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Monday, March 9, 2009

Ten Plus Ten

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Two exhibitions opening this week interpret distinct cultural communities.

The Haggerty Museum of Art opens "Current Tendencies: Ten Artists from Wisconsin" on March 12. The museum provides separate gallery spaces for each of these 10 artists, who represent a wide range of experiences, mediums and inspirations.

Three installations are constructed specifically for the Haggerty. Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg build one sculpture above the entryway, Colin Matthes draws an urban landscape across a wall in the foyer and Madison's Jennifer Angus fills a room with hand-printed wallpaper pinned with dried insects from South America and Africa.

Additional rooms include the late Peter Bardy's sculptures, Anne Kingsbury's fiber art dolls and beaded hangings, T.L. Solien's carnival-colored Miro-like portraits, Sonja Thomsen's photographic installations, George Williams Jr.'s massive nude oils, and Xiaohong Zhang's paper cuttings.

Many of the artists will be present at the opening reception on March 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. Special events coordinating with "Current Tendencies" include lunchtime lectures at 11:30 a.m. on April 8 and 29, and after-work lectures beginning at 6 p.m. on April 15 and 22. In addition to these programs, the Haggerty stages an open forum, "The State of Art," on March 26 at 7 p.m. to discuss visual arts in Wisconsin.

On March 13, Walker's Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) opens an exhibition focusing on Chicago's Pilsen community-part of the city's Mexican heart-in "Artists of Pilsen: Rene Hugo Arceo and Gabriel Villa." These artists, a printmaker and painter, respectively, present their artwork together with eight other artists from this distinctive neighborhood. Provocative, political images and sculptural pieces visualizing humanity's struggles and changing values ensure that the area's Latino legacy continues on.

WPCA has a long tradition of cultural expression and supporting Milwaukee neighborhoods surrounding the gallery. An opening reception on Friday, March 13, from 5 to 9 p.m., celebrates the creative diversity and Mexican heritage of these 10 Chicago artists.