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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

‘Art Crawl 60’ Warms Up Waukesha

Plus: Ploch Art Gallery presents Kathleen Raash

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During the first weeks in March, Milwaukeeans start to anticipate the approaching spring and relief from the winter cold. Several Waukesha-area art events encourage the city to embrace the upcoming season with renewed energy this week.

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield welcomes Wisconsin artist Kathleen Raash to the Ploch Art Gallery. The exhibition, simply titled “Kathleen Raash,” opens March 10 and presents paintings and prints from Raash’s lakeside studio through April 30.

Raash paints from her home while inspired by the country north of Wausau, near Tomahawk and Rhinelander. The natural environments Raash inhabits while she hikes, kayaks and snowshoes appear on her canvas and paper with a dreamlike abstraction. While focusing on the innate colors and textures surrounding her, Raash also incorporates technical variety in her artwork, including glazing, scraping, scumbling and wiping. This allows her to capture the sensual essence of the organic materials and terrains she paints throughout each season.

The artist’s vivid palette portrays the lime greens, hazy violets and misty blues seen in the clear rural sky at dawn and dusk. Raash develops numerous prints in monotype, which she then overlays with graphite, pastels or oil pigments to convey the mystic lake atmospheres.

Raash will appear at an opening reception on March 10, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., in the second floor art gallery. The event coincides with the Wilson Center’s 2010-11 Season Preview Party, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., which unveils the upcoming season in the visual and performing arts. This event is free and open to the public.

Historic Downtown Waukesha gives an early welcome to St. Patrick’s Day with “Art Crawl 60: The House of Guinness Get Lucky Crawl” on Saturday, March 6, from 4 to 10 p.m. The House of Guinness sponsors this spring event, an art extravaganza that continues to engage new venues.

Travel on the free trolley line to experience the Art Crawl’s participating galleries, including recent additions ArtaVina on Main Street and Wise Art Glass on West Broadway. Numerous eateries aim to entice art enthusiasts along the way, and a vibrant exhibition at People’s Park titled “Father and Brother” even combines food and art, with the restaurant featuring the work of Bill and Richard Taylor (father and brother of the owners of People’s Park).

The various exhibitions change for each crawl, but the attractions along Main and Broadway continue to present affordable art and entertainment.