On January 18, art lovers from all over the city braved Milwaukee’s first snow storm of the season to attend the exhibition of the finalists for the role of the next Pfister Artist in Residence. The eclectic group of six artists were chosen from the largest collection of applications received since the program was initiated.
Rosy Petri, a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on textiles, printmaking, and audio. displayed her multi-layered portraits at the show. Finding inspiration in music, art, food, and flavor, her current collection began to take shape while she was working in a Detroit shop that sold African print dresses. If chosen, she hopes to use the position to create a stronger voice for the Milwaukee arts community.
Ann Kathryn Kehoe, a metalsmith and lapidary artist, showed her collection of jewelry. As a girl, the artist loved to explore her grandmother’s collection of jewelry, an activity that sparked her lifelong love of metalwork. Her skills bloomed during an internship with a jeweler in high school, and led to her studying the art form in college. While creating, the artist snips, solders, and pounds her precious metals into pieces inspired by nature and connected to universal energy.
Ariana Vaeth is a painter who began her Pfister experience as the apprentice of former Aritist in Residence, Todd Mrozinski. As a teen, she discovered her love of working with paint, which felt fast and comfortable in a way that drawing never did. She hopes when others look at her work, which is heavily inspired by her own life, the viewer sees not only themselves in the pieces, but can connect with the subjects in the works.
Heidi Parkes is a nationally known fiber artists who was part of the prestigious Piecework Collective showcase held in New York City, 2017. She showed a variety of her hand-stitched works at the Gallery Night event, including her Proust inspired But I Tried to Remember, an arrestingly large work created from fabrics that were collected from her personal experiences. The autobiographical creation comments on the way the past is interpreted through the lens of the present.
DakotaSky Bowen, a muralist and subjective expressionist painter, displayed a collection of unique autobiographical pieces created by fusing copper printmaking and plaster work. The artist, who has worked with ceramics and engraving, thrills in the fine details. If chosen, she hopes to introduce visitors to the world of print-making through hands-on workshop.
Shannon Meier, a fiber and textile artist, showed a number of pieces, both functional and decorative. Visitors had the opportunity to experience the wool harvested from her Angora rabbits before it is spun into the yarn she uses to create her works. The talented loom-worker displayed a variety of piece with organic forms.
In the coming week, the Artist in Residence selection committee will make visits to the artists’ studios to experience each creator’s process, followed by panel interviews in February. The next AiR will be announced in late February.