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Site-Specific Art

Art Preview

Dec. 3, 2008
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Two new exhibitions opening this December at the Walker's Point Center for the ArtsArmoury Gallery showcase art designed for specific environments. and the

"Environmental Art," created by the "Hands On" after-school project at the Walker's Point Center for the Arts, opens Dec. 6. This exhibit reflects the idea of respecting nature, which is incorporated into the center's summer programming for children ages 6-12. With the help of Milwaukee artists Roy Staab and Barb Nelson, the children bent willow branches into arches along the Hank Aaron State Trail and hoisted stones to create rock gardens, referencing the great environmental art of Robert Smithson and Andy Goldsworthy.

"The project was phenomenal," says Educational Program Coordinator Kate Bradley. "Even though the weather was hot, the kids shoveled sand and moved rocks. The heat never dampened their spirits."

The new exhibit features photographs and notes from the summer projects that complement other environmental art inside the gallery. The back gallery offers a surprise work that will be revealed at the opening reception on Dec. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Also opening this week is Armoury Gallery's new exhibit, "Milwaukee's Own." It features four recent Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design graduates, with work constructed specifically for the gallery.

Nationally recognized artist Harvey Opgenorth paints optical illusions directly onto the walls, provoking dual visions of reality, while Colin Dickson fashions a muslin cave. In Dickson's first professional show since graduating in June, screen prints are combined with clusters of cotton to construct a large piece of art. kathryn e. martin, whose work is also on display at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center's "Flotant" exhibit, revisits her circles of Styrofoam cups to create spiral forms envisioning clouds. 2006 graduate Mary DiBiasioportrays hands and human figures through tracings and cutouts rendered in graphite wall hangings.

These eclectic installations "create final products having more potential to shift," says gallery owner Cassandra Smith. The opening reception takes place on Friday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Three new openings add a festive touch to the ArtAngel Crawl in Historic Downtown Waukesha. On Saturday, Dec. 6, from 4 to 10 p.m., businesses and art galleries open their doors for holiday shoppers. The new Clinton Street Gallery, located just off Main Street, makes its debut along with the newly renovated Black Trumpet Restaurant at the Clarke Hotel, and People's Park, the Taylor brothers' unique gastro pub. If the weather is bad, the event will be moved to the following weekend.

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