Get to Know Timothy Westbrook, the 2012 Pfister Artist in Residence

Many lovely guests and passersby have come to enjoy the creation process with me. A few questions keep coming up so I thought that I’d share my answers with you so you can get to know me better. Feel free to e-mail any other questions to TimothyADK@gmail.com or come visit the studio and we can chat in person. I’m in daily Monday-Saturday and Sunday by appointment. Hours change day to day. You are welcome to request my presence in the studio by e-mail the address above.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

When did you start sewing?

My grandmother taught me when I was five. My mother realized my interest and set me up with sewing lessons when I was nine with a local quilter. I’ve been sewing ever since.

 

Where did you get the idea for cassette tapes?

In eighth grade, I participated in a wearable art recycled fashion show. Being a “Purist” at the time, I couldn’t possibly sew with thread because it wasn’t recycled. I used the cassette tape as sewing thread. With that outfit I used woven plastic bags as a belt. I took a weaving course my junior year of college at Syracuse University with professor Sarah Saulson.  I made my first costume with the material for a student production of The Magic Flute opera. You can view it on my personal website here.

 When did you start weaving?

In third grade, I had a simple weaving tutorial. In eighth grade, I received my first floor loom from my friend Angie Oliver of Packbasket Adventures. My first formal weaving training wasn’t until my Junior year of college.

Are you from Milwaukee?

I am from the quiet town of  Wanakena, NY.  It’s a tiny town comprised of 62 year-round inhabitants located in the north foothills of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. It’s worth googling images or coming into the studioto see the photograph of my front yard. Here are some charming spots in my hometown to check out.

http://www.esf.edu/rangerschool/

http://pinecone-wanakena.com/

http://www.wanakenawoodworks.com/

http://www.wanakenageneralstore.com/

http://www.packbasketadventures.com/

Are you only making costumes/fashion?

I am taking commissions for wedding gowns, evening gowns, ready-to-wear, scarves, hand bags, costumes for stage, costumes for isolated performance art, and costume for private commissions. The main goal is to create Victorian style ball gowns out of material I will be weaving out of cassette tapes combined with natural fibers.

How long are you here?

I will be here for one full year; my first day was April 2nd 2012, and I’ll be hanging out until end March of 2013. To learn more about the program I am participating in click here. 

Who is doing the weaving?

I am weaving on a four-shaft floor loom from my good friend and previous studio mate Elin Sandberg.

Who is doing the sewing?

I am sewing on my non-electric sewing machine. I have a manufacture date estimated between 1885 and 1895.

And with one last parting word, Guido Pfister is a fan of what I’m doing and requested to wear one of the scarves I have for sale in the studio.

More sites to peruse

The main Pfister Artist-In-Residence Website 

My online portfolio

Like me on Facebook

Timothy Westbrook Explores & Exhibits at the Geneva Lake Museum

The emphasis of the Artist in Residence program here at the hotel is to remind us all that art is living and breathing and not just another layer of wallpaper.

I have seen first hand how this program allows guests to get a hands-on experience of my work. I love to see guest reaction when they encounter my work up close and personal.

The best part of the studio is that you never know who will pop in. It continues to be one of my favorite parts of the experience.

Around the start of my second month, ed I had an epitomizing moment when Karen Walsh of the Geneva Lake Museum stepped into the studio. An instant friendship blossomed and a month later I showed an exhibit at their “History Loves Company Celebration.”

Not only were there replicas of 1900’s style Fire Stations, Law offices, buy viagra Schools, Farms, Kitchens, etc. but they also had displays of turn of the century home craft, photography equipment, dentistry, boating, and the military.

If you have a passion, obsession, profession, or hobby, they will have the turn of the century counterpart. It is worth it to see the history of your work in physical form. Google-ing it online can only take you so far, in the words of the new director of the museum, generic Karen Walsh, “If you touch history, history will touch you.”

Here are some of my favorite sights from the trip.

The "General Store" had a great collection of fabric and thread.
A wedding gown for the average early 1900's woman.
Display of turn of the century shawls in the "seamstress's room"
Skating is my second passion & these skates from the 1920's are amazing!

My exhibit for the “History Loves Company Celebration” was a miniature version of my studio in the Pfister.

My display in the museum.

My set up was a fun compliment to the fiber art display they also had in the museum.

One of my dresses and jackets inspired by the 1920's was also on display.

On semi-permanent display will be an exhibit of costumes that I’m making in the studio.

It was a wonderful experience and I hope to share many more during my residence. And, as always, please stop in, my door is always open.

– Timothy

 

 

 

 

A Glimpse into Timothy Westbrook’s First Month

My first month as Artist In Residence has been action packed. While it has been a whirlwind to get here, cialis I could not have asked for a better start.

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting some wonderful people and attending some great events, making my transition into this position smooth and fun.

I’ve been introduced to a lifetime of memories. The beauty is each one is new, unique and provides me with a bit of inspiration.

Pfister Artist in Residence
Lola played dress up with Timothy & named his mannequin Marlene

Some of my favorite moments include:

  • Being graced with the presence of a Klondike Katewho offered to sing me one of the songs of her performance.
  • Meeting the brilliant Lola. A seven-year-old that told me all about her life as the malevolent little sister and shared her evil laugh. She also named one of my mannequins, troche Marlene.
  • Being invited by a lead a member of the Intermezzo String Quartet for a day of antique store shopping the next time I’m in Madison.

I will never forget the night I finished my first weaving. I was joined by a kind but quiet woman who was captivated by the process. She had seen every fiber process leading up to weaving. Her sister has sheep so she has seen sheering, carding and spinning (all processes involved in making yarn); after about an hour of vigilantly watching she shared that it was her birthday.

Sharing a special bonding moment with the birthday girl that night was fantastic. She cared as much about the weaving as I. And the next day, she continued on with her life but profoundly moved me in the moment that 28 feet of woven cloth escaped the restriction of the loom.

The following day a couple came in who had lived together in Milwaukee from the time they were born to the time they were somewhere in their thirties. It has been 26 years since they had been back and they said the Artist in Residence programs was one of their favorite changes to the city.

Easter was my day off. And by day off, I mean I only was in the studio seven hours instead of 10-14 hours and I was sketching and putzing instead of energetically sewing and weaving.

A very creative five-year old joined my favorite part of that day. We worked on some new sketches and her sense of positive and negative space with the use of neon pink was very inspiring.

A well known singer in her home town, Sherron, had a late flight into Milwaukee. Still awake from jet-lag, we took a midnight tour of the art collection. That night two weddings had happened. We enjoyed the view of the ballrooms as the clean up crew collapsed the tables and shared stories about the fun the bridal party had.

As I worked steadily the days leading up to my opening gallery night show, the studio was visited by high school guidance counselors, bankers, knitters, family members of people who once had a sewing machine, or once had a loom.

That “Big Night” came with my first visit of friends that might as well be family. My mother’s childhood friend stopped in with her partner and their child, who is now eleven. This was my first time meeting her. What an amazing event for a reunion.

After a wildly successful premier gallery night, HOW could this residency possibly get any better?

Pfister Artist in Residence
Model, Rose, dons Timothy Westbrook's First Gallery Night Piece

Easily. A lovely poised, elegant, woman whose great aunt was an on-call tailor in the early days of the hotel, walked into my studio. She shared stories of women who would tear their dresses when a miss step of the heel caught the hem of a train. A tailor would be on sight to quickly mend the tear then send them back to the dance floor.

Shortly after, a leading frame historian who also works in art frame restoration came in the space, sat down on the floor cross-legged with me and we discussed history, art preservation, textiles and museums. It was truly an honor.

Later that week, an incredible group of people started to filter into the hotel – championship dancers. This was the 25th year of the Wisconsin State Dancesport Championships. I enjoyed our former Narrator Ed’s perspective he describes it perfectly.

Pfister Artist in Residence
Timothy meets a legendary opera singer

My first month has gone faster than the dancers can spin. Just when I thought it could not get any better, late in the evening on the last day of April in walks the first opera singer into the studio. Thirty-six years ago, he performed as Papageno in a production of the Magic Flute in Milwaukee. What a magical way to end what has been an extraordinary month.

I’ve enjoyed it all, from every conversation to the few people that popped their heads in long enough to put a smile on my face. Even some of the late night wise guys quotes have been great. Some of my favorites have been:

  •  “Can you make a jacket with bird cages on the shoulders?”
  • “What man, did you get in a fight with all your cassettes?”
  • “What looks better, country or rock and roll?”

Thanks for making my first month so memorable.

Looking forward to sharing my work with you! Stop by anytime, my door is always open.

– Timothy

Timothy Westbrook’s First Gallery Night

Timothy Westbrook, Pfister Artist in Residence, celebrated his first gallery night Friday, April 20th 2012. The event was a great success. Here’s a glimpse into Timothy’s rationale behind “The Femme Nouvelle” piece and the evenings events.

The show began around 5:30 pm with Timothy reenacting a turn of the century dressing with his model Rose.

Timothy walked through the process of tightening a traditional corset and discussed his use of recycled fabric. Both the corset and the prototype skirt were fashioned out of recycled Pfister hotel bed sheets that he had dyed a beautiful deep purple.

Over the corset and prototype skirt, Rose donned a Timothy Westbrook original jacket.

Timothy specializes in weaving with recycled materials.  The fabric used in the jacket was hand woven by Timothy with both wool and the cassette tape. The shimmer of the cassette tape reflected the light wonderfully.

Timothy then fashioned the jacket from this woven material. The details on the sleeves and lapels were exquisite.

 

There were some friendly faces in the crowd. Last year’s Artist in Residence, Shelby Keefe, came out to support Timothy and couldn’t help touching the fabric.

The night was full of art, cheese, wine and conversation. Timothy is already preparing for his next gallery night to be held in July.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support our 2012 Artist in Residence and please stop by the Westbrook studio in the Pfister to see more of Timothy’s work.

 

 

Our New AIR Timothy Westbrook’s First Gallery Night: tons of surprises in store!

Timothy Westbrook’s first gallery night will be exciting and very interesting. He has both stagnant and performance components to the event.

Here’s a sneak peek of what he’s working on for the show.

Timothy Westbrook’s first gallery night will be in conjunction with the Milwaukee wide “Gallery Day and Night” event.

Updated information: Timothy’s performance piece to open at 5 pm

At 5:00 pm Timothy’s model, Rose, will be assisted into her corset fashioned after clothing from 1902. Promptly after, her hair will be styled. This will take place in the studio gallery and is open to the public. Watch as he fits her into the corset and ask him any questions about the piece you may have. The audience will experience up close a period style daily dressing routine of the early 1900’s.

She will then interact with the audience in the rouge till the last guest leaves! Timothy will be in between the rouge and his studio answering questions and interacting with the audience.

Guests are invited for light appetizers and cash bar in the rouge.

The best part about starting at the Pfister for Gallery Day & Night is you can park at the Pfister and take a shuttle to the other galleries.

Gallery Night Xpress has five convenient stops throughout the Third Ward and East Town.

– 212 N. Milwaukee St. (in front of parking structure)
– The Pfister Hotel

– Hotel Metro

– InterContinental Milwaukee

– 225 E. Chicago St. (in front of parking structure)

Come join us at The Pfister to welcome Timothy to Milwaukee.

New Artist in Residence Timothy Westbrook Moves into Studio Space

Timothy Westbrook Studio

MILWAUKEE – April 6, 2012 – Emerging fiber artist Timothy Westbrook, along with his floor loom and antique sewing machine, has moved into The Pfister Hotel’s studio space, where he will create art and entertain guests for one year. The historic hotel, which is owned and managed by Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, has hosted a popular Artist-in-Residence program for the past three years. Westbrook moved from upstate New York to Milwaukee for the opportunity.

“Drawn to The Pfister by the artistic and historical reputation of Milwaukee, I’m eager to develop my artistic voice in this unique setting,” said Westbrook. “During my time at the hotel, I’d like to complete two main projects. One is to create about five fully styled period ball gown reproductions and the other is to create a fashion collection. For both, I plan to weave cloth out of various organic and repurposed manmade materials, including items like cassette tapes, sculpting them into costumes and fashion while pulling from the inspiration of the hotel and the Victorian Decorative Arts period.”

A recent graduate from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, Westbrook focuses on costume, performance and installation art. He uses fairytale themes as an environmentalist analogy. He implements his sustainable studio practices by using re-purposed materials for his work along with low-impact equipment. He has replaced 2011-2012 Pfister artist Shelby Keefe.

Timothy Westbrook

Accomplishments of Shelby Keefe

Last week, Shelby Keefe was honored at a public reception celebrating her time at the hotel. Known for her creation of colorful, urban landscape paintings, she unveiled her legacy piece, “Reflecting on the Day,” which has been added to the hotel’s extensive, permanent art collection.

During her time at The Pfister, Keefe created more than 100 paintings. Highlights of her year included the 30-day challenge, in which she created a painting a day for 30 straight days—all of which were featured at The Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, at a show last Fall. More recently, she created 16 12” x 12” paintings portraying each of the United Performing Arts Fund’s (UPAF’s) 15 Member Groups and one painting representing UPAF itself, which will be auctioned off in June as a fundraiser for the 2012 UPAF Campaign.

For more information on the latest news and updates from Marcus Hotels & Resorts, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.com.

About 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.

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.

Past Pfister artists include Shelby Keefe (2011-2012), www.studioshelby.com; Katie Musolff (2010-2011), www.katiemusolff.com; and Reginald Baylor (2009-2010), www.reginaldbaylor.com


Shelby Keefe reflects on her time as the Pfister Hotel’s resident artist

Shelby Keefe has been the Pfister’s resident artist since April 2011. As all great things eventually come to an end, her studio torch will be passed to Timothy Westbrook in April 2012. Shelby and I had been trying to get together and talk for a few weeks and it turned out to be a good thing we couldn’t meet until this past Monday. When I walked in to her studio Shelby was standing in front of a painting. She had her hands on her hips and kept shifting her weight from one foot to the other. Then she’d cross her arms, and “hmm,” before returning the hands to her hips.  Her head tilted slowly from side to side, and alternated between looking above and through her glasses. The painting she contemplated was the largest I’ve seen on her easel.

It turned out she was at work on her legacy piece, the one which will join the Pfister Hotel’s vast permanent collection. The painting was complete, but was the painting FINISHED? Was it ready to be signed? The artist was still deliberating. I don’t want to ruin her unveiling by telling you what the piece looks like, but I will tell you the unveiling party is scheduled March 27th (more details to come). Until then you’ll have to stop by and try to figure out which canvas in her studio will rest for all time next to works by Reginald Baylor and Katie Musolff.

While Shelby contemplated the piece we talked about her time as the Pfister’s resident artist, and by the miracle of modern technology you can listen in to our conversation. Simply click the Play button below. She discusses her process of creating a painting, how she knows when a work is finished, and her experience while working as an artist on display.

If you’d rather download the piece and listen on your mp3 player, smartphone, etc. simply click the DOWN pointing arrow on the right side of the player and the Download option will appear.

Shelby Keefe reflects on her time as Pfister Hotel resident artist by Ed Makowski

The Pfister Hotel Names New York Fiber Artist Next Artist in Residence

Timothy Westbrook

MILWAUKEE – Feb. 21, 2012 – Historic tradition meets today’s talent with The Pfister Hotel’s Artist-in-Residence program. Home to more Victorian Art than any other hotel in the world, the historic hotel, which is owned and managed by Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, has hosted a popular artist residency program for the past three years. The Pfister’s selection committee has chosen Timothy Westbrook, an emerging fiber artist from New York, as its fourth artist in residence. He will move to Milwaukee for this opportunity and will work in The Pfister’s studio space beginning in April 2012, replacing current Pfister artist Shelby Keefe. Westbrook will remain at the hotel for one year.

“Drawn to The Pfister by the artistic and historical reputation of Milwaukee, I am honored by the invitation to spend a year developing my artistic voice in this unique setting,” says Westbrook. “While at The Pfister, I plan to weave cloth out of various organic and repurposed manmade materials, including items like cassette tapes, sculpting them into costumes and fashion while pulling from the inspiration of the hotel and the Victorian Decorative Arts period. I am excited to watch my weaving and costumes evolve under the inspiration of the artistic energy in Milwaukee and in the hotel.”

A recent graduate from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, Westbrook is a fiber artist who focuses on costume, performance and installation art. He uses fairytale themes as an environmentalist analogy. He implements his sustainable studio practices by using re-purposed materials for his work along with low-impact equipment; his favorite is a non-electric treadle sewing machine.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our first out-of-state artist to the program,” says Joe Kurth, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “The program has been gaining national attention in the last couple of years and we’re proud it has attracted talent like Timothy’s. Selected through the juried panel process based on his impressive skill, engaging personality and unique point of view, we’re eager to introduce him and his work to our guests.”

Westbrook was one of six finalists included in the public voting period, which ended last week. In addition to the public vote via Facebook, Twitter, and in-person ballots, a selection committee, consisting of leaders in the local art community, made the final decision in choosing the next artist in residence.

For video slideshow of some of Timothy’s portfolio please visit: http://vimeo.com/37191257

About 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.

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 (2011-2012), www.studioshelby.com. Past artists include Katie Musolff (2010-2011), www.katiemusolff.com; and Reginald Baylor (2009-2010), www.reginaldbaylor.com.

 


The Votes Are In…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your votes are in and tabulated. On behalf of all the Artist in Residence candidates we want to thank the community for there overwhelming support via the online and paper voting.

Voting is just one of the final steps to becoming Artist in Residence at the Pfister Hotel.  Today the Artist in Residence Committee will convene to deliberate the votes and discuss the candidates. “I am very excited to see the committees conclusion on deciding who our next Artist will be, seek ” says Joe Kurth, General Manager of the Pfister Hotel.  “It’s really great to see all of the community involvement in this annual campaign.”

The final votes from the online campaign were as follows…

Pamela Anderson – 1,359

Brandon Minga – 764

Timothy Westbrook – 588

Hal Koenig – 398

Matt Duckett – 321

Albin Erhart – 100

Again, we wish the best of luck to all candidates. The committee will announce the next Artist in Residence, on or after February 14th, 2012.

Please feel free to cheer on your favorite Artist in Residence candidate by visiting the Pfister facebook at www.facebook.com/PfisterHotel

The Next Pfister in Residence Finalists

Gallery M in the Intercontinental. Patrons get to know the finalists and their work.

This January’s gallery night tested the courage of every driver. The six finalists for the Pfister Hotel’s next Artist in Residence displayed their work in Gallery M at the Intercontinental. I braved the seven block walk from my Wisconsin Avenue home base and spent an evening taking in the feel of a different hotel in the Marcus family. Please help us by voting for our next resident artist on our Facebook Page. For anyone not on Facebook, you can enter your ballot in person at Gallery M, or email amyhansen@marcuscorp.com with your selection. Below is what I was able to briefly glean about the artists and their work, feel free to click their names and see more. For larger views of any photo, click on the picture and then click the image again after the photo opens by itself. Vote early, vote often!

 

Hal Koenig

Hal Koenig's wall display at Gallery M.

Hal is an architect who studied at North Dakota State University and with further study at UW-Madison. He grew up on a North Dakota farm and now lives in Bay View. Hal enjoys highlighting the juxtaposition of nature in urban environments, of which Milwaukee has an unending supply.

Hal Koenig's painting Dusk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pamela Anderson

Works on display by Pamela Anderson.

In Pamela’s paintings she utilizes acrylic, oil, and watercolor to represent emotion. Her work can be classified as abstract expressionism. Ms. Anderson has studied at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and MIAD. She previously curated the Underwood Gallery in Wauwatosa. Pamela has since taken the plunge and is working as a full-time artist.

Two works by Pamela Anderson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Duckett

 

Examples of Matt Duckett's work.

Matt’s trip from LaCrosse took 6 hours in the snow but he did make it to Milwaukee. Unfortunately I’d already taken off for the night so the following information comes from his webpage.  Matt studied both Art and English at UW LaCrosse and UW Stout. His work has been shown and commissioned all over Wisconsin and Minnesota. Matt is the founder and director of Vitamin Studio, a standout in LaCrosse’s developing arts district.

My favorite of Matt Duckett's portraits, The Turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albin Erhart

Albin Erhart's display chronicles his experience applying for the Artist in Residence position.

Albin is an exuberant ball of energy. His works on display chronicle his attempt at becoming the Pfister’s next resident artist. Each work represents his experience and emotion throughout the process of applying all the way up to being selected as a finalist. His toolbox is not limited to paint and brushes, for example he explores with markers and sometimes even re-purposing thrift store canvasses. Albin is originally from Southern Germany but now lives in Hartland.

Detail of one of Albin Erhart's marker-based works

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Minga

Brandon Minga's work relaxing with champagne.

Brandon is a designer by trade. Web design, clothing design, footwear, tattoos, album covers. The guy keeps busy. Brandon is a graduate of MIAD. His work on display in Gallery M features paint, digital prints, found objects, drawing, and most works are encompassed within unique custom frames. He works in a collage style, which is sometimes three dimensional.

Detail of one of Brandon's 3-D collage pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy Westbrook

Two of Timothy Wesbrook's creations.

Timothy is the first artist to apply from outside of the immediate Milwaukee area. Having recently graduated from Syracuse University, Tim is looking to stretch out to new locales to further his form. Tim’s work can be most easily described as costume design. His garments are created from a combination of common fabrics (wool, for example) mingling with uncommon threads such as cassette tape. Tim discussed his work with gallery attendees while dressed in a tuxedo of his own creation.

Two more of Timothy Westbrook's works.

 

 

 

 

 

Detail of one of Timothy's garments. This piece was commissioned for a theatrical production.