Finalists Exhibit Artist Profile – Sara Mulloy

As part of the Pfister’s ongoing commitment to the arts and those incredibly talented artists who’ve taken the time to submit their candidacy for our Artist-in-Residence position, we’ve put together a fantastic evening at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts to highlight Artist in Residence finalists from the first four years of the program. The show, debuted as part of the Hidden River Art Festival on Friday, September 14th from 5.30-8.30pm.  You can find an photo album of the show here, on our Facebook page (a Facebook account is not necessary).

The pieces are on display at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center through October 17th. Participating Artist in Residence Finalists include: Albin Erhart, Anthony Suminski, Brandon Minga, Bridget Griffith Evans, Hal Koenig, Jeremy Plunkett, Kate Pfeiffer, Katie Musolff (former Artist-in-Residence), Matt Duckett, Mutope Johnson, Pamela Anderson, Reginald Baylor (former Artist-in-Residence), Sara Mulloy, Shelby Keefe (former Artist-in-Residence), Steve Ohlrich, and current Artist-in-Residence Timothy Westbrook.

Your Name: Sara Mulloy
The year you applied to be AiR:
2010
Genre of your work:
Still life
Medium of choice:
oil paint and my palette knife
City of Residence:
Milwaukee

Q: What have you been working on in the time since you applied?

A: Since applying for the Pfister Artist-in-Residence in 2010, I was fortunate enough to be hired to open the Milwaukee branch of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, a Chicago-based auction house. We just had our one year anniversary and are enjoying great success thus far. I work with clients who are interested in consigning fine art to auction and assist them throughout the auction process. I do continue to paint, and was in a group show at Katie Gingrass Gallery in 2011.

“Untitled” by Sara Mulloy

Q: What inspired you to become an artist?

A: My father is a photographer and took photos of everything while I was growing up. He was able to find something interesting and beautiful in the most inconsequential thing. Some people are born with a desire to create, and a point of view just a little different than everyone else. It was passed to me by my father and I am inspired by the hard work, successes and failures of people who try to make the world a little more beautiful.

Q: Is there another medium that you have, or would love to experiment in? If so, why does this appeal to you?

A: I have actually just started working in another medium. I am in the beginning stages of a fabric design and furniture upholstery business, Furnish Upholstery. No artist is limited to one medium, and I love finding new ways to work with my hands. To be able to take something old and give it a new life is an amazing feeling and becoming more and more relevant in today’s up-cycled culture. My website is www.furnishupholstery.com, there you can see current and past projects.

Every Three Seconds

“You want to know about Indian culture?” he asks with a raised brow.

I pick up my pen, square my shoulders, and give an affirmative bring-it-on nod.

The lobby lounge is relaxed after a full day of visitors and tourists trafficking through the hotel. I’m having an evening coffee at the bar and my guest, Murali, is unwinding with a glass of whiskey. His flight from India touched down only a few hours ago. He’s in the t-shirt business and his work carries him all over the globe: Sri Lanka, Australia, Europe, Japan, Singapore. He’s in Milwaukee for the first time.

“I left home for work as a young man. I have traveled with my work ever since,” he says.

An exporting entrepreneur in his early 40s, Murali tells me that he lives in the southern region of India now,400 kilometers from his native city.  With his extensive travel schedule, I ask how often he gets to his home village.

“Every year,” he says. His dark eyes are piercing and certain.  “I travel home every year to worship at my temple. It is wonderful.”

Murali tells me about the full day at his home temple, with 150 families together from sunrise to sunset. He even clears napkins from the bar and a tray of mixed nuts to illustrate the generations and linkages of men who worship with him.  He continues worship traditions in his new city, of course, but explains how each region of India will have varied approaches and styles.

“There are 24 states in India and more than 24 languages,” he says.  “Even 60 miles away, there is a different language.  The celebrations are similar, but will look different from region to region.”

“After living away for so long,” I ask, “does your native city always feel familiar when you visit or oddly foreign?” Murali has been cordial with me so far, but understandably guarded. He lets his first smile peek through when I ask about “home.”

“My native city is always home.” Murali says.  He pauses for a moment, his face becoming serious again, and adds, “Things do change where green fields are now homes or shops. Everywhere in the world, things are becoming commercialized. Still, we appreciate tradition.”

I ask about these traditions and Murali lists just a few of the festival celebrations from his culture. There’s a River Festival, a Sun Festival, a festival for studies and a festival for the harvest.  Each month, he says, there is a different celebration with a different focus, and even a different food.

“Each celebration is regenerating,” he says.  “If you think about it, the total of these celebrations are essential for human beings,” he says.

“Which is your favorite?” I ask.

“Diwali,” he says, taking my journal and pen to write the title correctly.  Diwali, Festival of Lights, is held in November or October and is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is named for the rows of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness.

“Every family will have new dress, there are firecrackers and sweets, servants get bonuses, brothers will visit sisters. It is a time for families to come together,” he says.  “The first Diwali after a couple is married is a big celebration for the entire family. The first Diwali with my own wife was in 2000. It will always be my favorite.”

“As a kid, did you value these traditions,” I ask, “or did you learn to really appreciate them once you were an adult?” Murali didn’t hesitate: he’s always cherished his culture and traditions.

“In my childhood, we woke up at 4:30 in the morning to be at the temple by 5am.  We all were there, praying to God,” he says. “We all prayed with the same movements. We had the same ritual of exercise.  We all eat our evening meals on a new banana leaf.  There is even a way to lay in the bed. Yes, these things create a culture, but they are also essential to the body.”

I think about his world, and the certainty it suggests.  I can admit that I have wrinkled my modern and Western nose at the notion of tradition, focused too intently on familiar expectations won’t exist or might be forbidden elsewhere in the world.  In talking with Murali and witnessing the joy he holds in simply describing his traditions to me, I’m better able to appreciate the sense of foundation and purpose that occurs he gains from a culture steeped in prescription and rich tradition.

The more Murali tells me about his village, holidays, rituals and memories, the more relaxed and talkative he becomes.  He speaks from a grounded place, a clear understanding of his journey through the world.

“Ancient priests wrote many things about timing. Every second, for example, three people are born in the world,” Murali says, settling back against his chair, his eyes fixed on mine. “The destiny and the ancestry of those three people can be charted by the sun and the stars.  The people born just one second later will have a different destiny. Our ways are ancient. This is what we believe.”

As much as our cultures may differ, I learn that Murali and I share quirky similarities.  First of all, we were born only eight days apart. Secondly, we are both raising preteen girls.  Third, we both have surrendered our memory to digital gadgets.

“When I started my business, I kept 200 phone numbers in my head,” he says. “Now with the mobile phone, there’s no need.”  I laugh because the only number I have committed to memory is my mother’s.  (If I ever lose my digital address book and find myself in an epic crisis with only one permitted phone call, I’ll have to cross my fingers that she’s not in the audience of a stage play with her ringer silenced.)

“The young people now are a digital generation,” Murali continues.  “Anything they need to know, they pick up their phone and have an answer in seconds.  We used to memorize everything.”

I ask if he uses technology readily or reluctantly.  “Oh, I use it,” he says. “I have to. For business, conversations that used to take a week or two weeks happen instantly now.”

I ask if he uses programs like Skype to talk with his daughter while he’s on the road.  Murali loosens his second broad smile.  “Whatever it takes,” he says.  “Every Sunday when I am home, she asks questions about my travels. So many questions. I miss that.”

I smile. Love and family are certainly universal concepts … and food.  Murali turns to greet a delivery person with a fragrant bag of takeout.

“Food from my country,” he says to me with a smile.

I begin to pack my things, and thank him profusely for his time and generous cultural lesson. Murali finishes paying for his dinner and settles his bag atop the bar.  He turns his attention back to me and gives a slow nod.

“You are most welcome,” he says.  “Next time, I will tell you about Indian food.  That will take an entire day.”

 

Finalists Exhibit Artist Profile – Albin Erhart

As part of the Pfister’s ongoing commitment to the arts and those incredibly talented artists who’ve taken the time to submit their candidacy for our Artist-in-Residence position, we’ve put together a fantastic evening at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts to highlight Artist in Residence finalists from the first four years of the program. The show, debuted as part of the Hidden River Art Festival on Friday, September 14th from 5.30-8.30pm.  You can find an photo album of the show here, on our Facebook page (a Facebook account is not necessary).

The pieces are on display at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center through October 17th. Participating Artist in Residence Finalists include: Albin Erhart, Anthony Suminski, Brandon Minga, Bridget Griffith Evans, Hal Koenig, Jeremy Plunkett, Kate Pfeiffer, Katie Musolff (former Artist-in-Residence), Matt Duckett, Mutope Johnson, Pamela Anderson, Reginald Baylor (former Artist-in-Residence), Sara Mulloy, Shelby Keefe (former Artist-in-Residence), Steve Ohlrich, and current Artist-in-Residence Timothy Westbrook.

Your Name: Albin Erhart
The year you applied to be AiR: 2012 Finalist
Genre of your work: Outsider Art
Medium of choice: Acrylic
City of Residence: Hartland, WI

Q: What led you to apply for the Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence position when you did?

A: Exposure to visitors from out of state, art making in public, and the money.

Q: What have you been working on in the time since you applied?

A: Themewise: More self portraits, portraits of friends, dog portrait, commerical illustrations (Mom’s Gourmet). Stylewise: used underlayments for the top colors, multiple layers of colors, colored lines rather than black lines, using lines less dominant, larger formats – from 14″ x 17″ up to 4′ x 5′, experimented with wall sculptures, painting alongside my 18 month old grand daughter.

“2012 Fashion” by Albin Erhart

Q: What inspired you to become an artist?

A: Coloring books. I’m also an introverted individual – painting is like talking for me.

Q: What piece of art (or artist) are you most inspired by?

A: In the past: the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism (Ernst Fuchs, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Arik Brauer), Expressionists (Kirchner), Blaue Reiter (Kandinsky), Fantastic Realism (William Blake, Gustav Moreau, William Turner).  Today: Artists around town that I meet in person inspire me most.

Q: What part of your process do you find to be the most difficult? Most rewarding? Easiest?

A: I’ve learned in recent years that the ugliest beginnings yield the most gratifying endings. Also if you’re stuck but then you get through it has the same effect.

Q: Is there another medium that you have, or would love to experiment in? If so, why does this appeal to you?

A: Sculptures, wall sculptures – the added dimension appeals, also working with and combining of different materials.

Finalists Exhibit Artist Profile – Pamela Anderson

As part of the Pfister’s ongoing commitment to the arts and those incredibly talented artists who’ve taken the time to submit their candidacy for our Artist-in-Residence position, we’ve put together a fantastic evening at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts to highlight Artist in Residence finalists from the first four years of the program. The show, debuted as part of the Hidden River Art Festival on Friday, September 14th from 5.30-8.30pm.  You can find an photo album of the show here, on our Facebook page (a Facebook account is not necessary).

The pieces will be on display at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center through October 17th. Participating Artist in Residence Finalists include: Albin Erhart, Anthony Suminski, Brandon Minga, Bridget Griffith Evans, Hal Koenig, Jeremy Plunkett, Kate Pfeiffer, Katie Musolff (former Artist-in-Residence), Matt Duckett, Mutope Johnson, Pamela Anderson, Reginald Baylor (former Artist-in-Residence), Sara Mulloy, Shelby Keefe (former Artist-in-Residence), Steve Ohlrich, and current Artist-in-Residence Timothy Westbrook.

Through the months of September and October we’ll be highlighting Artist-in-Residence finalists here on the blog. This week we’re featuring Artist in Residence Finalist Pamela Anderson.

Name: Pamela Anderson
The year you applied to be AiR: 2012
Genre of your work: Abstract Expressionism
Medium of choice: Acrylic, Spray Paint, Watercolor, Paper and Oil Pastel
City of Residence: Milwaukee

“Dreaming” by Pamela Anderson

Q: What inspired you to become an artist?

A: Some of my earliest memories are of me coloring for hours on the back stoop of our house. When I was in school we had art included in our curriculum and I could take art each semester. I did…That is all I wanted to do. It’s that simple. I lived, breathed art. Visiting Art Museums as a child stimulated my desire. I don’t feel that I had good direction back then or encouragement to become a working artist.On graduation from High School my Guidance Counselor encouraged the women in our class to become Nurses or Teachers. My Dad told me that he had only saved money for my Brother to go to College. He told me I wasn’t worth educating as I would only get married and have babies. I got sidetracked for a number of years. I worked in the corporate world of banking, mortgage banking and made a very successful life for myself. I raised a family. Then one day I recognized that I had never followed through with my dream. I started painting again with a new passion. I value my story…I feel it has shaped me as a person and brings meaning to who I am and my work.

Q: What piece of art (or artist) are you most inspired by?

A: This is a hard question. There are too many that inspire me! I love Calder, Miro, Kandinsky, Diebenkorn, Picasso. Frankenthaler, Mitchell, Cabrera Moreno… I could make an endless list. Locally here in Milwaukee I have studied with and have been mentored by Terrence Coffman, Reginald Baylor and Thomas Kovacich. There are aspects of all of their work that I study. Their use of color, placement, strokes…application.When I started creating again I left my traditional methods behind and began to explore Abstract Expressionism. I experiment based on my thoughts or feelings as I look at their work.

Q: What have you been working on in the time since you applied?

A: I have been experimenting with my processes at Plaid Tuba where I work as one of the Artists in Residence. Having the freedom to be able to create in an environment where imagination is nurtured has opened many windows of opportunity for me professionally and emotionally. This is an essential for an artist. Inspiration can come from many sources…but having the ability to actually work and to be successful with that inspiration is deeply gratifying and validating.

Timothy’s 2nd Gallery Night + “Wedding” After Party

Photo Credit: Alison Barnick (who also happens to be a Pfister Employee)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotobug8/

Pfister Artist in Residence, Timothy Westbrook’s second gallery night took place on Friday, July 27th. With the intention of creating a piece that referenced Elizabethan, Timothy decided to tell a story with his second gallery night piece.  Using guides from the 1890s, he created a piece that reflects Queen Victoria’s popularizing of the color white in wedding gowns.

Much like his first piece, Timothy’s fiber art is composed of re-purposed materials, and this piece was no exception.  Utilizing white plastic bags, Timothy weaved a fantastic  Wedding dress – a dress that tied in surprisingly well with Art Milwaukee’s “Wedding”, a Gallery Night after event that was held in the Pfister. But don’t take our word for it, hear Timothy’s thoughts about his second Gallery Night and the privledge of being involved in the event in the video below.

Timothy also used the Gallery Night event as an opportunity to exhibit some of his dyed gowns from earlier in the summer with the help of some local models, and the help of Botique B’Lou.

After Gallery viewing ended at 9pm, the evening commenced upstairs with Art Milwaukee‘s “Wedding” in the Pfister’s Imperial Ballroom.

Artists from throughout the city were on hand to ‘live paint’ through the evening while mock wedding events occurred throughout.

“I have a Much larger sense of accomplishment…” 

Check out some of the great photos from the evening below (for a full gallery, visit us on Facebook)…

Map of Gallery Night & Day, July 27-28, 2012

For your convenience, The Pfister has assembled a handy interactive Google Map of all of the participating venues in this weekend’s gallery night. Zoom, click, drag, and scroll your way around the map to see the full picture of what Milwaukee’s Gallery Night has to offer.

Find the full map, along with a Legend and a full list of participating venues here: http://goo.gl/maps/sbu7f

We’d love to see you at the Pfister, where you can visit our Artist-In-Residence, Timothy Westbrook from 5 to 9pm on Friday night and throughout the day on Saturday.

More information about Milwaukee’s Gallery Night & Day can be found here, courtesy of the Historic Third Ward Association.


View Gallery Night and Day – July 27 – 28, 2012 in a larger map

Co-Conspirator

Co-Conspirator

I’m on a stakeout.  Granted, I’m not disguised as a delivery person or hiding behind a newspaper. There are no binoculars or dark shades involved. No two-way radio tucked into my sleeve.  Although the excitement tickling my gut might suggest that I’m crouched behind a dumpster aiming a telephoto lens, I’m actually perched on a low bench in Blu.  It’s a handsome crowd and most are here to watch the fireworks.  One person is here to rewrite history.

Larry is at a table with his girlfriend, Stephanie. I’ve known her for a while, and Larry has been like a little brother to me for more than 10 years. About a month ago, he called to ask if I could be on hand when he proposed.

“She’s always loved fireworks,” he said. “Last summer, I remember turning to look at her and her face was all lit up with lights and she was smiling like a big kid.  I remember thinking, ‘I absolutely love this woman.’”

Of course, I coo.

“I didn’t tell her in that moment, though,” Larry said, disappointment still lacing his words. “I don’t know what stopped me.  I told her, maybe, the next day. But at the fireworks?  Man, that would’ve been perfect.”

The missed opportunity nagged at him.  When he was ready to propose almost a year later, he was determined to create an unforgettable event.

“If I pull this off,” he said, “History just might smudge away that fact that I dropped the ball that night, and she’ll always associate my ‘I love you’ with fireworks.  Maybe our kids will even retell the story that way.”

A conspiracy in the name of love and posterity? I’m in.

I’m at my post, crammed awkwardly between the bar, a married couple to my right and an adult family of six to my left.  Everyone faces the window, watching the steel-grey sky surrender to nightfall.  I’m making notes in my journal about the crowd, the mood, the floating constellation of lights from boats in the marina and, of course, Larry and Stephanie. Like many other couples, they’re sipping champagne, holding hands, planting kisses, listening to the jazz band, enjoying a romantic evening. I look at my watch. 9:05. My stomach begins to flutter.

The wait staff hustles to and fro delivering champagne and towers of hors d’ouerves to the tables. When a waiter appears beside him, Larry looks alarmed and I imagine his heart thundering beneath his shirt. He’s made arrangements for a custom dessert with “Will You Marry Me” written in chocolate. Not yet. Almost, but not yet.

9:20

The band is back from a mini-break. The singer begins “I Will Always Love You,” and the banquet staff approach Larry and Stephanie with their dessert.  It takes a moment for its true sweetness to register, and Stephanie begins to smile and giggle.  Larry produces the ring box and lowers himself to one knee.  I’m not close enough to hear his actual proposal (should’ve invested in the wire tap kit, after all) but I could hear the whisper rippling around us, “Look, he’s proposing!”

Exactly –seriously- exactly as Larry and Stephanie stand to embrace and kiss, the sky erupts in light and fire.  Larry turns to the crowd and confirms, “She said yes!” The entire lounge cheers.

Later that night, I ask Stephanie if she had any idea.  She said she had none.

“I called her parents and all of her girlfriends to make sure this went off smoothly,” Larry said.  “I even made sure that we were dressed up so all the pictures would look nice.”

“You really covered your bases,” I said.  “When did you start planning?”

Larry recounts how he met with her parents early in the year, requested time off from work back in March, started scouting locations in spring, engaged accomplices in early summer, etc.  All the while, Stephanie is admiring her ring.  Our eyes meet, and she laughs.

“Don’t mind me,” she says.

“So, how’d he do? I ask.

“This was perfect,” Stephanie said, planting another kiss on Larry’s cheek.  “It was everything, and it was perfect.”

Stephanie rested against Larry’s arm, smiling up at him as she draped a wrist over his shoulder. We were all silent, indulging in the gaze. The ring dressed her hand beautifully. Stephanie radiated. Larry beamed. The diamonds winked with fire and light. I am still smiling after we hug goodbye and they have head to the elevators. Smiling, and I have no doubt that their children will long tell love stories about fireworks.

The Pfister Picks: Summerfest’s 45th Anniversary

Peter Mortensen, our Chief Concierge at the Pfister, knows a lot about Milwaukee. He’s been helping people have a great time in this city for over 25 years. While he knows the ins and outs better than most, it doesn’t take a concierge to know that Summerfest is the biggest event in Milwaukee all year!

Watch as Peter gives a little history lesson about Summerfest’s origins and speaks with John Boler, Summerfest’s VP of Sales & Marketing, about what’s new this year!

This is a special year in Summerfest history; it’s the 45th anniversary. In celebration of the Big Gig’s 45th birthday, Discovery World is showcasing a special exhibit featuring Summerfest memorabilia including autographed instruments, photographs and much more. The display will go on through the fest and into September.

Summerfest is also creating an interactive timeline to be displayed at the fest as well as online. Explore tons of photos taken over the course of the festival’s history and even submit your own photos.

What concerts are you looking forward to the most?

Enjoy The Fireworks In Blu

Once again, festival season in Milwaukee is upon us. It’s our favorite time of year! There’s nothing better than good food, good music, and to top it off, a great fire works display.

Are you ready to OOOH and AHHH?

Why weed the crowds, hunt for a good parking spot, or fight the heat and humidity when you can enjoy the fireworks from the best view in the city with a cocktail in your hand.

Join us in Blu for each and every firework display happening at the Henry Meyer Festival Park and throughout the rest of the festivals on the lakefront.

  • 6/27 – The Big Bang
  • 7/3 – Lakefront Fireworks
  • 7/13 – 7/15 – South Shore Frolics
  • 7/19 – 7/22 – Festa Italiana
  • 7/27 – 7/28 – German Fest
  • 8/19 – Irish Fest
  • 9/7 – 9/8  – Indian Summer

(Fireworks start at dusk, times subject to change)

For reservations, please email Alicia or call 414-273-8222 x 2801.

 

Widgets

This isn’t what I expected at all. Where’s the fast talking guy with the water purifiers? What about the charming woman in the quilted vest with the doggy spa? The tall, awkward man in a bowtie who brews “savory” beer?

When the elevator doors slip open onto the seventh floor ballrooms and the Tenth Annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, I Marsha Barwickexpected a labyrinth of skirted tables, exhibition panels, tabletop screens with looping videos and eclectic characters barking passionately about their business venture.  Instead, I arrived to find 500 business suits listening intently to a tailored keynote speaker.

What tha…?

According to Wisconsin Department of Economic Development, the state has 450,000 small businesses, but it didn’t seem like any of them were here. I will eventually think of Richard Branson, Sara Blakely and Valerie Daniels Carter when I think “entrepreneur.” More often, I picture a father-and-son landscaping business first. The middle school teacher who threw everything behind a miracle cream. The college drop out who needs a commercial oven to advance her growing cupcake business.

There wasn’t a promotional tee-shirt, refrigerator magnet or free sample of cranberry cheese anywhere in sight.  

At the perimeter of all the meeting-and-greeting going on as the luncheon emptied into the gallery, I found a modified corporate type– dress shirt with no tie—casually checking email or text messages on his phone.  I dropped on to the couch across from Kyle, frustrated.

“Where are the real entrepreneurs?” I blurted.  “You know, the folks who make widgets and better mousetraps and open hookah cafes?”

Kyle laughed a little and clarified that he, and most of the attendees at this conference, were focused on high growth technology businesses. He was young and composed, with a genuine and appealing smile.  A lawyer. The firm he represented, AlphaTech, specializes in supporting “the entire life cycle of a business.”

“So, you get to be the button-down shirt in a room of fun people?” I asked.  Kyle nodded, laughed again.

Then there should be a shock of white hair, some green suspenders, or at least a pair of jeans in this crowd. 

Then, I spotted the white, pointy-toe dress shoes.  Open collar. White linen jacket. High tidal wave of thick hair. Balbo beard. Funky eyeglass frames.

There he is.

I watched him light about the room until we were seated beside one another on a sofa. I told him of my quest and asked if he, perhaps, was a real entrepreneur.

“I introduce big companies to the next great ideas for commercializing clean energy,” he said.  His name was Jerry and he described how he helps inventors get beyond the test run.  He was starting to explain how big companies scale new technology to the larger market when he sprang from his seat to intercept one of the conference presenters. From reading their body language, what started as an awkward ambush had been deftly shaped into an exchange of qualifiers, tidbits, insights, chuckles, business cards and parting appeal from the presenter for Jerry to sit in on his next session.

Even without widgets, this dude was for real.

Turns out, they all were real in a forward-thinking way. Although the tow truck fleets and gourmet fudge and pawn shops and gymnastic studios will always be essential to our culture and commerce, the explosion of “knowledge-based” industries may prove to be the tipping element for our nation’s economy. The biosciences are a $6.8 billion industry in Wisconsin alone. Our institutions conduct more than $1.25 billion in academic research each year according to the National Science Foundation. With $3.2 billion, we rank 13th of all the states in high-tech exports and we’re consistently among the nation’s leaders in the numbers of patents issued.

Oh. Those entrepreneurs.

In his welcome, Paul Jadin, CEO of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation wrote that the agency is “committed to encouraging the continued rise of the state’s early stage economy.” The State’s Annual Business Plan Contest for start ups in high-tech and high-growth businesses is juried at this event, with winners earning the support of investors, government contracts, research support, and startup cash.  One of the judges, Marsha Barwick of Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences, said she was “blown away” by this year’s submissions.

“There are lot of great ideas out there,” she said.

As I make my way to the elevator to leave, I think of something Kyle, the attorney, said.

“I like working with entrepreneurs. They have so many stories, so much passion, and they’re never the same. I feel lucky to be surrounded by people in love with their dream.”

As the elevator doors open, I realize I’m satisfied.  I didn’t meet any ice cream makers or motorboat repairmen, but I experienced the tradition and future of Wisconsin’s industrial growth. Much better than a t-shirt.