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Portrait Society Chapel Delivers the Wonder of Winter

Dec. 20, 2011
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Several years ago, art historian and Portrait Society Gallery owner Debra Brehmer decided she needed a diversion from Wisconsin's January weather. Brehmer's inventive solution was to create an exhibition titled “Winter Chapel,” featuring an invited artist to interpret Milwaukee's frigid season through an installation. Beginning in 2012, Brehmer's third annual “Winter Chapel” will again dispel the January doldrums.

Two familiar Milwaukee artists explore the aesthetic possibilities in the Marshall Building's fifth-floor Portrait Society Gallery. Keith Nelson will construct a metal-framed building and cover it in pink insulation material, while printmaker Paula Schulze finishes off the interior with geometric patterns perhaps taken from Islamic traditions. The pair's collaboration stemmed from Brehmer's inspiration for a chapel that visitors would be able to walk into and use as a place for contemplation, even as it remains a work in progress until its completion in January.

Environmental literature teacher Jeff Filipiak, Ph.D., will conduct Brehmer's annual “snow lecture” during the exhibition's run. Filipiak, Milwaukee's “Ambassador of Snow,” aims to get city residents to reflect on the joys of the season.

In coordination with “Winter Chapel,” Brehmer presents new works by Rafael Salas in Gallery A and works by self-taught Wisconsin artists, including pieces by Bernard Gilardi, in the Lounge. All of these exhibitions will open for Gallery Night and Day on Jan. 20. In the heart of the cold season, Brehmer invites those who enter her chapel to “be guided through the dark months and remember the beauty in winter.”

Art Happenings

“One World, One People”

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

1360 N. Prospect Ave.

The exhibition “One World, One People” highlights the “father of environmental portraiture,” Arnold Newman (1918-2006), and his photos of prestigious Jewish personalities. In conjunction with the opening of this exhibition, a screening of Jerome Robbins' West Side Story and Abe Burrows' How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying begins at noon on Dec. 25.

Arté Wine and Painting Studio

7511 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa

Enjoy wine and time to explore your artistic talents during a two- or three-hour session Dec. 28-29 at Arté. For information on fees and registration, visit www.artewineandpaint.com.


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