Wisconsin Visions: A Journey of Wisconsin Self-Taught, Outsider Folk Artists
Jan 18 – March 16, 2002
Featuring work by 22 artists, including Jose Chavez, Norbert Kox, George Leazer, George Ray McCormick, June Roque, Rudy Rotter and Della Wells.
Performances by the African American Children’s Theatre and self taught poet Fondé Bridges.
“I wanted to show that there’s a real diversity to Wisconsin Folk Art. I find that there is still a lot of misconception in people’s minds of what the genre is. I participate in a lot of shows myself, and I try to make at least one trip down south every year to do a show, and I still here people saying things like ‘Oh, that doesn’t look like folk art.’ So they’ve got some stereotype idea of what folk art should be. Like you once said, I think a lot of people think of folk art as paintings of landscapes on saw blades or carvings of cows and chickens. That’s part of it, but there’s a lot more to it than that, a lot more variety. Josephus Farmer, Simon Sparrow and Prophet Blackmon are probably some of the most well know or famous self taught artists in Wisconsin, so of course I wanted to put them in. And then there are artists like Lori Jae Reich and Norbert Kox that are really becoming more and more well known; kind of rising stars in the genre. Also, a lot of Wisconsin artists aren’t originally from here, like June Roque and Tamara Madden who both come from Jamaica and are what I’d call memory painters. There’s such a variety of people and art in Wisconsin and I wanted to show that.
The work in this exhibition is just a very small slice of folk art in Wisconsin. There are still too many stereotypes about folk art, what it should or shouldn’t be. There are so many varieties of expression in addition to the rural or country things that people normally associate with folk art. There are urban experiences too, as well as cultural experiences. The masks that Jose Chavez makes, for example, come from his experience in the Hispanic culture. The paintings of Lois Chicks are full of references to her experiences in Native-American and African-American cultures. Zene Peer’s work speaks very strongly about her connection to the African-American experience” (Della Wells).
Participants include: John Bambic, Prophet W.J. Blackmon, Jose Chavez, Jack Cheeks, Lois Chicks, Jack Dilhunt, Rev. Josephus Farmer, Norbert Kox, George Ray McCormick, Tamara Natalie Madden, Richard Mynor, Jennifer Nelson, Zene Peer, Lori Jae Reich, June Roque, Rudy Rotter, Simon Sparrow, KTINSLEY, Della Wells, Mike “Ringo” White, Jeannette Wright-Claus.
Huipiles, Rebozos y Sarapes: Textiles from the Americas
Latin American Textiles: Collections of Jim Peters and Kerry Evans
April 5 – June 1, 2002
A group of artists and educators share their collections of weaving and embroidery from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Ecuador. Highlights include intricate woven and embroidered huipiles from Guatemala and sarapes from the Mexican state of Oaxaca in both traditional and modern designs. The exhibit is drawn from the collection of several artists and educators and reflects their backgrounds, interests and travels. Weaver Kerry Evans lived for many years in Guatemala and is active in the fair trade movement. Marna Goldstein Brauner is a fibers professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Fellow artist and colleague James Peters is retired from UWM. Wence and Sandra Martinez operate a weaving studio in Door County and frequently visit Wence’s family, also weavers, in Mexico. Sharon Tiffany is an anthropologist with an interest in the Zapotec weaving traditions of southern Mexico. All have graciously shared their collections with WPCA.
Annual Members Show
June 14 – July, 2002
Join us for this annual event! A WPCA tradition. We will unveil WPCA’s new logo, created by Leon Travanti’s Integrated Design Class at UWM. Visit our urban garden and learn about our new e-mail and website address. WPCA gives its members the opportunity to showcase their work in an attractive and community oriented setting.
Construct: A Performance Series in Three Parts
June 28/29, August 30/31, November 15/16, 2002
Featuring the work of Allyson Bahr, Cinnamon Rossman, Tracy Doreen, Mark G.E., Wade Moffett, Betty Salamun, Marc Tasman, Renato Umali, VJ Nix Mix, Gregg Williard, and The Gutter Girls.
The first event in the [Construct] performance series. (re)evolution is written and performed by artists Tracy Deitzel, Karla Diaz, Eric Disambwa, Mark Escribano, Laura Halfman, John Loscuito, Amy Mangrich, Marie Mellot, Pegi Taylor, Ivy Rukahs and Yehuda Yannay.
The three-part [Construct] performance series, running from June through November, presents the performance work of over 30 artists. Working both collaboratively and individually, the artists create works that explore the themes of social construction— the construction of lives and character. The first segment of the series, “(re)evolution,” is the culmination of three workshop sessions which brought ten artists together to share ideas and collaborate on themes of visual and conceptual narrative. In this performance, participating artists present both collaborative and individual works that reclaim storytelling as a conceptual art form. Interpreting the concept of visual narrative in a number of strikingly different ways, the performances juxtapose technology and conceptual works with body-based and spoken works.
In the second segment of the [Construct] series, Objects of Identity, artists present ongoing performances using their object-laden installations. Performances presented in “Objects of Identity” are based on the writings of Allan Kaprow and incorporate his critical theories. Document/ Obsess, the final segment of the [Construct] series, uses a variety of media and integrate other art forms to present performances which create depth of character.
Rina Y. Yoon: Balancing Lesson
September 4–28, 2002
Yoon creates work in response to her past: she recalls little about her childhood in Korea and has few images to help her remember. Her works on paper, primarily figurative/narrative in nature, represent, as Yoon puts it, her effort “to express the relationship between past and present selves as well as the desire to recreate what has been last.” Relocation from Korea to the U.S. during adolescence created a further sense of alienation between her child self in Korea and her adult self in the U.S. through her collagraphs, Yoon explores this dislocation and seeks to regain a sense of balance within herself.
The images Yoon creates are not planned but rather “uncovered” in a process that involves many textures, layers and re-working. She etches with a needle, draws with power tools directly on a plate, and applies various materials to create images that reflect the shifting nature of her identity. Yoon presents her prints in an unconventional way, on canvas mounted on stretchers. Her works have been shown in Korea and in many juried and invitational exhibits in the U.S. The ARC Gallery in Chicago hosted Yoon’s most recent solo exhibition, “Balancing Lesson,” in September of 2002.
Prints and Drawings Exciting work exploring memory and cultural identity by a MIAD printmaking professor
I have very few memories of my childhood: I can recall the house I lived in when I was about five years old and a minor car accident. Only four photographs from my early childhood remain and I have always felt as if a part of myself was obscured or inaccessible. My relocation from Korea to the United States while still in high school augmented this sense of alienation.
Memories, especially memories of growing up, are the inseparable parts of our everyday lives. It is these memories, acting as our consciences, which remind us where we come from and provide us a sense of identity/belonging. The work in the show represents my effort to express the relationship between past and present selves as well as the desire to recreate what has been last. By attempting to “fill in the blanks” I hope to regain a sense of my own belonging and balance.
Whether on paper or on a plate, the images are not pre-planned but rather “uncovered” in a process that is driven mostly by intuition. I begin by applying various textures, layering, re-working, covering and uncovering. I explore the murky spaces inhabited by child and adult figures: they coexist in the shifting planes of an ambiguous landscape, sometimes in conflict, sometimes in unison, in their silent conversation.
My works are both autobiographical and universal since we often feel the need to look into the past in order to understand ourselves. Through my work, I hope the viewers will have a chance to look back at themselves and to find connections to some of the questions they have now. –Rina Y. Yoon
Near and Far: An Examination of Place
Sept 13 – Oct 19, 2002
Featuring Waswo X. Waswo and Phil Fisher
A collection photographs of India, Egypt and other exotic locales by Waswo. Fisher’s work focuses on images of Milwaukee. A small exhibit of portraits by Waswo X. Waswo is also on view at the Flying Saucer Cafe, 839 W. National.
The photographs Waswo presents in this exhibit seem timeless; there are older buildings, with few apparent signs of modernity, the result, to a large degree, of self-editing. He has written about photography and holds the point of view that there is not a lot of truth in photography, but rather that photography expresses an opinion, the point of view of the photographer. In his case, the filtering process takes place both as he shoots an image he feels strongly about, produces a standard silver gelatin print, then places it in the sepia bath and makes his final determination. The Kodak toner he has been using since his student days strongly affects how he ultimately feels about the final print.
Fisher’s images are of a specific kind of architecture, but also about the aura of a neighborhood. Many were taken within three blocks of his home and are of structures he obviously enjoys. When he returned to Milwaukee from Detroit, he felt strongly about shooting the East Side and began a prolonged series of images. Fisher has branched out in recent years to produce images of downtown and South-Side locales but continues to produce the photographs in a manner consistent with his main body of work.
10th Annual Dia de los Muertos Exhibition
Nov 1–30, 2002
This annual event, curated by Rosa Zamora, features altars created by local artists and families. The reception will feature music, dance, traditional craft demonstrations and family activities. The intention of this exhibition is to express in an art form a common idea: the preservation, the celebration, and the sharing of a universal question, death, as seen through the eyes of Mexico. Without the help of many dear friends, family members, trained and self-taught artists, from near and far, this exhibit would not be possible. Altars in the tenth annual celebration were created by Lona Long, Diane Steigerwald, Jen Forkes, Nancy Broad, Hand’s On After School Art Students, Georgina Campbell, Jilandante Glynn, Aleida Ramirez, Jose Chavez, Darele Bisquerra-Heisdorf, Jose Amado Ortiz, Gloria Villanueva, Jenny Plevin, Francisco Ramirez and Rosa Zamora.
Tis the Season: Works Worth Wrapping
Dec 8–21, 2002