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Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011

MWA Takes Art to the Lake

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Leaders of the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MWA) eagerly anticipate a new building in 2012. The museum also raised its profile recently with the gallery space of MWA on the Lake (1800 N. Prospect Ave.).

MWA on the Lake marks a collaborative effort between the museum and St. John's on the Lake, which now serves as a satellite location on Milwaukee's culturally rich East Side. MWA Assistant Director Graeme Reid says the museum considers the space at St. John's on the Lake a perfect blend of "who we are and what we do."

The lakeside gallery will host four shows a year, coinciding with Milwaukee's quarterly Gallery Night. In January, drawings by American-born German artist Carl von Marr (1858-1936) will be featured, including several he completed as a teenager. In the future, the gallery will display works by contemporary Wisconsin artists.

At the museum's space in West Bend, a January exhibition will highlight a selection from hundreds of paintings discovered in the basement of a Milwaukee home. The works, created by self-taught artist Bernard Gilardi, will be shown in the exhibit "Bernard Gilardi: Into the Light." Portrait Society Gallery owner Debra Brehmer co-curated the exhibition, which will include more than 35 paintings by an artist whose prodigious collection and talent remained hidden during his lifetime. As Reid explains, the museum is shining a light on a man "who had a personal passion for painting, and never showed it for 40 years."

In the exhibition "All Purpose," in MWA's One From Wisconsin Gallery, Alison Stehlik's sculptural paintings explore consumer branding.

Both exhibitions open Jan. 11. The museum offers a Sneak Peek on Friday, Jan. 13, at 10:30 a.m. and hosts an opening reception with a gallery talk by Brehmer on Sunday, Jan. 22, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Art Happenings

KE Craft Fair

Kunzelmann-Esser Lofts

710 W. Historic Mitchell St.

Shoppers can select from unique handmade gifts created by local artists while enjoying a fashion show and performance art by Danceworks and Wild Space Dance Company. The fair takes place 6-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.

"Watercolor Wisconsin"

Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts

2519 Northwestern Ave., Racine

"Watercolor Wisconsin," an annual juried event, features more than 75 artists presenting a contemporary take on watercolors. The popular exhibition opens Sunday, Dec. 11, with a formal reception and awards presentation from 2-4 p.m.

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