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Monday, Dec. 20, 2010

Katie Musolff’s Extended Stay at the Pfister

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Katie Musolff, the Pfister Hotel’s 2010 artist in residence, exhibits nature paintings and portraits in a lobby studio near the hotel’s first-floor café.

Musolff’s nature paintings include First Ice, a watercolor with a trio of bluegills representing the catch from her first ice-fishing trip on the Mississippi River this year. These watercolor paintings, located on the studio’s south wall, are part of Musolff’s “River Nature Journal”—observations recorded from her time in Stoddard, Wis.

Other works at the Pfister include portraits of hotel employees, many of who have long histories with the Milwaukee landmark. Musolff has created nearly 10 portraits since starting her yearlong residency in April. Musolff used graphite for several of the portraits because the employees did not have the time to sit for a full-scale oil painting.

Engaging with people at the Pfister remains an integral part of Musolff’s residency.

“I really enjoy being part of something big,” she says. “The experience is richer because the people you run into change the way you make art.”

One portrait to be added to the Pfister’s collection before Musolff leaves will be of pianist Jeffrey Hollander, an internationally acclaimed musician who has been serving the hotel’s lobby lounge for more than 20 years. Musolff will begin painting him in the lounge while he plays the piano, providing viewers with an opportunity to see a work in progress. She will finish the full-scale portrait before April 2011.

Musolff’s work from her time at the Pfister will extend well beyond next April. She has planned a sketchbook show at Elaine Erickson Gallery that will exhibit four notebooks filled with drawings she has made of people in the café, on the sofa outside her open doors and throughout the hotel. Brookfield’s Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts will feature her “River Nature Journal”paintings in September 2011.

Art Happenings

Tour the Pfister Art Collection

Pfister Hotel

424 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Artist-in-Residence Katie Musolff offers one-hour tours of the hotel’s extensive Victorian art collection. Make an appointment by leaving a message with her studio voice mailbox at 414-273-8222.

Holiday Season Pass

Charles Allis Art Museum

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Pabst Mansion

A $13 pass allows visitors to admire the holiday decorations and treasures at all three of these historic homes and museums through Jan. 9, 2011. It’s a festive opportunity to view artists like Bruno Ertz at the Allis Museum and Tom Loeser at Villa Terrace.

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