Look! Look! – Art
April 1, 2013
By Sheila Julson
When John Toutenhoofd, Sr., a partner of Quigley Tax Service, 2993 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., wanted to feature local art in the office for the upcoming tax season, papier mâché artist Steve Wirtz came up with an ingenious idea.
On the warm, earth-toned walls of the tax preparation office, hang the mounted heads of a bear, water buffalo, boar, antelope, and buck. But these wildlife trophies are not furry with glass eyes. Instead they are made of papier mâché, painted in bold hues. Artfully torn sections of IRS tax forms are visible on the surface of laminated layers that complete Wirtz’s pun and the exhibit title “Taxidermy.”
A plaque reassures viewers that no animals were harmed.
Large fish ‘skeletons’ constructed of intricate wire armature, detailed with fins and teeth, hang near the reception desk and reveal the foundation of the papier mâché process. By contrast, there is also a completed papier mâché fish painted in swirls of blue and green.
“I like to support art and artist,” Toutenhoofd said, noting that this is the third year he has displayed art in his Kinnickinnic Avenue office. The firm has three more locations in the Milwaukee area.
Toutenhoofd’s son, John Toutenhoofd, Jr., who works at the firm, volunteers at Lakefront Festival of the Arts. Festival prints also adorn Bay View office walls, as does work from local artist Anne Chojnacki, renowned for her equine prints featuring Lipizzans.
Milwaukee artists Chris Krajniak and Edmond Matthews each exhibited paintings and illustrations at Quigley in previous tax seasons.
Toutenhoofd, Sr., during a visit to the Marian Center for Nonprofts, noticed some papier mâché sculptures in the hallway outside of Wirtz’s studio, including a large papier mâché sun.
“Business is looking up” was written on its surface, Toutenhoofd, Sr. said. The piece intrigued him and prompted him to learn more about the artist. He asked Wirtz if he would consider exhibiting some pieces at Quigley for the 2013 tax season.
When Wirtz came up with his concept (pun)—papier mâché pieces formed to resemble mounted animal heads that incorporated tax forms—Toutenhoofd said he was amazed and responded, “You’re pulling my leg, right?’”
Wirtz installed the pieces in January and they will be on exhibit through April 15. The work is for sale but Toutenhoofd, Sr. said he is not involved in the selling process; he refers interested buyers directly to the artist. He takes no commission nor extracts any other fees from the artists. He described it as a win-win situation because he gets artwork for his office.
The pieces have been well received by Quigley’s clients. “They’re quite a talking point,” he said.
Art in progress
Back at Wirtz’s studio at the Marian Center for Nonprofits, there are sculptures in different stages of completion. The scale of the work ranges from an object that can be held in one’s hand to larger-than-human figures. They greet visitors with molded expressions of joy, surprise, contentment—a gamut of emotions. Many of the sculptures are representations of man’s best friend.
“I like dogs,” Wirtz said. And it shows. Canines are definitely a dominant theme in his work.
Many of his pooches sit or stand, as if for a portrait, while others demonstrate the usual doggie diversions like leaping, ear-scratching, dashing through a field, snatching a favorite toy from its trajectory, or making off with a stolen sock. They’re whimsical and charming, including a pup with text scrawled on its side that reads, “Free Face Wash.”
His fondness for his subject is evident, as a close look at the dog sculptures reveals Wirtz has clearly captured the sparkle in a dog’s brown eyes, or ears perked as if the pooch is listening to the letter carrier’s truck pull up.
A native of Fond du Lac, Wis., Wirtz developed an interest in art and drawing when he was a child. He specializes in laminated paper sculpture, a form of papier mâché that involves layering paper over wire armature that he forms from different gauges of wire-like chicken wire. He said the laminated papier mâché sculpture process produces sculptures that are lightweight, compared to the more typical papier mâché where multiple damp layers are used to mold and form the work.
He uses plain or coated fencing wire for larger pieces. He said some of the more complex sculptures are based on a sketch but others are freeform, taken directly from his imagination.
Wirtz uses nontoxic Elmer’s Art Paste to fuse the layers of paper that he harvests from newspaper and recycled junk mail. He coats the pieces with colored or black paper and paints most of the sculptures. The number of layers varies depending on the project.
Wirtz sells his sculptures at art shows, festivals, and galleries around the country with prices that range from “$20 to thousands” but with many in the $75 – $250 range. In addition to the exhibit at Quigley Tax Service, his work is currently on exhibit at Studio Lounge (formerly BYO Studio and Lounge) in Bay View and Grava Gallery in the Third Ward.
Quigley Tax Service
2993 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Studio Hours By Appointment
(414) 344-8282; cartuna.net
October 1, 2012
By Jennifer Kresse
Photographer Rosie Hartmann is one of the most charming people you’ll ever meet. She’s gamine, spunky, and upbeat even when talking about the less-than upbeat events that lead her to her POD project.
“POD” is Hartmann’s shorthand for Picture O’ Day—a 365-day photography experiment, where she took a photograph every single day for a year and posted it to Facebook. She did so as a way to challenge herself to be brave enough to share her work with others and to push the limits of her creativity and skill. “If you don’t dream, you don’t succeed,” she said.
After an emotionally abusive marriage, she said she no longer believed in herself or her photography. “I equated attention with negative feedback,” she said. As a way to work through her fears, she embarked upon the yearlong journey by first putting the word out on Facebook. “I made that statement and it kept me honest,” said Hartmann. She knew that her Facebook followers would be waiting for a new photograph every day and she didn’t want to disappoint.
The undertaking proved to be more demanding—and more rewarding—than Hartmann anticipated. Hartmann said she spent about an hour a day taking photographs. She sought unique and engaging subject matter each day, despite working around a demanding full-time job. “You have to have variety. You have to have something different. You have to keep people engaged,” said Hartmann. “It was very important to me to keep it fresh.” She edited them the same day that she posted the photos.
Hartmann met her goal. In September, an exhibit featuring her PODs opened at Moss Floral Design, 3391 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. All proceeds from POD sales benefit the Make a Wish Foundation, a favorite cause of Hartmann’s since her niece was hospitalized with an illness. The exhibit includes framed black and white photographs, as well as calendars featuring her images.
After dabbling in photography for years and then abandoning it, Hartmann picked it up again six years ago and said that she hasn’t looked back. “I want to take it all the way,” she said. “It’s my passion.” She spends her spare time studying photography books and researching the topic online. She participates in a local one-on-one photography mentoring program run by Larry D’Attilio, a former student of Ansel Adams. She’s also a member of CoPA, the Coalition of Photographic Arts.
Hartmann’s commercial photography features weddings, senior photos, and horse shows. She fell into the horse show work by chance. She was shooting some senior pictures at a horse farm when the owner asked her to come back to photograph a horse show. “One thing led to another and now I do horse shows. I love it!” she said.
Hartmann met her 365-day goal, but her POD project is still going strong. “I was ready to stop. But I was asked by quite a few people, who follow it, not to,” said Hartmann. “I’m so incredibly lucky. Yes, there’s been bad things. But I am so blessed and so lucky.”
Facebook + zoombaloom.com
(POD photos are on her FB page)
Hartmann’s work, along with other artists’ work, is on display at Moss Floral Design through mid-November.
May 9, 2012
Presented by The Alchemist Theatre and Made in Milwaukee, Bay View Gallery Night (BVGN) Friday, June 1 offers an evening for exploring the Bay View community and great Milwaukee art talents. Over 25 venues will host more than 50 local artists and 20 local bands for the evening, highlighting the creative community and great spaces of Bay View.
Most venues will be featuring artists from 5pm – 9pm. The Alchemist Theatre will be featuring photography by Shane Gardner. Visit Sweet Water Organics for tours of their garden, and art show from Alec Regan, Sara Bott, Kari Garon, and John Kowalczyk and a benefit concert for the Aids Resource Center featuring music by the Todd Richards Band and Choir Fight. Then head on over to Outpost Natural Foods for hung works from Jeff Redmon, and a local cheese and wine tasting in the cafe area. Outside Outpost you’ll find a local art fair from Rita Maria, Milwaukee Blacksmith, Too Much Metal, Matty Cipov, Timmy K Kramp, Lalo and Joy O’Brien with coffee and bakery samples from Anodyne Coffee Roasters & Outpost.
Among the other 5pm – 9pm venues you will find The Hide House will also be hosting 3 floors of local and resident artists. The first floor featuring the ART MIX show by Bay View Arts Guild members. Sugar Maple will feature 3 works from Charles Dwyer as well as a local comedy show from Ryan Holman and a host of Milwaukee comedians. Another high point of the evening will be the opening of the A.C.E Gallery – Carriage House an experimental gallery/workspace housed in a vintage 1903 carriage house designed by Alexander Chadbourne Eschweiler. View work from the collection of Scott and Leila Jackson and new work from local artists. Tonic Tavern will feature the works of Brooklyn Henke, CD Boleratzky and Field Lehmann and music from The Neil Davis Trio.
Headlining the 10pm – 2am portion of the evening will be concerts featuring local Milwaukee musicians and artists. Cactus Club will feature music from Lamb Legs, Static Eyes, Drugs Dragons, and Phylums; and paintings by Luke Chappelle of Drugs Dragons. Club Garibaldi will be featuring live art from Dwellephant and Field Lehmann and music from Fatty Acids, Sat. Night Duets, Rusty Ps, MC Oneself, and D’Amato. More music and art will be offered at Cafe LuLu, the Highbury Pub, and Frank’s Power Plant.
For a complete listing of all the evenings events, times and more information please visit http://www.bayviewgallerynight.com. Mobile map: http://g.co/maps/tjuzk
Presenting sponsor is The Alchemist Theatre; supporting sponsors: Alterra Coffee, Outpost Natural Foods, Tonic Tavern, Studio Lounge, and Frank’s Power Plant.
Made in Milwaukee (MiM) is an organization that exists to highlight and enrich the culture of Milwaukee by creating a platform for artists and local business to interact and interface with the community.
April 30, 2012
Melissa Yokofich opened Studio M Boudoir Photography in Bay View’s Hide House in April, lured by the generous 2,400 square-foot studio space, friendly neighbors, and sense of community among artists. Her specialty is the boudoir photography genre—tasteful, sexy fine art portraiture of women.
“We specialize in providing the ultimate boudoir experience in Milwaukee. All of our sessions include onsite hair styling and makeup application so clients feel pampered and look their boudoir best,” Yokofich said.
Clients receive consultations before their photo sessions where they receive advice about wardrobe and posing to flatter their body type. “Our photography results in beautifully sexy, tasteful, and intimate images that women can treasure for themselves or a significant other,” Yokofich said. Her clients book a session because they want a portrait to mark a special occasion like an engagement, special birthday, or to give as a gift.
Sessions start at $299 and range up to $795, though most clients upgrade their sessions, Yokofich said. Studio M offers a single portrait, customized photo albums, digital images, and framed images printed on canvas. Her services include professional photo retouching.
Another option that some of her clients elect is a calendar featuring a different portrait for each month of the year. She has clients who return each year to make another calendar, or to celebrate an anniversary. Some women do their boudoir sessions while pregnant and come back after they’ve lost the baby-weight.
A military brat, “Yokofich lived all over the world as a child. She said that her love for photography was born when she lived in Europe. “There’s so much amazing architecture and just, gorgeousness, to love and appreciate,” she said.
After graduating from high school in England, she moved to Omaha, Neb., where her extended family lives. She worked at a brokerage firm to pay for college. She met her husband there. They moved to Milwaukee in 2001 to be near his family, and where Yokofich worked at financial firms until 2010.
Yokofich’s love of photography evolved into a passion after she had children. She began moonlighting as a photographer, shooting newborns, families, children, and on occasion, a wedding.
“I saw that boudoir was starting to come back in other parts of the country in early 2009, and I got a group of girlfriends together and started shooting. I absolutely fell in love. The images are artistic and beautiful, and more importantly, they allow women to see themselves as the beautiful sexy women they are.
“I love helping women feel beautiful and challenging the popular standards of beauty and sex appeal,” said Yokofich. “The majority of my clients are real women. They’re not Giselle-clones or Victoria’s Secret lookalike-types. They’re real people—they have kids… I’ve shot several women for their 50th birthdays, which I absolutely love. I love that women can be sexy and still feel sexy—it’s inspiring,” Yokofich said.
She left her job as a compliance consultant in 2010 and devoted herself to her photography business full-time. She worked out of a studio in Oak Creek before relocating to the Hide House.
Yokofich is considering throwing a grand opening gala to celebrate her new studio. If so, she plans to reveal the results of a secret project she’s been working on at the gala—a set of 21 photographs and interviews of clients who talk about their boudoir photo-experience.
Yokofich hopes the interviews will dispel misconceptions or fears that someone considering a boudoir session might have. She is also planning a free, Friday night makeup application class to help market her business. The goal, she said, “is to get people into the studio…have them feel a little bit sexy,” Yokofich said. It will be an opportunity for women to come in, learn how to do their makeup, see the studio, meet me, meet my makeup artist, see how things look in here, and just kind of check the place out.
Boudoir is a woman’s bedroom or private sitting room, and comes from the French bouder, which means to pout. It has since evolved to describe sexy fine art portraiture for women. — From the Q&A section of Studio M’s website.
Studio M Boudoir Photography
2612 S. Greeley Suite 230, Milwaukee
StudioMBoudior.com + Facebook
January 5, 2012
Public Art Conservation Advances in Milwaukee with a Grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board;
“Mural of Peace” Receives Restoration Money
The Milwaukee Arts Board is pleased to announce the first recipient of a grant from its fund devoted to the conservation of public art in the City of Milwaukee. The goal of the fund is to preserve that part of the city’s cultural and civic heritage embodied in its public art. At the recommendation of the Public Art Subcommittee, the Board has allocated $5,000 to Esperanza Unida, Inc., for the restoration of sections of the “Mural of Peace” located at 611 West National Avenue.
The 80’ x 160’ mural was created by artist Reynaldo Hernandez in 1994 on the former Kroeger Building, once the hub of the Walker’s Pont commercial center. Poet Carl Sandburg worked there briefly as an advertising copywriter. The International Building, as it is now called, serves the diverse communities that make up Milwaukee’s south side. The mural, located close to Interstate 94, is subject to damage from pollution and dirt, and was first restored in 2000. Mr. Hernandez will return with assistants next spring and summer to repaint several of the mural’s 285 panels. The mural will be cleaned, resealed and a protective UV coat will be applied. Esperanza Unida will provide the matching funds required by the program; these funds have been raised primarily from individual donors. It is expected that the project will be completed in fall 2012.
“The mural is of historical, cultural and aesthetic importance to our city,” observed Alderman Michael Murphy. “It is exactly the kind of project the Milwaukee Arts Board is interested in funding. We are particularly pleased that Esperanza Unida is using this opportunity to educate the public about the conservation of public art by documenting the process on video and establishing a Facebook page for the project.”
As the fund reopens this month, $10,000 is available to conserve public art in the city. This next round of grants will be made in increments of $1,000, with no single award greater than $5,000. Qualifying works must be fully accessible to the public. The guidelines and application will become available at http://city.milwaukee.gov/MAB later this week. Applications will be due January 31, 2012.
If you have questions about the application or the process, or would like to alert the Public Art Subcommittee to a piece of public art that requires conservation, contact the Arts Board at email@example.com. Please put “Public Art Conservation Fund” in the subject line.
October 28, 2011
Here is everything you need to know about the Bay View Art Stop competition.
If you need more information, contact Alderman Tony Zielinski or 414.286-3769.
Project Budget: Up to $150,000
Submission Deadline: Friday, January 6, 4pm, Central Time Zone.
Read the Request for Proposal here.
See the Project Map here.
Learn about Milwaukee County Transit Service Requirements here.
See Images of the Site for the Art Project here.
August 1, 2010
Through Labor Day, the lifelike sculptures of Marc Sijan will be on display in Being Alive, the largest contemporary art exhibit ever hosted at the Waukesha County Museum.
This is the first show in southeastern Wisconsin in over 15 years for the internationally renowned artist, whose studio is at 2601 S. Delaware Ave. in Bay View.
The exhibit features more than a dozen Sijan works, including torsos, busts, heads, and six full figures positioned throughout the museum’s gallery space.
According to the museum’s press release, the show is expected “to generate more than one embarrassing and awkward moment between visitors and inanimate sculptures.”
Guests will also have an opportunity to view an assortment of local works by members of the Waukesha West End Artists, featuring two- and three-dimensional works in an array of media also being shown in an adjacent gallery during the Sijan showing.
The exhibit is made possible in part by a grant from Arts Waukesha in collaboration with the Wisconsin Arts Board.
The Waukesha County Museum, 101 W. Main St. in Waukesha, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-4:30pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (62 & older), $3 for students; children under age 6 are free. More info: (262) 521-2859 or waukeshacountymuseum.org.
March 1, 2010
By Michael Timm
Sitron is Norwegian for lemon. Brianna Ziebell, whose plans to open floral design studio Gro with partner Ryan Clancy fell through, chose that name for her new art gallery and studio in the same space at 2671 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. because she wanted to make lemonade out of life’s lemons.
Sitron opened Feb. 26. Through April 3, the gallery hosts Fields of Color, an exhibition featuring visual artists Amy Jo Arndt, Beki Borman, James C. Klingbiel, and KTRE. »Read more
February 17, 2010
FABRIC COLLAGE WORKSHOPS AT BAY VIEW BOOK ARTS
Saturday, Feb. 20 & Sunday, Feb. 21
Camryn Robert’s collage shown here
Join us for one or both fabric collage workshops. Create a mixed-media collage using fabric, leather, notions, paper and more. All tools and supplies are included. No sewing experience required. Workshops are free, but a $5.00 materials fee is due at the beginning of each session.
EACH WORKSHOP IS LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS.
CONTACT ROBIN KINNEY AT 414-758-8699 TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT
Bay View Book Arts
At the Hide House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207
January 29, 2010
By Katherine Keller
Show honors workers, captures foundry drama and scale
Although the initial impression of Michael Schultz’s exhibit at the Grohmann Museum is photographs of colossal, towering machines on a shop floor in Hell, a careful examination reveals his work is really about the men and women at work in the industrial infernos.
Foundry Work: A View of the Industry features 22 large-format color photographs of the metal-casting process, from pattern making to freeing a casting from its mold, photographed in foundries in Germany and the United States, including Falk and Maynard Steel Casting in Milwaukee.
Schultz, a professional/industrial photographer for 30 years, took his first foundry photographs in 2004 when he became impressed by their spectacular nature.
His subject matter recalls the industrial photographs of Charles Sheeler and Lewis Hines, his colors the sepia palette of Thomas Eakins, and his painterly style, ironically, conjures the work of photorealist painters Richard Estes and Ralph Goings.
Each of the photographs in the exhibit was shot with full-frame 35-millimeter digital cameras. Most of Schultz’s photographs are composed of three to six exposures shot in rapid succession and then digitally blended. The blending technique enables him to create images with a greater range of shadow and highlight detail. Schultz rarely uses a flash to illuminate a subject because he prefers to “maintain a sense of what the environment was like including its natural light.” That “natural” light, however, is sometimes light radiated by hundreds of thousands of exploding molten ore droplets.
To maintain the correct vertical perspective, Schultz employs a number of “shift lenses” that permit him to shift the lens upward rather than tilting the camera.
Many of his compositions are defined and ordered by dramatic light that creates a sense of the surreal. In some, the light is amorphous, reflected from clouds and plumes of steam, while in others it is concentrated and searing, radiating from molten metal glowing at 2,850 to 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit.
The real significance of Schultz’s work — beyond its beauty, spectacular formal elements, and subject matter — is his representation of the foundry workers engaged in their craft. However, at first glance, it may not be readily apparent that there are human forms in the compositions. Workers are dwarfed by the enormous scale of the machinery. They’re also camouflaged by garments that reflect the fiery light of the foundry or are nearly the same blue and slate gray hues as those of the molds and machines.
During his gallery talk the evening the show opened, Schultz said his photographs are his way of honoring the people who work in “the tough, hard, hot, often dangerous foundries where one slip can cause death.” He has written that the richest part of his foundry experience was getting to know some of the men and women who labor in them and hearing the stories of their work and lives. Viewers who take the time to step into his complex, rich images are bound to be awed by the people, their work, and the foundries Schultz has portrayed.
Foundry Work: A View of the Industry
Jan. 15-April 5
Grohmann Museum, 1000 N. Broadway (MSOE campus)