The Pfister Hotel Names Six Finalists for Next Artist in Residence

Home to more Victorian Art than any other hotel in the world, the historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee for the past three years has hosted a nationally recognized artist-in-residence program. A selection committee, consisting of members of the local art community, has announced the six finalists for the 2011—2012 term of the program. This year’s finalists are Pamela Anderson; Matt Duckett; Albin Erhart; Hal Koenig; Brandon Minga; and Timothy Westbrook.

“Each year of this program we are astounded by the amazing talent seen in the applicants,” says Joe Kurth, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “With great consideration, the selection committee has chosen six outstanding artists who remain in the running. Now it’s time for the public to help us decide who will be moving into The Pfister come spring.”

Public Voting

Beginning mid-January 2012, members of the public will be able visit The Pfister’s Facebook page and website to vote for the artist they’d like to see as the next artist in residence. Votes also can be cast via Twitter. The selection committee will announce the next artist in residence mid-February.

Work by the six finalists will be displayed at Gallerie M, inside InterContinental Milwaukee, for January Gallery Night, Friday, Jan. 20, 2011, where the public will be able to vote via ballet box, in addition to the other methods.

The Pfister’s Artist-In-Residence Program

Entering its fourth year, The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program features a working art studio and gallery that is open to hotel guests and visitors. The program encourages the public to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of each piece first-hand. The artist chosen for the 2011—2012 term will move into the studio space in April 2012.

Over the past few years, The Pfister has received national attention for its Artist-in-Residence program. Since 2009, the hotel has been a member of the Alliance of Artist Communities, www.artistcommunities.org, an international association of artists’ communities and residencies featuring a diverse field of more than 1,000 programs worldwide. In 2011, The Pfister’s residency program was highlighted at the organization’s annual international conference.

The program’s current artist is Shelby Keefe (2010-2011), www.studioshelby.com. Past artists include Katie Musolff (2009-2010), www.katiemusolff.com; and Reginald Baylor (2008-2009), www.reginaldbaylor.com.

For more information on The Pfister’s Artist-In-Residence program, visit www.ThePfisterHotel.com/Artist-In-Residence. The Pfister can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thePfisterHotel and on Twitter @PfisterHotel.

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.

 

A Concierge Favorite: “Sunday Afternoon”

By Keia Wegner, healing Assistant Manager at the Pfister Hotel                                                                         

Originally, sovaldi I was going to write about one of our paintings that are a bit more nationally known.  I had heard through the grapevine that one of our beloved concierges, Peter Mortensen, knew a great back story on the piece I wanted to blog about. After lingering around the lobby for a bit I finally caught Peter at a free moment to ask him about this infamous story.  His response was something along the lines of “Well…that one does have a good story, there but can I tell you about the Lorenz?”  Of course I was immediately intrigued.  Peter is a wealth of knowledge; having worked at the Pfister for 20 plus years, he knows this art collection like the back of his hand.  No matter if you are a guest, local or a random passerby coming to view the grandiose hotel lobby, if Peter has a free moment, stop by to pick his brain.

We went up to the 2nd floor mezzanine to a painting titled “Sunday Afternoon” by Richard Lorenz.  A picturesque scene of three people riding in a horse and buggy, dressed in their Sunday best enjoying the countryside; a painting I may have chose to blog about in the Spring.  From my research I knew Lorenz was recruited to come to America (Milwaukee specifically) from Germany as he was a proficient panorama artist.  When he came to the states, Milwaukee was known as the “Hollywood of Panoramas”.  Boasting two major studios, a fair number of famous American panoramas were created here.  Unlike most artists who were brought to America, Lorenz decided to stay.  He fell in love with the American West and is considered to be one of the most well known Western genre painters of his time.  He had is studio in the Mitchell Building on Michigan Ave from 1898 until his death in 1915.  Also, he often displayed his artwork at the famous Layton Art Gallery which was not too far from the Pfister.

What I did not know however was that half of the year he spent here in Milwaukee, teaching and mentoring students as well as taking on commissions.  The other half of the year he would spend out West sketching, painting and gathering inspiration.  Peter informed me that each year, he would hop on a train, take it as far West as he could and from their get a couple of pack mules and head out into the unknown.  Imagine, being able to explore the untouched landscape of the American West and having the ability to record it through artistic expression.

Unlike his more famous Western scenes, this particular painting was done locally, a little north of the city.  The two girls in the painting were daughters of the Memler Family.  Their parents ran a Gasthaus/Beer Garden in the city and their mother (in Peter’s words) was an unofficial “den mother” to new artists that were coming into the city.  The Memler’s would often times let them stay at their house until they could get on their feet find a place to live.  Another interesting fact is that one can most assuredly say that Charles Pfister and Richard Lorenz had some kind of personal interaction; he may have even commissioned the painting for the collection.  The story behind the story is what I love to learn about and I hope you enjoyed this snippet of Peter’s knowledge as much as I did.

Please stop by to see one of Peter’s best loved paintings in the Pfister!  The new self guided tour should be rolling out soon…keep checking back with us for updates.  In the meantime we still encourage guests and non-guests alike to come view or fabulous collection!

News Update: Familiar Voices rally behind the Pfister Hotel

Familiar Voices Rally Behind the Pfister Hotel

Transcript: 

My fellow Americans – and Marcus employees

I’m sue you are aware that I and other former leaders of the free world have had the honor of being a guest here at the fabulous Pfister Hotel. My honey bunch Hilary likes it too.

We see that there has been some in the entertainment industry who have tarnished the good name of our beloved Pfister, there claiming that Stubby is being held against his will.

I’d say that is not the case. Stubby remains a free American mascot, unhealthy able to make his own decisions because of this great democracy we call the United States of Marcus – er America.

Now you know that each of presidents know that the Pfister brand is unimpeachable. And yet, the Marcus Theaters division has targeted this landmark for demolition wishing to turn it into an Ultra Screen.

We cannot let this happen. I say Save the Pfister!

So my fellow Americans, ask not what the Pfister can do for you, ask what you can do to save the Pfister.

A vote for the Pfister is a vote for all that is good and just in this country.

The Fuel of Magnificence

Artist at work

“When I first decided to be a professional artist, I wanted that fishbowl experience, so I got a storefront studio,” Reggie says.

“It’s not intimidating to discover an artist in public space,” adds Caitlin.

A group of us are seated in the Lobby Lounge, discussing the two residency programs the Pfister has developed for art and writing.  As the current artist-in-residence, Shelby Keefe, is out of town, the inaugural AIR, Reginald Baylor, joins us instead – along with his business partner Heidi Witz.  One of the managers, Jessica, is also taking part in the conversation, at the head of which is Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities.  The goal of the Alliance is a clearinghouse of information for artists seeking residencies (places to cultivate their particular art) and for residency providers.  While these residencies are certainly there to help an artist create original works and become better at what they do, there is an important public component to them.  90% of the more than 1,000 programs worldwide have an engagement with their local communities.

This public engagement is hugely important.  A 2003 study by the Urban Institute found that while 96% of Americans valued the arts, a mere 27% valued the artists.   The study concluded that “Making a real difference in the creative life of artists will entail developing a new understanding and appreciation for who artists are and what they do, as well as financial resources from a variety of stakeholders. Achieving these changes involves a long-term commitment from artists themselves, as well as arts administrators, funders, governments at various levels, community developers and real estate moguls, not to mention the business and civic sectors.”

There’s a clear disconnect between the art we see and experience, and those creating it.  Caitlin explained, “a lot of residencies struggle with that aloneness of creating art, wondering how to you let the public into that process.”

The assistant front desk manager, Jessica, originally thought the artist-in-residence program at the Pfister was primarily for enriching the guest’s experience.  “What I noticed was a lot of people would come here – not just stay here – and consider the Pfister a part of that Milwaukee experience.  The community and city has gotten involved.  It was such a pleasant surprise.”

Seeing artists as “regular Joes” by seeing the backs of their paintings as opposed to the fronts that create a sense of idolization, that separation of the artist from the art viewer that results in the divergent numbers of people who appreciate art, but not art makers.

For-profit companies are one path to bringing the public into the artist’s process, bridging that gulf between art and artist in the eye of the public.  Businesses that see creativity as an asset, that invest in the new creative economy, find themselves nurturing a different craft or conversation product, one that’s not much different than the culinary arts of Mason Street Bar & Grill, the fashion arts of Roger Stevens or Boutique B’Lou, the music artistry from pianists in the lounge or in Blu, or the healing arts of WELL Spa.  Customers and guests then see each of their experiences has having artistic merit, which bolsters value of other arts.

The struggle between artists creating “to create” and artists creating for production and money is a historically constant one.  “It’s a conundrum,” Reggie says, “Professionals won’t do their work if they’re not getting paid.  Why should artists have to be any different?”  With the rise of local art shows like Made in Milwaukee, and online marketplaces like Etsy, artists are finding ways to create art, but also make, or supplement, a living with those creative gifts.

The Pfister’s unique approach to this investment into the creative economy has now stood for a few years as a shining example of how art and business and co-exist in a mutually beneficial partnership.

MPT production/gallery space

Just down Wisconsin Avenue, at the hollowed-out Grand Avenue Mall, a similar partnership has begun.  The new owners had an open house in June that featured a local design firm and Creative Alliance Milwaukee, showcasing how the mall plans to open up to more nonretail use.  Already, two arts organizations, ArtMilwaukee and Milwaukee Public Theatre, have moved into empty storefronts there, joining the same wing as the offices of online magazine ThirdCoastDigest.

Milwaukee’s creative economy is growing fast, and being a part of this sort of new, engaged partnership between business, art, and the public has certainly lit a fire under me to continue to remain engaged and supportive of these endeavors.  And, I see the next Pfister Narrator, Ed Makowski (stepping up to the proverbial desk on November 1st), taking this program to even greater heights within that growing community.

Shelby Keefe’s 30 Paintings in 30 days

Last month, see The Pfister Hotel’s Artist in Residence, Shelby Keefe, began her mission to create a painting a day for 30 straight days. Using her own photos and images from the public as inspiration, buy cialis Keefe has focused her pieces on people in local, urban landscapes.

The 12” by 12” works, along with several of her other paintings, will be on display during gallery night and in her studio at the Pfister Hotel until early November. The works also will be featured at The Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin at a show this late fall.

 

The Pfister Hotel to Host October Gallery Night

The Pfister Hotel will be showcasing a gallery from 5-9pm, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, as part of Gallery Night and Day, an art event put on by the Historic Third Ward Association and the East Town Association.

Last month, The Pfister Hotel’s Artist in Residence, Shelby Keefe, began her mission to create a painting a day for 30 straight days. Using her own photos and images from the public as inspiration, Keefe has focused her pieces on people in local, urban landscapes.

At the start of the 30 days, Keefe put a call out to the public to send her photos to be considered for the project. She received many submissions and chose two photos from the public as inspiration for paintings. For those she chose to paint, the person who submitted the photo will receive a digital print of the finished piece as a keepsake.

Keefe will complete the final of the 30 paintings today. The 12” by 12” works, along with several of her other paintings, will be on display during gallery night. The works also will be featured at The Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin at a show this fall.

“I have really enjoyed this process and am finding great satisfaction in including people in my paintings, which is something I previously have not focused on,” said Keefe. “The project has helped me realize that I need to get more people in my paintings, and even have people be the focus, not just a minor suggestion. This has been huge directional shift for me as an artist, and I look forward to stepping back in to my more ‘normal’ painting life with this new perspective and direction.”

The historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is in its third year hosting a celebrated artist-in-residence program. Keefe moved into the Pfister’s studio space in April 2011, replacing former Pfister artist Katie Musolff, and will remain at the hotel for one year.

A contemporary impressionistic painter, teacher and performance artist, Keefe was born in Whitewater, Wis., and graduated in 1981 from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. Since retiring from a career in graphic design in 2005, she has been operating her own art studio and exhibition space in Bay View. Her award-winning urban landscape paintings have earned her participation in prestigious national juried shows, plein air painting competitions and arts festivals, as well as garnering commission work for a variety of corporate clients and private collectors.

Gallery-goers are invited to end their evenings with a special reception and live performances from 9-11:30pm at Café Pfister, located inside The Pfister Hotel. At 10pm, Keefe will create a performance art piece using one of her 30 in 30 pieces as inspiration. Local band Chocomontuno will play Latin jazz rock, funk and original tunes throughout the reception. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served and there will be a cash bar. All events are open to the public. A complimentary shuttle will transport guests throughout the gallery route over the course of the evening.

Daniel Ridgway Knight’s “The Rose Garden”

By Keia Wegner, viagra Assistant Manager at the Pfister Hotel

Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924) was an American artist born in Philadelphia.  In 1871 he moved to France where he purchased a house and studio at Poissy on the Seine.  This was a perfect area for him as it provided lush natural scenery that can be seen in the majority of his paintings.  He used this as a backdrop for his favorite subject to paint, medical peasant women at work and play.

The Rose Garden is a perfect example of this; a young woman taking a contemplative break while tending to her garden.  One can see roofs just peeking above the flora with a picturesque lake in the background. The fact that Knight preferred to paint the ‘common’, remedy everyman (or woman in his case) set him apart from his French peers.

Most French painters chose to depict these men and women in their laborious toils; still trying to make a living off of the land during the time of the ever expanding Industrial Revolution. In Knight’s own words: “These peasants are as happy and content as any similar class in the world. They all save money and are small capitalists and investors…. They work hard to be sure but plenty of people do that.”[1]

Stop in to see The Rose Garden and other works by Daniel Ridgway Knight.  We are underway on getting the labels printed for the new self-guided art tour….stay tuned for updates!

 

Shelby Keefe: 30 paintings in 30 days [VIDEO]

With any form of artistic expression, viagra the importance of daily practice promotes the mastering of techniques. The practice of creating a Painting a Day, which was introduced by artist Duane Keiser in 2004, sickness for the purpose of selling his work through an Internet blog, has led to a movement of artists who thrive in this discipline.

The Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin approached Shelby Keefe and asked her if she would be willing to participate in this 30 paintings, 30 days challenge, and Shelby jumped at the opportunity.

Shelby is fast at work on her first of the “30 Paintings in 30 Days.”

Shelby is still looking to her fans for visual inspiration. Her approach is to paint the figure in an urban landscape but she needs some extra photos to choose from. Send your photos to PfisterPhotos@ThePfisterHotel.com, but first, Shelby has some criteria she would like you to follow. The theme here is “People in Urban Landscapes.”

Shelby Keefe: 30 paintings in 30 days from PfisterHotel on Vimeo.

Still Accepting Submissions for 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Shelby is fast at work on her first of the “30 Paintings in 30 Days.”Shelby is still looking to her fans for visual inspiration. Her approach is to paint the figure in an urban landscape but she needs some extra photos to choose from.

Send your photos to PfisterPhotos@ThePfisterHotel.com, but first, Shelby has some criteria she would like you to follow.

Example of an ideal submission

The theme here is “People in Urban Landscapes.” So please try and follow the following criteria.

1. People focused yet in an urban setting – Being figurative, the people are the subject but they will not be painted in any detail with no telling identifiers. (ie people walking down the street, people talking at an intersection, or people enjoy coffee on a cafe patio

2. Urban Landscape – Looking at Shelby’s previous work, you can see the talent she has in painting urban architecture. So see if you photo can include some buildings or city skyline in the background.  Ideally it would be best if it were kept regional to Milwaukee.

3. Please do not submit photos of posed people in front of landmarks or backgrounds.  The people aren’t the direct focus, they are just part of a whole.

4. Please remember to include your name and email in the submission, so if Shelby chooses one of your images, we can get you your keepsake image.

So send in your pictures to PfisterPhotos@ThePfisterHotel.com and help provide some inspiration to Shelby and as a thank you, if she selects one of your photos to paint, she’ll also provide a digital print that you can have as a keepsake.

Good luck everyone, we can’t wait to see the submissions.