The Art of Music in Milwaukee

June 13 – July 12, 2014
Opening reception: June 13, 5 – 9 pm.

There’s great art and great music in Milwaukee, and sometimes they intercept, collaborate and profess admiration towards one another. Our first summer exhibition “The Art of Music in Milwaukee” celebrates the relationship between music and visual arts. With over 80 pieces of artwork, more than 20 local artists and privately collected works from local art collectors, there certainly will be a harmony of rhythm and rhyme and choreographed visual symphony.


The artworks includes screen printed concert posters, original inked art and painting for posters and album covers, painted music scores, art inspired and incorporating music symbolisms, photography of legendary musician and artwork created as tribute to musicians who inspires, and much more!

Artists & Collectors (in alphabetical order):

N. Adam Beadel
Team Nerd Letterpress is the linocuts and letterpress prints of N. Adam Beadel. Typesetting is achieved with moveable lead and wood type, and all illustrations are carved from linoleum by hand. Visit him at his shop in Walker’s Point, 830 S. 5th Street, across the street from WPCA.

Jamie Breiwick — Jazz club posters
Founded in early 2013 by Milwaukee-based musician Jamie Breiwick, Bside Graphics provides custom designed graphics for print or web; specializing in uniquely designed, eye-catching concert posters. Each work is crafted with particular care and attention to the customers aesthetic and style. Bside’s designs are heavily inspired by such classic designers as Reid Miles, Paul Rand, and Saul Bass.

In just a short span, Bside graphics has created numerous designs for musicians in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Canada. Check out the PORTFOLIO page to see some of the recent designs that have been sent out!

Gene Davies (artwork provided by collector Lloyde Dees)

Lloyde Dees
Lloyde Dees was involved in the music world for 25 years.  He was a technician and provided his expertise and emotional support to many bands including Kenny Loggins, Fleetwood Mac, Duke Tumatoe and the All Star Frogs, Stanley Clark and Return to Forever.  He also ran the Ampitheatre in Irvine, CA.

FROM ARTIST’S WEBSITE: f I’ve done work for nice people like you, and great organizations like Alverno Presents, WMSE, Milwaukee Film, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Stacy Adams and more. I’ve done album art for bands like De La Buena and Vic + Gab, illustrated a kids’ book called MISSING THE BOAT, shown work in galleries, and painted live art at lots of places. I’m super proud of the Little Free Library I painted, too.

Ron Faiola of Milwaukee Rock Posters
As a percussionist, Ron Faiola was a member of a number of bands in Milwaukee including the Couch Potatoes, later the band Couch Flambeau.  He toured extensively in the Midwest and Europe including a particularly memorable trip to Dresden, Germany.  He has produced graphic art for LP’s and cassettes of local groups, some exhibited here, and has worked on documentary projects of Wisconsin Supper Clubs, Fish Fry Night, has a Video Production company Push Button Gadget and produced the memorable concert, Lest we Forget at Turner Hall and the local music scene.

John Hill (artworks from collections of Dale Kaminski and Eric Munzinger)
Hill provided the original art work for a host of Milwaukee bands. His designs seem influenced by hot rod culture and the goth imagery that has traditionally been associated with bands like Black Sabbath. Hill is currently working as a tattoo artist.

Arthur Jacobson
Arthur Jacobson, professor emeritus at ASU in the Art Department (1956-1986), died in Southampton, NY on June 10, 2010. Professor Jacobson was a prolific painter and printmaker and started the printmaking department at ASU. He received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1950 and soon after went to Taos, NM to paint. He was a founding member of the Taos Art Association in the 1950s. The print exhibited here was acquired by a Milwaukee collector during an awards event at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend.

Mutope Johnson
Through a series of collaborations with Milwaukee based writers/poets/performers, visual artist Mutópe J. Johnson re-imagines Milwaukee’s Bronzeville district through a series of paintings that promotes discussing the negative impact of eminent domain polices, one that systematically destroyed this emerging African-American neighborhood during the early to late 1960’s. Mutópe’s investigation has lead him to consider his role as an artist and how visual art could help shape the current debate about cultural identity, cultural loss, urbanization, and the possibility of revitalizing and promoting the Bronzeville neighborhood district as a cultural tourism destination. Mutópe is a recent MFA (Master of Fine Arts)  graduate in painting and drawing from UWM’s Peck School of the Arts’ Department of Art and Design.

Dale Kaminski
As a musician, Dale performed in a number of Wisconsin bands including the Violent Femmes.  He is also a gifted studio technician and has used his skills to develop websites and lend musicians technical support.  He describes himself as a hybrid contemporary artist whose work is inspired by the poetic potential of contemporary collaborative practices and technology infused with the spirit of music.   He is currently working as the Media Coordinator for the College of Arts and Communication at UW-Whitewater. His collection of music posters and original artwork by himself and other artists is on display in the exhibit.

Stanley Ryan Jones (artwork provided by collector Eric Munzinger) — Devo at the Oriental

Kelsey Lawson
Kelsey Lawson is a recent graduate of the Art and Design program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she majored in graphic design.  Her senior exhibit included photos of club scenes and DJ’s.  She is currently working in Milwaukee as the Vice President of Marketing and Operations at SWARMM.

Faythe Levine
Faythe Levine works as an independent researcher, multi-media artist, curator, author and collector based in Milwaukee WI. Sign Painters both a book (Princeton Architectural Press) and documentary about the trade of traditional hand lettering in America is Levine’s most recent project. Locally she curated Sky High Gallery from 2010-2013 and produced the annual event, Art vs. Craft from 2003-2013. Her personal artwork, photographs and writing has been published and exhibited internationally in both formal and renegade outlets. Levine’s first book and film Handmade Nation: The Rise of D.I.Y. Art, Craft and Design received widespread attention. She keeps track of her work with slightly obsessive updates via various social media channels and visually on her website where she documents her community-based projects, travels and experiences.

ARTIST STATEMENT: Not tied down to one medium, Levine’s art is based on whatever she  is passionate about. Over time her work has accumulated into a large portfolio centered around ongoing themes of community, creativity, awareness, process, empowerment and documentation. Her two most widely known projects, Sign Painters and Handmade Nation, both feature length documentaries with accompanying books, have toured extensively in formal and renegade outlets. All of Levine’s work aim’s to communicate honesty, authenticity and quality of life. She has made it a priority that her projects stay approachable and accessible to a large audience, interacting with people in a way that establishes creativity as a vehicle towards personal independence.

Gina Litherland
In her magnificently detailed and inventive paintings, Gina Litherland extends a tradition of Midwest surrealism and magic realism that stretches back to the ’30s and ’40s and the work of Gertrude Abercrombie, Sylvia Fein, Julia Thecla and John Wilde. Born in Gary, Indiana, Litherland has been active in the visual arts since the mid 1970s, exploring photography, performance, and painting. From 1979 to 1982 she participated in weekly experimental multimedia performances at the Emergency Theatre in Chicago. Long a resident of Chicago, she studied painting at the School of the Art Institute, and her paintings, drawings, and articles have been published worldwide in journals and periodicals associated with the international surrealist movement. Her essay on the connections between creative activity and the natural world, “Imagination & Wilderness,” appeared in Surrealist Women: An International Anthology, published by University of Texas Press. Litherland’s recent work was the subject of a museum exhibition at the James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters in Madison in 2006. (from Corbett vs. Dempsey bio, Litherland’s painting appears courtesy of this Chicago Gallery)

Christopher McIntyre
C.M.P. interlaces art, revolution & spirituality into one focus with a global vision of cultivating cultures within every generation of innovative artwork that has a revolutionary molding that is rooted in spiritual foundations. As alliances are forged, services such as fine art photography, documentary film, creative consulting, positive propaganda, guerrilla marketing, community rebuilding through cultural perceptive means & more will be available to a screened clientele base yet presented onto a worldwide stage.

Paul Mitchell
Paul Mitchell is an Adjunct Professor of Printmaking and Foundations at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.  About his own work he writes, “Hunting is Not So Much The Heads You Place On The Wall is the first sound/performance piece that I have created. Having no formal training in music or composition I heavily relied upon the concepts, technique, and aesthetics of artists who break down barriers and twist perception. Artists whose practices are about experimentation and not product. My work continues to evolve in horizontal, vertical, and circular paths, branching off of these originating ideas into a multiplicity of approaches that form hybrids of the physical and digital. I continually develop my approach across disciplines, including installation, printmaking, painting, sound, collaboration and performance. With each new series of work I hope to increase my abilities of perception and diversity of seeing so to further my investigations of this infinitely complex world.”

Chris Niver
While he was a graduate student at UW-Milwaukee, Chris Niver created the two prints featured in the exhibit; both feature music stars traditionally revered in the country and western music scene, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams.  Both are regularly featured on the Friday morning Chicken Shack show on WMSE and are well regarded by music fans.  Chris Niver currently continues to make artwork, often employing unusual but traditional techniques such as embroidery on handkerchiefs.  When not in his studio, he works as a conservator at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Hal Rammel
Visual artist and musician Hal Rammel has been involved in the creative arts for the past 45 years. His work as a visual artist encompasses drawing, sculpture and collage, cartooning, and photography (pinhole and alternative cameraless processes).  His work has been shown at the National Music Museum (Vermillion, SD), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), the Wustum Museum of Fine Art (Racine, WI),  Gallery 1926 (Chicago), Woodland Pattern Book Center (Milwaukee), Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago), and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI).  His photographs have been reproduced on the covers of compact discs released by Hat Art (Zurich), Penumbra Music (Grafton, WI), and Long Arms (Moscow).  His work as a cartoonist has appeared in several volumes including, most recently, Aero through the Ages (Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery, 2006), Aero: An Unfolding Adventure (Woodland Pattern Book Center, 2011), and Aerosophical Sketchbook (Penumbra Music, 2013).

In 2013, fourteen instruments designed and built by Hal Rammel were included in the permanent collection of the National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD.  These acquisitions include many acoustic instruments built in the early 1990s that figured prominently in his work with Chicago improvisers and in his early recordings on Penumbra Music label. The National Music Museum also acquired four amplified palettes dating from 1997 to 2010. (Two amplified palettes will be on display at “The Art of Music in Milwaukee”).

As an author Hal Rammel has written on musical instrument invention for Experimental Musical Instruments, Rubberneck, and Musical Traditions.  His full-length study of surrealism and American folklore, Nowhere in America: The Big Rock Candy Mountain and Other Comic Utopias (including discussion of ‘Haywire Mac’ McClintock, Blind Blake, Bo Diddley, Al Capp and the Shmoo, Jack Benny, and Spike Jones and Red Ingle), was published by University of Illinois Press in 1991.  His liner note essays may be found on recordings released by Atavistic Records and CRI, most recently for the Unheard Music series reissue of Sun Ra’s Strange Strings. A brief biography of Sun Ra written by Hal Rammel can be found here.

Hal Rammel has been the host of Alternating Currents on WMSE (91.7FM) Milwaukee since 1992 and curates the Alternating Currents Live performance series at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee.

Pat A. Robinson
ARTIST STATEMENT: My love for photography began in junior high school. Starting with a plastic Kodak film camera, as a means to meet people and start new friendships.

I dreamed that the art of photography would be my life’s work.
I’m a self-taught photographer. My skills advanced further by taking photography, writing, journalism related courses and workshops. Course work lead to an internship at the Associated Press under the direction of Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Roberto Borea.

My experiences strengthened over time as I gained opportunities to learn my own style, composition, and how light affected a photograph.

Some of my understanding of photography were through looking at  photographs, and photography books. I like to analyze how a picture was taken. I enjoy looking at the images in photo books by photographers like Gordon Parks, Mary Ellen Mark, W. Eugene Smith, Roy DeCarava, Henri Cartier Bresson and many others.

Their black and white images hooked me and gave me a course to follow.
Film directors like Gordon Parks, Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, Spike Lee, and Brian DePalma also inspired me visually.

My photography experiences include:

US Navy photographer, Black Star Picture Agency, Associated Press photo intern, chief photographer, both at Marquette University Tribune Newspaper and Milwaukee Public Museum, The Milwaukee Journal / Sentinel-CNI (CommunityNOW), Newspapers Inc,) Photographer, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Courier, Shepherd Express, Milwaukee Times and national publications like Downbeat, Ebony, Jazziz, JazzTimes,,, United Press International, The Washington Post, Insight On The News, Time, Newsweek, and Life magazine, Magazine of American University.

Amanda Schoofs
Composer, improviser, vocalist, and visual artist Amanda Schoofs creates visceral works that emphasize timbre and intimacy while exposing the raw, vulnerable, and violent nature of the human spirit. Her work extends from the experimental music tradition and exists in the space between diverse artistic practices: music composition, vocal performance, painting and printmaking, poetry, performance art, and authentic movement/dance. 

Amanda is a Lecturer in Music Composition/Theory, and Director of Contemporary Music and Experimental Improvisation at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Peck School of the Arts. She is a Composition Mentor with Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and Present Music’s Creation Project. She was recently a Visiting Artist at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Fine Arts Printmaking Department (NY); a Guest Lecturer and Performance Artist at Artist Proof Gallery (Calgary, Canada); and a Guest Artist with Wild Space Dance Company (WI).

Chester Sheard
Chester Sheard photographed his way through the 60s and 70s, documenting the jazz world and the civil rights movement. He worked as a staff photographer and writer for the Nation of Islam newspaper Muhammad Speaks, and as a freelancer for such publications as Downbeat, Metronome, Time, Ebony, Jet, Der Spiegel and Paris Match. He has photos in Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book. His work graces the album covers of John Coltrane’s Infinity and B. B. King’s Live in Cook County Jail. From Newport Jazz Festival to the Poor Peoples Campaign to the ’68 Chicago Convention, the guy was there.

Chris Shaw — Violent Femmes poster (provided by collector Dale Kaminski)

Evelyn Patricia Terry
As a full time professional artist, writer, educator, and curator, Evelyn Patricia Terry works diligently to establish historically disenfranchised artists in the forefront. Her artwork, transforming a variety of themes into various bodies of work over a thirty-five year period, has been collected internationally with a concentration of private patrons and corporations in the Midwest.

She has shown nationally in solo, group, juried, and invitational exhibitions and internationally in Spain, Germany, Japan, and Russia. Her work is in over 300 private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Germany, and Japan. She has work in the permanent collections of both the Patrick & Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University and the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee.

Arthur Thrall
ARTIST STATEMENT: For many years music has been an inspiration for my paintings and prints. It is one of many graphic sources that have fascinated me, such as manuscripts, calligraphy, diagrams, graffiti, maps, scientific and technical charts. I freely interpret them for their gestural and textural effects rather than their literal meanings. My ideas emerge as impressionistic motifs and arrangements that echo their essence. With the musical themes, I consider them visual music or a kind of choreography. (directly from Arthur Thrall, September 2007).

Cliff Ulsberger, The Factory Print Shop

Von Munz (Eric Munzinger)

Della Wells
Della Wells is a Milwaukee native who has described herself categorically as a self-taught folk artist, but admits that that these labels do not suit her properly.  Rather it is her name that best describes her.  She has always been an artist and sold her first work at the age of thirteen, but didn’t start working in earnest until age forty-two.

“Throughout my life people were trying to get me to do art,” she says, “but I didn’t have an interest. I didn’t have anything to say.” Della’s work is about storytelling she states, “I make up my own folktales in my work… I like to make up my own realities. I find a lot of people make up their own realties.” It took some effort on the part of a college advisor and friends for Della to begin seeing herself as an artist; she had ambitions toward a PH.D in psychology.

Now, Della’s work ranges from collage and pastels to quilting and she has shown all over the United States and abroad. Her creative process stems primarily from her personal experiences, embellished through the art of storytelling into a visual work, “I see myself as a storyteller,” she explains, “…and maybe I’m still finding my story.”  Her images reflect her own experiences and occasionally the interpretation of other people’s experiences, her work is about life and therefore living.  “Art is many things,” says Della, “I think we tend to think that it’s just paintings and sculptures but art is everything. Art is this floor… Art is man’s desire to create. Art is also, to find you… Art is how we live our lives.”

*GG Allin Ephemera (from the personal collection of Peter Goldberg)
From Wikipedia: Kevin Michael “GG” Allin (born Jesus Christ Allin; August 29, 1956 – June 28, 1993) was an American punk rock singer-songwriter, who performed and recorded with many groups during his career. GG Allin is best remembered for his notorious live performances, which often featured transgressive acts, including coprophagia, self-mutilation, and attacking audience members.[1] AllMusic and G4TV‘s That’s Tough have called him “the most spectacular degenerate in rock & roll history”[2]and the “toughest rock star in the world”, respectively.