Celebrating Black History with Black Arts
In celebration of Black History Month, 14 members of the Fresh Perspective Art Collective are honoring Milwaukee’s most influential black citizens with “Urban Heroes, Urban Wood.” Paintings and photographs of notable community members such as former Wisconsin State Assembly representatives Isaac Coggs and Annette Polly Williams have been mounted on wood sourced from ash trees that once grew in the city of Milwaukee. “Urban Heroes, Urban Wood” is on display at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum (2620 W. Center St.) from Feb. 17 through March 17 with an opening reception on Friday, Feb. 17 from 3-6 p.m.
The 2017 Black Arts Festival takes place Feb. 17-19 with live performances, vendor displays and interactive activities. Day one (4 p.m. through midnight) features a mix of R&B, jazz and neo-soul from M.I.C. (Musically Inclined Crew). Day two (2 p.m. through midnight) is packed with food, workshops, art displays and a variety of live performances. Day three (1 p.m. through midnight) ends the festival on a high note with gospel music, fashion exhibitions, dance performances and film screenings. The Black Arts Festival takes place at the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center, 3020 W. Vliet St. Tickets are $10 for a one-day pass, $15 for two days or $20 for the entire event.
Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
2220 N. Terrace Ave.
“Ornate/Activate,” organized by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC), uses traditional media in non-traditional ways. The 19 exhibiting artists use decorative arts, architectural elements, the written word and other materials to address pressing issues such as inequality stemming from the global economy, loss of language and culture, gender violence, discrimination, segregation and issues of equality and identity. “Ornate/Activate” opens with a public reception on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 6-8 p.m. At 6:30 SAWCC Director Monica Jahan Bose will give a talk, followed by a gallery walk with guest curator Alex Campos.
“Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz”
Jewish Museum Milwaukee
1360 N. Prospect Ave.
Esther Nisenthal Krinitz was 15 years old in 1942 when the Nazis ordered the Jews of her Polish village to report to the train station. Esther and her 13-year old sister wisely fled to the woods and spent the duration of World War II hiding in plain sight as Catholic farm girls. In 1977, Esther adapted her training as a seamstress to stitch 36 fabric pictures that recount harrowing experiences she endured. Certain of the works are accompanied by narration recorded by Esther’s daughters discussing the depicted events. “Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz” is on display from Feb. 17-May 26.