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Art While You Eat

Local Artists on Display in Milwaukee Restaurants

Jul. 2, 2012
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When you think of displays of art, you might conjure up visions of chic Downtown galleries where paintings can sell for up to $10,000.  However, that's not the only place you can find art on display in Milwaukee.  There are several  restaurants, and a bar, that display the work of local artists, making art readily accessible to the community.

Beans and Barley

1901 E. North Ave.

Beans and Barley began displaying the works of the art of student employees and expanded from there. 
When the original building burned down, the remodeled structure was designed with art display in mind.  Paintings are hung on the east wall of the dining room, the only one left standing from the fire.  The ceiling is quite high, the wall can accommodate large artworks and the surrounding windows provide an abundance of natural light, allowing for optimal viewing. Enhancing the atmosphere of the restaurant, the art provides for stimulating critiques, and conversation. Currently on display are works by Jason Fricke and Mike Frederickson. Frederickson's images of realistic street scenes of Milwaukee, on the walls in the cafe, look amazingly similar to photos, especially the reflections in the car windows.

Café Lulu

2265 S. Howell Ave.

Lulu has been displaying the work of local artists since opening 11 years ago. The expanded bar and dining room alongside the original café is blessed with high ceilings and walls just begging for art to be displayed.  Now on display is the work of Adrienne Pierluissi, who owns Sugar Maple, another venue for local art. Her paintings are an impressionist collection of wispy white flowers, some of which contain the blur of fast moving water, and others that resemble Japanese characters.

The Art Bar

722 E. Burleigh Ave.

Don Krause from the Art Bar says that their original intent was to open a gallery, but money was an issue. 
In 2004, they decided to open The Art Bar as a gallery/bar hybrid. The layout lends itself perfectly to the unique art displayed here. The exhibits contain two primary artist's works, and up to 10 fill-in artists who share the space. The show currently on display is titled “Faces: Take a Look at Yourself,” which  features paintings, drawings, photographs and masks—all of faces. The exhibit featuring naturally occurring “faces “in trees, marble, or water droplets, by Barbara Stephan which provided a distinct interpretation of the theme.


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