November 2006

By - Nov 1st, 2006 02:52 pm
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IN:SITE Insight
I had no idea IN:SITE would be on the cover of VITAL! This is fantastic! Thank you so very much (Covered, October 06). I love the photo on the cover. It is exactly what IN:SITE is about: SITE-SPECIFIC temporary public art. I was so glad that the focus was on the artists, the collaboration with business groups and the reactions of people on the street. Amy worked hard and it shows. And the whole texture of the piece with Amy mentioning the SOUND of “Super Subconscious” speaks to her background as a poet.

Pegi Taylor

Lauds for Leiter
I thought the article [on Saul Leiter] was great (Interview, October 06). It made me laugh out loud a few times. You really depicted his personality very well. He’s a unique individual, so I know this is not easy.

Margit Erb
Howard Greenberg Gallery
New York

Great article on Saul! You really capture his endearing demeanor and communicate the significance and originality of his work. I’ve forwarded it on to him, and I’m sure he’ll be pleased.

All the best,
Lisa Hostetler
Assistant Curator of Photographs
Milwaukee Art Museum

I went to the most amazing event last evening thanks to you and your magazine. I was looking through VITAL when my husband said he wanted to see a movie or a play. I was not in the mood for either and was just finishing up reading your article, “Shoot from the hip,” when I saw the ad for “Milwaukee Street, Milwaukee” at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

We went and – Wow! It was the most amazing exhibition I have seen in a really long time. Not only were Saul Leiter’s photos so pure and wonderful to look at, but so simple and so relatable. In addition to Saul’s exhibit, Cedar Block’s exhibit of local photo artists was really inspiring. I have to say that John Miller’s photo montage in the rain was done in the same feeling as Saul Leiter’s [work]. It’s great to see local artists being exhibited in the very public domain of the MAM.

Thanks so much for a really great date!


Open Season on Butgereit?
Thanks for taking the time to review Jeremy Enigk’s new record (Music Reviews, October 06). It’s interesting, though, that Ms.Butgereit [the reviewer] felt Enigk’s use of melancholia derailed the album. It makes me wonder if she ever heard 1996’s Return of the Frog Queen, Enigk’s first solo record (which she failed to mention) and what she thought of that. I, for one, feel like both of these albums are fantastic, despite the tone and pace, and aren’t “exhausting to listen to and difficult to enjoy,” as she puts it.

By her estimation then, Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, Lou Reed’s Berlin, Sebadoh’s The Freed Weed and virtually every Smiths album no doubt “becomes overwhelmingly grating as the songs tick by,” simply because they dabble in the depressing. What other artists should we recommend steering clear from? The Cure? Joy Division? Air? Pink Floyd? The Doors? Leonard Cohen? Jeff Buckley?

Perhaps Butgereit’s taste falls in shinier, happier territory, and she should just stick to reviewing things that are a bit shorter on depth and emotion. I bet she would be good at reviewing some moving soundtracks like Open Season and Over the Hedge.

If she does intend on reviewing deeper material, maybe she can offer a disclaimer to avoid steering your trusting readers away from great records like World Waits. Ms. Butgereit’s disclaimer could read something like, “The opinions of this reviewer don’t reflect the populace of music lovers, but rather stem from my one-dimensional tastes and my own inability to enjoy music that has any more soul and depth then a Nickelback record.”


C. Lynch
Phoenix, AZ

Lighten up, Mr. Patten
I read the editorial by Matthew Patten (Letters, October 06). First of all, why would anyone bite the hand that feeds them? Russ Bickerstaff is truly someone who supports the arts. Russ goes to smaller companies that would otherwise not get reviews. His reviews always tell the truth, but he is not one to hit below the belt. He is a critic that tells it like it is, but it is constructive. We have many great critics in this town, and in the past few years, Russ has been right up there with the best. For example, it has been nearly 20 years since the Bay Players have been reviewed, other than in a local community paper. Russ took the time to come see what goes on in community theater. This is where many top area performers get their start.

Coming to see shows on this level will make actors grow into professionals. It is a learning experience. I do not know much about Dracula vs the Nazis, but I do know that Michael Neville has a reputation for writing very inventive scripts. In Tandem is one of the finest groups in our town, and they would not ask Michael to write for them if he was not qualified. I feel [Patten] is just insecure. He needs to realize that all new works go through a growing and learning period. He needs to know that reviews, both good and bad, are a learning experience. Milwaukee is a wonderful theater town, and the support the arts get from the press is truly appreciated. The good reviews are always wonderful – but the reviews that make us truly rethink our work make many artists grow.

Ray Bradford
R.S.V.P. Productions

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