s track sets gives a better perspective of the horizons they reach in their craft. Understandably, for a gig like Beyond Awesome nothing less could be expected besides a spine-shaking ton of rhythm pound, with a heavy dose of good old kick in the chest.
Back to Main Post
Miramar Theatre, Beyond Awesome
Proclaiming ‘Old is the the new New’ on the most infamous social media outlet, attracted the comment “New is Ooover!” Can anything be official?
Inducing a new understanding of ubiquity, when Alverno Presents announced Ryan Schleicher would lead a night of musical rediscovery entitled Beautiful Dreamer: The Foster Project the pieces of this musical thread dangled unattached to my immediate reference. If Schleicher rings a bell, he’s a member of Milwaukee’s own Juniper Tar, a simple times bluesy rock band that evokes that slow roasted southern rock with sharp whiskers whose name I pray is a idiom for Gin and cigarettes… but Stephen Foster…
Juniper Tar will preside over Alverno’s Pitman Theatre as maestro of The Foster Project, giving segue to several performers of disparate musical genres all of them casting their interpretations of Stephen Foster’s body of work. Let your eyes relax, drifting the words ‘Stephen, Stephen … Foster‘ through your mind.
Set Adrift on Memories Bliss
Yes, that green composite plastic cardboard cuboid with metal hinges and stubby round feet opens, revealing the platter of that 2nd grade classroom A.V. wonder sitting on the counter. Maybe it stood in the music room. Mrs. Staccato delicately picks up the arm of the phonograph and places it on the already rotating vinyl record. “Oh Susanna, don’t you cry for me…, Today class were going to learn about Stephen Foster”, Mrs. Staccato says. Please, come off of that bookshelf before you hurt yourself in your daydream now.
Old Music Dawns
Giving due to Stephen Foster, Jon Langford representing punk/blue grass, Blueprint accounting for Hip Hop, Robbie Fulks revving up Country, and Bethany Thomas pipping Choral solo will treat the audience to their personal tributes to Foster’s music.
Incredible talent will perform Beautiful Dreamer: The Foster Project at Alverno College’s Pitman Theatre, 3134 South 39th Street, on February 2, 2013 at 8:00p. Tickets are available in advance and at the door. It’s early, but The Foster Project might be one of the most genuinely interesting musical performances of the year.
Darkness permeates the atmosphere, the bar’s rich and chocolate brown stain has the visual quality of an oak barrel that soaked up raw molasses for decades. Oversized canvases beset the Bad Genie’s walls, bestowing florescent pop art images of the great heroes of rock n roll’s childhood, bears dancing, a Vicious snarl. The stage on this night invited a taste of old made new, Furious Frank smashing Chicago blues into traveling carnival vaudevillian show tunes.
Multi-pieced and maybe leaning a bit to the freaky side musically, Furious Frank keeps typical band instruments around (drums, guitar, bass, and assorted percussion pieces like tambourine) to accompany a prominently featured Trombone and kitschy favorites the Concertina and Mandolin. Furious Frank amplifies instrumentation making treats out of sound by massacring feel good covers and original songs.
If ears could be deceived, at least one set piece easily stunt-doubled for a Ska-version of “Soul Man”. All notes considered, Furious Frank subliminally rocked the house, a feat beautifully contorted Carny-rock can’t always pull. They put together some wicked low-tech animation for this video release that makes them even more weird.
via Hobocampmudshow on YouTube
“Motley” described a famous Crue of lost angles rocking the 80′s. In Milwaukee these days, Thriftones get motley, genuinely. Their distinct brand of folk, rhythm and blues Americana bridges the front porches of Dixie to bonfires of the Heartland, open fields of Upstate New York to city blocks running into Golden Gate Park.
The Thriftones tumble through mysterious carnival music-box time signatures, chiming, then break into swoons well-timed, with pace and delivery of a hilarious stand-up comedian prodding a crowd to laughter on command. Rattling, twanging guitar riffs serrate blues piano melodies, reckoning humble, hard times, down-tempo bluegrass rock by-gone, but not forgotten. Tapping influences faintly recognizable, more as ode than necessity, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan, and a few others, subtly register in interludes and bridges, densely covered with original musical elements.
While judgement passed on bands often hinges on they’re musical ability, Thriftones demonstrate that lyrics sung, in key and audibly, can also have thoughtful, wise and poetic content and keep they’re edge. At their Mayan world end show at Frank’s Power Plant, Thriftones’ vocals easily cut the monotony of clanking glasses and empty cackles, in easy harmony with their instrumentation. A balance struck on par with bourbon whiskey, neat.
Football dominates Sunday afternoons, especially in Packer country and especially when the hometown favorite makes mince meat morsels out of ancient rivals Chicago Bears. MOCT on Pittsburg has taken a different approach to Sunday funday, mixing an afternoon of sports and indy commerce. They’ve huddled with Wren Solares’ creative start-up Lost In Milwaukee to give a winter home to Solares’ venture the Sunday Up Market. The first installment of Up Market popped this past Sunday, scheduled to cycle in crafty inventories on alternating Sundays through the Spring of 2013.
Accommodating a couple of fists full of vendors, the Up Market gave opportunity to venerable makers-of-things of varying materials including Butterscotch Baby’s full line of Total Body Experience products, felted accessories by Jan Falk, repurposed and original nit designs by Zen Dragonfly, couture from BVEN Boutique on Brady, and some serious iron work from Historic Preservation Award winner Milwaukee Blacksmith Inc. Sunday Up Market’s selection of wares and accessories gave a swath of interpretations on winter favorites like hats, scarves, wrist warmers and some really nice mittens, and all season items like jewelry and resale vintage fashion from other sellers as well.
As craft and art fairs become vogue, mainstay outlets like WSME’s Buy Local Bazaar, Art vs Craft and Made in Milwaukee need company, its getting to the place where there are just not enough booths to go around. Even more intriguing, MOCT has the ability to host this event on a regular basis with a nearly ideal atmosphere for a local shopping experience: urban chic and niche. Once spring breaks, Solares, collaborating with the Walker’s Point Association and Alderman Perez, plans to move the venue of Sunday Up Market to an outdoor space that will accommodate 200 vendors. The Sunday Up Market spring kick-off is scheduled for May 5, 2013.
Even though the next Up Market is a month out, you may still have time to strike a deal with some of the vendors before Christmas by contacting them directly, online or by appointment. The next Sunday Up Market is January 20, 2013 at MOCT. You’ll find more information on the market and vending opportunities on Sunday Up Market’s website.
Cloaked and vaporous social commentary of unprecedented proportion masqueraded as wackiness in one of the best art installations of the year. Tremendous effort went into putting together The Skrauss’ latest exhibition Ascension into the Fiction at UWM Innova 3 Gallery. An illustrator and painters by training The Skrauss has more recently taken a dive of the deep end into video production. He’s compiled a series of vlogs entitled The Skrauss Speaks. For Ascension into the Fiction The Skrauss constructed an elaborate maze, with walls at least 10 feet high with blind turns and tight spaces, fabricated from discarded boxes and duck tape. Several rooms were set upon by projectors blasting the The Skrauss Speaks propaganda films onto the maze walls.
This once and life time experience closed December 8th unfortunately, it actually took me two weeks to find the Innova 3 Gallery, nestled unceremoniously in the Peck Arts building on UWM campus proper. Alas, The Skrauss is having an art open house and book give away today at 4:30p at The Skrap Haus Multinational.
Have you given up on beats? Unplug those earbuds and get a download of this collab of Ed Pengame and Madden Miles that’s only suitable for quality headphones, car systems with sub port bass systems or home stereos. Ed Pengame aka e.d.g.e gets clean on this one, indie and nothing to lose except respect in the underground hip-hop game, so you know what that means, Rip a Shot!
e.d.g.e. “For Your Thoughts” produced by Madden Miles via bigmcenroe on YouTube
Madden Miles released a limited edition EP this summer, The Candace Bailey Beat Tape, and keeps beating on the doors with a quality contender showing at the 2012 Miltown Beatdown. The kid keeps it very nice for purists and instrumental lovers with occasional beat sample drops check out some of the latest.
“Powdered Nostrils” Madden Miles
“Broken Mirrors” Madden Miles
“Rising Above” Madden Miles
The Candace Bailey Beat Tape, Madden Miles
Busting out the It’s Tricky Irish folk band rendition? That’s gutsy Brothers Quinn, that’s gutsy. A musical brigade armed with fiddle, banjo, upright bass, drums and probably some other instruments I couldn’t see, Brothers Quinn heated up Fire on Water last Friday with traditional Irish tunes and even a cover of the classic Gorillaz ft. Deltron compilation track Clint Eastwood. Adding even more fever to the night MC One Self made a lyrical cameo.
It was already well beyond room temperature in the joint, and I’m not sure if that was to keep with the theme of the bar or because Brothers Quinn had a consistent jolly riot of dance floor junkies doing the half House of Pain Jump Around, half Polka, half Irish Jig move all night. What better to go with a few shots of Tullamore Dew than some kick butt Irish rock.
Brothers Quinn tour all around Wisconsin, and when they come around to Milwaukee again they may be worth pairing with a round or two.
I’ll never get used to the receding daylight suffered by fall changing to winter. The premature darkness did allow the new inhabitants of Truly Spoken’s old space to feature their fine vintage replacement framed window glass under studio lighting. There’s a market around here for that huh? That’s the kind ingenuity you expect to see these days unfortunately. Nice to see someone making lemonade out of it.
Keeping with its long-suffering reputation as the hotbed for everything an urban cross-roads should have, Riverwest proudly watched one of its more established artist venues, Jackpot Gallery, open a new show titled Nicotine Bliss. The Jackpot Gallery show opened November 9th and helped demonstrate the robust bandwidth Milwaukee’s art scene has achieved; The Portrait Society Gallery’s unveiling happened to be on the same night attracting a whole different crowd.
via AnthonyMikkelson on YouTube
Unsel Fish Guild
Headlined by no-one in particular, 14 artist shacked up on Jackpots’ walls for Nicotine Bliss. Pieces touched on traditional forms of painting and print-making, and went guerrilla, pop and re-purposed.
Anthony Mikkelson minds the design spaces ACME and Used Car Studios shared his insights on the sights from his world and beyond. Several of his pieces presented illustrations of characters, objects and street-scapes endemic to urban areas. Channeling folk-artsiness for a few pieces, ACME scrawled deliberately on reused objects such as wood board and LP liners, leaving urban artifacts and relics of this current age.
Gregory Martens went ballistic depicting the end of days in series of prints that stopped time in several locales spread far and wide across the continents. As the rapture occurs, the sights, sounds, and amazement of that moment culminate in natural, celestial and symbolic realms colliding with known and unknown forces amidst the final cataclysm. Martens brings this world to our un-believing eyes applying print-making techniques to oversized paper.
A Matter of Medium
As much about the final product, as the method of reaching the consumable image, the works comprising the Nicotine Bliss installation all share the desire to go new places, off-canvas, and away from acrylic paint. Paul Kjelland really stood tall applying hand cut paper techniques.
With a precise razor blade, Kjelland took two very pop images of youth doing youthful things and simulated posterizing effects on them, with cuts leaving only the essential details of the image, then coloring them with a glazes of spray paint until the images looked as if they could be stills from A Scanner Darkly.
Contributing healthily to the Nicotine Bliss show also were Lindsay Marx (a painter of growing infamy), Brad Warsh, Lois Galvez, Levon Turner, Ahmad Kearney, Ella Dwyer, Max Senesac, Kellen Kroening, Jenna Wilson, Joshua Carol and Kate Luscher.
Nicotine Bliss tears down November 27th.
via FritsisNietzsche on YouTube
Jessie Torrisi digs for a loud octave to check the sound sound system with. It’s The Please Please Me’s last stop on their tour, Yield, before heading back to homebase. Above the stage, clear plastic cords house a series of small lights that grant a red haze; dim red, the color of Rock. The eyes and images of a thousand Rock heroes stuck to the wall on posters approve. The Please Please Me can now begin.
A drummer, a cellist, and Torrisi on lead and vocals, at a volume suitable for listening, dive into their set. They easily touch shallow water of typical triangle-ting pop, then drift deeper looking for country and bluesy rock roots. Born south by south west in Austin, The Please Please Me call it circus pop. It sounds like the music stuff that definitively adds to the shape of Rock.
Fittingly they lope down the heartbroken road that keeps fingers calloused from strumming away the pain. Drum lines beat by Agustin Frederic switch back and forth mid-song from mid-tempo big epic rock ballad-esque tom pounds, to slight time-keeping hi-hat ticks. The cello bowed by Alissa Shram haunts mysteriously, giving each song a ambient cohesion. Intriguingly, The Please Please Me makes Sunday evening wine sipping music that when played live amps up to a whiskey slugging pitch.
The Please Please Me EP video tease via YouPleasePleaseMe on Youtube
That frighful edge of Milwaukee’s Eastside that dulled in the 2000′s, grates against a new breed of old souls, in clunky worn leather boots. The Please Please Me fit right in, Yield growing in its own way, incubating dark musky crevices needed for spawning a good rock lounge.
It’s her first, but highly unlikely that it’s her last. Nadia Smale has an art show coming up at Orcanine Abbey this Friday night titled Reincarnation. She has moxie and a proclivity for making cool stuff, as all artists do, with an eye for aesthetic and guts to take chances. How can you blame her? She’s not yet turned 18. Getting a few moments of pre-show reflection,artist and mentor Akua Oladunjoye shares this guest interview with Nadia for Local Trolley.
Akua Oladunjoye for Local Trolley: Thank you Nadia for welcoming this interview! It is a pleasure to sit down with you and hear your thoughts on your first upcoming art show: Reincarnation.
LT: Let’s dive right in. Why “Reincarnation” what does this word mean to you?
Nadia Smale: Everything needs a new start in life. People, art, music… why not it is a new generation.
LT: Did you ever think you would have this opportunity?
NS: It’s something I’ve always wanted. Down the line my first art [school] choice is MIAD. A special lady who was working with me took me to Milwaukee and I fell in love with the east side and saw their gallery and that was what I wanted [wink, wink], to have a show and be a part of their gallery.
LT: How long have you been doing art?
NS: Since kindergarten. It was required throughout elementary, middle and high school. I fell in love with it, that’s all.
LT: what motivates and inspires you to do art?
NS: I think of family members, friends, my cat and Akua who tags me along. My grandfather, dad and sometimes my mom inspire me to do art. My grandfather was a drawer. My dad likes to look at it and my mom thinks she is an artist, haaaa! I sent my dad a picture on his phone and that made me smile.
LT: Has art saved you?
NS: Yes, a lot. I had to keep a journal in school and when I wanted to write nasty things I didn’t. I would draw what I felt instead.
LT: What is your most enjoyable material to work with?
NS: Charcoal, it’s crazy but fun to work with. If it doesn’t work the way you plan it turns into something else. I enjoy that.
LT: What is the most difficult material you have ever worked with so far?
NS: Metal, when working on the metal rose it took a long time. Had to sketch it out then I worked with tin to make the petals using exotic curves, and I had to get the stem right. It took 3 months every day working on it to get it just right.
LT: What is your least favorite material to work with?
NS: Don’t have one, I wanted to get rid of a glass bowl [I made] that my mom has, but she loves it. I like working with all the mediums.
LT: You talked about your favorite bands and musicians, how do they, if at all, influence you and your art?
NS: Skrillex and other musicians can make the sounds flow in your body and you want to move, to take whatever is in your hand a paint brush or whatever and create, like water moving slowly when you actually do it, its maybe crazy just like you really are when you are listening.
LT: Is there something you want to add?
NS: I love doing art every single day, I create even if I am doodling in class. I like the tool in my hand, the smudges it’s life and nothing without it. Architecture, walls, roofs, food is culinary art outside the world everything is made of its own creation that’s what I like and want to do. That’s how I start something that matters… you know art.
Reincarnation, An Art Benefit for Jagged Edges by Nadia Smale opens Friday, October 26th at 6p in the Orcanine Abbey, 1718 N 1st Street, Studio 5N2. Free to the public, but donations are welcome to support Nadia’s pursuit of art education. There will also be a silent auction. Reincarnation is a participating exhibit of Tap the Potential, a series of art exhibitions to raise disability awareness.
Aircraft routinely claim the distinction of the only ones taking off at General Mitchell International Airport. Recently at Mitchell International, Tap the Potential lifted awareness of people that defy the laws of social gravity. Tap the Potential is a month long initiative of Milwaukee Public Theatre to give a platform to those that constantly face societal dynamics that designate them exceptional, and often excludable, on account of their physical and mental attributes. More commonly, we have learned to bind them with the concept of disabled.
Opening on October 4, General Mitchell Airport dedicated its concourse lobby to the visual art of a couple dozen artists with disabilities of all types. The carefully shaded color tones piqued canvases with images of all varieties, from exquisitely realistic to stirringly expressive. With it’s closing coinciding with the eve of Gallery Night and Day in Milwaukee, Independence First sponsored the Mitchell Airport show reception and invited travelers, family and friends to offer their written reflections on the artwork from the exhibit’s contributors, including thoughts on group submissions from Donna Lexa Community Art Center and Madison’s VSA Wisconsin.
On the Go, In Awe
Studying the Tap for Potential exhibit pieces, the breadth of styles and techniques wielded by the artists repeatedly strike me with their candor, thoughtfulness and proficiency. Reaching the corner displays, a painting titled Her Hacienda and another titled Her Lady stop me in my tracks, in a way the Spanish villa and Victorian mansion subjects likely would, if I tried to walk past them in real life. A quick note allows me not to forget their author, Jeff LaDow.
Continuing on, patrons gather timidly and some at a distance around an artist painting live. The work in progress gets a dose of precise and exactly blended oil strokes. The artist, Jeff LaDow, holds the brush nimbly with teeth using a device that allows his jaw muscles to exert finely calibrated pressure through the handle, his mark is true.
He meticulously works center stage in the concourse lobby, impervious, as travelers bustle about and reception goers peer over his shoulder. Experiencing an accident in his youth that strickened him quadriplegic, LaDow faces down this challenge by sharing his gifts with the world. When asked about his preferred medium, oil, LaDow states matter-of-factly “It’s easy to work with.” He attracts admirers with every touch of paint.
After October 19th, the Mitchell Airport Tap the Potential contributors’ work will find new space to hang out, possibly permanently with you. If you have interest in purchasing artworks that were a part of the exhibit, contact Jennifer Vattendahl (414) 847 – 1991.
Tap the Potential’s collaborators are VSA Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Office of Persons with Disabilities, Life Navigators, Independence First, Milwaukee Center for Independence, Curative Rehabilitation Center, and Goodwill Industries of Southeast Wisconsin. Learn more about talented artists who don’t use their hands at the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists site.
Tap the Potential sponsored art exhibits continue through the rest of October and include the first art show by aspiring artist Nadia Smale on Friday October 26 at 6:00p at Orcanine Abbey 1718 N. 1st Street Studio 5N2.
Boundless Bravery by Samantha Brody, Scholastic
Over nerve-tingling live instrumentation, One Self in truly pro-fashion kicked out a jam, proclaiming the ability to feel something unexplainable and unseeable in the troposphere. A vet to the live performance circuit, One Self graciously set the tone for a Monday eve show, showing hip-hop has a few lives left before it hits nine. At the Hotel Foster, previously notorious for mustaches, ugly eye glasses, inadvertently styled hair, and generally worn-in feelings, the falling leaves outside did’t matter, the one’s budding inside did.
All Around the Beach Ball
Live music holds a special place in the legacy of Hotel Foster‘s space, and its nice to see the old glory of performances past continuing on its unearthed stage that was buried for so long. Milwaukee’s own Klassik added a its musical thread to the memorable one’s spun by troubadours of countless genres that have come before. Klassik dropped an online album in late September called In the Making, bringing with him exceptionally talent heavy vocalist Toni Martin and the prodigious Kevin Hayden Trio to give the album’s songs life when played live (who each could just as well had their own solo performances lined-up).
Enough, Just Up Start
Klassik is uncanny spawn of post scene-ster hip-hop and local conscience flavor, an old soul expressing musical freedom from solitarily confined 808 drum kits and samples, nursing on the essence home-brewed spoken-word and R&B underground usually found only west of Holton Avenue. Striking the most resounding chord, Klassik makes it all his own, with heaping appeal and a lot of heart; a consummate artist to please your ears with.
One Self and Klassik soothed the pain of the start another work week Monday night with a highly respectable showing Monday, and definitely deserve a venue on a weekend night. You probably won’t see Klassik for a little while locally, he’ll be pond jumping for a well deserved mini-tour in Europe. Only one place for this kid to go and its not down.
Find Klassik‘s latest album In the Making on Band Camp, where back catalogs also await for your enjoyment.
Check a little ditty video with a little range by One Self entitled What Do We Know feat Kerri.
M C Oneself “What Do We Know?”
via Scott A. Baldwin on vimeo
One Self performs live with a ton of others at Made in Milwaukee’s Creatures and Creators Halloween Bash at Turner Hall October 27.
Suede Glove Slapping, Hotel Foster, One Self, Klassik
Cramming activities into the last clement days of the year isn’t too difficult in Milwaukee and no neighborhood rises to the occasion quite like Bay View. There’s the South Shore Farmers Market and The Frolics. There was Pabst Fest and Bay View Bash, Art Beat, that other crap I’m missing, and now Bay View Gallery Night, which kicks off tomorrow night. Yes, a Gallery Night so cool it happens a full month before the rest of the City’s.
On the serrated butter knife’s edge of this madness, Made in Milwaukee and Alchemist Theatre safely press their pointy little teeth into Milwaukee’s penchant for creative to-do’s du jour. Bay View’s abundance of venues and pop-up cultural dioramas basically will allow you to just walk down KK without a plan. But here are a few places and artists to see.
They co-sponsor the night and will have photography of Shane Gardner on the walls and music of Todd Richards and the Surround Sound Experiment in the ether. What’s coolest about this stop? The Alchemist Theatre has a chic/cheeky dive concept lounge rarely open when no show is on-stage.
If you’re not sure about theatre, you can at least absorb one of the best social atmospheres Milwaukee has to offer without committing a couple hours to stage entertainment. If you like it enough, you can vamp back in for the Alchemist’s upcoming Hollowed Eve themed freak-you-out live theatrical production The Alchemist Eye.
Usually all sorts of craziness goes on at the Hide House like church services and improvised musical shows. Most of that will probably still be going on tomorrow night and among others Amanda Iglinski’s works will perch on the Hide House’s interior vertical planes as a part of the first floor display. She’s a tremendous pop artist with intriguing vision that melds social commentary to the craft of picking images, motifs and colors to blend.
Resident artist Jenie Gao will open her space to feature artwork of her contemporaries Steph Davies, Laura Macias Barrera, Zina Mussman, Rachel Quirk and live music.
Gao Gallery occasionally offers instructional art workshops. Stop by during Bay View Gallery Night and you’ll be able to screenprint a ready made design on one of your own garments or a T that you can purchase there. Jenie Gao’s star as a fine art purveyor is in full bloom and something to gaze upon for seeing what it looks like to go beyond just having talent in a particular medium.
Ink’s abound in this town, why stop now? I see calf tats are in. Shogun Tattoo & Body Piercing will wet their needles publicly for the grand ole’ first time, opening on BVGN’s expressive ocean swell. The Mil can’t get enough ink, how can you blame us, most of us live where our bodies are at the moment anyway.
The Rest Are The Best Anyway
If I were to drop a few more names for thirst quenching pit stops let’s jus throw Studio Lounge, Black Bird Bar, Boon and Crockett, Hector’s and Club Giribaldi out there arbitrarily. Bay View Gallery Night’s website has the full listing happenings complete with proper addresses and other vital information. I also hear that the new super brilliant Alterra will have a parking lot extavaganza of sorts to top it all with a mango.
In the Frederick Layton Gallery, propped up on a small shelf a couple of well-worn sketch books atypically invite peering. They appear weightless, floating with the levity of their contents. Next to them, a 11×17 or so framed movie style poster reads The Peeling, in thin modern san serif script, set on a putrid green gradient background ascending to off-tan.
As if chosen from a casting call staged in Danaya Khartcheko’s sketch book, a particularly oxymoron-ironic character plucked from an audition line of seductive to absurd beta anime illustrations poses shyly in the center of the poster, thick spiraled horns draping downward like pig tails, big innocent eyes gaping. It’s Twiggy. She’s the star of Khartcheko‘s animated mini-drama playing on a nearby flat screen.
Ripe Banana, opposite Twiggy in The Peeling, menacing, intensely yellow and obese, sits onerously on a table grimacing and grumbling. I’m fighting hard to continue discerning the plot, I think I am hallucinating at this point, but as I recall a powerful dandy of a man chose Ripe Banana as an ingredient for his next dessert. Twiggy, taken by the dandy’s influence, must do the peeling honors while the he engages in other worldly fancies.
Compelled and ready for action, Twiggy maintains her demure temperament a few unsuspecting moments before springing to the table, confronting Ripe Banana with a swift chomp to the skin. In the end, picking its own time to go, Ripe Banana gets peeled, smelly and wasted.
Short and enjoyable, Khartchenko’s animated piece falls somewhere between National Film Board of Canada and Tim Burton stylistically and tells a dark but humorous story accompanied by rhythms from The Scissors Sisters, proving traditional animation techniques are well worth staying around. Series in the making? Let’s hope so.
The closing of MIAD’s 2012 Juried Senior Thesis Exhibition coincided with the 25th Anniversary of Gallery Night in Milwaukee.
Note: This video has not been altered and is shot in real time… Manual Controller doing some live spastism unreal. The Salutations album broke after two years in the making, constructed with all live hardware applications of digital composition.
Manual Controller, Salutations is available for purchase through some unknown alien being.