Celebrating Art, the City and Gallery Night
Off the Cuff with Timo Gallery’s Timothy Meyerring
Timo Gallery (207 E. Buffalo St., Lobby) in the Third Ward’s Marshall Building isn’t a stereotypical white-walled box hung with art. For one thing, the scent of paint is in the air. Timo Gallery is both the retail space and the workplace for artist-owner Timothy Meyerring. The gallery is separated from the studio where he paints by a moveable wall on casters. Meyerring sat down on the studio couch to discuss art and Milwaukee for Off the Cuff.
You came into art through the medical profession?
I worked at St. Mary’s in the burn unit. It was intense. I realized when I was 24 that there was no way I could do this in my later years. I went back to school and ended up in the design program at Arizona State.
Why Arizona State?
One of my instructors at UW-Milwaukee suggested that I show my work and they accepted me. Arizona State has one of the top five programs in graphic design in the country. I worked the night shift at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix and went to school during the day.
But you returned to Milwaukee…
I had gone through some life changes. My parents were getting older, my sisters were having kids here. Everyone was still here. I thought I’d come back.
None. I’m thrilled to be back home. I love this city.
Is it a good city for artists?
I think it’s good. Milwaukee likes quality art and they support it. The arts community here is very dynamic and that helps. When I came home in 2004 I was impressed by how progressive the city had become.
How long were you gone?
Thirteen years. I loved how the arts community had become so vibrant. There was a lot new development, new businesses in the Third Ward.
How would you describe your art?
I would describe myself as an abstract expressionist. I do a wide range of work and taught myself how to paint—I never had a painting class. After moving back I did a few pieces for an Eisner Museum benefit and had a 2 a.m. epiphany while painting poppies with a palette knife—I told myself that this is what I want to do as my life’s work. I quit working in the advertising field and devoted myself to painting.
I started with florals, abstract landscapes, pure abstraction. I taught myself the different media—oil, acrylic, encaustic, watercolor, charcoal, ink, gilding with silver and gold leaf.
And you’ve had commercial successes?
A year and a half after teaching myself to paint, I had eight pieces in every Crate & Barrel in the U.S. My work is in Pier One Imports. I get a lot of commission work. My paintings have been up in Milwaukee restaurants—Water Buffalo, Swig, Lucky Ginger, Ardent, Thief Wine.
The Timo Gallery will be open for Gallery Night?
I always exhibit what I’ve been working on at Gallery Night. I try to put on the best show that I can. Looking to make sales on Gallery Night is the wrong direction. I like to throw a party. Gallery Night is a great way to bring in people to see what’s available in Milwaukee.