Beer, shopping and furniture made from scraps

By - Dec 3rd, 2009 09:24 am
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The Rock Sofa by Aguiniga Design is made from foam scraps and yarn. The piece will be on display at the Green Furniture Show at the Milwaukee Art Museum - a notable go-to event for January.

The Rock Sofa by Aguiniga Design is made from foam scraps and yarn. The piece will be on display at the Green Furniture Show at the Milwaukee Art Museum through March 2010.

There’s a lot going on around town this month and next, and our calendar is packed. Here are a couple of notable news items and things to do as the cold weather blows in:

Lakefront Brewery launches a locavore’s dream draft

The staff at Lakefront Brewery is hatching plans for a launch of their latest brew — an all-local beer with the apt moniker “Local Acre.” We’re very excited about this new label, because it’s a lager style beer made from all Wisconsin products, and organic malt.

Local Acre will debut at Sugar Maple in Bay View on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m., and the organizers say there will be some fund-raising element to the launch party, to benefit Wisconsin hop farmers.

Obviously, all the details aren’t in yet, so watch the Exchange blog and Lakefront Brewery’s web site for updates.

Urban Garage Sale returns for second year

Milwaukee’s urban garage sale was a big success last year, so this year it returns to the Turner Hall Ballroom, slated for Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The event will feature 25 locally-owned stores, all offering discounted goods to the public. The idea behind the sale is for shoppers to snag some fabulous bargains, and small business owners to get some exposure, all in one spot.

Participating stores include: Allis Bike & Fitness, Boutique Vieux et Nouveau, Design Within Reach, Flaire Boutique, Heavy Rotation, Hot Pop, Boswell Books, Lela, Freckle Face, Mr. Shoe, Rishi Tea, Sky High Skateboard Shop, Sprout, Dragonfly, Sweetkicks, Happy tail Wag, Zewing Girl, Stone Creek Coffee, Luscious Boutique, Fred Boutique, Chartreuse, Shoo, and local artists Dwellephant, Ric Stultz and Jimbot. A complete, hot-linked list is here.

At Outpost, we advocate a shop local ethos, and this event embraces that. The event is hosted by Milwaukee clothing company Heavy Rotation, and sponsored by WMSE Radio and Pabst Blue Ribbon who will provide music and beer. Organizers are putting the finishing touches to the event, and tell us that they hope to repeat last year’s charitable approach by selling fund-raising raffle tickets. In 2008, the raffle proceeds benefited the Urban Ecology Center. This year, organizers hope to work with Outpost’s Community Wednesdays program to send proceeds to HOPE Network, a grassroots self-help support system for single mothers in our region.

Green Fair showcases sustainable living solutions

Sustainability. Green. Eco-friendly. These are more than just buzzwords; they’re part of a lifestyle that more and more people are embracing.

Now, through March of 2010, the Milwaukee Art Museum is hosting an exciting show for green-minded, design-loving Milwaukeeans, titled “Green Furniture: Sustainable Design in the 21st Century.” And to compliment that exhibition, the Chipstone Foundation will host its first ever Green Fair at the museum, on Jan. 30.

The fair is for people seeking ideas on how to adopt sustainable practices and try green products, and is free with museum admission. Organizers hope to show people how simple the transition to earth-friendly can be.

“A few years ago, the notion of buying green was barely on anybody’s radar screen; today green products are everywhere,” said Jonathan Prown, director of the Chipstone Foundation. “With this rise in public awareness has come a growing array of products that spuriously claim to be green but that still rely on problematic modes of production or shipping. The Green Fair will allow museum visitors to meet the best and brightest makers, growers, thinkers and retailers in the greater Milwaukee area, and to gain a better understanding of this new and enlightened way of reforming our material world.”

The event kicks off with a green marketplace, featuring Rishi Tea, Outpost Natural Foods, Olive Organic Living and Future Green. Local non-profits such as Growing Power and the Milwaukee Green Building Alliance will be on hand, too.

Outside the window, shoppers and browsers will be able to watch Hongtao Zhou’s snow furniture come to life. The artist will be creating furniture out of snow and ice. Other artists will be at MAM to show different green building techniques. Museum staff wants visitors to get involved and learn how to build eco-friendly furniture for themselves, such as newspaper stools.

For people who want to hear from eco-warriors in the community, a talk will take place in the Lubar auditorium from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with presentations from Ken Dunn of Chicago’s City Farm, who will discuss thinking green in the Midwest; James Godsil of Milwaukee’s Sweetwater Organics, who will talk about eating green; Nik Kovac, Milwaukee Alderman, who will talk about voting green; and Cedarburg architects Kubala Washatko who will focus on green building techniques.

MAM’s Green Furniture exhibition is underway and runs through March 14, 2010.
The Chipstone Foundation is a decorative arts foundation focused on education and research.

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