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Monday, Aug. 13, 2012

Haggerty Exhibitions Explore Freedom in 2012

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What defines freedom? The freedom to vote instantly comes to mind in 2012, an election year for the United States. Marquette University's Haggerty Museum of Art further explores the crucial idea of freedom in a trio of exhibitions opening Aug. 22.

“Thenceforward, and Forever Free” presents seven contemporary artists—Laylah Ali, Willie Birch, Michael Ray Charles, Gary Simmons, Elisabeth Subrin, Mark Wagner and Kara Walker—who use diverse mediums such as installation, painting, printmaking and video to reflect on the impact freedom has on society. The exhibition, which features an entire wall of Simmons' chalk drawings and Wagner's 17-foot-high sculpture crafted from more than 1,100 dollar bills, instills a sense of how freedom touches our individual lives.

Two smaller exhibitions juxtapose historical and modern contexts for the definition of liberty. “Freedom Of/For/To: Photography from the Permanent Collection” offers insights from seven fine art photographers. The exhibit, noting the impact of the United Nations' adoption of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” in 1948, uses prints to explore the changing notion of freedom worldwide.

The exhibition “The Freedom Project: Text/Context,” by the Chipstone Foundation, mines historical decorative arts and perspectives. A never-before-exhibited chair built at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello by John Hemings (brother of Sally Hemings) adds layered meaning to a later event in our nation's history, Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

The exhibitions are part of Marquette University's yearlong program “The Freedom Project,” which coordinates special events honoring the ongoing sesquicentennial of the Civil War, which ran 1861-1865.

The exhibits open Aug. 22. The Haggerty hosts a lecture and reception 6 p.m. Aug. 29. For more information, email lynne.shumow@mu.edu.

Art Happenings


Milwaukee Domes Art Festival

Mitchell Park Conservatory

524 S. Layton Blvd.

This third annual art festival combines an auction and a juried competition with plenty of food and fun noon-8 p.m. Aug. 17, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 18 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 19. For more information, visit www.milwaukeedomesartfestival.com.

“Exclusionary Measures: Mount Sinai Hospital & Brynwood Country Club”

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

1360 N. Prospect Ave.

The two Milwaukee organizations in this exhibition established health and cultural connections for the displaced American Jewish population. The exhibit opens at noon on Sunday, Aug. 19.