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Watercolor Society Celebrates 60 Years

Jul. 3, 2012
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The Wisconsin Watercolor Society (WWS) celebrates six decades with a new exhibition at West Bend's Museum of Wisconsin Art. The “Wisconsin Watercolor Society 60th Anniversary Exhibition,” opening July 18, will feature paintings from the founding members.

These dedicated members taught art at Milwaukee-Downer College, Milwaukee State Teachers College and the Layton School of Art, painted in their spare time and viewed watercolor as a medium equally as valuable as oil painting. They desired to “demonstrate meaningful development” in working with watercolor, which requires considerable control to manipulate on paper, and be a catalyst for other painters to experiment with the medium.

In 1952, artists Marian Bode (1915-2005), Thomas Dietrich (1912-1998), Earl Gessert (1918-1996), Emily Groom (1875-1975), Gerald Landt (1919-), Dorothy Meredith (1906-1986), Robert von Neumann (1888-1976) and Peter Rotier (1888-1963) formalized their vision by organizing the Wisconsin Watercolor Society. WWS President Steve Horvath currently oversees the organization, which has approximately 100 members and holds plein-air workshops several days a week.

At the Museum of Wisconsin Art, a smaller gallery will exhibit one painting from each of the founding artists. WWS presents work from all of its members in the main gallery. The medium offers great fluidity in portraying abstract and representational images, sometimes mixed with graphite, ink or other media. The exhibit will illustrate how watercolor painting has transformed since the 1950s.

In the One From Wisconsin Gallery, UW-Oshkosh art professor Jessica Calderwood plays on themes of sexuality with tiny jewelry fashioned in enamel over copper or sterling silver and depicting the human form. The museum hosts a sneak peek for both exhibitions on Friday, July 20, at 10:30 a.m. An opening reception takes place 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday, July 22.

For more information, visit www.wisconsinart.org or www.wisconsinwatercolorsociety.com.

Art Happenings

Milwaukee Lutheran College Art and Craft Fair

Milwaukee Lutheran College

8800 W. Bluemound Road

This free all-day event features juried artisans exhibiting on campus along with entertainment, crafts for kids and refreshments. It runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 7.

The Trading Tortoise

Sky High Gallery

2501 S. Howell Ave.

Artists Souther Salazar and Monica Choy set up a sculptural installation—a large, tortoise-shaped trading post—that has traveled across the nation. Bring a unique object or story to trade for this one-day event, 6-9 p.m. July 5.


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