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Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011

Portraits at Cardinal Stritch Capture 'Wisconsin Labor'

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The current education and labor issues facing Wisconsin workers coincide with recently released statistics about the decline in Americans' annual median household income. Cardinal Stritch University shines a light on these concerns through the art of photography in the upcoming exhibition "Wisconsin Labor: A Contemporary Portrait."

The traveling exhibition is a collaboration between Madison's James Watrous Gallery (Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters) and the Wisconsin Arts Board to document laborers in the state. In 2007, six Wisconsin fine art photographers were commissioned to capture portraits of men and women making a living through the state's diverse occupations, many of which are often overlooked.

Milwaukee's Tim Abler and Dick Blau, River Falls' David Heberlein, the Manitowoc team of J. Shimon and J. Lindemann, and Madison's Jamie Young present their viewpoints on the contemporary workforce through digital, silver gelatin and traditional prints.

Abler, chair of Cardinal Stritch University's art department, presents the black-and-white image Muskie Guide. The portrait offers a glimpse into the world of sportsmen and sportswomen seeking to catch Wisconsin's official "State Fish," the muskie.

The university's Northwestern Mutual Art Gallery hosts a 5-8 p.m. opening reception Friday, Sept. 23. At 5:30 p.m., labor historian Michael Gordon will discuss Milwaukee's labor history. Another reception is planned for Gallery Night, Friday, Oct. 21, from 5-8 p.m.

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