Catherine Jozwik
Art Scene

Why Juarez Gallery Returned to Third Ward

The city’s “a thriving art community” says teacher, gallery owner and publisher Frank Juarez.

By - Aug 26th, 2019 03:58 pm
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Frank Juarez. Photo by Lois Bielefeld.

Frank Juarez. Photo by Lois Bielefeld.

Gallery owner, educator and artist Frank Juarez has become a formidable force in the Milwaukee area art community in the last decade.

Juarez and former business partner Brooks Barrow opened Barrow + Juarez Contemporary Gallery in the Third Ward in 2007. In 2011, Juarez reopened the gallery in Sheboygan, under the name the Frank Juarez Gallery. He moved his gallery into the Third Ward’s Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St., in 2017. Juarez said his decision to move back to Milwaukee “was based on where my audience was coming from. Plus, I wanted to be part of a thriving art community that I once grew up in, and I wanted to find more opportunities to grow professionally.”

Many of the artists Juarez represents at his gallery work in a variety of media and styles, including paintings, mixed media, sculptures, and drawings. “I find myself attracted to works that are challenging, material-driven, exploratory, and non-traditional,” Juarez explained.

In addition to running his gallery, Juarez publishes Artdose Magazine, a free biannual publication which evolved from an art guide he founded in 2013. The magazine aims to promote Milwaukee-area visual arts and artists. Believing that artists should have a strong support network, Juarez also regularly hosts social gatherings across Wisconsin.

Although Milwaukee businesses, and the community, seem to be embracing public art and welcoming new galleries, Juarez said he would like to see more collaboration among area artists and galleries. “Being part of the art community is one thing, but contributing to the community is where the focus should be,” he noted.

As a gallery owner, Juarez said he is constantly thinking of, and experimenting with, new ideas. He’d like to focus on e-commerce in the future, along with “seeking possible exhibition opportunities outside of Wisconsin.”

“I feel that having an art gallery is like having an art switch that never turns off,” Juarez added.

An educator for 18 years, Juarez serves as art department chair at Sheboygan North High School, where he teaches grades 9 through 12. Juarez has some advice for young aspiring artists. “Set the ego aside and surround yourself with those that can enrich your life as an artist and a person. Embrace failures and learn from them and continue to build your art community.”

Lastly, Juarez advises: “Your art is a business. Treat it as such, and follow through no matter what.”

Art News

Two brightly-colored new murals were installed on National Avenue Friday. Muebon, a visiting artist from Thailand working with Wallpapered City, painted the murals on buildings located at the corners of 36th and 24th and National Avenues.

Art Events and Gallery Openings

Monday: -“MKE Generations: New Work by Willie G. and Michael Davidson” opens today in the UW-Milwaukee Union Gallery. Exhibit features the abstracted watercolor works of Michael Davidson, a UWM alumnus, and his father, Willie G., who spent many years working as the vice president of styling at Harley-Davidson.

Monday 4 p.m. Two exhibits open at Concordia University’s CUW Campus Art Gallery: artist and Urban Milwaukee contributor Todd Mrozinski’s “Walking with Trees” and MIAD professor Jennifer Poetzel’s “Color Creates Light.”

Wednesday 1:30-2:45: Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM will host a Sculpture Milwaukee Trolley Tour, a seated tour giving guests a view of the many outdoor sculptures, part of the Sculpture Milwaukee project, located along Wisconsin Avenue through October 27. Visit mam.org/sculptureMKE  for tickets and more details.

Thursday 6 to 8 p.m.: An opening reception for Mrozinski and Poetzel will be held in the Concordia University (CUW) Art Gallery (see Monday listing)

Friday 5 to 9 p.m.:-The Walker’s Point Center for the Arts Annual Members Showcase, highlighting more than 100 pieces of artwork created by its members, opens with a reception. Artist and creative director of Jenie Gao Studio LLC has been selected as this year’s Featured Member Exhibition juror. Four artists featured in the Members Showcase will receive a solo exhibition during the next Gallery Night.

Saturdays 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.: MAM Drop-In Tour. Museum docents lead the one-hour tour, showcasing the best works the MAM has to offer. Free with museum admission and free to members.

Saturday 1 p.m.: Lynden Sculpture Garden hosts “Open Kitchen: Shapes of Arrival-The Sensual Archive of Diasporic Peoples in Relation to the Naming of Things: A Lecture and Conversation.” Event features a talk by Inga (Chicagoans Jacob Lindgren and Alan Medina), Michelin (Rudy Medina and Bennett Westling), Angela Kingsawan, and Kim Khaira. Visit www.lyndensculpturegarden.org for more information on the Open Kitchen series.

Saturday 1:30 p.m. A screening of artist Jamie Nares’ 10 short films, in conjunction with the MAM’s Nares: Moves exhibit, will be held in the museum’s Lubar Auditorium.

Saturday 5 to 7 p.m.: An opening reception for Willie G. and Michael Davidson’s “MKE Generations” exhibit will take place in the UWM Union Art Gallery. (see Monday listing)

Saturday-Sunday: -The Third Ward’s 8th annual art festival returns. Festival features the work of nearly 150 juried artists working in diverse media, live music and children’s activities including art bingo.

Sundays 2 p.m: MAM Drop-In Tour repeated. (see Saturday listing)

Last Chance: Exhibit Closing

Spark: A Materials Exhibition will close Saturday at the Frank Juarez Gallery, 207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 600.

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