THELMA SADOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Calendar

Jun
13
Thu
2019 THELMA Members Exhibition
Jun 13 @ 10:00 am – Jul 27 @ 5:00 pm

The 2019 THELMA Members Exhibition is a non-juried exhibition that includes submitted work by THELMA’s current members.

Opening Reception: Friday, June 14, 6 pm – 8 pm.

A curator-led tour will begin at 6 pm exploring the current art exhibitions. Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Exhibition will be on view from June 13 – July 27, 2019.

Not a member? Join at thelmaarts.org or call us at 920-921-5410 to participate in our next member exhibition!

 

Liz Miller: Seismic Shifts, Structural Anomalies, and Impossible Dreams
Jun 13 @ 10:00 am – Jul 27 @ 5:00 pm

Seismic Shifts, Structural Anomalies, and Impossible Dreams by Liz Miller

Exhibition will be on display from June 13 – July 27, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, June 14, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Artist’s Exchange: Friday, June 14, 5:30 pm

Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about her process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Liz Miller received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Miller’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. Her awards include a McKnight Professional Development Grant from Forecast Public Art, a McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, an MCAD/Jerome Foundation Fellowship, and five Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Miller recently completed residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, NC. She lives and works in Good Thunder, MN and is Professor of Installation and Drawing at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

My work explores the fallibility of infrastructure and the precariousness of perception, as seen through a materially-intensive, process-based lens. I utilize undulating planar forms in conjunction with fabric and rope as a metaphor for shifting landscapes, altered topographies, and imagined realities. References to the natural world and the built environment collide in interludes that are alternately beautiful, absurd, menacing, and poetic, alluding to the complexity of our world. Tensions between fact/fiction and dimensionality/flatness are endlessly intriguing to me, playing out in my work as a dialogue between reality and illusion.

I have become fascinated with ropes and knotting as byproducts of my process. In my large-scale installations, knotted ropes provide tension that gives volume to otherwise flat materials. This technique has revealed the possibilities of knotting as an autonomous aesthetic expression. The varied use of rope and knotting across cultures and history ranges from utilitarian to decorative, and even deadly. I create interdependent knotted topographies that allude to both structure and malleability. The repeated act of tying by hand integrates an emphatic sense of strength, while the flexibility and nuance of the textile material ensures structural permutations. The resulting works are only quasi-architectural, providing metaphorical insight laced with humor as related to a variety of structural and systemic behavior.

 

 

Aug
1
Thu
Lester O. Schwartz: A Retrospective
Aug 1 @ 10:00 am – Sep 21 @ 5:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from August 1 – September 21, 2019

Lester O. Schwartz: A Retrospective

An exhibition of work by Lester O. Schwartz that spans his 8-decade career as a painter and sculptor

Artist Statement by daughter, Tanya Schwartz-Roeper

More than 80 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and memorabilia come together to trace the eight-decade long career of Lester O. Schwartz. This exhibit reflects the chronology of Schwartz’s life as he moved from his birthplace of Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Chicago, to traveling the world, and finally settling in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1944 as artist-in-residence at Ripon College. The exhibit begins with Schwartz’s childhood, continues through young adulthood, his career at Ripon College, the years following the untimely death of his wife and how he found his strength and energy to cope with the loss through the pursuit of art, and the last decade of his life after his stroke. Born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1912 to Russian-Jewish immigrants and educated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Schwartz was part of a flourishing art community in the 1930’s. Schwartz’s work evolved over time and this exhibit showcases his innovative exploration and experimentation over a range of media throughout his lifetime.

Artist Bio
Lester O. Schwartz studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Imperial Art School in Tokyo, the Colarossi Academy in Paris, and the American Academy in Rome. He spent two years of study and travel around the world as the winner of the Edward L. Ryerson Traveling Fellowship in the late 1930’s. While a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Schwartz worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in both Wisconsin and Illinois as a commissioned artist creating murals, lithographs and paintings. In the 1940s he served in the United States Army at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri where he was assigned the task of creating paintings for the chapel. Schwartz worked briefly as an art instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee. In 1944 Schwartz founded the art department at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin and served as Artist in Residence and professor until his retirement in 1977.

In 1991 Schwartz turned his Green Lake, Wisconsin home and land into an art gallery and sculpture garden open to the public during the summer. He used the terrain as a living canvas upon which he created and placed his steel sculptures. His winters were spent traveling and painting all over the world including Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Mediterranean locales.

After suffering a debilitating stroke in 1996, Schwartz’s daughter, Tanya, assisted her father in maintaining the art gallery and leading tours until his death in 2006 at the age of 93. Recipient of numerous awards in the 1930’s-1960’s, his work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Carnegie in Pittsburg, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Salon d’Automne in Paris. His paintings have been included in many one-man and group shows and in public and private collections around the world.

 

 

Aug
30
Fri
Jacob Miller
Aug 30 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Jacob Miller attributes his enamoring sound to two brilliantly contradicting influences — formal performance and nomadic adventure. Miller is an accomplished player, having spent seven years leading a sextet, touring throughout North America and internationally to play for crowds of thousands. During that time, his relationship to music surpassed eccentric to border on fanaticism. He dedicated the entirety of his being to investigating, studying and dissecting American music, and his hard-earned understanding of sound is evident in the thoughtful arrangements and subtle production touches that make up his upcoming release.

However, Miller considers his professional stints and intense self-education no more important to the whole than time spent working as a farm hand in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina — which shaped his devotion to the finger-picking style of the region — or countless hours given to vintage recordings alongside aging locals in Appalachia — which culminated his profound appreciation for phonics timeless. Whether it’s resonating across Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall or quietly stirring a Midwestern living room, Jacob crafts music with care, sincerity and audible joy.

The singer/songwriter describes his eclectic sound as “world influences” with an “old-style, finger picking approach, with more contemporary song-writing and composition.”
  
Outdoor concert at 5 pm
Free admission
 
Sep
26
Thu
Vitus Shell: Now We Here: The Path to Unconditional Self-Acceptance
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – Nov 9 @ 5:00 pm

Now We Here: The Path to Unconditional Self-Acceptance by Vitus Shell

Exhibition will be on display from September 26 – November 9, 2019

My large scale paintings are geared toward the black experience, giving agency to people from this community through powerful images deconstructing, sampling, and remixing identity, civil rights, and contemporary black culture. In my work, I strive to bridge the gap between the older and younger generations by exploring and uncovering factors that contributed to the unfortunate relationship breakdown between the two.

Moreover, my layered, mixed media painting examines parallels between present day behaviors and attitudes that date back to African roots. With my current work, I continue experimenting with portraiture, acrylic paint, over-sized photocopies of early 20th century vintage advertisements and the incorporation of a foam-cut printing technique. My artistic goal is to exude the hip hop lifestyle with a southern vernacular. Through the use of the vintage advertisements allows me to create narrative based environments, which comment on stereotyping, bigotry, and oppression. The foamcut printing method provides me with the added layers to include text and icons, such as the minstrel images. Having spent much time researching graffiti art, I incorporate a variation of its characteristics, techniques, and unique aesthetics into my work such as paste-ups, stamps, and stencils. Using graffiti techniques allows me to challenge the viewer’s perceptions of what is considered low art or high art, which also addresses classism.

 

Oct
15
Tue
Lake Reading Series with Author Nickolas Butler
Oct 15 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Meet an author! Nickolas Butler will read a selection of his work. There will be open mic before his reading.
 
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Nickolas Butler was raised in Eau Claire and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. His first novel was the internationally best-selling and prize-winning Shotgun Lovesongs, which has been optioned for film development and translated into ten languages. Beneath the Bonfire, a collection of short stories, followed a year later. In 2017, The Hearts of Men was short-listed for two of France’s most prestigious literary prizes even before its American publishing. In 2019, his fourth book, Little Faith was published, and he is already at work on another novel set in the mountains of the American West. Prior to publishing Shotgun Lovesongs, Butler worked a long list of jobs including: coffee roaster, liquor store clerk, office manager, hot-dog vendor, author escort, meat-packer, bed-and-breakfast manager, telemarketer, and Burger King maintenance man. He is married and lives with his wife and two children on sixteen acres of land adjacent to a buffalo farm in rural Wisconsin.
 
Cash bar available.
 
Arrangements for the appearance of Nickolas Butler made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, NY, NY.
 
Part of THELMA’s Lake Reading Series. A free event focusing on visual arts, music, film and theatre. Cash bar. Bar opens at 6 pm.
 
Nov
8
Fri
Lex Allen with The SistaStrings
Nov 8 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

An empowering and fun-loving singer with infectious danceable and lyrically relatable music, Milwaukee native Lex Allen shows a dramatic and theatrical stage presence that is sure to entertain audiences of all kinds. A Soul Pop singer/songwriter that connects all ages, genders, genres and races at his over the top emotional roller-coaster of a live show, Lex engages with his audience on a personal level. Allen’s music breathes love and liberation. Lex strives to grow this momentum to an international stage appealing to both pop & subcultures. See him Friday, November 8! Learn more about Lex Allen HERE.

The SistaStrings will perform with Lex Allen. The Milwaukee based sister duo combines their classical background with R&B with a touch of gospel influence that culminates in a good vibe, lush sound. With thick string harmonies between violin and cello and soulful voices, SistaStrings takes you on a journey. Learn more about The SistaStrings HERE.

Concert at 8 pm
Bar opens at 7 pm 
 
Standing Room Only $10 ($6 for THELMA members)
General Admission $20 ($12 for Members of THELMA)
Bistro Table for Four $120 ($72 for Members of THELMA)
Pub Table for Two $75 ($45 for Members of THELMA)
Reservations required for tables. Please call 920.921.5410 to reserve your bistro table for four or your pub table for two. Limited number of tables available. ALL SALES ARE FINAL.

View Great Hall room layout HERE.

Nov
9
Sat
Artist’s Exchange: David Criner: “Living Proof”
Nov 9 @ 3:00 pm – Dec 23 @ 5:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from September 26 – November 9, 2019

“If I think about the universe, and what science tells us, life as we conceive of it appears almost infinitely rare. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t meditate on what I see as the utter scarcity of this human condition, or if I am to speak more inclusively, this life condition. I am unable to take for granted, at least for very long, that we are beings complete with consciousness, an ability to sense beyond ourselves, and to communicate our impressions and feelings. If we distinguish ourselves from the inanimate, we as conscious entities form but mere micro-specks within the vast milieu of non-living material and empty space. What are the odds?”

“Painting, while it covers much ground in terms of the various energies that drive the process, ultimately brings me back to this phenomenon, and with cause for celebration. While working, I often see myself operating as both creator and observer, somehow in charge, but never more than a step ahead of the painting itself. The work bears a life of its own, and I feel like only a catalyst at key moments of development. When I am satisfied with a piece and consider it complete, I find myself more witness than owner, as though the spirit of the image continues to pulse just beyond grasp.”

David Criner is an artist working in Chicago. In his recent work, he transforms material in pursuit of an image which celebrates the present moment of life and consciousness. He received a BFA in Painting from the University of Illinois in 1991, an MFA in Painting from the University of Kansas in 1995, and has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Europe. David teaches in the Art Department at Northeastern Illinois University.

Nov
14
Thu
Derrick Burbul: Diary of a Mad World
Nov 14 2019 @ 10:00 am – Jan 4 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from November 14, 2019 – January 4, 2020

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view his work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Artist’s Exchange: Friday, January 3, 6 – 8 pm

Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about his process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Diary of a Mad World

“My desire to mix word and image has led me to create my Diary of a Mad World portfolio. Here, I create images that appear to be grainy modernist styled black and white photographs. However, what the viewer sees as “grain” from a distance,become words as the viewer is drawn in closer to the image. The viewer is left to reconcile the connotation of the image and denotation of the words.

“The relationship between images and words can be traced back all the way to fourth century B.C. Greece to the Poet Simmias of Rhoades, who wrote his writings in the forms of images, much like the Futurist poets of the early 20th Century. The relationship between images and words in the visual arts is often tumultuous, and sometimes harmonious, but is undoubtedly a very rich part of the contemporary art dialogue.

“I use dynamic asymmetrical compositions to capture the viewer’s attention, and I use large-scale images for the space they allow for me to add minute details in the form of text. What the viewer sees as “grain” from a distance, become words as the viewer is drawn in closer to the image through the variety of styles in how the “grain” is arranged to create texture. The texture is sometimes more organic and chaotic, and other times will be more formally structured to create pattern. Sometimes the words are more visually obscure and other times they are more visually overt. The words themselves are original poems, stories, and critical writings on art and photography I have written. In the end, the text may challenge, distort, or complement the context the photograph creates, but whatever they do, the text adds an abstract quality both visually and conceptually.”

Wayne Bertola: Vernacular Relics
Nov 14 2019 @ 10:00 am – Jan 4 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from November 14, 2019 – January 4, 2020

Artist’s Exchange: Thursday, November 14, 5:30 pm

Meet the artist in a Q&A talk and learn about his process, inspiration, and execution of his work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14, 6 – 8 pm

A curator-led tour will begin at 6 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view his work. Cash bar and snacks available.

“In response to questions concerning my training and schooling etc., I am, for lack of a better term, self-taught. It is my hope that the work in question speaks for itself, in its own voice, without being burdened with autobiographical and or didactic references. If the work in question has any meaning in the accepted sense it is in its ability to combine found objects and images – the discarded debris of the once-functional and the most humble of materials – in such a manner as to demonstrate their capacity for transformation into objects that by the response they generate engage the viewer in a creative dialogue of association, allusion, and reverie beyond the limitations of the utilitarian and preconceived notions of what is worthy of “notice” and what constitutes ‘value.'”