Thursday, September 15, 2016

Black Cat Alley opens Sunday - sneak preview

If you haven't yet heard of Black Cat Alley it is Milwaukee's newest claim to art world fame and in fact a huge step forward towards joining other cities with dynamic public art scenes. The formerly neglected, decrepit alley is across Kenilworth Street from the UWM Kenilworth Studios Building, which is not a coincidence as the name Black Cat refers to the UWM mascot, the Panther.

The transformation that is happening is a well-conceived (and apparently well-funded) program of mural painting. Muralists from all over the world have come to Milwaukee to participate. Some local artists have been invited as well--happy to see that! The artist on the cherry picker above cheerfully introduced herself as Bunnie Reiss from LA.

The most prominent mural is this one, entitled "Glitch Frog," which is actually not in the alley but on the side of the building facing Kenilworth (and not visible from the alley itself--I had to ask someone where it was!) The Black Cat Alley website identifies the painter as "European artist MTO."

There is an official opening for Black Cat Alley this Sunday, Sept. 18 from 10-5 pm, which coincides with Doors Open Milwaukee. There will be a brief ribbon-cutting and presentation at 2 pm.

Although some murals are finished, others are clearly works in progress. I suspect that will still be true on Sunday, although I saw a couple artists hard at work when I stopped by late in the day yesterday. It will be interesting to see the progress being made. I also suspect that mural-making will not cease just because there is an opening day. There is plenty of wall space left to fill!

Some are huge, like Glitch Frog, and others are rather small, like this very detailed one.

I didn't notice any identifying information, or signatures (although I might have missed that detail), so I can't tell you who made these examples.

There's been a decent amount of publicity (appropriately) so I expect a nice crowd on Sunday, especially if the weather is good. I know I'll be there. Hope to see you, too.

Black Cat Alley is in the center of the block between Prospect and Farwell, Kenilworth and Ivanhoe.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Wildspace performs with Staab at Villa Terrace

A lush sunset over Lake Michigan created a ravishing backdrop as the performers began to dance in the garden of the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. The audience, seated on the long stone staircase that forms the central axis of the garden, was treated to a divine view of the dancers moving within and around Roy Staab's sculptural installation.

Members of the company performed in a variety of spaces throughout the gardens, such as this trellis. The audience, initially divided into groups and then later freed to wander, traveled about to witness each of the segments.

As the evening progressed the lighting became more dramatic. Using my iPhone I took only these three shots to represent the performance. Not only did I not want to disturb the performance or annoy those around me, but I also wanted to enjoy the dance without the mediation of the camera. It was enchanting.

For the finale, the audience was seated immediately before the Staab sculpture, which now loomed large and glowed with colored lighting. The dancers again interacted with the willows and reeds of the installation in marvelous symbiosis.

I attended opening night, last night. There are three more scheduled performances, Sep. 11, 13 and 14. If you act quickly you might still be able to get tickets from the Wildspace website. I heartily recommend it!

Purchase Award at Wisconsin Photography 2016

I am honored to announce that my image, Inverse (above), received a purchase award from the Racine Art Museum for its Wisconsin Photography 2016 exhibition. Inverse, one of five of my photos juried into the exhibit, was shot at the Lynden Sculpture Garden while I was in residence there in 2015. "Inverse" is also the title of the sculpture by Amy Cropper and Stuart Morris that is depicted in the image.

Another image from the Lynden is this one, entitled Wandering Rock, which again is suggestive of the sculpture that is barely discernible as the reflective surface.

Two of the five photos selected for the exhibit are from my High Line Series, including this one, titled simply HL2016-3. The High Line is a hugely popular park created on an abandoned elevated railway in New York City.

My congratulations also go out to the other seven purchase award winners in the show! 

You can see my other two photos in the show in my original post (scroll down or click here), which also includes more information about Wisconsin Photography 2016. It runs through Nov. 20 so there is plenty of time to see it.