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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Portrait Society Gallery Honors 'Friends'

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"Friendship reflects the people who occupy our lives and shape it," gallery owner Debra Brehmer says, referring to the upcoming exhibit at the Marshall Building's Portrait Society Gallery. Titled "Friends: John Riepenhoff, Fahimeh Vahdat, Mona Webb," the exhibit highlights friendship through the views of an artistic trio of different ethnicities and generations.

In Gallery A, the Iranian-born Fahimeh Vahdat premieres her miniature portraiture. Since 1988, Vahdat regularly has carried with her zinc plates and an etching needle as a way to capture the people who influence her life. The MIAD art professor honors these individuals through hand-colored images. For this exhibit, she has selected works from her cherished collection of more than 300 etchings.

Gallery B features Green Gallery East owner John Riepenhoff, who will display his very personal pen and ink portraits. Riepenhoff sketches portraits of a friend or artist who, in turn, renders his portrait. This style, working face to face for a reciprocal work of art, records unique details and individual quirks.

The small lounge presents the vision of the late Mona Webb (1914-1998). When Webb settled in her home on Williamson Street in 1960s Madison, she initiated the "Wayhouse of Light" to serve as a gathering place for a creative community. Webb would create large-scale oil paintings of the people who frequented her artistic haven.

You can celebrate friends and talented artists at an opening reception 6-8 p.m. March 18, and discover what Brehmer sees in her life: "We can have such an impact on people if we choose to."

Art Happenings


"Cathy Martin: All Roads Lead to the Mississippi"

Tory Folliard Gallery

233 N. Milwaukee St.

The self-taught artist Cathy Martin uses detailed realism to examine landscapes surrounding the upper Mississippi River. Martin will attend an artist's reception 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 19.

"Second International Peeps Competition"

Racine Art Museum

441 Main St.

The Racine Art Museum (RAM) invites adults and children to enter their imaginative works for this spring candy competition that is judged on creativity and best use of pastel-colored marshmallow Peeps. Official rules and forms may be picked up at the museum or downloaded from its website. All entries are due by 4 p.m. Sunday, March 27. Works will be included in an exhibition opening April 1 (no admission fee as part of the RAM's Free First Fridays).