snow, paintings, conversations, salsa dancing
If there was a bravery patch for art-loving die-hards, they were handing them out Friday evening at the January Gallery Night. The expected bitter cold and heavy snow never really came, but a good three inches over a few hours during the opening of this quarterly event led to a lower turnout in many cases — even with some major offerings at hand. This wasn’t always a bad thing for the art lover, however.
A stroll through the Marshall Building found that you could have longer, deeper conversations with the artists and gallery owners. Reginald Baylor expounded on his thought process in creating the impressive and intricate “Multiple Choice…,” a large piece on black metal with vinyl stickers which recently was featured in the Haggerty’s Current Tendencies II show. Debra Brehmer up at Portrait Society Gallery poured herself a glass of wine and talked about the pieces surrounding her small court. SPILL‘s Morgan Oldenburg enjoyed her new third floor digs.
Up on the east side, Cissie Peltz and her crew were preparing for guests at the Peltz Gallery. I was the first to arrive, so they made me a turkey sandwich while Mrs. Peltz sat with me and talked turkey. She is a living art historian and collector, with a full backstory and stories of how she came to own Warhol, Christo, Nice, Colescott, and others (the theme for this show is Return of the Men, off-setting the womens’ show in the summer). The walls are filled with great art, and every closet is stuffed with more unseen works.
Over at Soup’s On/Gallery H2O, loyal friends and gallery night buffs were saying one last goodbye to the place and the Madonna and Child show. Over at Hot*Pop, they were welcoming new artists both with winter themes — Kimberly Weiss displayed wood canvas with forest animals in prime color patterns and Erin Paisley with delicate watercolor portraits inspired by Siberian women. On the ART Milwaukee buses (there are two now), patrons didn’t worry about the hazards of traffic and happily spilled out of hubs like the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts.
If there was a dome of safety in which everyone could congregate, it appeared to be the red-hot lights of the Calatrava wing as MAM After Dark held a Hot! Hot! Hot! -themed evening. Everyone was dressed in their finest duds, taking part in salsa-eating contests and salsa dancing. Benjamin Wick reports from the scene on that one, as we bring you selected scenes from the rest of Gallery Night at our slideshow below or visit our Flickr set for all the photos at once. Check back on that account for updates as we get them.