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Monday, March 2, 2009

Animalia

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Two Racine artists boasting national rsums exhibit at the Historic Third Ward's Tory Folliard Gallery this month. The artists, a sculptor and a printmaker, present magical kingdoms of real and imagined creatures using vibrant color palettes that refresh the spirit.

The first exhibit, "Bill Reid: Another Moving Experience," captures the artist's idiosyncratic creatures in welded sheet metal with applied ceramic and painted finishes. Many of Reid's abstract beasts alight on wheels or stand begging for the viewer's attention, whether crafted in his oversized or delightfully diminutive scales.

One of the first local artists to secure a solo show at the prestigious Racine Art Museum, Reid's artwork consistently fills galleries and commissions nationwide, including the windows at San Francisco's Tiffany & Co. in the '90s. His quirky, mechanized menagerie appeared in "Creatures of Magic and Myth" at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in 2007; this latest Folliard exhibit presents Reid's newest fantastical sculptures.

A complementary exhibit features Jan Serr in "The Colors of India: New Monotypes," which focuses on the bold, exotic landscapes and animals of South Asia. These brilliantly hued, hand-colored prints depict native motifs. Whether singular images or diptychs, the artwork by this UW-Milwaukee MFA graduate sparks the romance of Indian culture.

Serr's stark prints often recall the colors of an Indian sari, transporting the viewer to far-off terrains that speak through strong elements of composition. Serr's paintings and prints, recently exhibited at Folliard's 20th-anniversary show, grace collections across Canada and the United States, including the U.S. Department of State.

Tory Folliard hosts an artist's reception for both exhibits on Friday, March 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. "It's a challenge for two artists like this, who have been showing for a long time, to keep the viewer's interest," says Richard Knight. But, he adds with anticipation, "They both always have new ideas and work."

Waukesha professors present their artwork at "Art Crawl 55-The Get Lucky Crawl," on Saturday, March 7, from 4 to 10 p.m. The Art Crawl provides an expansive selection of art, food and entertainment in Historic Downtown Waukesha. Special highlights include The Black Trumpet showcasing Carroll University art professors and People's Park exhibiting local high-school art teachers; guest artists appear at Sprizzo Gallery Caff and The Clinton St. Gallery as well.