Catherine Jozwik
Art Scene

The Family That Does Art Together

Cloud 9 offers hands-on art experiences for the child in all of us.

By - Dec 16th, 2019 12:33 pm
Kelcey Kalumbula in Cloud 9 Workshop. Photo by Robyn Vining Photography.

Kelcey Kalumbula in Cloud 9 Workshop. Photo by Robyn Vining Photography.

Besides engaging in environmentally-friendly practices, Cloud 9 Workshop, 5205 W. North Ave., serves as a meeting place where people can find a creative outlet.

A former teacher, Kelcey Kalumbula opened Cloud 9 Workshop in 2012, not long after the birth of her third child. “Teachers don’t sit still very well,” Kalumbula wryly observes, “so soon after I started developing Cloud 9 Workshop.”

How did she get the idea? “In grad school and after, as a teacher and a mom, I observed the need for children, along with adults, to engage in hands-on art-like experiences,” Kalumbula notes.

As the Cloud 9 website notes: “we empower and inspire our participants to create fun and functional crafts from re-purposed and recycled materials.” 

Cloud 9 offers workshops on creating items out of repurposed and eco-friendly materials, summer camps and birthday parties for children, along with adult and holiday workshops, and ArTogether, an art series which encourages family togetherness. “We try to make good use of materials commonly found at home, not only because it’s good for the environment, but also so students can easily continue working at home with materials already at their fingertips,” Kalumbula explains.

She notes that Cloud 9’s workshops and events provide a venue for people to connect with one another. “As a community, we are thirsty for more opportunities to communicate and interact with each other human-to-human, without mediated devices,” Kalumbula says. “I wanted Cloud 9 Workshop to be a studio where children and adults have the opportunity to explore materials, invent and test new ideas, communicate their thoughts, and share quality time together.”

She adds that Cloud 9 will continue to foster a “green” and DIY spirit in the community: “We just launched our first DIY Eco-Art Kit this winter, called Party in a Box Card Making Kit. We plan to add additional DIY Party in a Box Kits, including Wind Cars, Wood Burning, Eco Earrings, and more. Also in the works for 2020 is a series of DIY ArTogether videos.”

That’s a lot.

Art Events and Exhibit Openings


“Exploring the Core Curriculum: Individuals and Communities” opens today at the Haggerty Museum of Art on the Marquette University campus.

Monday, 4:30 p.m.:

The Atkinson Library, 1960 W. Atkinson Ave., will host a Black Art, History and Family Program, complete with card-making. Visit for more details.

Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.:

-The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) will host a gallery talk on its current A Modern Vision exhibit with Tanya Paul, Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art.

Tuesday, 5:30 to 730 p.m.:

“Gathering Art, Stories and Place,” a storytelling project supported by local nonprofits such as Ex Fabula, will be held at the Mitchell Street Library, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St.

Thursday, noon:

Catherine Sawinski, MAM assistant curator of European art, will host a salon talk on the mid-18th century Neapolitan Creche (Nativity scene) in the museum’s Collection Galleries.

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 

During Dog Days at Lyndon, dog lovers can join their canine pals on a hike through the Lynden Sculpture Garden grounds.

Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.:

-San Francisco-based photographer Lois Bielefeld and Milwaukee artist Michelle Grabner will discuss their upcoming gallery exhibition Playing House: A New Domesticity at Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel in the ARC Theatre with Maureen Ragalie, St. Kate curator.

Saturday, 9 p.m.:

Milwaukee Adult Coloring (MAC) will hold a Christmas Pajama Polka Party at Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St.

Last Chance…Exhibits Closing

New Works on Paper by Dale Knaak closes Saturday at the Frank Juarez Gallery, 207 E. Buffalo St., #600. As of that date, the gallery will close permanently.

Nirmal Raja’s exhibit Wrapping Air In Cloth and Other Seemingly Impossible Acts closes Saturday at The Alice Wilds gallery, 900 S. 5th St., Ste 102.

Mike Pare: Best of the Last 50 Years closes Saturday at the Green Gallery, 1500 N. Farwell Ave.

Rosemary Ollison: Prosperity in a Million Scraps closes Sunday at Lynden Sculpture Garden.

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