Fly Over Country soars at Racine Arts Council
Four established and emerging regional artists will help the Racine Arts Council christen its new art space in the heart of downtown Racine with a group exhibition opening this weekend.
Fly Over Country is curated by abstract painter and Racine native Anthony Weber. The theme serves as a reference both to Racine’s geographic location — tucked away between Chicago and Milwaukee — and also as a response to the consistent dismissal of the Midwest’s thriving arts scene in favor of those on the East and West Coasts.
This compelling group show will feature original work by Weber, along with pieces from three, burgeoning local artists. Renee Staeck, Jeffrey Kerr and VITAL’s favorite St. Louis transplant (and guest cover artist) Kristopher Pollard offer up relevant new work to showcase what’s happening in Wisconsin’s art communities.
In his large-scale paintings, Weber utilizes vivid colors and almost manic brush strokes to create what he describes as “outsider art-inspired … with a focus on personal iconographic language.” Staeck, also a native of Racine, will feature a series of dioramas along with ink and acrylic portraits. Her sometimes-haunting drawings and paintings are both beautiful and slightly off-putting- ethereal, yet grounded in reality.
Kerr studied in the art department at UW-Parkside before heading for the coast. Now back in the Midwest, his current work makes use of thread, ink and pencil to create striking mixed-media paintings. Milwaukeeans and former VITAL readers have all fallen in love with Pollard’s illustrative pen and ink drawings — sharp and absolutely enchanting with elements of whimsy.
The Racine Arts Council has operated as a private, non-profit advocate for the arts and art education in Racine since the late 1960s, working with local and state government to provide further funding for the arts. Since then, the RAC has instituted several community development programs, projects and art spaces to enrich the local landscape and allow current artists to showcase their work.
Fly Over Country opens on Nov. 7 and will remain on display until Dec. 31. Support the local arts scene and join the featured artists for an opening reception this Saturday, Nov. 7, 6-9 p.m. at the Racine Art Council, located in downtown Racine at 316 Sixth St.