Catherine Jozwik
Art Scene

Ducks Unlimited Gets Art Worth $500,000

BMO Harris Bank donates 900 prints by Wisconsin’s wildlife painter Owen Gromme.

By - Dec 2nd, 2019 01:36 pm
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Neil Riegelman, Senior Vice President and Director at BMO Harris Bank, Commercial Banking. Photo courtesy of BMO Harris Bank.

Neil Riegelman, Senior Vice President and Director at BMO Harris Bank, Commercial Banking. Photo courtesy of BMO Harris Bank.

One of the most celebrated wildlife artists in the United States, Fond du Lac native Owen Gromme (1896-1991) was also a dedicated environmentalist, working with author and conservationist Aldo Leopold to help protect bird species such as herons, owls and hawks.

Last week, BMO Harris Bank announced it would donate almost 900 prints of Gromme’s paintings to Ducks Unlimited, a national nonprofit organization located in Memphis, Tennessee, which focuses on supporting waterfowl conservation and wetlands, including Wisconsin’s Horicon Marsh.

“The prints have an estimated value of approximately $500,000, and places BMO Harris Bank as a Gold Legacy Sponsor of Ducks Unlimited,” reads a Ducks Unlimited press release. Since its founding in 1937, the volunteer-based Ducks Unlimited has successfully conserved 14 million acres of wetland across the United States.

Gromme’s artwork can be purchased at upcoming Ducks Unlimited fundraising banquets, or by contacting Tom Munich at 262-965-3700.

Gromme, former curator of birds and mammals for the Milwaukee Public Museum, was a nature enthusiast since childhood. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in 1994, and his paintings continue to be highly collectible.

“People in Wisconsin and around the country consider (Gromme) the father of wildlife art. He was the first person to do this on a significant scale,” said Ducks Unlimited volunteer leader Glenn Goergen. “Because of BMO’s generosity, we will be able to continue the story of Owen Gromme.”

Art News:

Last week, Milwaukee alderwoman Milele A. Coggs announced in a press release that Bronzeville Week, the city’s “annual celebration of African-American culture, history, art, commerce, and entertainment,” will be held in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood on August 1 through 8.

“Every August, Bronzeville Week delivers a vibrant mix of entertainment, resources, art, culture, and opportunities for neighbors and the community to engage in fun, healthy, and positive activities,” Coggs said. “This week, full of engaging events, is welcoming to families and people of all ages and backgrounds, and is not to be missed.”

Coggs added that the Bronzeville Entertainment District, bordered by Garfield Avenue, Center Street, Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, and 7th Street, is “a city of Milwaukee redevelopment initiative inspired by Milwaukee’s original Bronzeville” which “seeks to create economic development in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in a way that recaptures the enthusiasm and attractiveness of the original Bronzeville district.”

Art Events and Exhibit Openings

Monday, 5:30 p.m.:

“Talking Shop: Artists in our Libraries Roundtable Discussion,” featuring members of the Madison Public Library Arts program The Bubbler, will discuss the importance of artists in libraries with Gathering Art, Stories, and Place, a project funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant. The roundtable discussion will be held in the Mitchell Street Library’s Community Room, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St.

Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.:

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s assistant curator of photography, Ariel Pate, will host a Portrait of Milwaukee gallery talk in the museum’s Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts.

Thursday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.:

Draw Upon with Dara Larson, featuring drawings and other multimedia works by artist Dara Larson, will open with a reception at Scout Gallery, 1104 W. Historic Mitchell Street.

Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.:

Wisconsin broom maker “Little” John Holzwart, owner of Sheboygan-based company Plant Based Services LLC, will host a Make a Hearth Broom workshop at Lynden Sculpture Garden. The fee is $62; $57 for members, and advanced registration is required. Visit Lynden’s website for more information.

Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.:

St. Kate-The Arts Hotel will host The Art of Friendship & Sisterhood, a fundraiser with food, cocktails, live music by Joe Jordan, and a raffle. Tickets are $75, and a third of the proceeds from the event will benefit The Cream City Chapter of the Links, a nonprofit volunteer organization made up of professional women of color offering a number of community programs and scholarships. For tickets, go to eventbrite.

Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

Lynden Sculpture Garden will hold a Holiday Giftmaking Workshop: Silk Scarf Painting with artist Leslie Perrino. The fee is $90; $80 for members, and advanced registration is required. Visit Lynden’s website for more information.

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