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Magical Realism of a Wisconsin Master

John Wilde collected at Racine Art Museum

Oct. 2, 2013
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Wisconsin’s John Wilde (1919-2006, “WILL-dee”) was a master of Magic Realism, the artistic genre that infuses the ordinary with the extraordinary to disorienting and enchanting results. After a stint in the army during World War II, the Milwaukee-born Wilde sought a master’s degree at UW-Madison and stuck around for 34 years as a professor, where he exercised a decisive influence on legions of young, impressionable paintbrushes.

While primarily a painter, Wilde also explored different media. He created some of the largest works ever completed utilizing the medieval art of silver point, a type of painstaking drawing using a silver wire. But it is as a painter of eccentric and engaging canvasses that Wilde is and will be remembered. All the evidence posterity requires will be on view in “Collection Focus: John Wilde,” Oct. 6-Jan. 12, at Racine Art Museum, 441 Main St.


Third Annual Red Leaf ARToberfest Arts & Crafts Marketplace

Charles Allis Art Museum

1801 N. Prospect Ave.

As the son of a wealthy Milwaukee industrialist, Charles Allis had funds and time to spare. He used his power to patronize the local arts community and to accrue a world-class collection of decorative arts. It is fitting, then, that the Charles Allis Art Museum hosts the Red Leaf ARToberfest Arts & Crafts Marketplace, Oct. 5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition to museum tours, vendors will offer fiber crafts, pottery, jewelry, canvas bags, knitting and German food in the beer garden. Admission is $5.


Fine Furnishings Show

Harley-Davidson Museum

400 W. Canal St.

Foreseeing the ascendency of disposable mass-produced goods, Marx and Engels predicted the disappearance of fine furnishings. “All that’s solid melts into air,” they lamented. Thankfully, as the Fine Furnishings Show demonstrates, the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. The only American-made, handcrafted furniture show in the Midwest presents woodwork, metal smithing and a table made from a tricycle. Shop will be set up in the Harley-Davidson Museum, Oct. 4-6. Admission is $10 for adults or $15 for any two days. Children under 12 attend free.



Riverwest Public House

815 E. Locust St.

Most of us only patronize the arts through our museum attendance fees. MK-Eat invites you to make a bigger difference in an artist’s life. They also invite you to dinner. On Oct. 3 at 7 p.m., the organization will gather at the Riverwest Public House to break bread and listen to project proposals by local artists. Attendees will then vote for which of the artists will be awarded a micro grant to pursue his/her dream project. Admission is $10.


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