I knew local artists Todd Mrozinski and Renee Bebeau were in the hotel before I saw them. The enthusiastic whispers alerting their arrival traveled from employee to employee and crackled in a wave of energy that washed over my desk. They were in the hotel in anticipation of an upcoming art show. Mrozinski, the Pfister Hotel’s 7th Artist in Residence, will participate in a retrospective show with many of the former AIRs at Gallerie M inside the InterContinental hotel which opens on Friday, June 20.
As I moved through the hotel with the pair, it was clear the excited buzz that surrounded them was not for their status as celebrated artists, but rather the arrival of old friends who seem to have made a lifetime of connections during the artist’s residency. We strolled as the couple reminisced about his time at the Pfister and the many happy memories created in its storied halls, pausing for a significant moment at his “Lily of the Incas,” on display on the wall opposite of the AIR studio. The dreamy piece depicts the artist’s daughter and her young friends in profile. While completed only a handful of years ago, the subject, like the artist himself, has changed. The little girl depicted in the painting has now blossomed into adolescence and the artist, whose focus has long been on people, has shifted his lens to the natural world.
The retrospective show, curated by former AIR Pamela Anderson, will present a variety of works from this collection of notable local artists. Mrozinski’s selections for the show display an evolution in inspiration from his days at the Pfister. His AIR series, Light from the Pfister, was a celebration of shadow. In his new works, the artist explores the light source that creates shadows. His selections for the Gallery Night show were chosen from his series of Fire paintings. The pieces, created in autumn, radiate the warmth of the campfires constructed to inspire this cozy series of work.
The acclaimed painter is branching out in new ways to share his unique view of the world with others: he’s begun writing. Inspired by a desire to broaden the audience for Milwaukee art exhibits, and present art show reviews through the lens of an artist, Mrozinski pens pieces designed to educate the reader. In his pieces, he curates the shows for his readers, pointing them to the portions of exhibits that merit additional consideration.
Learn more about this exhibit of former Pfister Artist in Residence at Gallerie M in the InterContinental Hotel here