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Monday, Nov. 29, 2010

Milwaukee Art Events in the Holiday Spirit

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Milwaukee’s art events get into the holiday spirit this weekend. Beginning Dec. 3 at the United Community Center, Latino Arts Inc. opens an extraordinary exhibition that documents changing Cuban culture.

“Contemporary Cuban Printmaking” presents more than 30 artists from the Taller Experimental de Gráfica, a studio founded in Havana in 1962. The collection features 70-plus works on paper and comes to Milwaukee in partnership with the Department of Art at Northwest Missouri State University. The artists showcase their individuality and versatility through block prints, calligraphy, etchings, hand relief prints and lithographs.

Many prints incorporate the turmoil stemming from Cuba’s break with the Soviet government in the ’90s. The exhibit displays works by the late Roberto Matta, a prestigious South American artist whose work was significantly influenced by this workshop, alongside Cuban artist Rafael Zarza, who depicts a skeletal bull with a distorted head in Con El Rayo (With the Sun).

Latino Arts Inc. hosts an opening reception 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, followed by a performance from the string quartet Sweet Plantain in the adjacent auditorium.

“The exhibition displays the vision and sensibility of the Cuban culture, sharing the passion for this traditional art form,” says Artistic Director Zulay Febres-Cordero Oszkay.

Also on Dec. 3, the Marshall Building hosts a 6-9 p.m. “Holiday Show” featuring seasonal exhibitions from its 20-plus venues. Appetizers, a cash wine bar and music by the Squeezettes will further enliven the evening.A small sampling includes the following: Elaine Erickson Gallery presents an exclusive trunk show by jeweler James Charles; Grava Gallery offers imaginative mixed-media work; Gallery 218 highlights hand-woven basketry by Mary Harman-May and prints by Daniel Fleming; Grotta & Co. showcases its exclusive silk-screened designs; Lucky Star Studio opens its nontraditional holiday exhibition “Unicorns and Rainbows VS. Bad Apples and Rapscallions”; and Portrait Society Gallery presents new work from a recently discovered Milwaukee artist in “Bernard Gilardi: Four Decades.”

“Christmas in the Ward” highlights seasonal offerings at galleries, merchants and other venues throughout the Historic Third Ward on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4.

Art Happenings

“Grit Patterns”

BYO Studio Lounge and Gallery

2246 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Fourteen designers from UW-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning integrate art and architecture in an exhibition opening 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9.

“Annual Open House”

Woodland Pattern Book Center

720 E. Locust St.

At this special event, from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 5, viewers can enjoy book artist Clarissa Sligh’s extended exhibition “Three Wishes” along with a 2 p.m. screening of a film by Milwaukeean Stephen Wetzel.

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