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Lots to See at Gallery Night and Day

Apr. 18, 2017
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Milwaukee’s favorite quarterly, two-day art event is upon us again. Stretched over April 21 and 22, Gallery Night and Day features 43 venues across the Downtown area. The event website features a comprehensive participant list and map, but allow me to whet your appetite with a few recommendations.

RedLine Milwaukee (1422 N. Fourth St.) will be hosting the opening of “Existence as Protest” on April 21 from 5-9 p.m. The solo show treats questions of indigeneity from the indigenous perspective, namely that of Gregg Deal, artist and member of the Paiute Tribe of Pyramid Lake. Much of Deal’s previous work has dealt with indigenous identity and pop culture, and “Existence as Protest” is no exception. Addressing timely issues such as mascots, Standing Rock-Dakota Access Pipeline and land rights, “Existence as Protest” is a primer on contemporary concerns of indigenous peoples.

“Face the War Paint” at the King Drive Commons Gallery and Studio (2775 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) is similarly inspired by indigenous traditions. The exhibited works riff on the symbolic suggestiveness of traditional body art. “Ceremonial masks and body art feature distinct tribal identifying markers or social rank indicators. This ceremonial tradition can be found in indigenous arts, ancient carvings, fashion, hair styling, dancing and rituals,” says featured artist and guest curator Fidel Verdin. “Modern day war paint is worn everyday by people trying to fit into some externally created ‘box’ of what our work, school, family or any other aspect of ‘normal’ life is supposed to look like.”

“Thirty” celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (839 S. Fifth St.). With works by both established and emerging artists, “Thirty” honors its past and anticipates its future. Contributing artists include Dennis Nechvatal (the WPCA’s first exhibiting artist in Sept. and Oct.1987), Valerie Christell (the WPCA’s first administrator and current gallery director at Alfons Gallery) and Marcela Garcia (the WPCA’s new executive director). An opening reception for “Thirty” takes place April 21 from 5-9 p.m. 

Self-styled purveyor of rad t-shirts Too Much Metal For One Hand has teamed up with Summerfest for a special Pop Up Shop (207 E. Buffalo St., Third Floor). In celebration of Summerfest’s 50th anniversary, Too Much Metal For One Hand is introducing 12 new t-shirt designs that are available only during Gallery Night and Day. “We’re building this night like a VIP record drop,” says designer Fred Gillich, “In fact, we have actually pressed and made 200 limited edition gold records commemorating Summerfest’s achievement. There’s real gold metallic powder printed on this record...it’s insanely rad.” To guarantee admission to the Pop Up Shop, patrons must purchase shirts online at toomuchmetal.com/summerfest.

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