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‘Street Artists of Milwaukee’ at the Frank Juarez Gallery

Jun. 20, 2017
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Graffiti is minimally a misdemeanor and for many of its practitioners that’s the point. Veiled by noms d’artistes, these elusive artists challenge distinctions between public and private property by tagging buildings with their stylized handles or leave lapidary visual critiques that some regard as an urban blight and others deem high art. Of course not all street artists work in the shadows, flirting with felonies to get their kicks; others create public murals commemorating public figures and historical happenings that shaped neighborhoods.

In “Street Artists of Milwaukee,” June 24 through Aug. 5 at the Frank Juarez Gallery, five Wisconsin artists demonstrate their unique takes on street art. Nova Czarnecki and John Kowalczyk are MIAD graduates, both of whom have beautified Milwaukee with public murals in recent years. Fred Kaems is a mostly self-taught painter whose youthful years of graffiti work have left a trace in his continued preference for hand-cut stencils and spray paint. Dave Watkins paints abstractions influenced by urban landscapes, which he has recently become interested in applying to urban landscapes themselves. Mike Change, aka changerous63, began making graffiti art in the 1980s. More recently he has applied his experience to assisting with public projects like the East Side’s Black Cat Alley. 

“Street Artists of Milwaukee” opens with an artists’ reception from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Visitors will be invited to try their hand at gallery-sanctioned graffiti on USPS mail stickers.

Strawberry Challenge Party

Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts

N50 W5050 Portland Road

Coinciding with Cedarburg’s annual Strawberry Festival, the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts has collected works by local fiber artists inspired by all things strawberry. Welcoming a variety of media—quilt, wall hanging, wearable art, rug, paper—the entries are on display in WMQFA’s lobby. Their much-anticipated Strawberry Challenge Party takes place Friday, June 23, during which the first, second and third place winners for the youth and adult categories will be announced and awarded prizes.

“Light Keeper’s Art Show and Sale”

North Point Lighthouse

2650 N. Wahl Ave. 

A group exhibition and sale will be held at the North Point Lighthouse on Friday, June 23, from 5-9 p.m. Six artists will present more than 100 works of jewelry, photography, watercolor, acrylic paint and colored pencil. Despite working across media, the artists are united by their friendship with Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, in whose honor the exhibition is being mounted (Taylor is also one of the contributing artists). A portion of event admission ($10 per person) and proceeds from the silent auction will benefit Milwaukee’s historic North Point Lighthouse. “Light Keeper’s Art Show and Sale” will be catered by Pastiche at Hotel Metro, including a signature champagne cocktail created specially for the occasion.


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