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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Open and Transparent

The New Museum of Wisconsin Art

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The new Museum of Wisconsin Art, at 205 Veterans Ave. in West Bend, finally opens its doors to the public. At first glance, the subtle façade, blocked in a variety of soft whites and the palest blue, functions as an abstract painting. Inside, admire the dramatic balconies, expansive walls of glass and soaring ceilings with visual sightlines allowing visitors to see from the museum’s second floor landing straight through to “La Pointe,” the building’s triangular tip.

On the second level, peer through a transparent wall to the storage archives where otherwise unseen paintings from the permanent collection will be mounted on moving displays. Then discover exceptional Wisconsin objects in the museum gift shop adjacent to the lobby. Each of these design elements embodies an open and transparent ambiance from any visitor’s viewpoint. The entire museum functions with fluidity, serenity and sophistication.

“Open and transparent” also define several exhibitions currently at the museum for its inaugural celebration. Take the stairs to the landing to view the Hyde Exhibition Gallery. Inside, “Antifragile: Contemporary Glass” features Wisconsin artists applying their avant-garde approach to the glass medium, among them Stephan Cox, Beth Lipman, Michael Meilahn and Stephanie Trenchard. Douglas and Renee Sigwarth contribute three 18-foot sculptures suspended from La Pointe’s ceiling.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art opens 10 a.m., Saturday, April 6, with the ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. That same day, Milwaukee artist Reginald Baylor opens in the museum’s new ONE Gallery with “Repetitive Patterns,” an exhibit of new paintings, a textile work and a video.

 

Art Happenings

“Women, Nature and Science: Sheila Held: Rappacini’s Daughter”

Lynden Sculpture Gardens

2145 W. Brown Deer Road

Textile artist Sheila Held’s exquisite tapestries are seen in this new exhibition. Opens Sunday, April 7, with a free reception from 3-5 p.m.

 

Mitch O'Connell: The World’s Best Artist”

Hot*Pop

213 N. Broadway

A book signing and retrospective exhibition features artist Mitch O’Connell’s kitschy world of pop art integrated into contemporary culture, opening Saturday, April 13, 3-6 p.m.

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