The Santaland Diaries
November 26- December 20, 1999

Bialystock & Bloom presents The Santaland Diaries, written by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, and directed by Jonathan West.

The Santaland Diaries is the rip-roaring tale of one man’s search for seasonal work and his ultimate journey through the paces of becoming a department store elf. This soon-to-be-classic among holiday stories is read annually on National Public Radio. Local actor and teacher Tom Klubertanz will don his fuzzy slippers and cap to perform this one-person piece.

In addition audiences will be treated each evening to a reading of Mr. Sedaris’ “Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol.” Making their Milwaukee stage debuts in this caustic and hilarious story of a drama critic’s response to grade school Christmas pageants will be real-life drama critics Damien Jaques, Mary Carole McCauley (both from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) and Gordon Spencer (from the Shepherd Express Metro.)


Dia de los Muertos
October 31- November 27, 1999

Please come and join Walker’s Point residents, business owners, artists and other members from the Milwaukee community as they commemorate deceased family and friends. Community members create ofrendas (altars) in memory of the dead, and personalize the altars with photographs, poems, personal art work, candles, food and mementos. Artists create paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture which explore the same theme and often document the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. Many artists contributed to this year’s celebration including Jorge Abundis, Jose A. Chavez, Michael Flanagan, Gloria Gonzales, Dara Larson, Lona Long, Jose Amado Ortiz, Andrea Sigala, Diane Steigerwald, Teri Wagner, Rosa Zamora, Rosa Zamora, Spotted Eagle High School, and WPCA Hands On Children’s Program. Entertainment for the event was provided by Dara Larson (slide presentation), Jose Chavez (sugar skull demo), and Ballet Cultural Hispano.


The History of the Devil Or Scenes from a Pretended Life
October 22- November 7, 1999

Inertia Ensemble presents the Milwaukee premiere of Clive Barker’s play. What happens when a deprived and lovelorn Satan is sick and tired of living in Hell? He holds a trial. And Inertia Ensemble’s production of Clive Barker’s The History of the Devil sets out to deliver audiences this inquisition…and its result.

The History of the Devil centers on the appeal trial of Satan. Distraught at the loss of his angel-wings, his freedom of flight, his elegance and grace, he holds a trial to seek re-admittance into Heaven. If the devil (with the help of defense attorney Sam Kyle) can prove that his existence on earth has had no ill effect on humanity, then he is free to return home to his Father in Heaven. However, if Catherine Lamb and the prosecution have their day in court, then he is sentenced to spend eternity as a prisoner on earth.

Evidence, exhibits and witnesses take you, the jury, through space and time, detailing the history of the devil’s time on earth. From his fall from grace to the present day, vignettes transport the audience from prehistoric Russia to an 18th century prizefight in England, from the last outpost of Alexander the Great’s empire to a witch trial in 16th century Switzerland, to the last days of World War II. And along the way, you’ll meet a few surprise guests.

Acclaimed author and master of the macabre Clive Barker (best known for his screenplay, Hellraiser) penned this devilishly clever tale of Satan, God’s most famous fallen angel, and his trial for his re-admittance into heaven. A wickedly funny, must experience production.


Phantom Press and Friends
September 10- October 16, 1999

Featuring the work of April Atkinson, Mark Baltzley, Lia Gima, Ariana Huggett, Eriks Johnson, Chris Niver, Roberto Rojas, Paula Schulze, Dan Sjogren.

Phantom Press and Friends highlights the work of a group of Milwaukee artists who share a printmaking studio called Phantom Press. Chris Niver creates deadpan depictions of science gone wrong, while Mark Baltzley reflects on young romance in the context of the music and tragic death of singer Marvin Gaye. Lia Gima searches for the familiar among the fossil remains of past imagery, and Paula Schulze builds dark architectural and geometric spaces. The exhibition also features prints by former Phantom Press members and “friends” April Atkinson, Robert Rojas, Dan Sjogern, Ariana Huggett, and Eriks Johnson.

Phantom Press began in 1995 while Chris Niver, Mark Baltzley and Paula Schulze were working at the Milwaukee Art Museum in conservation and in registration. With the encouragement of others, Baltzley purchased an etching press capable of printing metal plates, relief prints and monoprints. The studio has the materials necessary for etching, but many of the artists are striving to utilize processes such as mezzotint, monoprint and relief which eliminate the need for an acid bath to etch metal plates. The artists share the costs of leasing the studio space, furnishings and supplies.

Phantom Press is perhaps the only small cooperative press in Milwaukee. There are individual artists who own their own presses, and artists like John Gruenwald who print for other artists, but Phantom Press stands alone in a very small niche in the print world. There is an archive of prints which have been published at the press; each artist contributes a print from an edition.


Off the Grid: Amy Cropper & Stuart Morris
July 23- August 28, 1999

Amy Cropper, Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts at Carroll College, creates objects constructed of found materials and natural forms such as plants and dried wild grasses. Stuart Morris is a sculptor living and working in Mt. Vernon, Iowa whose work is inspired by the construction of nature and concerns for people. This installation represents the first major exposure of new works by these two artists in Milwaukee.
~curatorial statement


Four Voices: a series of performances by Latino artists
July- October, 1999

Four nationally acclaimed performance artists interpret their experience of Latino life in contemporary America.

Beto Araiza performs H.I.Vato, a seriocomic reflections of a Latino everyman after 12 years of living with H.I.V.

Jose Torres Tama performs $CasinoAmerica$, an NEA award-winning performance that examines gambling as a metaphor for life in contemporary America.

María Elena Gaitán performs The Adventures of Connie Chancla. Barrio scholar Connie Chancla walks us through 150 years of borders, barriers, and stereotypes.

Adrian Villegas performs Six Mexicans Named Gonzalez: A Comedy of Ethnic Proportions. Pop culture, family relationships, and racial politics seen through the prism of Mexican-American experience.


April 16- May 22, 1999

A new exhibition at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts features the paintings of Ariana Huggett, whose work ranges from meticulous renderings of hair and supersaturated rosettes to whimsical paintings of knickknacks and utilitarian objects. Employing an iconic presentation, Huggett blurs the distinction between the ordinary and the lofty.

According to Huggett, “My work involves ornamentation and decoration from a Modernist slant. I tend to take the peripheral as subject and elevate it through two-dimensional representation. There is a tension in my work, however, between whether my paintings and drawing with their connection to “Crafts” and domestic activities actually become art. I think the distinction is blurred because while the subject is treated as iconic, it is also celebrated for what it is as decoration, and that lies in the realm of the feminine.” –press release




Peep Show
March 5- April 10, 1999

Artists Jill Engel, Valarie Tatera, Hether Hoffmann give an insightful look at our foibles and fears. In a Peep Show, the viewer, not the viewed, is often the one ill at ease. The ringleader of this group, Jill Engel, proposed this exhibit and has done a good job of keeping the show on track. Each of the three artists has a similar background which is rooted in their education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, although the paths have parted somewhat since that time. Hether Hoffmann attended graduate school at the University of Kansas and returned to live in a northwest Chicago suburb. Engel and Tatera continue to live and work in the Milwaukee community.

Valarie Tatera exhibits a strong interest in the body as an ailing vessel and has created a new series of works which will be displayed as a room installation. The body forms are, in a sense, metaphors for the vagaries of life. The suggestion of an unhealthy pallor of skin tone is emphasized wonderfully by the ceramic, beeswax and rubberized surfaces of her pieces. In addition, limbs are manufactured separately and attached to form an amalgam whose overall impression is unsettling.

Engel says, “People think, ‘Oh women, they have a lot of shoes.’ There is an aspect of the double edged sword about these common objects. Would you really see a shoe that looked like that? Do they look sinister? When you see how shoes are displayed in lingerie ads there is a sexy glamour to them. These poke fun at glamour.”

Hether Hoffmann examines still another aspect of the body and that is the clothing which envelopes and defines it. Using the same kind of analogy that Engel applied to her shoes, and Tatera to her body forms, Hoffmann uses clothing, often found pieces, to create a tableaux which investigates the human form, and also the psyche. –curatorial statement


Draw Your Weapon: The Gun Show
January 15- February 27, 1999 

Contemporary culture is saturated with images of weapons and violent narratives. Graphic depictions of violence are commonplace and have lost their horrific associations. This group exhibition examines how contemporary artists are exploring some of the issues relating to guns and violence. Because Walker’s Point Center for the Arts is located in a neighborhood where gangs are especially active and drive-by-shootings are not uncommon, The Gun Show provides a reflective look at themes of destruction and encourages thoughtful contemplation of such imagery.

National and local artists featured in this show are Michelle Vitali, Michael Garr, Brent Allyn Budsberg, Debra Swack, Mark McBride, Jack Herrle, Eve Whitaker, Jimmy Fike, Matt Fink, Robert The, Jayne Lilienfeld, and Robert Conrad.

Milwaukee artist Brent Allyn Budsberg weaves delicate sculptures that suggest not all childhoods are idyllic. Debra Swack of New York uses images of toy soldiers, tanks, and hand grenades to produced large, constructions. Michael Garr of Minneapolis offers humorous narratives, in both oil painting and cast iron sculpture, of how weapons and power tools share a common fascination for many men.

The exhibition also features work on themes of violence and peace generated by children from “Hands On”, WPCA’s after school art program, in collaboration with Mark McBride, one of the artists in the show. –press release