Local Focus

Local Focus

The art of the matter
Television ads touting starving artistsí sales of "sofa-sized" paintings notwithstanding, most art dealers donít suggest purchasing works of art by the yard. 
Painting with glass
Jim Sanders didnít start out as a glass artist. In fact, "artist" is his third incarnation. Sanders began his working life as a forest ranger, working for the Wisconsin State Department of Natural Resources. Some years later, he and his wife ran their own interior design business in Waukesha. When his wife died in 1993, Sanders was at loose ends. "I traveled a lot and did volunteer work at my church," he says.
Art in flux
Artists know that inspiration can strike anytime, anywhere. For Shorewood resident May Klisch, inspiration ó and just the right encouragement ó happened while waiting for breakfast at Jean Pierre with her husband and daughters. 
Turning a dream into reality
"Wanting to be an artist when you grow up is like wanting to be a cowboy," says Angel Troyer. But if you wish hard enough, dreams do come true. Troyer is helping to make both her dreams and those of her students a reality.
Exposed exhibit
Milwaukee Downtown recently let loose five talented photographers on the city of Milwaukee. The result? A stunning black-and-white photography exhibit, "Snapshots: Downtown Exposed."
The world was her inspiration
Artist Francesca Reinke is an illustrious example of what great things can come from simply a word or two of encouragement. Although Reinke had drawn as a child, she believed that her sister was a better artist. So she put away her art supplies until she met Owen Grommeís daughter, Ann.
Neon art
Milwaukee Art Museum chief curator Joseph Ketner II was familiar with neon artist Bruce Naumanís provocative and contemporary work even before joining the museum in the spring of last year. The two worked together while Ketner served as director of Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University.

Uniting art
The Milwaukee Gay Arts Centerís aim is to promote gay-relevant visual and performing arts, says Paul Masterson, the director. But the Walkerís Point center is not exclusive to the gay and lesbian population, adds the former curator of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center Gallery.

Art insider
As the old saying goes, you always remember your first time. Itís a truth that applies to virtually anything momentous in life ó your first car, your first job, your first date ó and your first piece of art.

The psychology of art
When art patrons call on Jill Schwartz to create a personal masterpiece for them, they know that they can expect creativity, talent and more than just a little magic.

'Real' art
Many people react to artist Mark Sijanís lifelike sculptures with confusion ó some canít believe theyíre not real. Some viewers just enjoy being able to study the human body. "Itís not often weíre able to stare at someone that long," says Sijan. "Maybe if youíre standing behind someone in an elevator or your spouse or children ..."

Studies in contrast
An art show last fall at Robert Guenther Studio in Milwaukee featured two artists. One worked in brightly colored, lushly detailed oil paint, concentrating on flowers. One drew people with oil pastels, using spare lines and blocks of muted color.

No ordinary art
Itís commonly believed that trends begin on the coasts and work their way to Milwaukee months, even years later. A collaboration between several Milwaukee institutions might be just the project that bucks that trend.

Portrait of an artist
We lead many lives," Thomas Pelham Curtis explains, racing through his history. A bachelorís degree in architecture from Harvard under Bauhaus mainstay Walter Gropius. Advanced degrees in drawing at Washingtonís Corcoran Institute, and oil painting at Cardinal Stritch.

Authentic art or fantastic forgery
As I write this column, thereís an item up for sale on a top online auction site whose title reads: "Fabulous auction painting, signed Claude Monet, over 100 years old." The starting bid is $15,000. It isnít until you get to the fine print that the seller suggests that, despite the signature, the work was undoubtedly done by someone other than Monet.

Art acquisition
Art acquisition begins not with your dollars, but with your eyes and mind. Looking at art is the most important thing you can do when you decide to acquire a new piece. During your search process, you will find that certain factors will influence your decision. Some people approach art acquisition from a decorative standpoint. They are looking for something that will look good in a specific part of their home.
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