• November Fifth

    Up in the morning; out on the trail. Actually Prospect Avenue was the former route of Sauk Indians, but yesterday, November 4, 2008, it’s treked by people headed to the Charles Allis Museum to vote. By 7:30AM, I turn around and head home because no way am I fighting that line. The sun was splendid, […]

  • Sometimes A Donut Is Just A Donut

    This morning on my way to Schwartz on Downer, I stopped in at the Obama headquarters and helped myself to a plain old unfrosted old-fashioned donut. The workers were busy firing up the troops for the final days of the world’s longest presidential election. On the north wall, a large portrait of Obama (resembling a […]

  • Monkey See, Monkey Do

    I have three basic rules for reviewing art. They address the content, the craftsmanship, and the consistency of the work. Making art does not involve “magic,” nor does writing about it. What’s needed is an experienced eye, clear thinking, and, unless you are some kind of whiz kid, long hours. Computers are great tools, but […]

  • Pea Green

    With apologies to Edward Lear (1812 – 1888), author of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea In a beautiful pea-green boat They took some honey, and plenty of money Wrapped in a five-pound note… Revised version pre-election 2008: Sarah and John went to sea In a beautiful Republican […]

  • The Big O

    No, not that one. Or the other O’s either. I’m talking here about the O that counts on Tuesday, November 4th. You’ll be setting your watches, clocks, and other timepieces back one hour on November 2, which means you’ll have an extra hour before casting your vote two days later. It’s almost over, all the […]

  • Visual Arts Picks

    On Thursday, September 4, a video tribute dedicated to the victims of September 11, 2001 aired at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. It prompted a visibly upset MSNBC commentator, Keith Olbermann, to apologize for its insensitivity. A week later, he was yanked as anchor for the November 4 election coverage. “Razor blades. Pocketknives. […]

  • Cinco Jugueteros de Venezuela @ Latino Arts Center

    I hate sounding like Scrooge, but my memory bank is filled with nights-before-Christmas spent assembling toys for my kids. If you’ve ever tried finding a minuscule screw in inch-high shag carpeting, you know what I mean. There were endless batteries to test, a parade of dolls (Chatty Kathy, Baby Wets, Raggedy Ann) and, atop our […]

  • Art vs. Craft

    After seven rounds, nationally-recognized Art vs. Craft has become a Milwaukee institution – by way of minimally institutional principles. Also an anomaly: over 75 progressively-minded, “new wave” artists, crafters and designers will be vending their handmade and independent wares – just in time for the holiday feeding frenzy.

  • Running the Numbers

    An American Portrait

    Art and social commentary have always been kissing cousins. In a sense, all art is social commentary, as it reflects artists’ views of the world they inhabit. Whether that reflection is viewed in a straight mirror or distorted like a fun-house mirror is the choice of the artist. In Running the Numbers: An American Portrait, […]

  • Time Machine

    Three days after listening to Russell Bowman’s lecture at the Milwaukee Art Museum, I drove with a friend to re-visit the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan. Bowman, the former Executive Director of MAM, spoke so eloquently and in-depth about when and how MAM’s “folk art” collection came to fruition; it seemed the […]

  • The Art of Work

    By Kerensa Edinger Milwaukee already has an art museum that in itself is a feat of engineering, but a museum dedicated to the art of engineering is another thing altogether. It may seem an anomaly, but we now have one of those, too. The new Grohmann Museum, on the campus of the Milwaukee School of […]

  • A Vision Defined

    Nov. 3 – Dec. 1 Opening Reception: Nov. 3, 6-9pm A year ago, Whole Foods Market opened to much hoopla and artist Matthew Kirk’s work was selected to add some “local flavor” to the sprawling food emporium. The installation of his work, arranged by Hotcakes Gallery proprietor Mike Brenner, went off without a hitch. It […]