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Revisiting Milwaukee’s Avant Garde Coffeehouse

Inova’s series of ’60s flashbacks

Apr. 9, 2013
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Revisit the grassroots of blues, folk and fingerstyle guitar this April at UW-Milwaukee’s Inova Gallery with the exhibition “The Avant Garde Coffeehouse Project.” In the 1960s, on the cusp of the counterculture, the Avant Garde Coffeehouse (2111 N. Prospect Ave.) was a venue for experimental art and films, performance, poetry and music. It was the local center for the folk/blues revival and encouraged the emerging fingerstyle guitar playing. This provides a link to UWM, which sponsors the only university-level coursework for fingerstyle guitar training in the world.

This year, the Avant Garde Coffeehouse and UWM’s Peck School of the Arts share their 50th anniversary. In a collaboration between departments, the Peck School researched and documented the history of this important venue.

The fascinating retrospective includes artifacts, film, photographs, recordings and videos on display through May 12. While the exhibition opened April 5, there will be special performances and programs throughout the next six weeks at the Inova Gallery and the Peck School of the Arts. One of the highlights will be the world premiere of Meet Me at the Avant Garde, a play written by Peck School alumnae Fly Steffens, April 26-May 5. For a complete event schedule, visit yoa.uwm.edu.


Cissie Peltz

Gallery owner Cissie Peltz died on April 3. The long-running Peltz Gallery features artists from across America, many from Wisconsin. All those who treasured Mrs. Peltz’ exuberant presence and love for the creative life will miss her.


Art Happenings

“Art in Bloom”

Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Drive

This popular four-day event (April 11-14) celebrates art and flowers by showcasing Milwaukee florists throughout the museum’s permanent art collections. Featured is British florist Neil Whittaker who will offer a master class in European Design on Friday, April 12. Visit mam.org/bloom/ to register.


“Immigration: Stories, Art, & the Law”

Latino Arts

1028 S. Ninth St.

The program and exhibition features Taller Yonke, a collective of artists from Nogales, Mexico, whose work focuses on human rights and people caught between nations and cultures. In addition, lawyers from Straub Immigration will provide information and insight on immigration issues, Thursday, April 18, 5-7 p.m.


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