Mary Nohl casts a long shadow over Milwaukee art. Her (in)famous “Witch’s House” in Fox Point—and its yard decorated with the artist’s idiosyncratic concrete sculptures—is both a local curiosity and an “art environment” listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Mary L. Nohl Fund, meanwhile, has invested more than $8.5 million in Milwaukee art since Nohl’s death in 2001. Now, Milwaukee Film and Milwaukee musician (and Milwaukee Film Education Manager) Marielle Allschwang plan to celebrate Nohl’s life and vision with “Precession of a Day: The World of Mary Nohl,” a multimedia event set for Saturday, September 21 at the Oriental Theatre.
“‘Precession’ is an offering and a response to the life and work of Mary Nohl,” Allschwang says in a press release. “This project has given me an invaluable opportunity to honor Mary Nohl and her role as a courageously devoted, astoundingly prolific and incredibly skilled artist who participated with her natural surroundings to make a very rare and beautiful place.”
The event will feature Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations performing an original song cycle inspired by Nohl, coupled with film footage of Nohl’s house. An accompanying deluxe double LP and a hardcover book will be available at the show.
Tickets are on sale NOW, and are $25 for general admission and $20 for Milwaukee Film members. In the meantime, listen to Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations’ excellent new record VISITATIONS IV—a.k.a. one of the best Milwaukee albums of 2019 (so far).
Milwaukee Film to Celebrate Wisconsin Art Icon Mary Nohl at Oriental Theatre
Film and live music performance from Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations set for Sept. 21
MILWAUKEE – Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Milwaukee Film will present a special event to celebrate the life and work of artist Mary Nohl on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre. “Precession of a Day: The World of Mary Nohl” creates a unique multimedia experience, featuring a live music performance by Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations of their original song cycle paired with film footage from Mary Nohl’s artist-built environment on the shores of Lake Michigan.
This performance will also mark the official release of the album version of “Precession,” a deluxe double-LP and hardcover book recorded at the Chair Company in Milwaukee. The record will be for sale at the show.
“‘Precession’ is an offering and a response to the life and work of Mary Nohl,” said Allschwang, who also serves as education manager for Milwaukee Film. “This project has given me an invaluable opportunity to honor Mary Nohl and her role as a courageously devoted, astoundingly prolific and incredibly skilled artist who participated with her natural surroundings to make a very rare and beautiful place.”
For Allschwang, the piece is the culmination of four years of research, composing and filmmaking, during which she and her band, The Visitations, sought to invoke the sense of play, exploration, creative autonomy and freedom that Nohl embodied.
“We are thrilled to have commissioned a new work of art based on an icon of Milwaukee art, one which features the work of several local artists including a wonderfully gifted member of our own staff,” said Jonathan Jackson, CEO and artistic director for Milwaukee Film. “Translating the work of Mary Nohl and the experience of her art environment is a monumental challenge. Marielle and her creative partners have created a work that both honors Nohl and stands on its own beautiful merits.”
The Mary Nohl Art Environment, located in Fox Point, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house and gardens are filled with the artist’s works, as well as fully imbued with her signature aesthetic, creating an immersive art experience that Allschwang aspires to pay tribute to through “Precession.”
The work was commissioned by Milwaukee Film, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin Union Theatre/UW Madison and the Cedar Cultural Center. Additional funding was provided by Mary L. Nohl Fund of Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Precession” is produced by David Ravel, former artistic director of Alverno Presents.
Tickets are on sale now at mkefilm.org/nohl at $25 for general admission and $20 for Milwaukee Film Members.