An e-zine for happenings of local culture in Milwaukee and elsewhere

Visual Arts

‘Tis Gift Season, Local Fashion, Last Ditch Effort, Zen Dragonfly

A smorgasbord of makers will fill Zen Dragonfly’s 3rd Annual Last Ditch Effort. Created by local fashion designer Angela Smith, Zen Dragonfly carries a suite of skirt and dress designs derived from re-purposed fabrics, along with hats, knit tams and beanies and other hand sewn accessories.

Every year she teams up with other local artists and crafts people to have a year-end vendor market. This year the Last Ditch effort will convene at the Body and Soul Healing and Arts Center in Sherman Park’s Good Shepard Lutheran Church on 48th and Roosevelt Boulevard.

Past vendors at the Last Ditch Effort included bookbinders, visual artists, screen printers, jewelery artists, natural soaps and beauty products. In a stroke of luck for sweet teeth, several local bakers will also be in residence to help you spoil your appetite a little early, with a variety of tantalizing goodies.

The Last Ditch Effort will go down on Saturday December 21, 2013 from 12:00p to 6:00p at Good Shepard Lutheran Church, 3617 N. 48th Street. Like the Zen Dragonfly page for the latest updates on this event.


‘Tis Gift Season, Local Art, Milrawkee Alt, Bubbler Studios

Alternative fashion photographer Ryan Laessig and visual artist Amanda Iglinski formed the design house Bubbler Studios this past year. They’ve melded their highly conceptual creative forces to launch Milrawkee Alt as an ode to traditional science fiction culture and our favorite hometown Milwaukee.

In a series of original comic illustration-style paintings they capture superbly absurd scenes like King Kong romping on the Intercontinental Hotel, martians nuking the USBank building and the Kraken munching on the Calatrava. These are available in print and refridgerator magnets.

A second set of graphically illustrated prints lets Milrawkeeans get super local by expressing their neighborhood pride in series of Star Wars themed portraits. Infamous likenesses from mostly the Darkside of the Force paired with the Milwaukee ‘hood name enscribed in Star Wars-esque typeface can help geek out your walls.

Laessig and Iglinski also have their own individual contemporary artworks worth exploring. Check them out in person at Bubbler Studios in the Hide House or online at the Milwaukee Alt site.


Creamy Skies, High Summer Milwaukee

Creamy Skies

Southeast to North

Southeast to North

At dusk Thursday, a miraculous scene accumulated in Milwaukee’s corner of our Earth’s atmosphere. It rained on one side of the street and not the other. Ten distinct clouds types formed simultaneously, as varying levels of pressure agitated water molecules aided by thermal fluctuations from the heat of light. A sight to behold, each cardinal direction projecting a range of emotive countenances.

In a final awe inspiring act, a bank of clouds swept across the Northern sky like the minute hand of a watch anchored over the breakwaters of Lake Michigan, countering the wisdom of time.

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Fine Line, BVGN, Hide House, Nick Ludwig

NickLudwig

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.


Stormy Surfer, BVGN, Hide House, Tegan Andrich

TeaganAndrich

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 horse’s 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, brutal and decisive.

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.