So long, Katie, and thanks for all the fish
The Pfister Hotel’s 2010 Artist in Residence, Katie Musolff, has captivated guests and hotel associates with her talent and artwork for a year now. Best known for her portrait paintings, she has spent significant time creating new art and interacting with visitors and hotel staff. Katie tried to blur the line between the art world and the “real” world by focusing on the people working at the hotel, making them the subjects of her portraits.
For her final commissioned work, to be purchased by the Pfister, Musolff chose to create a full-scale portrait of longtime lobby pianist, Dr. Jeffrey Hollander. Musolff’s goal was to capture the beauty of the moment of watching a man completely in his element, and record it – in paint. It challenged her to seize the emotion and movement of Jeffery Hollander as he gets lost in the music. As he plays, he makes up impromptu songs that will be gone once he lifts his fingers from the keys. After studying the pianist as he played and trying her hand at a number of different sketches, Musolff provided hotel guests and viewers with an opportunity to see a work in progress as she began painting him in the hotel lounge. Musolff was able to capture the presence of a legacy that can be shared with people even after the music stops.
If you can’t make the reception, you can still view the portrait in the artist-in-residence studio on the ground floor of the hotel until it is permanently installed. In April, 2011 Artist-in-Residence Shelby Keefe begins her tenure at the Pfister. Shelby is a contemporary impressionistic painter, teacher, and performing artist. She plans to create a body of work that reflects the beauty of Milwaukee, painting in various locations in and near the hotel, including impromptu plein air sessions on the sidewalks of downtown.
Watch a video interview with Katie about her process in creating her portrait of Dr. Hollander.