A Master and His Admirer

Dr. Jeffery Hollander has had a prolific career in addition to his 30-year tenure as the Pfister Hotel’s Musician-in-Residence. “He is so talented, I love the way he interprets the music. No one else plays like he can.” Natalia will be the first to tell you that he is not your typical lounge pianist. “No other place in Milwaukee has this kind of ambiance.” She has admired his work for the past seven years as a fixture in the Lobby Lounge.  So much so, that she made it into Katie Musolff’s painting of Dr. Hollander that is hanging in the hallway outside of the cafe. Originally from Russia, Natalia is a classical pianist herself, holding a Master’s degree in piano performance. Now, she teaches at MATC and has private students, among other engagements.

Natalia leads me over to the painting to show off her cameo. “I’m the one who looks like I am falling asleep on the couch.” she proudly points out her muted likeness in the strokes on the canvas. “After hearing kids torture the keys all day, I come here and listen to him. This is my mental spa, my therapy.” She softly slips into this happy place as she describes just how affecting his music can be. And quickly, she gravitates back to her seat close to the piano, with a clear view of his hands on the keys. I sneak away and allow her to return to therapy, with my own renewed sense of admiration of Dr. Hollander’s talents.

Natalia, proudly standing next to her likeness in Katie Musolff's painting of Dr. Hollander
Natalia, proudly standing next to her likeness in Katie Musolff’s painting of Dr. Hollander

 

Final Deadline For Our Next Artist In Residence

At the Pfister, we’re known for our expansive Victorian art collection,  but we are also very proud of the continued evolution of our Artist In Residence program. We have been fortunate to have such talented artists like Reginald Baylor, Katie Musolff, and currently Shelby Keefe, create amazing works of art within our own walls.

Now heading into our fourth year, we are on the search for the next great artist to continue the great tradition. We are looking for artists to work in the studio and gallery in the hotel lobby, interact with guests and visitors, and have others witness the evolution of each piece first hand.

If you are interested, applications must be submitted by December 1st and can be downloaded at our Artist In Residence page on our website.

 

Artist-in-Residence: Katie’s Farewell Reception

With Katie’s time with us at the Pfister Hotel coming to an end, we’re sad to bid her adieu. But not without the proper send-off.

Watch as Katie shares the legacy she leaves with us at the Pfister Hotel with her commissioned piece of Dr. Jeffery Hollander and provides some valuable insight for the next Artist-in-Residence, Shelby Keefe.

Thank you for gracing us with your presence this past year, Katie!

A Portrait of the Artist

“Well, order everyone calls me Eugene,” he said, when I stuck out my hand to meet the now infamous subject of one of Katie Musolff’s paintings. I’ve seen Eugene before each time I pass through the Artist-in-Residence’s studio, but here he is, live and in the flesh and, he’s beaming.

Eugene is one of the partygoers at Friday night’s celebration of the Pfister’s second AIR and he’s a proud papa. He’s not Katie’s father, but it doesn’t matter. He knows Katie and her partner, Andy, from their time in Stoddard, WI—Eugene is a neighbor. “They’re just such good kids,” he says.

“Well, let me tell you…” he begins. Eugene describes what he calls his little “shack”—a three bedroom house that Katie walked through, exploring the best location to create the famous portrait. He says she hit the back bedroom and it was decided, “We’ll do it here. It’s the best light.”

And together, Eugene and Katie sat for days, working a few hours at a time until the work was done. “Oh, it was easy to chat with her. We always had things to talk about. It’s just so easy to talk to her.” Eugene’s sparkle isn’t from the champagne. It’s his fondness for this amazing talent, wrapped in the woman we came to know as the artist in residence, the art tour lady, “that girl in the studio” or just plain Katie.

I believe him not because he’s driven all this way to say farewell to her and spend his first night in the Pfister—a far cry from his “shack,” he says. I believe him not because he’s gathered his daughter, two granddaughters and his great grandson and great granddaughter to share in the celebration with his friend Katie. I believe him because I’ve met Katie.

Katie was my first interview at the Pfister. I walked into her studio and introduced myself as the nervous and eager finalist for the Narrator program and asked her point blank, “Any tips?” She spun on her stool, got comfortable and, despite having never met me before, began to tell me about the experience. I was enraptured with how she adjusted to being in “the fish bowl” to how she saw her role and the importance of her interactions with people, and how she was able to work among the press, the onlookers and the management. She was generous with her time, and had already gathered and measured the early months of her experience at the Pfister enough to turn it into wisdom worth passing down.

Katie also became my first story. You didn’t read a blog about it because it was the lever to the writings you see. When approaching strangers, talking with guests, and looking for common ground, Katie was where I began. “Have you seen the artist in residence’s studio? Or been on her art tours?” were my questions-as-answers to anyone who began their conversation with me by saying “It is so beautiful here!”

And that’s how most people talk about Katie—kind, engaging and willing to share and speak. That’s how she was reviewed in the press release that announced her residency. That’s how she floated through the room the night of her celebration.

That’s probably why Eugene sat in the good light and talked to her that week. That’s probably why her talent is so apparent and beautiful that he and his family took photos of the portrait and hung one in every room of his house—even though each child and grandchild had their own copies in theirs.

Trust me, being a lived, interactive creative presence at the Pfister is an amazing blessing for the artists and writers, but as I was admittedly a little teary talking to Eugene, I saw clearly it’s really a gift to those we get to engage.

Pfister Artist-in-Residence: Dr. Jeffrey Hollander [VIDEO]

As a legacy within the Pfister Hotel, sovaldi sale Katie Musolff, pharmacy the current Artist-in-Residence, prepares her commissioned work; a portrait of Dr. Jeffrey Hollander, the Pfister’s renowned concert pianist.

Stop by Katie’s gallery inside the Pfister to check on her progress with this work of art.

Pfister Artist-in-Residence: The Commissioned Work of Art [VIDEO]

As a legacy within the Pfister Hotel, Katie Musolff, the current Artist-in-Residence, prepares her commissioned work; a portrait of Dr. Jeffrey Hollander, the Pfister’s renowned concert pianist.

Stop by Katie’s gallery inside the Pfister to check on her progress with this work of art.

Fall Gallery Night

Hello-Hello

So, this Friday is Gallery Night again, and once again you are invited to come and see the progress made in my studio at the Pfister Hotel.  Then, after all of the galleries close down, come to the Rouge Ballroom, just off of the lobby of the hotel for the after party. There will be a cash bar and complementary food.

Work by Milwaukee artists Eriks Johnson and Chris Miller will be the featured in the ballroom.

Here’s the schedule.

Oct 15, Friday: Open studio 5-10pm

After party in the Rouge: 9-11:30pm

Oct 16, Saturday: Open Studio 10-4pm

Come on by, and hang out after seeing all of your favorite shows.  I’d love to see you.

Katie Musolff

[VIDEO] Rocco Landesman visits Katie Musolff

Rocco Landesman, online the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, treatment made a stop in Milwaukee to visit Katie Musolff, our Artist in Residence.

Rocco Landesman visits Katie Musolff from PfisterHotel on Vimeo.

“Travelers411” Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams interviews the Pfister Hotel

On August 21st and 22nd, sales Stephanie Abrams, radio show host of “Traveler411” will be broadcasting her popular radio travel show in the lobby of the Pfister Hotel.

She will be rotating out all kinds of people from the city including our General Manager, sovaldi Joe Kurth, our Artist in Residence, Katie Musolff and John McGivern. Plus many more.

Stephanie has done a few features with the Pfister Hotel in the past including a interview with Reginald Baylor and Joe Kurth. More information about the previous radio shows with the Pfister can be found here.

We look forward to speaking with Stephanie again and stay tuned for the “Travelers411” Radio Show.

Artist In Residence












Katie uses painting as her way of documenting small pockets of the population around her. She attempts to insert herself into places where artists aren’t usually found in order to discover interesting people to paint, as well as to expose the surrounding community to the act of art making. “I’ve painted at the Wilson Commons in South Milwaukee and the St. Ann Center in St. Francis. I’d show up every week and paint a single person for everyone to watch, observe and interact with. My goal is to blur the lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’ by taking regular people and elevating them to a subject worthy of being painted, shown in a gallery or museum, seen by ‘art educated people’ and mixing them together until you can’t tell who is who.”

More information on Katie Musolff can be found at KatieMusolff.com

“This exhibit includes examples of Musolff’s drawings and journal entries that further inform the paintings. It is the most excellent display of her work I have seen…” See JS Online article June 23, 2010

See Pfister Artist Painting Portraits of Hotel Staff July 27, 2010

See The AV Club’s Gallery Night guide, Ald. Bob Donovan edt. July 22, 2010

See Pegi Christiansen’s Gallery Night pick July 21, 2010

See Arts Digest by MPTV June 1, 2010

See Press Release announcement February 15, 2010

See Express Milwaukee article March 2, 2010

See Express Milwaukee article March 7, 2010