THELMA SADOFF CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Calendar

Sep
14
Thu
Sean Heiser: Nervous Energy
Sep 14 @ 6:00 pm – Nov 4 @ 3:00 pm

Exhibit Dates: September 14 – November 4
Exhibit Reception Date: Thursday, September 14. 6 – 8 pm

Sean Heiser is a Malaysian-born artist and curator currently based in Milwaukee. He received his Bachelor of Fine-Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2017 with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing, and was the recipient of the Mary E. Van Deven Memorial Scholarship for work in painting.

Recent exhibitions include Usable Space, Milwaukee, Portrait Society, Milwaukee, and Turpentine Gallery, Oakland, CA.

Recent curatorial projects include Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, and Turpentine Gallery, Oakland, CA. Heiser has forthcoming solo exhibitions at Chamber Gallery, Milwaukee,  and The Alice Wilds Gallery, Milwaukee. He is represented in Milwaukee by The Alice Wilds Gallery.

Shane Walsh: Rococo Beatbox
Sep 14 @ 6:00 pm – Nov 4 @ 3:00 pm

Exhibit Dates: September 14 – November 4
Exhibit Reception Date: Thursday, September 14  6 – 8 pm

Shane Walsh makes paintings that reference digital and analog forms of representation (Photoshop, commercial printing) and combines these with the signs and symbols of 20th century abstraction.
He begins by making small-scale collages constructed from photocopied images. These images of shapes and marks are made in response to the history of abstract painting, some are expressive, others graphic or digital. This approach allows him to treat the history of abstraction as a storehouse of moments to copy, paste, and sample from. This cutting, copying and pasting owes as much to punk and hip-hop show posters from his youth as it does to modernist collage traditions.
The photocopy also serves as an important metaphor in his work. As images are reproduced over and over they become altered and their visual qualities degraded. The photocopying process echoes how he thinks about abstraction in the way that our understanding of abstract painting becomes altered as it gets transmitted and reproduced through time and culture. Akin to the children’s game “telephone”, where the original message often emerges drastically altered and distorted by the time it arrives at the last participant. Walsh sees these distortions as something to celebrate and these paintings are his opportunity to playfully re-construct an image of abstraction that feels appropriate to his time and place.
Walsh is a Lecturer in Painting and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He received his BFA from MIAD and his MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Read more.

Nov
10
Fri
Don & Eileen Urness: Colorful Directions
Nov 10 2017 @ 6:00 pm – Jan 6 2018 @ 3:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: November 10 – January 6
Exhibit Reception Date: Friday, November 10, 6 – 8 pm     

Don Urness is a papermaking artist from southeastern Wisconsin. Because of his interest in the environment, Urness began making paper from trash in the 1980s. He uses recycled paper pulp for his art projects which also reflect his interest in light and how it affects nature and objects. Urness has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education from UW-Eau Claire, and a Master’s degree in visual studies from Cardinal Stritch in Milwaukee.

Although mostly a self-taught artist, Eileen Urness has been surrounded by art and artists most of her adult life. She has explored many areas of art including jewelry, ceramics and painting. Eileen has experimented with epoxy paintings. She found in epoxy a vehicle to represent the kind of depth, layering and color she was in search of.  Her technique incorporates elements of collage, paint and raw pigment. Lately Eileen has been experimenting with Millefiori Polymer Eggs. Her technique is largely experimental and self-developed incorporating elements of the millefiori glass technique with polymer clay on eggshells. She has received several awards for her innovative techniques and attention to detail.

Artists’ Exchange: Thursday, November 30, 6 – 8 pm
Paper making with Donald Urness: Saturday, December 2, 11 – 2 pm

 

Read more about Eileen.

Read more about Don.

Jan
11
Thu
Gina Litherland: Paintings and Prints
Jan 11 @ 6:30 pm – Feb 24 @ 8:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: January 11 – February 24, 2018
Exhibit Reception Date: Thursday, January 11, 6:30 – 8 pm

Gina Litherland has been active in the visual arts since the mid-1970s, exploring photography, performance, drawing and painting. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her paintings, drawings, and articles have been published worldwide in journals and periodicals.
Litherland has always been interested in the interplay between myth, the natural world, and the domain of dreams and memory. As a child she spent many hours exploring natural wooded areas and empty lots inhabited by multitudes of insects and wildlife. This, along with a fervent interest in reading, particularly fairy tales, laid the foundation for her current investigations as an artist. Much of her work is inspired by folklore, myth, and literature reflected in her own personal preoccupations, specifically themes of desire, femaleness, the natural world, the human/animal boundary, children’s games, ritual, intuition, and memory. The painting techniques that she uses, traditional indirect oil painting techniques similar to those used by fifteenth-century Sienese painters, combined with textural effects created by using various tools other than the paint brush, allow her to create a detailed, layered, and complex surface of images recreating the experience of looking at the forest floor with its rich blanket of diverse matter in various stages of decay. Suddenly, an object emerges and comes sharply into focus.

While some of her paintings begin with an idea that she has been ruminating over for some time, or are inspired by a particularly compelling book or folktale, others occur quite spontaneously, beginning with a decalcomania underpainting which suggests forms that emerge and develop into a personal narrative. The act of painting becomes a complete process of revelation. A mysterious narrative emerges, Rorschach-like, from a turbulent, chaotic ground of color and texture. Myths, dreams, memories, and phantoms of pigment suspended in medium are in continuous dialogue with one another. Dormant images ignite slowly, as our eyes adjust to their dark submerged brilliance.
Litherland is represented in the Chicago area by Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery.

Read more.

Mar
1
Thu
Christine Alfery: The Journey
Mar 1 @ 6:00 pm – Apr 14 @ 3:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: March 1 – April 14, 2018
Exhibit Reception Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 6 – 8 pm

Christine Alfery has never been able to color in the lines, she’s not a fan of coloring books and has never made chocolate chip cookies the same way twice. So it makes sense that she has a hard time following the rules when it comes to making art.

Rules have a function. They establish a foundation from which an artist can expand, experiment and explore ideas in the pursuit of creativity, discovery, and art. If creativity and discovery are what art is, and she believes they are, then art needs to fall outside of established foundations, lines, rules and boundaries.

Alfery has no interest in creating something that does not make another think beyond their comfort zone. She has no interest in creating something that does not depart from today’s thinking and imaginings. Alfery believes that art is a journey. It allows us to travel on new pathways and it should be like water: fluid, indeterminate and distinctive. Art should be always changing and always moving.

Christine Alfery earned her Bachelors of Science degree, her Master’s degree in Education, her MFA degree and her Ph.D minor in Contemporary Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Christine is a signature member of numerous art organizations including the International Society of Acrylic Painters, the Western Watercolor Society and the Watercolor Societies of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and Alabama. She annually has solo exhibitions throughout the United States.

Alfery is presently the curator at Howard Young Art Gallery in Minocqua, Wisconsin. She has received over 55 national awards and her work can be found in over sixty different publications.

Christine’s studio is located in northern Wisconsin.

Mar
2
Fri
Raymond Rowe: NRI Non-Resident Indian
Mar 2 @ 6:30 pm – Apr 14 @ 3:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: March 1 – April 14, 2018
Exhibit Reception Date: Friday, March 2, 2018, 6:30 – 8 pm

Raymond Rowe was born and raised in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia and is a cititzen of India. He moved to Wisconsin in 1994 and currently resides in Brownsville. Ray’s preferred medium is oil. Raymond Rowe received his Bachelors in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He works as an elementary art teacher in the Oshkosh Area School District, and currently resides with his wife Stacey and their cat Dusty in Brownsville, Wisconsin.

Artist Statement

India is a land of beautiful contradictions. I have rediscovered India as an adult and through my paintings try to share this experience with the rest of the world. My paintings are based on photographs I have taken over the years during my visits to India. My work is a counterpoint to Oriental-ism; an archaic and colonialist view of the “mysterious east”. I neither romanticize nor demonize, rather I try to show and celebrate the humdrum and the workaday person on the street.

I believe capturing these moments in paint allows the subject to come alive, more so than would be possible through the photographs from which I paint. By painting the subject I am sharing what I felt while I was there. Modern India is a multitude of contradictions. An archaic temple exists in tandem with a towering glass and steel office building. The glacial bureaucracy of the Indian government and the hectic pace of the everyday citizen run parallel. With brush strokes, color, and scale I can express the contradictions which are so inherent to the daily truth of modern India.

While India is half a world away and may seem exotic to most, the experiences of its people are not. By painting the ordinary and everyday Indian experience, a scene which is taking place half a world away, is far more accessible and familiar, intimately cinematic, mundanely beautiful.

-Raymond Rowe

Apr
19
Thu
Todd Mrozinski: From Ten Till Now: A 33 Year Retrospective
Apr 19 @ 6:00 pm – May 26 @ 3:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: April 19 – May 26, 2018

Artist’s Exchange Friday, April 27 at 5:30pm
Exhibit Reception Date: Friday, April 27 2018, 6:30 – 9 pm

Todd Mrozinski, a Fond du Lac native, painted the mural on the side of Mike’s Music. He acquired his BFA in painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 1997 and in 1996 attended The New York Studio Program. He has been in solo and group exhibitions nationwide and his work is in various public and private collections. The elements of earth, air, fire, water, and spirit, as well as his home and everyday objects are his subject matter. In 2012, after the death of his father, Todd became interested in and started working with cast shadows. His work is produced in series, each series relates symbolically to life experience and grows out of inspiration.

He and his wife, Renee Bebeau, have a studio in The Nut Factory, Milwaukee, WI. Todd was the 2015-16 Pfister Artist-in-Residence, curator of the Pfister Pop-Up Gallery and is currently represented by The Woodman/Shimko Gallery, Provincetown, MA and Palm Springs, CA.

May
31
Thu
Dean Dablow
May 31 @ 6:30 pm – Jul 14 @ 3:00 pm

Some Assembly Required

Exhibition Dates: May 31 – July 14, 2018

Exhibit Reception Date: Friday, June 1, 2018, 6:30 – 8 pm

Dean Dablow Lives in Ruston, LA. Born in Superior, Wisconsin in 1946, he spent his early childhood in North Dakota before moving to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin where he graduated high school in 1964.  At 17, he worked several months in Washington, DC not knowing what his future path would be. Visits to The National Gallery of Art after work were pivotal in his decision to pursue the life of an artist. He began study at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point as a painter/sculptor but the camera became increasingly intriguing as a tool to make art. Upon graduation he began graduate studies in photography under John Schulze at the University of Iowa where he received his MFA in 1974 with a minor in sculpture under Julius Schmidt.

Dablow retired from Louisiana Tech University after 31 years of service, first as head of the Photography Program and then taking the reins of the School of Art (renamed The School of Design) as the Director. During his tenure as Director, Dablow was instrumental in establishing the School of Art’s study abroad program in Paris. Presently he holds the rank of Professor Emeritus at Louisiana Tech.

He kept his interest in other media alive throughout his career also working in drawing and sculpture. Since his retirement he has returned to painting as his medium of choice.

Jul
19
Thu
Mollie Oblinger
Jul 19 @ 12:00 am – Sep 1 @ 12:00 am

drought starved us out

Exhibition Dates: July 19 – September 1, 2018

Artist’s Exchange: Friday, August 17, 6 – 8 pm

Mollie Oblinger’s work explores the environment often focusing in on water issues.  She will feature some new works in collaboration with writer C. Kubasta.  Extracted words and lines of poetry from Kubasta’s book Of Covenants, weave their way into sculptures.

The overlooked, whether teeming underfoot or concealed by modern society, is at the center of Oblinger’s work. In the creation of beguiling landscapes, she plucks imagery from her interest in animal tunnels, cellular anatomy and vulnerabilty. Using wholly artificial and man-made materials, she forms a kind of composite environment. Shifting between the micro and the macro, Oblinger seeks to bring out the hidden.

Oblinger’s recent exhibitions include solo shows at Miami University in Ohio, MacRostie Art Center in Minnesota, and Furman University in South Carolina.  She was an artist in residence at Playa in Oregon, the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary in Michigan, and in New Mexico at the Roswell Artist in Residence.  Oblinger received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Davis and a BFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University.  She is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Ripon College in Wisconsin.

C. Kubasta is a poet & writer whose work explores place (the Midwest), the body (our imperfect perfect flesh), and language (its slippages). She teaches writing, literature & cultural studies at Marian University. Her most recent books are Of Covenants (Whitepoint Press, 2017) and the novella Girling (Brain Mill Press, 2017).

Sep
6
Thu
Trina May Smith
Sep 6 @ 10:00 am – Oct 27 @ 5:00 pm

Signs

Exhibition Dates: September 6 – October 27, 2018

Reception: Thursday, September 20, 6 – 8 pm
A free event for all to attend.

Trina May Smith grew up in the Pacific Northwest but came to UW-Madison for Graduate school in 2009 and has been in Wisconsin ever since.  She has an active studio practice in painting and shows regularly.  Trina has been in many group and solo shows across the United States from Central Washington University, to Maine College of the Arts, Brooklyn NY, Chicago, and Seattle.  She is represented by the Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee WI and is an Assistant Professor in Painting at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.