Arts – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com Music, culture, gentle sarcasm. Mon, 21 May 2018 16:41:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 http://milwaukeerecord.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cropped-mrapp-32x32.jpg Arts – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com 32 32 Genesis strives to create, disrupt with downtown gallery and all-ages space http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/genesis-strives-to-create-disrupt-with-downtown-gallery-and-all-ages-venue/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/genesis-strives-to-create-disrupt-with-downtown-gallery-and-all-ages-venue/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 18:38:17 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49917 As we’ve mentioned before (a few times, actually), Milwaukee is hurting for all-ages opportunities in the city’s music spaces. Between dated local ordinances and businesses weighing the economic ramifications of opening their venues to patrons under 21 years of age, progress has been frustratingly slow. However, all-ages options are gradually increasing in Milwaukee. This week, […]

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As we’ve mentioned before (a few times, actually), Milwaukee is hurting for all-ages opportunities in the city’s music spaces. Between dated local ordinances and businesses weighing the economic ramifications of opening their venues to patrons under 21 years of age, progress has been frustratingly slow. However, all-ages options are gradually increasing in Milwaukee. This week, the city’s newest all-ages space and art gallery will open on a decidedly posh block of downtown Milwaukee. Located in a semi-secluded section of Milwaukee St. between a night club and a high-end steakhouse, Genesis MKE aims to offer all-ages entertainment and a platform for local creatives in a third-floor site its founders hope will function as a place of creation and disruption.

The gallery, located at 720 N. Milwaukee St., was started last month by proud Milwaukee residents and artists Emily Porter, Stacy Dahl (both MIAD graduates), and Randy Russell Brown (who attended Colombia College in Chicago). The longtime friends set out to transform a room within The Hive Offices into a space they hope will address some of the gaps in the city’s creative community. As the name indicates, the partners aspire to usher in a new beginning for downtown art.

“Ultimately, at the core of our mission, we just want to provide something new and interesting,” Brown says. “What can we do? How can we open doors up and create opportunities for people of various different backgrounds? How can we give platforms to people who don’t have one yet? I think the space came out of a question of what Milwaukee needs.”

Genesis will utilize its approximately 800 square feet of space in a number of ways. There will be exhibitions that highlight a diverse blend of artists, workshops and artist discussions, performances, book releases, pop-up markets, and a number of other things.

“We’re trying to shake it up,” Porter says. “We’re trying to bring a bunch of Milwaukee creatives to the space through different mediums and different means.”

Though the space is versatile, its whitewashed walls will host traditional exhibitions throughout the year. Its opening exhibit will showcase works from Kathiana Rene, Simone Gautschi, and Yessica Jimenez.

“I want to have people be able to play places that aren’t bars,” Dahl says. “I want to create a space that isn’t only conducive to drinking, while also bringing my art background into it to give a voice to people who don’t always have a platform.”

Wednesday, Genesis will host an open poetry slam. On Saturday night, Yum Yum Cult and Fuzzy Logic will showcase their work. Local illustrator Kpolly will give an “artist talk” on June 3. Gallery hours will run from 1-5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. The space will have a wide range of events based around, as Brown says, “cultivating something new, creating something meaningful, and disrupting things” in a cozy and inclusive space that’s hidden among night clubs, fancy restaurants, and luxury hotels downtown.

“When you step outside these doors, it’s a very different world,” Brown says. “But I kind of like that there’s this secret wooden door, then you go up three flights of stairs and find something completely different.”

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Here’s the artist lineup for Milwaukee Fringe Fest 2018 http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/heres-the-artist-lineup-for-milwaukee-fringe-fest-2018/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/heres-the-artist-lineup-for-milwaukee-fringe-fest-2018/#respond Fri, 04 May 2018 05:20:46 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49471 Over its first two years, Milwaukee Fringe Festival showcased more than 75 live acts from the worlds of theater, music, dance, and visual art in Pere Marquette Park, Marcus Center’s Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, the Todd Wehr Theater, as well as other surrounding downtown venues. Following two successful years, Milwaukee Fringe Fest will return […]

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Over its first two years, Milwaukee Fringe Festival showcased more than 75 live acts from the worlds of theater, music, dance, and visual art in Pere Marquette Park, Marcus Center’s Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, the Todd Wehr Theater, as well as other surrounding downtown venues.

Following two successful years, Milwaukee Fringe Fest will return in 2018. On Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26, the third annual Fringe Fest will bring more than 30 theater troupes, musical acts, visual artists, dance groups, and street performers to downtown Milwaukee. Organizers recently released the list of venues and participating artists.

From the musical stylings of Lifetime Achievement Award to the human statue prowess of Alice Wilson, there’s a lot to see in two days. Here’s the artist lineup.

Todd Wehr Hall 
A Fool’s Enigma Productions/JJ Gatesman
Aperi Animam
Thom Cauley
Dream City Strings
Monica Hunken
Independent Eye
Michael Lucchesi
Chad Piechocki & DIY Chamber Music
John Schneider
Tara Lake
Tyler Smith

Vogel Hall
Angry Young Men
Belle Ensemble
Black Market Dance and Film
Fôr Dance Co. & Amy Roby
Lake Arts Project
LLMoves
Ida Lucchesi and Company
Erick Montes/Danceable Projects
Alyssa Motter
Catey Ott Dance Collective
Pius XI High School
Present Music Underground
SueMo
Yung-Li Chen
Zachary Schorsch

Peck Pavilion
A Western Edge
Lifetime Achievement Award
4th Home

Roving Artists
BeingNau Art
David Bremer
Brett Henzig
Shandini Magic
Alice Wilson

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A guide to Bay View Gallery Night 2018 http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/a-guide-to-bay-view-gallery-night-2018/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/a-guide-to-bay-view-gallery-night-2018/#respond Thu, 03 May 2018 05:40:09 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49407 Since 2011, Bay View Gallery Night has organized “Milwaukee’s largest annual celebration of art, local business, music, and community.” The massive early June event brings together talented area artists and musicians, along with an eclectic mix of Milwaukee bars, restaurants and retailers for a large-scale event that has quickly become a part of the Bay […]

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Since 2011, Bay View Gallery Night has organized “Milwaukee’s largest annual celebration of art, local business, music, and community.” The massive early June event brings together talented area artists and musicians, along with an eclectic mix of Milwaukee bars, restaurants and retailers for a large-scale event that has quickly become a part of the Bay View tradition. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s locally-focused. What more can you ask for?

BVGN will return to the neighborhood on Friday, June 1. This iteration will feature hundreds of artists and musicians showcasing their works at approximately 50 Bay View (and Bay View-adjacent) businesses. Moreover, the annual Rollout bike event will return, Bay View Jazz Fest will be in full swing, “Food Truck Friday” will be up and running, and Jackson Redmon Art Investments will officially launch with a pop-up event. Since that sounds like—and is!—a lot of stuff happening at once, we’ve assembled this quick-hitting and to-the-point guide to tell you what to expect to see, hear, experience, and drink at each participating site during this year’s Bay View Gallery Night festivities. [All descriptions courtesy of BVGN.org]

The Jewelers Guild
Hands on events and demonstrations throughout the evening! Refreshments and Drawings.

Food Truck Friday at Morgan Park
Family-friendly event with food and more from: Meat on the Street, Blue Cow Creperie, Marco Pollo, Lumpia City, Rolling Cones, Oscar’s On A Roll, DRIFT, Jamaican Grill, The Denson’s Catering, The Frying Dutchman, Press., That Salsa Lady, PigTailz, Crazy Eightz, Bubble Waffle Shoppe, Olano’s Empanadas, Happy Dough Lucky, Little Europa, Bay View Lions, Mr. Dye’s Pies, Little Havana Express.

8 Branches Chinese Medicine
Featuring paintings by Domo Geshe Rinpoche.

Rusty Sprocket Antiques
Photography from Brent BublitzFree cold cans of Milwaukee’s famous beer! Pabst and Schiltz on ice.

Sprocket Cafe
Print maker, Jay Arpin, displaying lino-cut prints. And live music!

The Brickyard
Kait Ryan: watercolor animal portraits
Terah Bri Yoeckle: urban punk styled illustrations
Sarah Talaska: selling bubble goth pins and jewelry
Alhanna LaRose: gross and passionate birds
Gunther Young Binter: live music
Nathan Mayer: rhythm eye illusion artwork
Sophia Vaccaro: dream-like landscapes

Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery
Featuring Local Bay View artist Dena Nord, who will showcase her newest series of abstract paintings in a show titled “Surprise, restructure, explore, resolve”! Cocktail specials and small plates menu.

Straight Shots
Hors d’oeuveres & Drink specials, Live painting–Jenny Anderson–20-minute oil self portrait paintings.

Sam’s Tap
Local art on display and live jazz music out on the patio.

Commonplace Shop
Photography on display from Jose Morales. Custom lighting on display from Ben Sherwyn.

Blackbird Bar
Featured artist Pat Boyles and DJ Set by Josh Ellis.

Plume
Connect Consciousness will be offering mindfully made healing crystal pyramids and pendants. Good music and refreshments!

Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts
K4-8th grade students from Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts will showcase and sell integrated arts pieces that connect content area standards with arts area standards.

Frank’s Power Plant
Gallery showing with Steve Look & Emily Evans, Olivia Salazar, Saebra Laken, Atticus Rabatin, Amber Dawn. BVGN Afterparty ($6) with King Eye & The Squirts, The Ornerys, Super Sonic Space Rebels, Brain-Bats.

Cycle Loft
Large acrylic paintings, a large sculpture, and a community participation piece in conjunction with the BVGN Roll-Out bicycle group from artist Stephen Leahy (and serving free red wine this year, which is thematic with the artwork). Maria Wiener will be doing 12-20 medium size paintings as well.

Sven’s
Work from James Koconis.

Hue Vietnamese Restaurant
Briana Lovitt will feature a mixed media collection of her work.

Alive & Fine
Dive into the weird world of Wisconsin Folklore with shapeshifters, lake monsters, and Hodags. OH MY! Over 20 local and regional artists take inspiration from stories passed around campfires for generations. Haunting tales of bloody brides, phantom hitchhikers, and portals to hell just to scratch the surface. With painting, sculpture, photography, illustration, prose, installation, and vintage fashion!

Hi-Fi Cafe
Paintings, drawings, sculpture, collage, poems, prose, and photos by Peter F. Steinhoff.

South Shore Gallery & Framing
Indie la Londe‘s entire collection on display and for sale. mosaics, relief sculptures and paintings on paper and canvas. please join us!

Puddler’s Hall
Featuring Bay View artists Amy Captain, Christine Burke, and Samantha Henson. Amy will be displaying her canvas paintings inspired by nature, places she has traveled, and stories told by friends. Christine will showcase her acrylic on canvas paintings including pop culture, abstract, and scenery paintings. Samantha will exhibit pen and ink and mixed media wood burning.

Milwaukee Makerspace
Tour the Makerspace and see demonstrations. Makerspace members will be showing off their creations, and selling items they make.

Kindred on KK
Stephanie Bartz Photography: A collection of playful and witty black and white portraits of canines. Live acoustic blues-y music on the patio featuring Sunkin Suns.

URSA (in partnership with Healium Hot Yoga)
Screen prints by Ethan D’ercole, live Screen printing by Francisco Ramirez of Bureau Print Research Design, live music from BJ Seidel of Dramatic Lovers, and Colleen Webb of Casual Vocals. Beer from Collective Arts Brewing and Snack Boys will be serving “Shay Breeze” slushies.

Avalon Theater (rear alleyway)
Behind the Avalon Theater is a cool hidden gem of Bay View filled with Street Art done by Bay View High School students, local artists, and national artists.

Susan Schmidt Skincare Savant and Z Chiropractic
Featuring local artist Arella Warren. Enjoy a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylic, and ink. $100 raffle drawing for skincare services with Susan. Refreshing N/A beverages and some delicious homemade dessert samples will be served.

The Magnet Factory MKE
Scott Jackson and Jeff Redmon celebrate the launch of Jackson Redmon Art Investments with an incredible pop-up show at The Magnet Factory! Featuring artwork by John Kowalczyk, Dara Larson, Marc Tasman, Luke Chappelle, Daniel Fleming, Valaria Tatera, Eric Koester, Kari Garon, Fred Kaems, and THERD! Live music acts by Bay View Jazz Fest.

Razor Barbershop
Featuring paintings and custom skate decks by Bay View artist Joe Bree.

Vital Signs
Milwaukee curator Jamie Leigh Pitts welcomes artist and University of New Mexico MFA candidate Haileyrose Thoma to Vital Signs, MKE, a new contemporary art gallery in the Bay View Neighborhood.

The Tonic Tavern
Featuring an exhibition titled “What Do You See” by Stephanie Gibart, a local artist and art therapist working in Milwaukee.

Highbury Pub
Artwork by Jennifer Espenscheid. Jennifer attained her discipline and design process at UW-Milwaukee, where she earned a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning.

Water’s Edge Gallery And Retail Company
Local artwork, handcrafted home goods, jewelry and accessories. Visit for free refreshments and smiles.

Freya
Hosting Molly Chase of Personal Bird, macrame and textile arts.

Cafe Centraal
Showcase celebrating Lowlands Group’s incredible employees in their creative element. Featuring the out-there or underground artists, performers, and writers that make up the heart and soul of the Lowlands Group at Café Centraal.

Foundation Chiropractic, Milwaukee Community Acupuncture, Saffron Yoga Center
“Is there a woman in the house?” Featuring work by several local fiber artists. Kate Mau & Sarah Eichhorn will host a community knit-in where all are welcome to bring a project to work on.

The Muse
Art from Madeline Glaspey, Karen Willams-Brusubardis, Amy Schmutte, Rebecca Wheeler, Brendan Murphy, Nellie Gehrig, Peter Gehrig, and Luna. Arts and crafts artists will be vending outside, live music will be provided by The Honolulu Millionaires. Refreshments while they last.

Urban
Group show featuring artwork by: Charlie Christman,Todd Gnacinski, Sharon Mergener, and Peter Siegworth.

Colectivo Coffee
Join over 40 art, craft, and design vendors in the parking lot of Colectivo for the Milwaukee Makers Market.

District 14
Pop art from Robin Carnitz, Bay View Jazz Fest starts at 5 p.m., then more music from The Funky Chemists from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Cafe LuLu
Featuring artwork in oil by Madeline Glaspey. This beautiful body of portraiture work came from the artist’s desire to understand and accept the transitory nature of time.

Stone Creek Coffee
Inside: Meghan Walsh, Patrick Walter, Jeannette Daft. Mini latte art throwdowns–baristas will be showing off their latte art skills and customers will be invited to be judges–at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m. Outside: Josh Roy, Sam Rodewald (music), and a free sample table with cold brews and specialty drinks.

Toppers Pizza
Handmade jewelry from Mariana Castro, all items available for purchase.

Brass Rooster
The Brass Rooster & The Hen House present an evening of vintage style and pinup. Hosting a boutique fashion show featuring dresses and fashion from PM Designs. Live models will be wearing and modeling the spring line from local vintage inspired designer and pinup model, Pamela Marie. Meet the designer, have your measurements taken, and you can also place an order for your made-to-measure garments. Live fashion shoots will also be happening through the evening as well. The Pinup Photography of Scott Ligman of Cardinal White Photography will have his work on display throughout both stores.

Revel Bar
Featuring artwork by Bay View High School students, Talaiyjah Neylon, and Michael Jones. All artwork sales will benefit the BVHS Engineering Club!

Halo Artisan Skin Care
Featuring local artist Beth Eaton with functional pottery pieces, henna tattoos, and acoustic guitar by Alex Paniagua. Light refreshments will be served.

Sparrow Collective
Featuring handcrafted apparel, gifts, art, and more from local and national artisans. Refreshments served.

Tease Salon
Featured artists: Rachael Hughes, Elias Zananiri, Cudahy High School students, Kate McSorley, Madeline Glaspey, Twisted Tree Creations. Wearable art by LuLaRoe & Dynamo Duo.

Voyageur Book Shop
Milwaukee artist Stacy Lee Ollmann introduces a new series of whimsical, mixed media sculptures. Come meet The Bookkeepers! Anja Notanja Sieger & La Prosette will be out on the sidewalk writing on-the-spot poems for customers from her typewriter. Prices range from $10 for poems, $20 for good poems, $30 for excellent poems.

Mac’s Pet Depot
Pet Art by Brittany Farina, people wine, dog wine, and appetizers.

Bigfoot Bike And Skate
Theme: Dragons. Original skateboard decks, prints, and fabric art by local artists.

1840 Brewing Company
1840 Brewing Company will be pouring a selection of their limited release beers. Bay View ceramics artist Michael Ware will be showing a number of his pieces. He will also be selling a small amount of custom beer mugs made exclusively for this event.

The Backyard
Local artwork on display and live Jazz music on the patio.

Lincoln Warehouse
Multiple craft persons, artists, and photographers throughout the building, including a brewery and a distillery that will also be featuring artists.

Brinn Labs
Hidden away in the old Louis Allis building is Brinn Labs, headquarters for Maker Faire Milwaukee and home to a variety of classes and workshops to help you get hands on and learn new skills. They’ll be showing off the efforts of our in-house artists and designers that do a variety of work including sculpture, printmaking, illustration, ceramics, interactive art, and more. Participating artists include: Austin Boechler, Kyle Hoard, Becky Yoshikane, Pete Prodoehl, Reid Sancken, Bill Pariso, John McGeen, and Mike Cook.

Bay View Jazz Fest

Bay View Gallery Night and Bay View Jazz Fest will be partnering on June 1. While you’re out looking at art, be sure to stop in the following places hosting Jazz Fest shows: Tonic Tavern, Highbury, Urban, D14, Sam’s Tap, The Backyard, Voyageur Books, Morgan Park (Food Truck Friday), Revel, Colectivo lot, and The Magnet Factory.

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Watch a time-lapse video of that new sculpture being installed outside City Hall http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/new-sculpture-city-hall-time-lapse-video-installation/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/new-sculpture-city-hall-time-lapse-video-installation/#respond Tue, 01 May 2018 05:30:35 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49270 On Monday, crews installed an 18-foot-tall, 9,200-pound bronze sculpture outside Milwaukee City Hall. The piece, titled Mixed Feelings, is the work of British sculptor Tony Cragg, and was previously on display in front of the downtown federal courthouse last summer as part of the inaugural Sculpture Milwaukee. An anonymous donor of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation […]

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On Monday, crews installed an 18-foot-tall, 9,200-pound bronze sculpture outside Milwaukee City Hall. The piece, titled Mixed Feelings, is the work of British sculptor Tony Cragg, and was previously on display in front of the downtown federal courthouse last summer as part of the inaugural Sculpture Milwaukee. An anonymous donor of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation provided a grant to Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 to acquire Mixed Feelings. Last month, the Milwaukee Common Council voted unanimously in favor of accepting the gift.

In a press release, Mixed Feelings is described thusly:

Mixed Feelings, 2010, is an immense glowing monument, formed by two intertwining bronze towers, pushing together and pulling apart as they spiral towards the sky. As the viewer circles the piece, human profiles come into and out of focus. Each tower of feeling exerts a gravitational pull on the other, creating a unique, pulsating form of energy. Cragg breaks down the barrier between abstraction and figuration, creating art that mirrors the fullness of the world in which we live.

And hey! We shot a time-lapse video of yesterday’s installation, condensing five hours of work into less than a minute. (Thanks to the fine folks at Pabst Theater for letting us sneak up to their outdoor balcony for the bird’s eye view!) The second round of Sculpture Milwaukee, meanwhile, will be on view downtown from June to October 21, 2018. Installation is set to begin May 10.

Oh, the song is called “They’re Always Building Something.” It’s by an old band.

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Christopher Moore will bring a touch of ‘Noir’ to Boswell Books May 2 http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/christopher-moore-touch-of-noir-boswell-books-may-2/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/christopher-moore-touch-of-noir-boswell-books-may-2/#respond Tue, 01 May 2018 05:20:27 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=49284 n a career that stretches back more than 25 years, Christopher Moore has tackled it all. Christianity, lovelorn vampires, Shakespeare’s England, put-upon “death merchants,” and pesky demons have all populated Moore’s gonzo novels, putting the author somewhere between Tom Robbins and Douglas Adams. Moore’s latest book, Noir, travels to San Francisco circa 1947 for a hard-boiled […]

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In a career that stretches back more than 25 years, Christopher Moore has tackled it all. Christianity, lovelorn vampires, Shakespeare’s England, put-upon “death merchants,” and pesky demons have all populated Moore’s gonzo novels, putting the author somewhere between Tom Robbins and Douglas Adams. Moore’s latest book, Noir, travels to San Francisco circa 1947 for a hard-boiled detective/shaggy dog story where the dames are dangerous and the palookas talk like Sam Spade. It’s a genre and style that suits Moore well.

Before an appearance at Boswell Book Company Tuesday, May 2, Milwaukee Record spoke with Moore via email about his new novel, the changing demographics of post-World War II San Francisco, and Mel Tormé. (Tickets to Moore’s Boswell appearance are $30, and are available here.)

Milwaukee Record: Did you have any hesitations about tackling the hard-boiled, “a dame walks into a bar” noir genre? It seems like a genre that’s easy to imitate but tricky to do right.

Christopher Moore: Of course. Huge hesitations. At one point I couldn’t wait to start crafting hard-boiled, tough-guy metaphors, then I started doing it and I thought, “Hey, this is kind of time consuming and hard.” And you still have to keep all the balls in the air, the story, the pace, the suspense, the characters, and in the case of my books, it has to be funny as well. Sure, it was a challenge and it was harder than I’d thought, but I wasn’t completely surprised by that. I’ve written novels with specialized diction before and I knew it was going to be a challenge.

MR: Did you find any inspiration from more modern-day noirs? Maybe books and/or movies like Inherent Vice or The Big Lebowski?

CM: Actually, much more from Shane Black’s movies, Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and The Nice Guys. I think he has almost the perfect balance of drama and danger in his movies, and particularly, with Kiss, Kiss, he even sort of sent up some of the standard noir tropes (like opening the movie with a guy floating face down in a swimming pool, ala Sunset Boulevard). I did read Inherent Vice as well, and some of the other forays that writers have taken into noir. (Nearly everyone tries it, it seems.) The Coen Brothers are sort of unto themselves, and while I don’t know if they influenced me specifically in this one, their willingness to just be silly for the sake of it is always inspiring. (The Scarlett Johansson character in Hail, Caesar! was just hilarious—the way she spoke would have fit right into Noir.)

MR: You’ve been living in San Francisco for more than a decade, and the city figures heavily into Noir. What about San Francisco in the mid-’40s interested you?

CM: Well, I guess it’s boring to everyone else, but the changing demographics in the city, in the whole Bay Area is fascinating to me. The fact that African American population increased about 700% because of the workers coming from the South to work in the ship yards and munitions factories. The fact that the Japanese had been sent off to internment camps and the African Americans moved into their neighborhood, so after the war, when many of the Japanese returned, there was an intersection of jazz culture and traditional Japanese culture. The fact that there were successful clubs in Chinatown where entertainers dressed up and performed as popular Anglo entertainers of the time, The Andrews Sisters, Sinatra, Mel Torme, and so on, and the clientele was mixed, but mostly catered to the upper-class whites from Pacific Heights and Nob Hill. The drag king clubs on Broadway, where women dressed and performed as men, where the crowd was both straight and gay. The soldiers were coming home from the war and needed a place to live with their families, so the Sunset, once a bunch of sand dunes, was being built into a housing track suburb in the city. The Tenderloin was going from a theater district to a place where defense workers lived in single residency hotels, but after the war was starting to toughen up and become more of the neighborhood it is today, which is to say, somewhat rough around the edges. All of it made for a great setting to have some working mugs perpetrate an adventure.

MR: You’ve mentioned that the work of longtime San Francisco newspaper columnist Herb Caen helped with the creation of Noir‘s characters. What was it about Caen’s work that you found useful?

CM: Caen wrote about the city for the Chronicle and Examiner for 60 years, with great knowledge of the people and the streets, and with great poetry. Fortunately for me, two of his collections of columns came out in 1947, so he cataloged the attitudes of the citizens toward a lot of what was going on: the cable cars tying up traffic, the jazz clubs, the niche businesses in Chinatown, the vets returned from the war and living on the street down on 3rd Street. There were several settings I would have never known about if not for Caen’s columns; one was the Chinese “jook” house (rice porridge) that was four stories tall but only 10 feet wide, where Chinese workers would duck in for a quick carb fix between long shifts—and jook houses had been around since Gold Rush. Also some of the characters. Caen wrote about a big beat cop who single-highhandedly tried to “beat the Tenderloin white” and that was the basis for one of the major characters in the book. Oh, even the location of the cat house and the aspect of the notorious madame there were based on Caen’s writing. Herb Caen was “Mr. San Francisco.”

MR: Finally, what’s next?

CM: I’m working on my third Shakespeare-based book, wherein my raucous fool, Pocket, finds himself washed up upon the shores of the world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and is given a mystery to solve.

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Two new murals are coming to Black Cat Alley this spring http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/two-new-murals-are-coming-to-black-cat-alley-this-spring/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/two-new-murals-are-coming-to-black-cat-alley-this-spring/#respond Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:15:17 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=48879 Since opening in September 2016, the East Side’s Black Cat Alley has seen its fair share of controversy. Adam Stoner’s “Devontay,” which depicted a black man in an orange prison jumpsuit, immediately came under fire for its subject matter and for the color of its artist (white). One year later, in September 2017, the mural made […]

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Since opening in September 2016, the East Side’s Black Cat Alley has seen its fair share of controversy. Adam Stoner’s “Devontay,” which depicted a black man in an orange prison jumpsuit, immediately came under fire for its subject matter and for the color of its artist (white). One year later, in September 2017, the mural made news again when it was used as a backdrop for a Milwaukee Magazine fashion shoot. A few months later, it was vandalized.

Now, the Alley is getting ready to add two new murals for spring—whenever that mythic season decided to arrive. Ohio-based artist Adam Hernandez will begin work on a 10-foot piece this weekend for April Gallery Night and Day, while Milwaukee-based artist Emma Daisy Gertel will begin work on her mural (to be located in the former “Devontay” space) this May. Here’s a look at Hernandez’ previous work…

…and Gertel’s…

…and a full press release…

Artists Announced for Black Cat Alley
The East Side BID will sponsor new public artworks

(MILWAUKEE, WI) – This weekend, Black Cat Alley will kick off the installment of two new murals. Beginning on Friday April 20, visiting artist Adam Hernandez of Columbus, Ohio will begin work on a ten-foot piece titled “Godmask” from a series he has been pursuing in recent years. He will be at work on this piece for April Gallery Night and Day, April 20-21, and the public is welcome to visit and observe the work in progress.

In May, work will begin on a larger mural in the alley. The new mural will be installed on a north-facing segment of the back wall of the Oriental Theater, near the intersection of Kenilworth and Prospect Avenues. It will appear in the place of a previous mural by Adam Stoner entitled “Devontay,” which was defaced in 2017. The artist chosen for the new mural is Emma Daisy Gertel, a maker, illustrator, and designer based in Milwaukee, WI.

The Call for Artists released in February by the East Side BID restricted entries for the large mural to local, Milwaukee-area artists only. The committee of jurors based their selection on artistic merit, message, and originality of voice. The invited jury included John Kowalczyk of Artists Working in Education (AWE), Flow Johnson of After Gallery, Timothy Decker of UWM and MATC, Antoine Carter of the Harambee Art Alley, Caitlin Sprague of the Milwaukee Mural Map, and Allison Westbrook, a local artist and activist.

“The jury received twenty entries for the north-facing mural from local artists,” says Program Director Stacey Williams-Ng. “Jurors were very impressed with Gertel’s proposal, because of its exuberance and power.” She adds, “We are also very excited to support Daisy in her very first mural. That’s one of the best parts of this job: introducing new artists to a monumental format!”

The artist submitted a design that features a central female character who seems to be dancing. She exudes power through gesture, and direct eye contact with the viewer. According to Gertel’s artist statement, she “uses art to explore her Korean roots and narrate her experience growing up in a culturally homogenized white community. Identity exploration and the celebration of feminine strength are characteristic of her work, rendered with playful charm to bring joy and connection to others.”

Kristin Godfrey, Executive Director of the East Side BID, adds “This is the start to an exciting new season of happenings in the Alley. The more programming we can bring to Black Cat Alley, the better. It is a place that stimulates conversations and benefits the whole community.”

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18-foot-tall bronze Sculpture Milwaukee piece will be permanently installed outside City Hall http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/18-foot-tall-bronze-sculpture-milwaukee-piece-will-be-permanently-installed-outside-city-hall/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/18-foot-tall-bronze-sculpture-milwaukee-piece-will-be-permanently-installed-outside-city-hall/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:11:18 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=48707 Tuesday morning, the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved a gift of an 18-foot-tall, 9,200-pound bronze sculpture from Sculpture Milwaukee, which will be permanently installed outside City Hall. Installation of the piece, Tony Cragg’s Mixed Feelings, is set to begin April 30. The imposing Mixed Feelings was previously installed outside the downtown federal courthouse last summer as […]

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Tuesday morning, the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved a gift of an 18-foot-tall, 9,200-pound bronze sculpture from Sculpture Milwaukee, which will be permanently installed outside City Hall. Installation of the piece, Tony Cragg’s Mixed Feelings, is set to begin April 30.

The imposing Mixed Feelings was previously installed outside the downtown federal courthouse last summer as part of the inaugural Sculpture Milwaukee, an “outdoor urban sculpture experience” that found 22 sculptures by 21 artists stationed along Wisconsin Avenue. Mixed Feelings was pretty rad, and came in at #9 in our extremely scientific rankings of all the pieces.

An anonymous donor of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation provided a grant to Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 to acquire Mixed Feelings. The piece was previously on loan to Sculpture Milwaukee courtesy of the Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. In a press release, Mixed Feelings is described thusly:

Mixed Feelings, 2010 is an immense glowing monument, formed by two intertwining bronze towers, pushing together and pulling apart as they spiral towards the sky. As the viewer circles the piece, human profiles come into and out of focus. Each tower of feeling exerts a gravitational pull on the other, creating a unique, pulsating form of energy. Cragg breaks down the barrier between abstraction and figuration, creating art that mirrors the fullness of the world in which we live.

“On behalf of the residents of the City of Milwaukee, I am happy to accept this donation of the Mixed Feelings sculpture created by world-renowned artist Tony Cragg,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett last month when the gift was first announced. “Mixed Feelings was part of last year’s Sculpture Milwaukee public art display in downtown Milwaukee, and I am pleased that through the generosity of a local anonymous donor, this sculpture will continue to inspire and provide beauty when it comes to live at City Hall.”

At Tuesday’s Common Council hearing, Alderman Michael J. Murphy called the gift “incredibly generous,” and praised one of the leaders of Sculpture Milwaukee, Marcus Corp. chairman Steve Marcus. Mixed Feelings‘ City Hall home will be the planter located at East Wells and North Water streets.

The second round of Sculpture Milwaukee will be on view downtown from June to October 21, 2018. Installation is set to begin May 10.

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Listen to Kavon Cortez-Jones’ poem, “A Love Letter To Milwaukee” http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/listen-to-kavon-cortez-jones-poem-a-love-letter-to-milwaukee/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/listen-to-kavon-cortez-jones-poem-a-love-letter-to-milwaukee/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 14:00:09 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=48494 Kavon Cortez-Jones loves Milwaukee. The poet (pictured third from left) and lifelong resident calls the city the “Paris of the Midwest” in his book, Club Noir. Cortez-Jones’ debut release is bursting with references to local landmarks, area musicians, and beloved regional institutions. The majority of the book—which features works written between the ages of 18 […]

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Kavon Cortez-Jones loves Milwaukee. The poet (pictured third from left) and lifelong resident calls the city the “Paris of the Midwest” in his book, Club Noir. Cortez-Jones’ debut release is bursting with references to local landmarks, area musicians, and beloved regional institutions. The majority of the book—which features works written between the ages of 18 and 21—comes from a place of love and appreciation, but through acknowledging some of the difficulties faced while growing up on Milwaukee’s north side, some poems also indirectly shed a light on the city’s issues with segregation.

With another Milwaukee Day on the horizon, the poet and all-around local champion wrote and recorded yet another piece of poetic appreciation to honor the city he proudly calls his home. “A Love Letter To Milwaukee” touches on a few of the familiar subjects, sights, and sounds Cortez-Jones has referenced in previous works, as well as drawing new inspiration. Set to Alex Heaton’s musical accompaniment, the seven-minute Milwaukee ode discusses local points of pride like Brady Street, City Hall, and Rochambo. While out of a place of love, there are also some unflattering turns.

There’s local commentary about “a city one can experience winter, spring, summer, and fall in one week” and acknowledgement of polarizing and controversial issues like the new Bucks arena, the forthcoming street car, and segregation. As a whole, “A Love Letter To Milwaukee” is delivered with the perspective of a resident who recognizes his hometown’s shortcomings, but loves it nonetheless. As you prepare to celebrate Milwaukee Day, listen to Cortez-Jones’ love letter below.

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Milwaukee neighborhood posters, ranked http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/milwaukee-neighborhood-posters-ranked/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/milwaukee-neighborhood-posters-ranked/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 17:21:45 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=48381 On top of being known as the “City Of Festivals” and “Cream City,” Milwaukee has been aptly called “A City Of Neighborhoods.” While enclaves like Bay View, Walker’s Point, and Third Ward are well-known neighborhoods, much of the city is reduced to broad regional generalizations like the East Side, South Side, North Side, and Downtown. […]

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On top of being known as the “City Of Festivals” and “Cream City,” Milwaukee has been aptly called “A City Of Neighborhoods.” While enclaves like Bay View, Walker’s Point, and Third Ward are well-known neighborhoods, much of the city is reduced to broad regional generalizations like the East Side, South Side, North Side, and Downtown. In reality, Milwaukee has approximately 100 different neighborhoods, each with their own landmarks, their own distinct style, a unique history, and at least something to set it apart from its community counterparts.

From 1983 to 1990, Milwaukee Department of City Development had a local graphic designer named Jan Kotowicz design a neighborhood poster for a variety of different Milwaukee neighborhoods. With funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program, the illustrator joined forces with local historian John Gurda to create a total of 27 dazzling posters with neighborhood history on the poster’s reverse side. Each address in a specific neighborhood was mailed that region’s poster free of charge as part of what Gurda called a “city-building initiative.”

The artistic undertaking ran out of funding in 1990, leaving the project incomplete. However, Kotowicz and Gurda got the band together again in 2015 to release 11 new neighborhood posters to coincide with Gurda’s book, Milwaukee: City Of Neighborhoods. Though still well short of capturing every part of Milwaukee, the series makes quite a dent. These posters don’t just have noble intentions and a positive community focus, they’re also awesome. Even the worst one is great. Best yet, they can still be purchased from the Department of City Development and Historic Milwaukee, Inc. on the cheap.

This Milwaukee Day (April 14), Historic Milwaukee, Inc. is selling them for just $4.14. As you prepare to celebrate Milwaukee and ponder a print purchase, allow us to rank every Milwaukee neighborhood poster. We love them all, but there are some clear favorites here.

38. Bay View

37. Franklin Heights

36. Story Hill

35. St. Sava/White Manor

34. Concordia

33. Halyard Park

32. Hillside

31. Johnson’s Woods

30. Thurston Woods

29. Amani/Matcalfe Park

28. Midtown

27. Washington Heights

26. Third Ward

25. Silver City

24. Marquette

23. Upper East Side

22. Jackson Park

21. Historic South Side

20. Sherman Park

19. North Milwaukee

18. Menomonee Valley

17. Lindsay Heights

16. Walker’s Point

15. Riverwest

14. Merill Park

13. Northpoint

12. Washington Park

11. Enderis Park

10. Rufus King

9. Tippecanoe

8. Downtown

7. North Division

6. Layton Park

5. Lower East Side

4. Brewers’ Hill

3. The Valley

2. Harambee

1. Clarke Square

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“Domestic Animals” Makeal Flammini and Colin Matthes bring joint exhibition to galerie Kenilworth http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/domestic-animals-makeal-flammini-colin-matthes-galerie-kenilworth/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/arts/domestic-animals-makeal-flammini-colin-matthes-galerie-kenilworth/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:27:29 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=47489 here’s no greater threat to the creative process, the common thinking goes, than “settling down.” Marriage, parenthood, and home ownership couldn’t be more different than making art, thinking about art, and living art. The former all but kills the latter. Goodbye, rolling out of bed at noon and maybe working on a new piece; hello, […]

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There’s no greater threat to the creative process, the common thinking goes, than “settling down.” Marriage, parenthood, and home ownership couldn’t be more different than making art, thinking about art, and living art. The former all but kills the latter. Goodbye, rolling out of bed at noon and maybe working on a new piece; hello, getting up with the kids at six and thinking about schools for the fall.

Not so, say Makeal Flammini and Colin Matthes, the wife-and-husband artists bringing their first joint show, “Domestic Animals,” to galerie Kenilworth (2201 N. Farwell Ave.) on Friday, March 23. The parents of two young children and the new owners of an East Side home, the longtime Milwaukee artists have found unexpected inspiration in the demands of family life.

“I feel free,” Flammini says. “There are no expectations. I feel better about everything I’ve made in the last year than everything in the rest of my life.”

“It’s actually a great opportunity,” Matthes adds. “I put the kids to bed, make a drawing and get excited about it, and then work on a painting that night. You don’t have the energy to be critical.”

Not that it’s been a complete breeze. For Flammini, formerly of such artistic endeavors as the Parachute Project and the stealthily hilarious “Wild Wild Midwest Variety Show” on WMSE, “Domestic Animals” is a return to form after a few years of family-imposed hiatus.

“I had a total identity collapse,” she says of the months that followed the birth of her daughter, 3. “I was creating in the smallest possible way. Sometimes painting on my couch, sometimes writing on my couch. But I mostly completely abandoned everything.

“I guess I can’t be at the bar, working, being like, ‘I’m an artist, sometimes,'” she laughs. “It gets real, real quick.”

For Matthes, who took up an artist residency in Belgium soon after his daughter was born and is now a gallery director and UW-Parkside, the pivot to parenthood initially came with the expected pitfalls.

“Everything gets much more complicated and more difficult,” he says. “You have less energy for everything.”

But now, with the addition of a son, 1, Matthes has found the same homebound inspiration as Flammini.

“It’s changed the way I work quite a bit,” he says. “I normally do a lot of research for my stuff, and there’s usually a very specific theme I try to convey. For this, I’ve given myself tons of freedom. I don’t feel any pressure. I don’t feel any pressure to say anything specific.”

The work in “Domestic Animals” basks in that freedom, and comments on the circumstances of its creation. Flammini’s pieces catalog the detritus of domesticity—stuffed animals on rugs, meals for the kids—but also dwell on old life stories that came to the artist while she was laid up in the hospital.

“I had more medical experiences in the past two years than I’ve had in my whole life,” Flammini says. “I found it really fascinating just how badly damaged you can be, and how humans can patch each other back up.”

Matthes’ pieces, meanwhile, depict the kind of chaotic dinner parties familiar to late-night revelers and frazzled parents alike. And yet their initial sparks came out of an extremely quiet place.

“All the work I made for this show started with me making drawings while I put my son to bed at night,” he says. “He was sleeping in my arms, and I started doing pencil drawings of whatever was in the house. They ended up looking like dinner parties.”

But what ends up being most fascinating about “Domestic Animals” is the dual approach. Two artists—husband and wife—experiencing the same things but tackling those things in vastly different ways. In style and sensibility, “Domestic Animals” is an exploration of cohabitation, of moving through an ever-changing life and processing it both together and alone.

“Our art has always been a really direct reflection of our experiences,” Matthes says, “but now we’re both thinking about the same things.”

“I’m really excited,” Flammini adds. “We’re super different, but we experience the same things all the time. You have your own language with your partner. Ours is a lot about art. It just made sense to do a show together.”

An opening reception for “Domestic Animals” is set for Friday, March 23, from 6-9 p.m., at galerie Kenilworth (2201 N. Farwell Ave.) Both artists will be in attendance.

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