ART to Do List Before Welcoming 2013

A Dozen Artful Ideas Before the End of 2012

Dec. 28, 2012
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The end of the year brings a flurry of new resolutions for 2013. However, several days remain to close out 2012. Find the time to say a final farewell to several exhibitions when waving goodbye to 2012 while welcoming 2013.

1.    One:  Revisit Rembrandt’s “Portrait of the Artist” at the Milwaukee Art Museum, or view this amazing painting for the first time. The painting will eventually return to Kenwood House, London, and the opportunity will have passed, gone forever. Rembrandt’s grandest portrait speaks to maturity and reaches out to the viewer with a melancholic gaze that perhaps says Rembrandt may be bankrupt and forlorn, yet he is a master artist leaving a great legacy to future generations, all those who love magnificent art, humanity, and the portrait genre.  

2.     Two: When at the Milwaukee Art Museum, visit the Museum Shop and buy a young person, or someone young at heart, a creative treasure. There were numerous children’s items on sale, including books and pirate activity kits to inspire the imagination that could replace the attention given to the small screen of an I Pad.

3.     Three: Just past the Museum Shop on the lakeside is a small gallery with an exhibition “Sculptural Narratives and Photographic Abstractions: Drew Shields and Leo Purman.” When college freshmen head back for their second semester in 2013, so will Shields and Purman, two 2012 National Scholastic Art Scholarship Winners in Portfolio and Photography. Shields sculpts post apocalyptic shadowboxes with satirical and political subtext, similar to science fiction stories he eventually dreams of developing into scenic design. Purman photographs the ordinary to portray “image puzzles,” elegant portraits of the everyday difficult to decipher unless reading the test adjacent to the print. Honor their youthful talent.

4.    Four:  Notice the new tickets designed by the Milwaukee Art Museum that announce their 125th Anniversary. Then watch for the numerous festivities planned for 2013, especially this summer to celebrate the grand achievement capped by the museum's Calatrava addition ten years ago.

Five: Visit St. John’s on the Lake at the Museum of Wisconsin Art on the Lake to appreciate “The Printed Woodlands: Serigraphs by Larry Basky.” Basky’s marvelous works on paper often incorporate over 50 colors in each print, a technique that requires dedication, perseverance and skill. Wisconsin’s woodlands come alive in vibrant hues on paper in Basky's stunning solo show.

Six:  Stop at the 2012 Shepherd Express Winner for Best Gallery, Tory Folliard Gallery and view “John Wilde Remembered.” Wilde’s extraordinary paintings and prints, several in silver point, delight the eye and mind. The late Wisconsin artist was nationally acclaimed and his intelligent, witty and exquisite draftsmanship defined his surreal perspectives and magical narratives.

7.     Seven: Wish Dean Jensen well before his “25 for 25,” a 25th anniversary exhibition closes. Jensen’s Water Street gallery of the same name displays some of the best artists Jensen represented in the past 25 years, those merely beginning careers and the more established, including young artists Tyanna Buie and Claire Stigliani. Afterwards, University of Wisconsin Madison graduate Stigliani opens her solo show at Dean Jensen Gallery in January.

8.     Eight: Enjoy the expanded Portrait Society Gallery in the Historic Third Ward. Owner Debra Brehmer recently remodeled the 5th floor space where her intimate Lounge Gallery presents Nicholas Grider’s photographs hung around the room with comfortable sofas for studying the work while discussing the art.

Nine: Spend time snowshoeing or strolling the Lynden Sculpture Garden. While summer might be preferred by most visitors, winter also enchants with the bare beauty of black tree branches paired with the Bradley’s sculpture collection to capture eerie shadows. Any light snowfall enhances the atmosphere and the art sparkles even brighter.

Ten: The Racine Art Museum hosts Free First Fridays (January 4) and three wonderful exhibitions to peruse. While visiting downtown Racine, also check out the other art galleries and merchants along Main Street. View the 5th Street Window Gallery, which faces an adjacent street where artist Christine Lee installed her own version of adult Lincoln Logs. The RAM joins the top five museums on the list  of American Fine Craft Museums and continues to add to its distinguished reputation.

Eleven:  Buy original art with holiday gift money at a variety of price points, and buy what speaks to your emotions, the pieces that haunts the mind day and night. Tiny little photos on display at greymatter gallery titled MKE Peaks may be purchased for $10.00 or try Steve Wirtz’s Papier Mache pets at Grava Gallery, available for $70.00, or wear Betsy Youngquist’s embellished necklaces at Tory Folliard Gallery, yours for $170-$240. Art can be hung or worn, placed on a table, or adorn an outdoor setting; created for any lifestyle, in all sizes, that benefits the artist and those who purchase the art, a personal gift that keeps on giving. Or donate to any one of a number of art organizations that foster art appreciation throughout the community.

Twelve:  Remember art is an everyday experience and incorporate art or design into business and home environments by choosing original pieces to live with and use, be the work a painting or a teapot.  Experiencing art everyday reminds the viewer that beauty can replace the ordinary, even ugliness discovered in the day to day, and inspire the extraordinary. Enjoy the fantastic  journey into 2013. 








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