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Monday, Feb. 15, 2010

kathryn e. martin Heads List of February Exhibits

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Much to their credit, Milwaukee-area museums provide opportunities to artists of all levels, from students just learning a craft to award-winning masters. Artists both established and new continue to find homes this month through intriguing shows at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MWA), Charles Allis Art Museum and Milwaukee Art Museum.

The MWA presents kathryn e. martin, who received her MFA in Intermedia from UW-Milwaukee (where she now serves on the faculty). The artist’s background in sculpture and art history inspires an artistic process that incorporates overlooked items into large-scale, found object installations.

The exhibit “One From Wisconsin: kathryn e. martin” features site-specific art in a project that will transform MWA’s intimate gallery into an innovative environment composed of recycled cardboard packaging, or ExpandOS.

Past installations from martin include the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s “kathryn e. martin: Flotant” (2008), featuring a floating marsh constructed from the rims of thousands of Styrofoam cups, and the Hank Aaron State Trail’s A Place to Sit, a permanent artwork consisting of high-back chairs dedicated in October 2009.

The MWA hosts martin at an artist’s reception on Sunday, March 21, at 1:30 p.m.

The Charles Allis Art Museum highlights established artists in its annual juried exhibition “Forward: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now.”

The museum selected artists from more than 250 entries. The opening reception Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., will coincide with an awards ceremony that honors seven artists with monetary prizes. Among the honors will be the Friends of the Charles Allis Grand Prize and two Awards for Excellence. Viewers will also receive a chance to vote for their favorite artist in this exhibition that continues through May 19.

The 2010 “Scholastic Art Awards—Wisconsin Regional” opened Feb. 6 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The exhibition features more than 350 compositions chosen from almost 1,300 juried entries by seventh- to 12th-grade students.

From the hundreds of works receiving distinctions, five outstanding pieces captured “American Vision Awards.” Every entry in the “Scholastic Art Awards” deserves attention, as do the numerous teachers who instructed and encouraged the students highlighted in this exhibit. This fascinating exhibition truly shows the power of art education.

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