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Friday, Oct. 16, 2009

Francis Ford Highlights Gallery Night Day

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Presented by the East Town and Historic Third Ward associations, Gallery Night & Day (Friday, Oct. 16, 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) has become a quarterly, not-to-be-missed event for Milwaukee’s art community and its patrons. Recent rule revisions governing the distribution of wine serve to weed out the riffraff looking to score free merlot (and too bad, I say). Happily, cheese apportioning continues unabated. More than 60 galleries will exhibit works from local and regional artists, as well as nationally known names. Although participating venues are peppered throughout the city, the epicenter of activity, and a logical starting point, is unquestionably the Historic Third Ward. A free shuttle vehicle will ferry patrons between the Third Ward and East Town neighborhoods every 15 minutes or so on Friday evening.

Following the unfortunate closure of several well-regarded establishments this year, it is encouraging to see new venues stepping into the breach. Make sure to stop by the Marshall Building (207 E. Buffalo St.) for the grand opening of Merge Gallery, which will offer works in multiple media from Kathy Moss-Reeves, Evelyn Patricia Terry, Tori Tasch and Valerie J. Christell. Merge joins the swelling ranks of galleries in this historic building, also home to Gallery 218, Grotta & Co., Portrait Society Gallery and the Elaine Erickson and Grava galleries.

Perhaps the most anticipated opening of the weekend can be found at the Cedar Gallery (326 N. Water St.), where the inimitable photographer Francis Ford will present “The Life Boat Show” with a reception from 5 to 10 p.m. The native Milwaukeean, a former photography student at Milwaukee Area Technical College and photo editor for Art Muscle magazine, has exhibited his work across the globe, and his work has been featured in several national magazines, including Time and Rolling Stone.