Strangers become friends over food, paint and travel stories

[next_message styles=”2″ title=”Gathering of the Senses II”]We’re thrilled to bring our second iteration of Gathering Of the Senses on Saturday, March 15th at 5pm. Tickets are $95++ per person. RSVP by calling 414-935-5950 or emailing m1res@marcuscorp.com.

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Last week, artist-in-residence Stephanie Barenz, executive chef Brian Frakes and I hosted an evening of painting, eating and travel story telling. Nine people attended the event, called “Gathering Of The Senses,” which took place in Stephanie’s studio.

Each participant submitted a photo from a recent vacation to trace onto a canvas and then paint after a brief instruction session by Stephanie. Sue’s photo was taken in Ireland; Grace’s in Istanbul; Erin’s in New Orleans; Cathy’s in Amsterdam; Randy’s in Gettsyburg; Hannah’s in Germany and Karen and Lori’s photos were from a trip they took together to Prague.

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Jenni’s photo was from Chicago, but then went on to say she actually had never been to the Windy City. For a moment I was perplexed, but then she explained she came to the event at the last minute with Erin, whose original date was ill and could not attend. (#goodsport!)

During the painting time, the participants told me the stories behind their travel photos / paintings. I felt moved by and connected to much of what they said, especially considering I have been to every place they were painting with the exception of Ireland and Istanbul.

However, both Istanbul and Ireland are high on my lists of places I want to travel.

Just last month, I met a friend in the Pfister’s Lobby Bar after her trip to Instanbul. It was the first trip she took without her husband who had passed away unexpectedly the year before. I was so enamored with her photos and travels I bought a book, “Istanbul” by Orhan Pamuk, and my partner and I vowed to go some day.

I have also always wanted to go to Ireland. I told Sue that even though my name is Molly and my beer of choice is Guinness, I am not Irish (even though people always ask) but I love all things Irish – including my partner who is 5/8th Irish.

Sue’s Ireland story was very touching because even though her mother passed away when she was 12, she felt her presence while visiting the same places she had been as a young girl.

Erin’s story of traveling in New Orleans with her sister was wonderful, too. She said it was during that trip that she and her sister evolved from siblings to true friends. This choked me up a bit as I am somewhat estranged form my sister for reasons that are unclear to me and I also have had some of my best life moments in the city of New Orleans.

The warm and adventuresome stories went on and on. Hannah reunited with family in Germany; Lori and Karen had the time of their lives in Prague despite the rain.

Cathy told us of boating atop the canals in Amsterdam and her husband, Randy, who is a history buff, had a fantastic time in Gettysburg.

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Chef’s dinner was truly a first for me – since I am not much of a foodie – but everything was absolutely delicious, from the firesalt kiln baked beef marrow (served in a bone) to the firecracker tempura mini flounder to milk chocolate malted mousse. The fact that all of the menu items were inspired by chef’s travels made the cuisine even more meaningful.

chef

The four glasses of wine that accompanied the meal got everyone even chattier and sharing more of themselves as the evening went on. This was my favorite part of the event, having the chance to connect with random, fun, interesting people whom I never would have met or gotten to know without the Pfister connection.

“When people come into my studio or to one of my gallery events I usually only get to talk to them for a few minutes,” Stephanie later said to me. “It was wonderful to spend an entire evening with a small group of people and really get to know them. I loved teaching them my painting process, learning about their personal travel stories and sharing a special meal prepared by our Executive Chef.”

A couple days after the event, I looked at photos of all of the finished paintings from the evening and wrote a haiku about each one. I then mailed the haiku on a postcard to each participant. When I dropped the postcards in the mailbox I felt a little wistful as it marked the end of a magical evening.

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.

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.