Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: RELATIONSHIPS AND LOVE", a national juried exhibition held at Walkers Point Center for the Arts, January 18-March 1

One of the driving forces in art making throughout world history has been the exploration of social interactions. It is the connectedness between the artist and their interpretation of relationships that spawn their creativity. Whether we care to admit it or not, relationships are about how we process the information we are given. According to photographer Chrys Carroll, “each one’s reality being colored by their particular experience” influences how the interaction is interpreted. Thus, these interpretations determine how we function individually and in the broader societal context of community.

Are we clouded by our perceptions and experiences? In a romantic situation we constantly ask for the truth, but what does that mean? This holds true in all types of relationships. We want our politicians and lovers to be truthful. We want our children to be truthful. We want truth in advertising. But are we really able to handle whatever the “truth” might be? Everyone’s example of “truth” is different, deluded and heavily sprinkled with a prescribed agenda. Hence, these variances in “truth” often lead to “the good, the bad and the ugly” in relationships.

~Della Wells and Sonji Hunt
The following artist statements and bios have been provided by the artists. The integrity of the manner in which they wish to present themselves through their words remains intact. Some of the participants have more than one piece in the exhibition, however we have posted only one image for the online presentation.
The exhibition chair is Mutope J. Johnson.
Please visit the exhibition at Walkers Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, WI. The opening reception is Gallery Night, January 18, 2008, 6:00-9:00pm.


"The Quintessential 1950's Family Sets the Stage" "Am I inspired by an early morning drive on the way to church in the mini-van with my wife of 15 years and my two sons, that, before Louis finishes serenading Ella, we’ve past the old boarded up abandoned ghetto into the plush sophisticated remains of everywhere else? ~ Am I a racist because I choose to segregate my colors with clear and divisible lines so that there will be no confusion about one’s place and purpose? ~ Maybe I should feel embarrassed that even while the sun shines through our dining room window, casting questionable shadows from a chair on the adjacent wall, that I sometimes feel more refreshed to stare at the hypnotic light coming from behind our computer or television screen. ~ Would it be correct to say that I’m motivated by the visual strength given from the standing forests of skyscrapers that seem to always overwhelm the abundance of nature? ~Because of 'this and that and that and this' I work. "
Reginald Baylor was born November 1966 in Milwaukee, WI. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (1984-88) majoring in fine art and art education with an emphasis in sculpture. After college, Reginald relocated to Southern California where he was married to his wife, Jill (1991) and worked for the Laguna Beach Art Museum and Newport Beach Art Museum (1991-93). In 1995, Reginald and his wife and two sons moved to Chicago, IL. There he began a career as and owner operator for Mason Dixon Trucking while continuing to produce original artwork. He returned to the Milwaukee area with his family in 1998 and is currently working from his studio at his home in Wauwatosa. He is represented by Suzanne Zada of Beverly Hills, CA and Bill DeLind of Milwaukee, WI.

CHRYS CARROLL, Minneapolis, MN

"Mother and Child", b/w photograph, 20"H x 24"W
"As a photographer when I turn a conscious eye on the world, mundane moments gain the clarity and beauty of a fresh perspective. The ordinariness of a half lit face yawning, the tender curve of fingers around a pregnant belly or a man sleeping, become provocative renderings of heartfelt subject matter. Community, diversity, family and self-exploration are just some of the themes I have explored. Through pure documentation of the everyday and staged expressions of a disquieted state of mind; I have revealed much of myself, while also turning the mirror on the viewer. In “BlackMale,” a 1999 Photography/video installation, I’ve used photography to shine a light on men that prevented me from being forgotten. The camera’s been there to give me perspective while in the midst of a depression recorded in a 2000 Journal entry. I used it to get through a difficult pregnancy and an even crueler death as reflected in “Remain,” a 2004 photography/video installation. I use photography because words aren’t enough. It is a tool to show a particular reality, which does not exist. Each one’s reality being colored by their particular experience and therefore all interpretation is skewed. None-the-less, I take pictures to remember. I take pictures to be remembered."
Chrys Carroll was born and raised in Minneapolis. She briefly lived in DC attending Howard University and then in Milwaukee. She returned to the twin cities in 2007 and resides with her husband and son. Carroll has held several residencies, given lectures, received grants, worked with many photographers. She ran the art education program at Franklin Art Works Gallery, and has shown extensively in Minneapolis, Wisconsin and Washington DC. Carroll also founded Women of Color Artist Gathering, which allowed artists the opportunity to conduct workshops, exhibit and perform works.

ZEPH FARMBY, Milwaukee, WI

"What Women Want", 2'H x 4'W, oil on canvas
"My artwork is the album to my life; every piece as individual songs linked together playing the soundtrack of my lifestyle! ~ I show an assortment of things that relate to my lifestyle, from everyday struggles and things that I enjoy. My art reveals life - being metaphoric showing subjects reflecting Hip-Hop and how I grew up. ~ My art expression is similar to graffiti art; showing different, but rather unique angles, exaggerations of objects and the human figure expressing my perspective more clearly. ~ My goal as an artist is to earn a place in art history for future generations and have my artwork displayed in historic buildings. My hope is that my art will continue to serve as vocal cords to those who feel misunderstood. ~ I am inspired by music and the city essence of the Southside of Chicago. My stamp of legacy left behind showing my appreciation of the skill."
Zeph Farmby has been creating unique pieces of art as far back as he can remember. Early works of his graffiti style continue to show up in newer pieces. After attending the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL, Zeph continued to perfect his skill through teaching and coaching younger artists in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. today, Seph's art serves as the foundation of major clothing lines such as 2 Much Game Sports Wear, Original AFRO Wear, PHLI and Sneaker Fiend. I AMAZE EYEZ is solely owned by Zeph and provides an umbrella for his various arms of talent.


"Dada Barbie", mixed media assemblage sculpture
“Dada Barbie” was created in a workshop conducted by Jessica Poor. DB’s back story is that following her breakup with longtime beau Ken, she decided to embark on an adventure to the city. Leaving her comfortable suburban life behind, she equipped herself with a new wardrobe, vintage camera and plunged into the excitement of urban exploration. Along the way she tangled with King Kong, met a soldier sent to intervene in the fracas, but also met a mystery man in a cafe. Her decision now – which one to pick.
Michael Flanagan is the Director of the Crossman Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to the gallery work he also teaches a survey course and a studio class in the Art Department. His work in the Milwaukee community includes board membership at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts and participation in arts projects for the East Side Business Improvement District.


"Crkus Gkus", diptych 18"H x 42"W, mixed media on canvas
Crkus Grkus” is about relationships layered from the ground up-an ant farm like emotional circus chock full of people, some are looking out as if interacting with the viewer, some are swimming in space, eyes wandering, possibly looking for an answer. Some are playing with each other, flirting, dazzling, poking and balancing each other with mood, color, each having there own patterned style. ~ A patina like wash covers the entire painted and drawn surface giving a mood of days gone by yet frozen in time, in this small amount of space so much disconnection and carrying out, I fit it all together to create a display of personae. Unlike my portraiture, these are bodies in motion, echoing the drawings of my earlier work.
Anne Grgich is one of the most original and innovative of the group of American artists known as "Outsiders". Completely self-taught, her work was the cover story of Raw Vision Magazine in 2004. She became known for her impassioned, expressionistic faces and figures. Grgich often employs collage and vigorously applies layer after layer of over-painting, covering found texts and images, yet allowing some of the under layers to remain visible. This lends mystery and mystique to her exotic characters. Her work is in several large collections and she has been profiled in numerous publications and is represented in galleries and museums throughout the United States and in Europe.


"We the People"
"With these selected pieces, I use self-created shapes, forms and colors to build my themes to create semi-abstract works whose content springs from my African American and African heritage. I see it as an aesthetic “anthropology”, discovering the beauty, passion and power that spring from my culture."
Christopher Harrison is a fine artist, illustrator, graphic designer and art director who has lived in the North Minneapolis area for over ten years. Besides his full time job as a Desktop Publisher for the Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder, he also enjoys doing freelance design work. He exhibits his paintings and collages at local and national art venues. Christopher is currently pursuing his MFA degree in Painting and Drawing.


"Looking at Life From Both Sides", 64"H x56"W, fabric quilt
" 'Looking at Life from Both Sides' speaks to the paradoxes in human existence. The images in the quilt are both homogeneous in structure and heterogeneous in color at the same time. Such connections are common in everyday life, e.g., love-hate relationships. The quilt suggests that surely there are varied ways of looking at every issue--at least two, maybe three, perhaps four or more! In life and love, we must seek alternative views, multiple perspective and always imagine "what if"."
Sharon Kerry-Harlan is an artist and educator who works in multiple mediums including found object collage, photography and quilting. She has exhibited her work widely, including the national touring exhibition "Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary Quilts by African American Artists" whose venues included the Smithsonian/Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the American Craft Museum in New York, NY.


"Nocturnal Foray", 24"H x 30"W, acrylic on canvas
"The job of the artist is to make a lasting impression on those who view the work at hand and cause the viewer to think and remember the work. For me to do work in art gives me total control over part of my world. I try to do each piece to achieve harmony and balance between the colors and the forms and shapes. To give the viewer something to ponder about what is being shown, give new life to old ideas. Cause ideas to be accepted. Why does my art work look different than everybody else? The reason why is because my mind sees everything different than everybody else. It is wired differently because 1 am Dyslexic. My view of color, shape and form is a retrospective view of how I perceive the world."
David Klein was born in West Bend, WI on November 13, 1950. After graduating from West Bend High School, he started working full time at the West Bend Company and is a member of their 25-year club. In 1989 he started taking classes at the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac. In 1990 he took an art appreciation course instructed by William P. Griffiths. After the end of the course he asked Professor Griffiths if he could take a 3-D design class and Professor Griffiths said "no problem" and has been saying "no problem" ever since. In 1992, David took a 2-D design course under the instruction of Jeanne Eberlein-Burmeister. Over the following years he has received encouragement and constructive support from Professor Griffiths. William P. Griffiths was the first person to believe that David had artistic talent. David has exhibited his work at The People's Gallery in DePere, WI , at national museums and galleries, as well as at several galleries on the University of Wisconsin campuses. He may be contacted at demarcationartstudio@hotmail.com.


"Sleeping Stan", 30"H x 42"W, watercolor"In the past year, I have been exploring the theme of personal identity and family relationships. I combine thinking about family history with my passion for art history. Images from centuries ago speak to my present day reflections on the nature of daily life. Visual and conceptual connections are made between images and events, past and present. Selected art historical imagery has been visually connected to my contemporary life circumstances, especially as related to familial and love relationships."
Nancy Lamers is an associate professor of art at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and teaches studio art, art history, and international study courses. Her personal area of expertise is as a painter. Ms. Lamers received her MFA degree in Painting and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee following receipt of the bachelor's (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and master's degrees (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh) in art education. Areas of specialization include watercolor, oil, acrylic, and encaustic paint media. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and has received numerous awards for her painting. Her interests are in her ongoing personal development as a painter, continued travel and study of art and history/culture worldwide, in encouraging artists to become more engaged with their community, in development of activities and programs for local artists, and in the mentoring of young artists who will be our future leaders.


"Adam and Eve Series: Cupid Speaks", 30"H x 11"W, painted & carved wood, found objects, welded metal, wood burning

"My Work is a cleansing. What I am now creating helps me to overcome the limitations of my past choices and gives me a spiritual connection to God. I am evolving in a new direction as a flame evolves from a spark. God instructed me to study welding. Woodcarvings and welded metal represent my journey into the bible. However, both secular and religious subject matter have always been important influences in my work. For example I might weave together such diverse ideas as Voodoo, Christianity and certain aspects of street life into the same piece. I had no idea welding sculpture would encompass much of my present artwork. I am now putting together wood and metal to tell my story."


Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, George Ray McCormick, Sr. has lived in Milwaukee since 1950. A self-taught artist, he began woodcarving in 1993 and began an apprenticeship at Vanguard Sculpture Services (Vanguard) in 2002, while working with artist, Evelyn Patricia Terry, on her public art project, Kindred Ties. At Vanguard, he learned metal fabrication and casting. Then in his own studio, fabricated twelve sculptures for Giving Gifts – a second public art project awarded Terry and installed at General Mitchell International Airport. McCormick was selected to participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s 1998 ten-day national folk art festival in Washington, D.C.; restaged as Madison, Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial Folklife Festival and then restaged in Chiba, Japan in 1999. His awards include first place in the 1995 Holiday of Black Doll Festival in Columbus, Ohio; second place at the Delafield Carving Exhibition, Delafield, Wisconsin and a patron award at Kentuck Folk Art Festival, Northport, Alabama. His commissioned works include a ceramic bird, Kingfisher, for the White House in 2004 and Adinkra Symbols for the Marquette Interchange Project on the Walnut Street Bridge in 2006.


"Courtship", 4'9"H x 3'2"W x 2'"4D, steel, bronze and wood
"Art is functional, purposeful and has a definite use. Art is the premium tool for apprehending the connection between the conscious and subconscious mind. An artist must, (at least), do part of the work of pointing the attention of the viewer towards a concrete something. An artist who insists that the viewer do all of the work of understanding the art, is giving up the responsibility of the artist to bring something to eat to the party. To be at the balance point between what you know and what you feel is to be an artist."
Michael Nolte graduated in 1982 from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He has been involved in the art casting industry since 1984 and is a co-founder and co-owner of Vanguard Sculpture Services. This is his first official art showing. Maybe.


"Under the Moonlit Elm", diptych 48"H x 72"W, oilstick on canvas
Love. Loving. Loved.
Pain. Parting.
Love. Loving. Loved.

"I paint what I cannot photograph. In painting, my spirit and passion are unbridled, free yet safe to range through extremes, driven by experience, imagination and accidents. Each painting begins with doodles radiating from the center, emerging from streams of my consciousness. Each is unpremeditated, always different yet consistent progressions of color exchanges, proportions and textures. I study each work from all sides, continuing to layer on color until one subject dominates. That’s when the joy of discovery elates me, and the thrill of challenge begins."
Patricia Obletz, from Buffalo, Manhattan, Chicago, now Milwaukee, is a critically acclaimed artist who studied Fashion Illustration at Parsons School of Design for a year and for four more years, life drawing and painting at the Art Students League. She is an activist for art and mental health and was staff writer for Seventeen, Modern Bride and copy supervisor at Helene Curtis. She won a grant to found Mental Health World quarterly journal in 1992. Six years later, she was awarded a grant to organize “Heart and Spirit Matter,” a fine art show at a professional gallery which featured panels of mental health experts and artists on topics such as what helps and what hinders mental health, the politics of mental health, love and suicide, mental health and the Arts followed by interactive workshops on every Saturday of the month. She volunteers her art programs at schools, community centers, hospitals, friends’ and neighbors’. Her mental health awareness campaign for 2007 is a bus tail display on 50 buses in Chicago and Milwaukee, August through October. Her drawings and paintings hang in public and private collections and are exhibited at juried shows in galleries and museums in Canada, Western New York, New York City, and Madison, Milwaukee, Wasau and West Bend in Wisconsin.


"Relationship: Woman and Man", 11"H x 8"W, marker on paper
"I have no professional training in art. My ability to create is a gift from God. My journey to enlightenment had its beginning in 1984. After ten years of keeping a daily journal of my “Constant Communicational Arrangement” with God, he directed me to draw and paint illustrations that would give me a better understanding of the words he recorded in my mind and heart. My works mirror the years of anguish I experienced because of enduring years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse as well as my continuing journey to enlightenment. When I am creating I am satisfied, I am free! I no longer just exist, I am alive! I do not feel worthless, hopeless, alone, sad, afraid, ashamed, guilty, down hearted, unloved, uncared for, doubtful, and discontented and the like. Above all I am able to love my Creator and my fellow humans. My experience is gratifying! I can see the real me in my works. At the beginning what I recorded in my journal and drew and painted was very difficult to deal with. I had to come face to face with the real me. There were many times that I wanted to return, to close my eyes to the truth in order to stop the pain. But after twenty-three years I can look at the images and words and laugh. But only because I love the woman I have become. As I started to enjoy the moments I started to enjoy the minutes, the hours, the days, the weeks, the months and yes, the years! The more I created the more I begin to live. The more I practiced living the better my living became. The more I created the better my creations became. In time I stopped praying to die and started praying to live a L-O-N-G life. Now that I enjoy each day I expect to enjoy tomorrow. Now that I value who I am, I am beginning to value my creations. The Bible says that we can know God’s invisible qualities by his creations. And since I am created in God’s image, in his likeness I am beginning to know who I am by my creations. "
I am a 65 years young retired educator of special children for eighteen years. I spend on an average of five hours each day journaling, from which I have written three books, over forty articles and about 150 poems. I have drawn and painted about 2000 images all with messages. I am a designer of clothes, jewelry and crazy quilts. I love taking pictures. My latest passion at this stage of my development is creating computer art and my web page. I have over 8000 images of computer art and I have 34 images on the Internet at MOCA ( Museum of Computer Art ). I was enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a 60 and Over Auditor for the spring 2007 term to learn more about the computer. I just completed creating a web page at MATC. I will be returning to computer classes on January 22, 2008.


"High Tech Lynching", 34"H x 26"W, ceramic bas relief
"I thought Clarence Thomas was a real arrogant person who just liked to play with people, I mean play his own games on other people's backs. And Anita Hill was a beautiful, direct, forthright person whom I could trust and whom I would have liked to know. She didn't seem to be hiding anything. Another thing was the respect she showed her mother from the photographs I saw. I did a sculpture of her and her mother to get more of a sense of what the mother was like. "High Tech Lynching" is one of several sculptures of her."
Adolph Rosenblatt, born in 1933 in Connecticut, moved his family from New York to Milwaukee in 1966. A professor emeritus since 1999, he taught art at UW-Milwaukee for thirty-three years. Featured in the family gallery located over Artasia, the ceramic sculpture, Lunch Counter at the Oriental Pharmacy is one of his most famous pieces. He has shown widely throughout the country, notably in New York at the Shoelkopf, Tibor de Nagy, Dorsky, and Razor Galleries; in Boston at the Kanegis Gallery; in Los Angeles at the Olympics and in Minneapolis, Provincetown and Chicago. Selected solo exhibitions in Wisconsin include the Haggerty Museum, the Charles Allis Art Museum, Peltz Gallery, Piano Gallery, the UW-Madison Union Gallery, the UW-Oshkosh Priebe Gallery, Anderson Art Museum, and the Bradley Gallery. Nationally, Rosenblatt’s work in private and public collections, include the Library of Congress, Lester Avnet Collection, Vincent Price Collection, Williamstown Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum.


"I kind of like people to get their own ideas from the work. Some of it is obvious and people make up their own stories about it, which I don’t mind at all. It is a mixture of imagination and experience. I just like painting. I look at photos. Some of the imagery is from faces that I have seen and from people that I have known. I use to run a bar in Taiwan, Catch 22 –back alleys and nightlife have always intrigued me - the stuff that conversations are made of -- and the conversationalists. They are the masters of singular unusual talents or the jugglers of a menagerie of seemingly opposite arts. They have memorable quirky personalities or oddly normal ones for the breadth of their pursuits. In short, they are people you should know."
Eli Rosenblatt was born and raised in Milwaukee, where he was exposed to art through his parents, Adolph and Suzanne - both artists. He and his siblings created art in his dad’s studio often. One of his first jobs was working as a dishwasher at William Ho’s. In his 20s, he lived in China and Taiwan, learning the language and the culture, as he taught English. He married a Chinese woman from Taiwan. Although he now operates Artasia, an upscale Asian import gallery in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, he once opened a bar in Taiwan, which influenced the theme and character of his drawing and painting. Having exhibited mainly in Milwaukee at different venues with his family, the Rosenblatts now exhibit in their family gallery located over Artasia. After a ten-year hiatus from painting following his adjustment to his import business and his growing family including four children, he is finally painting again.


"Three Ladies in their Eighties", 11"H x 8"W, pen and ink word drawings on paper
"The time was the early 90's, the place was the Oakland Cafe, and the snoop, well, I was the snoop. I sat as close as possible to Prudence, Gladys, and Madge, and took dictation. They never seemed to notice that I was drawing wordrawings of them, never knew I used their conversations to form their faces. I went there everyday to write and they went to chat. Prudence and Gladys particularly liked to chat when Madge wasn’t there, because they could talk about her. "
Suzanne Rosenblatt, born in New Jersey in 1937, writes travel journals, performs ecological performance poetry, draws wordrawings along, in cafes, Lake Michigan and in Central Park, paints sunrises on the beach, does tai chi and yoga, bikes on a single speed, gardens organically, dances to Paul Cebar and One Drum, hangs out with family, and does whatever she can to make the world a better place. She has been a member of the Earth Poets and Musicians since its inception; this year will mark their 20th anniversary. Her books include Everyone Is Going Somewhere (MacMillan), Memorandance (Marcel Dekker) and Shorelines (Gallery of Wisconsin Art). She illustrated her daughter Sarah's books On the Waterbed They Sank to Their Own Levels and One Season Behind (Carnegie Mellon University Press).


"Migration Blues", installation image (1 of 25), 12"H x 12"W x 3"D, serigraph on canvas

"A central fixture in my work has always been social injustice. The relationship between the broader colonial-based powers in American society and those it seeks to oppress has fueled emotions, started revolutions and shaped the fabric of society, re-inventing and recreating our civilization. This work addresses poverty, de-genderfication, institutionalized racism and the intricacies of a class system based on ethnicity. "
A native of Jackson, MS, Felandus Thames has studied nationwide and earned a BFA in Painting and Design from Jackson State University. His imagery incorporates personal experiences and the historical consciousness of America. “Missing”, Thames’ solo exhibition at the Smith Robertson Museum, garnered accolades for its powerful content. He has been recognized as an actively contributing member of the artistic community in Jackson and received numerous commissions including the Medgar Evers Institute, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, the City of Jackson and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The Mississippi Arts Commission has also awarded Thames a Mini Grant and an Individual Artist Fellowship. As an instructor in cultural diversity through the arts, Thames has vigorously proceeded with his efforts in the forward thrust of art and his undying mission to cultivate young artists in his city and enrich the lives of all those around him.


"New Beginnings", collage with found objects "The art of collage can be approached with the same challenges as in relationships. There are many parallels that are very similar in determining, for all intended purposes, what the final outcome should be. There will always be the question of where do you draw the line and should that line be crossed. This is similar to the stage of collage or the actual process, where you cut out, tear, burn or use any of the unique imaginative collage techniques that can be combined together. In collage, I can contain the lyrical expressions that for the most part magnify what is to be or not to be. The art work that I have chosen for this exhibition titled, “An Act of Faith/New Beginnings” reflect the inner metaphorical abstract ideas of relationships. Time and space is of the essence. The innocence of intimacy is protected with the symbolic placement of the keys, Lady Luck and other found objects."
Born in 1953, in Milwaukee, WI, Patrick Turner has been working in the medium of collage for the past 30 years. He received a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1975. He has crafted his unique ability to cut out and glue manipulated images that reflect remains and associations of everyday thoughts and vision past and present. The process of the magnificent mind is a source of inspiration. The many doors of opportunity wait to be opened. What can be discovered is infinite. The various combinations of constructing collages reflect how ideas are born and manifested in the stages needed to form a reality. Turner has received numerous awards from prestigious juried art fairs around the country. The list of collectors both private and corporate continue to grow. His works can be seen at Kibbi's Gallery in Columbus, OH and Peltz Gallery in Milwaukee, WI.