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Stephanie Barenz at the Pfister

Meet the hotel’s new artist in residence

Mar. 26, 2013
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On Monday, April 1, the Pfister Hotel’s new artist in residence, Stephanie Barenz, will move into the historic Milwaukee hotel. During her yearlong residency, Barenz will create The Carriers, a series of poetic, mixed-media paintings that will eventually be compiled into an art book. Text will be added to her paintings in collaboration with the Pfister’s current narrator in residence, Jenna Kashou, as well as the next writer to fill this six-month position.

Barenz’s paintings will focus on objects found within the hotel and the stories these objects represent. A painting already completed, Omniscient Narrator, exemplifies Barenz’s vision by reflecting travel stories from guests sitting under one of the hotel’s grand objects, a chandelier. Barenz transforms these stories into painted imagery exploring, as she puts its, “the meaning to place and home, and how travel changes our notions of place and home.”

Originally trained as a printmaker, Barenz discovered a love for painting in her last year of graduate school. Her artwork incorporates acrylics, graphite, sumi ink and a layer of varnish on wood panels or stretched canvas. “My work is born out of printmaking,” Barenz says, “so my paintings are graphic and illustrative with fine lines, which come from etching.”

While Barenz works this coming year on her unique, handmade art book, she and her husband, Zach Wiegman, will begin a mentoring program at the Pfister for selected Milwaukee middle school students. Barenz will host an art club while Wiegman (a writing teacher at St. Marcus Lutheran School) will coordinate a writing club. Visit Barenz in the Pfister Hotel studio to watch her artwork in progress anytime after April 1.

To learn more about the project, visit stephaniebarenz.com.


Art Happenings


The Green Gallery

1500 N. Farwell Ave.

Contemporary artists Tobias Madison and Kasper Müller open an exhibition of new work on March 29 with an opening reception from 6-9 p.m.


“Fourth Annual International PEEPS Competition”

Racine Art Museum

441 Main St., Racine

This colorful and fun exhibition with art made from the iconic PEEPS candy opens March 28 with an artists’ reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and an awards ceremony beginning at 6 p.m.


“Sensory Overload”

Pius XI High School

135 N. 76th St.

The two galleries adjoining Pius’ Father Robert V. Carney Performing Arts Center feature donut-themed works by Milwaukee painter Bridget Griffith Evans; fibers, books and drawings by Alison Worman; and fine art wallpaper by the husband-and-wife team of Brian Kaspr and Payton Cosell Turner. The exhibit is on display through May 8.


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