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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boris and Doris On the Town

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And They're Off: The Kentucky Derby was celebrated in grand style with a hat contest at the Iron Horse Hotel. Greeting guests at the lobby entrance and hungrily eyeing the fruity-themed hats was Shamus, an equine from Milwaukee Coach & Carriage, there with the company's head, Grant Chromy. The critter was especially taken with the foliage of a self-made hat by Dawn Mathison, there with her husband, Jeff Brand. The contest was judged by the hotel's Manager of Desires James Valona, spiffy in his grandfather's Sicilian woven shoes, and public relations wiz/event organizer Sara Baumann.

The prize for the best hat went to Carol Klewin, stunning in purple with floral embellishments. Runners-up were Stephi Mortensen, an RN at Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, glam in her black parasol hat, plus Coral Didion and Jen Caravan.

A well-chapeaued Mary Wiczynski of Northwestern Mutual was accompanied by UWM student Jarrod Pelkofer, the duo meeting up with twins Bridget and Shannon Gallagher. Yuliana Pequeno, a teacher at Allen-Field Elementary, was the token jockey clad in bright pink. The horsy set, all competitive riders yet close friends from Hartland's Knollwood Farm, were decked out in lidded finery: Debbie Mulberry, Chicagoan Connie MacQueen, Julie Hollingsworth and Melissa Maupin. The tallest “jockey” in the joint was military veteran turned UWM student Eric Hemmingsen, there with med student Kate Schneck. Music teacher/bugler Charles Buddy Love officiated with the “Call to the Post.”

New Place in Town:
B&D stopped in at Hotel Foster, a perfect place to function before and/or after an Oriental Theatre flick or just to hang out. What was once the fabled Globe East now has a slick Victorian hotel lobby décor with a brothel-esque touch, due to the creative energy of owners Mike Kempka, John Revord and Doug Williams. Helping man the bar and developing signature pours—such as the rip-roaring Flying Dutchman and intoxicating Gin Bramble—are bartenders Evan Barnes and Austin Rapisarda. There we ran into Christina Ratatori, founding director of A.R.T. (artists.rallying.together), getting ready for a benefit concert at the place on May 21. She was joined by event coordinator Cassie King, teacher Jon Strelecki, photographer Leah Shepard of Through the Looking Glass and Nick Amadeus of The Delta Routine, which will be performing at the soiree, along with The Gutens and Fresh Cut Collective.

Portraits and More:
A trifecta showpiece titled “More Than Real: The Death of Kodachrome” opened at Debra Brehmer's Portrait Society Gallery. When photographer/filmmaker Erik Ljung heard that the last Kodachrome processing plant was closing in Kansas, he chronicled his 1,400-mile drive there with his final roll of film. The result was a poignant “Pilgrimage to Parsons, Kansas.” Gallery-stoppers were Ljung's girlfriend, Sheila Teruty, who accompanied him on the trip, plus Andrew Nelson, Jon Salimes, High Frequency Media owner Anthony Lopez, writer/filmmaker Sean Williamson; Herman Astro lead vocalist Zachary Pluer, Too Much Metal Fred, photographer Troy Freund, Pabst Theater designer and photographer CJ Foeckler, Ljung's landlord/photographer Peggy Howe, and musician Paul Jonas of Tonic Tavern.

The gallery's “Casa Happiness” is a show of Kodachrome slides by Martin Drinka, taken during his 1957 honeymoon in Cuba with his wife, attorney Judy Drinka. The collection was put together by photographer Julia Taylor, who doubles as president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Sales of prints benefited the Professional Dimensions Charitable Fund. Admiring the works were Taylor's daughter Lea Struck and her husband, Michael, as well as Stig Ostling and Stockholm-based bästa vän Håkan Thorell, Coldwell Banker Realtor Cathy Zeiler, Marianne and Sheldon Lubar, Dr. Joseph Drinka, a Wisconsin Department of Corrections psychiatrist, Markus Schwartz and his wife, Kimberly Noon, and Maggie and Scott Smith. Checking out “Flowers by Livija,” a project by James Brozek, were photographer Francis Ford; wine expert/art dealer Skip Forrest; Art Elkon, the resident Portrait Society photographer and seldom without a camera; Tim Murphy, with adorable poodle Travis; and Brozek's wife, artist Pat Hidson.

More Artsy:
MARN (Milwaukee Artist Resource Network) had a grand celebration at its West Side headquarters, the culmination of its involvement in Gallery Night and Day, the Westside Artwalk and the Waukesha Art Crawl. Called a treasure hunt of affordable art, artists auctioned their work while action artist Peter Kudlata painted on site, assisted by Terri Luna manipulating a blow-dryer. The piece was won by MARN board President Melissa Dorn Richards and her husband, John Richards. Other pieces included a linocut print by Jose Chavez, mixed-media print by Carroll University's Peggy Thurston Farrell, a fishy acrylic by Albin Erhart; and exquisite mini-oils by Beki Borman.

Among the guests enjoying the gypsy folk trio Vitrolum Republic were MARN Executive Director Melissa Musante and her husband, Steven White; CYGA's Margie Freeman; Lance Lichter, back from California; Waukesha art gallery owners Jeff Seymour of Sprizzo Gallery Caffé and Almont Gallery's Lynn Gaffey; plus photographer Stephanie Bartz with her boyfriend, artist/lawyer Joe Couture.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the June 2 issue of the Shepherd.