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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Discovering Wisconsin Art

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  An extraordinary collection of artists will appear throughout the Milwaukee area this weekend.

  In Brookfield, the third annual Hidden River Art Festival returns to the grounds of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, from 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, through 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21. All weekend, Wisconsin artists will be highlighted in a variety of events at this family festival.

  A retrospective on the second floor of the Ploch Art Gallery will feature Wisconsin artists working in multiple media. These 27 commissioned works, honoring the Governor's Award in Support of the Arts, will be exhibited for the first time, and include work from artists such as Doug Haynes, Chuck Beckwith and Phillip Odden.

  Inside the Wilson Center's Dawes Studio Theater, "Emerging Artists from Wisconsin" will showcase artists who have graduated from prestigious fine-arts programs in the state. This creative vision aims to provide rising artists with an opportunity to show their artwork to fresh audiences. Partners involved with the White Whale Artist Collective, including Summer Said, Julia Schilling and Marcus Wichmann, as well as Armoury Gallery's Cassandra Smith and Jessica Steeber, will display their talents. On Friday afternoon, Steeber and Smith will talk about being working women, artists and gallery owners, and will speak about the dedication necessary to accomplish the task of being a creative artist and an entrepreneur in today's economic environment. A number of other emerging artists will speak at scheduled times during the festival.

  Two familiar galleries import their collections of fine art to the Wilson Center's Grand Hall, while refreshments, entertainment and an activities tent outside will allow participants to discover art on a personal level. A People's Choice Award and two juried awards, Best in Show and Juror's Choice, are set to honor more than 80 Wisconsin artists. With an admission fee of $5 for adults (free for children under 10), Hidden River Art Festival provides an opportunity to explore the inside world of Wisconsin art.

  The Westside Artwalk in Wauwatosa stretches from Harwood Avenue to 43rd and Vliet streets. Participating businesses exhibit unique artwork, and there will be a fund-raiser titled "Take A Seat," which will auction imaginative Adirondack chairs to benefit the reclamation of the village common area. This two-day event, on Friday, Sept. 19, 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers a creative atmosphere in which to appreciate these Milwaukee neighborhoods.

  White Whale Artist Collective in Walker's Point hosts an exclusive exhibition, "Gimme Baby Robots," on Friday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 10 p.m. This traveling art collective, the brainchild of two University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate art students, Mike Rea and Dave Teng Olsen, assembles the work of more than 100 national artists. "Gimme Baby Robots" travels through numerous U.S. cities, offering affordable art shown salon-style. In addition to an auction, light refreshments will be served.