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Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009

Plus: Board President Bonds releases an accountability report

Opponents of a mayoral takeover of the Milwaukee Public Schools said the change would not help the district compete for federal money, nor would it improve student performance or accountability. At a press conference at City Hall on Monday, opponents of the takeover said the attempt to replace the...
08.21.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Peggy Sue
Kay McKinley Arenson became Director of Marketing and Exhibitions at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin approximately two years ago. With the completion of the recently opened exhibition "e.co.tiv.i.ty: environmental art in process," Arenson breathes a sigh of relief. Besides working full time for the school, Arenson also works as an artist. After being a photojournalist in print and broadcast media during her first career, she started painting ten years ago. Cottage Row Gallery, also in Fish Creek, represents Arenson who chooses to use pastels for her figurative subjects that portray light and movement, liveliness, on paper. After a full week finalizing the details for these land installations and an opening reception for the Art School, Arenson discusses the process in creating an environmental exhibition of this scale. Q: What inspired this art exhibit and how did you choose the artists? A: Karl Saliter contacted the school through the mail, and I knew this artist to be incredible. During the same time, Dan Engelke approached the committee for a proposal [to show his work]. We all thought this would work well. Wouldn't it be great to celebrate process? But Karl would have to travel, and Dan would be highly visible in the park [Peninsula State Park]. Then I thought what about the school's gallery? I contacted Bill Mckee with the express interest of him showing work in the gallery. As we began to put the exhibit together, documentation became an integral part of the show, so part of the gallery is used for documentation [how the work came to be]. Q: Why was the exhibit so timely? A: It was serendipitous that the park [Peninsula State Park] was celebrating its 100th anniversary. Land art is done outdoors, its venue working with the natural landscape. Installations are also very timely right now. All though, in installations per se there usually is an element of technology involved. It's actually all very contemporary, although ancient cultures have interacted with the landscape since the beginning of time. Q: Was the school involved in acquiring permission for harvesting the materials or placing the sculptures in Tennison Bay? A: The artists did all that by themselves. There were permits to be acquired by the DNR and from the park. There had to be specifications for the sculptures placed in the water. When harvesting [by hand] the Honeysuckle roots and branches from the park, Bill did get the park's permission. But he was just doing something the park does anyway. This whole process [curating the exhibit] began at least two years ago. And it has been rumbling around in the minds of the artists for a lot longer than this. Q: What excites you personally about the exhibit? A: It's the fluidity. The process part that you can't predict. It has to do with the unpredictability, the passion, the element of surprise. You need to trust the process and when you trust it, it is successful. The process is just as satisfying as the completed exhibit. People need to know these ideas are rumbling around in the brain for years, both as an artist and curator, from beginning to end. Its important to reveal this to the community. Q: Do you have a favorite piece in the exhibit? A: The community's reaction to these pieces, the exhibition. There has been so much in favor of the exhibition, so it has been very exciting to see their reaction that goes beyond the walls of the art school. We had a packed house for the panel discussion, the artists talking about their process. You need a passion for this. Being invited into the process, being welcomed. There's so much joy in the process of creativity so you want to share this. That's what was funny about the name

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Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009
Even before Gov. Jim Doyle announced he would not seek re-election, it was starting to become obvious he was ready for a career change. As I reported a month and a half ago, Doyle’s gratuitously anti-Milwaukee budget vetoes intentionally alienating African-American...
08.17.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Lisa Kaiser
Here�s the prepared text of Gov. Jim Doyle�s announcement that he won�t run for a third term as governor�but he won�t be pulling a Palin, either, and will finish out his second term: I have decided that I will not run for a third term as governor. Jessica and I, as Peace Corps volunteers, a lawyer and a teacher on the Navajo Indian Reservation, district attorney, a...
Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009

Hot Opening:

Musician Paul (Reno Nevada) Jonas’ dream to own a bar has been realized with the opening of his trendy Tonic Tavern on South Kinnickinnic. Redoing a former garage, Jonas was aided by carpenter Bill Backes, Uptown Savages’ drummer, and Elm Grove designer Stephanie Berg. At his hot grand...
Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009

The big push to block reform and protect profits

They were kicked out of North Carolina, are constitutionally banned in Arkansas and heavily regulated in Minnesota. The Bush-era Department of Defense found that they are a threat to members of the military. What do these folks know that we don’t? Payday lenders thrive...
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Milwaukee’s choice program gets guidelines

Two decades after Milwaukee became Ground Zero in the experimental school voucher movement, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program is having its accountability moment. Until now, the program has had scant oversight from the state, which funds the vouchers for the more than 20,000...
07.23.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Peggy Sue
A featured artist at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in their "American Story" exhibition, Xao Yang Lee calls Sheboygan, Wisconsin home. While living in a refugee camp in Thailand after the Vietnam War in Laos that she escaped by swimming the Mekong River, Yang Lee began producing traditional decorative arts native to her culture that allowed her to buy medicine and clothing for her ch...
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Plus Heroes and Jerks of the Week

Congressman Paul Ryan has been critical of the different health reform plans moving through the various congressional committees. On TV and in newspaper op-ed pages, the ubiquitous Janesville Republican is painting an ominous picture of what will happen if a public health insurance...

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