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Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009

Boris Doris ON THE TOWN

Sydney’s Back:

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Art lovers and nostalgists stopped by the “renovated” Sydney Hih for the grand reopening of “Park East Information Center and Museum,” curated by artist Neil Gasparka, and the IN:SITE Park East Corridor temporary public art project, chaired by Pegi (Taylor) Christiansen.Memories of the one-time hippie haven flooded back immediately upon stepping inside the battered building’s front hall. Christiansen remembered a huge bug popping out of a vegetarian dish at a restaurant once located there.

Lighting designer Chris Poehlmann fondly recalled how his career started there in 1989 with a studio and living quarters for $200 per month. John Edbauer, a McNabb & Risley interior designer, and artist John Klatt reminisced about the good old days of the club known as the Unicorn, featuring Lungbrush and the fabled Die Kreuzen. Bill Dwyer mentioned that his brother had a glass-blowing studio in the building. Illustrator Kendall Baer was on hand, showing his drawing of the iconic structure, done in 1983. Others were artist Richard Mutz, collage creator Matt Luther, and sculptor Holley Bakich. Photographers Coree Coppinger, Richard Bublitz and C.M. DeSpears all displayed their photos of the Park East Corridor. Also stopping in were Judith Moriarty and Kat Murrell, who chatted with MIADians Molly Noyes and Natalie LeRoy about their “Park East Corridor Property Company.”

B&D then poked around some of the 11 quirky and poignant IN:SITE installations in the vicinity. Spotted were Gary John Gresl’s “Disinterment,” an archaeological site of found objects on Ogden Avenue, and a huge photograph by Mary Osmundsen and Maria Bolivar decorating the Knapp Street Bridge, with its reminder of the importance of clean water. For those who want to tiptoe down memory lane, Sydney Hih will be open through Aug. 30.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen: Close friends and co-workers of VISIT Milwaukee’s Doug Neilson packed the cozy Iron Horse library for a thank you/ goodbye reception. He and his family are returning to San Francisco after his successful eight-year stint heading Milwaukee’s CVB. Chief aide Margaret Casey organized the soiree, which included a video of heartfelt and sometimes misty-eyed goodbyes from Neilson’s co-workers. Among them were Casey, Judy Widlowski and David Fantle. Proclamations from the city and business groups were read with appropriate fanfare as Neilson’s wife, Joan, and daughter Brittany looked on fondly.

Among many Who’s Who bidding adieu were Dan McCarthy, Zilber Ltd. urban development director; Discovery World CEO Joel Brennan; Paul Borawski, ASQ executive director; Rocky Marcoux, DCD commissioner; entertainer John McGivern, Common Council President Willie Hines Jr.; aldermen Michael Murphy and Willie Wade; Tim Mahone, Gov. Doyle’s Southeast Regional Office director; RotaryClub’s Mary McCormick; Bill Orenstein of Williams Development; and Ralph Hollmon, Milwaukee Urban League CEO.

Numerous tourism and hospitality friends attended as well, including Ed Lump, head of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association; Omar Shaikh, of Carnevor/ Umami Moto/Charro fame; Dean Amhaus, Spirit of Milwaukee president; and Christine Harris, Cultural Alliance president.

On the River: The River Hills home of Dr. Peter Thornquist on Pierron Island was a perfect setting for a Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) fund-raiser. Not only was it a bird-watchers paradise, but turtles were nesting on the lawn as well. WLCV board President Dan Collins and Executive Director Kerry Schumann, as well as gubernatorial candidate Barb Lawton, spoke to the choir of like-minded environmentalists.

Among attendees were state Rep. Sandy Pasch, already back on the campaign trail; attorney Victor Harding, planning another gallop for River Hills trustee; The Johnson Foundation’s Lynn Broaddus; Milwaukee Riverkeeper board member Susan Winecki; attorneys Susan Robertson and John Machulak; first cousins Chris Noyes and Hack Noyes; musician Liisa Church; activist Jackie Boynton; consultants Amy Kirkland and Howard Caplan; and artist/ yoga instructor Heather Eiden. Capping the afternoon was music by mandolinist Erin Bergstrom, bassist Jerry Williams and fiddler Emily Sommer, who got the crowd in an Irish Fest mood.

Family “Artfair”: The idyllic Dousman home of artist Kristine Gunther and Carroll University professor Philip Krejcarek morphed into a family art affair, showcasing Gunther’s clay horse sculptures, the jewelry of daughter Mindan Gunther-Moore and whimsical love paintings by Kate Gunther, a recent University of Minnesota acting graduate.

Among lucky raffle winners taking home beautiful silver baubles were artist Diane Anderson, there with her husband, Kent; ornithology whiz Karen Johnson; and Kate Loehrer, a Carroll University student photographer. Other Carroll affiliates perusing the displays were retired librarian/ archivist and Third Wardian James Van Ess, recently back from an Alaskan adventure; chaplain Bill Humphreys; and James Zager, the university’s new Theatre Arts Program chief.

Also enjoying the summery splendor were Bob Sieger, Fine Art Service owner, now working on a project with sculptor Deborah Butterfield; Betty Brinn Children’s Museum’s Jim Toth; retired art teacher Bob Jebavy, with his daughter, Robin; Pius High art teacher Pat Frederick and her husband, Greg; artists Karlyn Cauley, and Anne Powell and Flame; Barbara Kirschner of Kirschner Design in Waukesha; and Jody Nolan, owner of Good Harvest Market.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Sept. 10 issue of the Shepherd.