ARTservancy 2020 - 2021

We are pleased to announce the ARTservancy artists for 2020-2021, and are truly excited to have such a diverse range of artists and art media represented.  This should make for an interesting program year coming up, with some possible onsite collaboration.  In addition, photographer and blogger, Eddee Daniel will once again feature participating artists on his blog, The Natural Realm and artist and graphic designer Tyra Baumler will be designing our promotional material.

Stay tuned for programming details and updates.

 

ARTservancy is a partnership between Gallery 224 the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, the River Revitalization Foundation, the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, Tall Pines Conservancy and the Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy to promote the visionary work of both the artists and conservationists.

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ARTservancy

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Mauriah Donegan Kraker is a midwesterner, a collaborative performance maker, a walker, improviser, teacher. She is an advocate for slow travel: walking around the block and through the city as a means of attending to choreographic unfolding of time cycles in the body + land. 

 

Mauriah’s background in athletics (competing as an Olympic-level athlete, touring with Pilobolus Dance Company, and being raised in a family that walked and biked everywhere) is a driver in the creation of physical works that live somewhere in the realms of dancing and walking. She has led folks on site walks through the Italian Alps, sound walks in southern France, and outings to highway underpasses and prairies in the Midwest- the walks culminating in participatory scores and dance performance. She has taught at Universities and cultural centers throughout the US and Europe, facilitating movement workshops that draw on sounding, walking, improvisatory, and outdoor practices. 


Through ARTservancy + in partnership with the River Revitalization Foundation, Mauriah attends to the Milwaukee River, for a year (oct 2020- sept 2021). Each month, she offers outdoor walking and movement practices open to the community as a safe space of congregation, restoration, communion. These practices are based on shifts in weather, temperature, and observations of the river. Her time at the river will culminate in a series of events, mid-summer, ranging from service oriented gatherings to river walks, and site specific performances in and along the river. Stay tuned…

Artist Website

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Mauriah Donegan Kraker - Movement Artist

Mauriah Donegan Kraker is a midwesterner, a collaborative performance maker, a walker, improviser, teacher. She is an advocate for slow travel: walking around the block and through the city as a means of attending to choreographic unfolding of time cycles in the body + land. 

 

Mauriah’s background in athletics (competing as an Olympic-level athlete, touring with Pilobolus Dance Company, and being raised in a family that walked and biked everywhere) is a driver in the creation of physical works that live somewhere in the realms of dancing and walking. She has led folks on site walks through the Italian Alps, sound walks in southern France, and outings to highway underpasses and prairies in the Midwest- the walks culminating in participatory scores and dance performance. She has taught at Universities and cultural centers throughout the US and Europe, facilitating movement workshops that draw on sounding, walking, improvisatory, and outdoor practices. 


Through ARTservancy + in partnership with the River Revitalization Foundation, Mauriah attends to the Milwaukee River, for a year (Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee lands). Each month, she offers outdoor walking and movement practices open to the community as a safe space of congregation, restoration, communion. These practices are based on shifts in weather, temperature, and observations of the river. Her time at the river will culminate in a series of events, mid-summer, ranging from service oriented gatherings to river walks, and site specific performances in and along the river. Stay tuned…

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Sally Duback - Printmaker, Sculptor and Mixed Media Artist

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Warren Enström - Sound Artist

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Frankie Suzanne Garr - Photographer

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Kristin Gjerdset - Painter and Illustrator

"Mequon Nature Preserve (MNP) was my top selection to work as an artist in residence. I have found it to be a source of refuge and discovery since my first visit a few years ago. The land is being thoughtfully restored, attracting and supporting a variety of native species, including the rare prairie crayfish.

 

My goal is to make drawings and paintings of the many different insects, spiders and other elements of the habitat I observe, striving to find 365 various species, representing the days of a year.

 

Through my art, I hope others will see how small scale lives are beautiful and diverse, encouraging reverence rather than fear. My mixed media pieces will combine the subjects in collage style, informal arrangements.

 

This compositional approach is meant to reiterate the experience one has with nature, where our interactions are often unexpected, coming in no particular order, with some moments lingering and clear, while others are short, when life appears as a brief, blurred flash."

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Angela + Justin Website

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Angela Johnson and Justin Bitner - Installation Artists

Angela Johnson is an artist and educator with a creative spirit.  

From teaching workshops, leading long-term projects, to installing site-specific public art installations, and lecturing at universities, her work facilitates across many spectrums.  

Her passion lies within local community and she feels strongly that “There is an artist in everyone. You may just not have discovered yours yet.”

With her personal mantra “Visualize, Create and Inspire”, she has two decades of experience teaching in both formal and informal environments from working in elementary schools, museums, senior centers and colleges and universities. She has inspired many, from toddlers to adults in their nineties and all ages in between.

Her areas of expertise include: Photography, (digital, darkroom and alternative processes) bookmaking, box making, creativity coaching, mindfulness and yoga workshops.

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As a photographer and installation artist, one of my favorite past times is exploring nature parks, paths, habits, state parks and preserves in Wisconsin. I am intrigued with both micro and macro environments, the details and subtleties that can be observed when we focus in and really look and spend time in nature. 

I feel that this year long residency is an added bonus - my husband, Justin Bitner (also an artist) and I were both placed at Zinn. We live in Madison, and turn our visits to Zinn into exciting road trips and build the day around our trips there.

 

At Zinn Preserve, I am using the lenses of curiosity and exploration, using my wide-angle lens as well as my macro lens, capturing tiny details as well as vast landscapes. I am also using a medium format Holga toy film camera to get a unique view and perspective. I am threading the needle through the continued exploration in the photographs I create. After printing them on watercolor paper and or Bristol board I play with them in my studio adding encaustic wax and watercolor to some images and sewing on top of others. My final presentation at Gallery 224 next year will draw from a variety of mixed media.  Because I like to work in different and interesting formats as well as learn new skills, I am creating a coloring book of images take at Zinn. This will go through the seasons of a year.  I’m currently working with a service-learning student at UW-Madison to learn the logistics of putting a coloring book together.

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Justin Bitner's first thoughts on Zinn Preserve:

I love exploring. I love observing. Much of my past work has been about collecting objects. The work I create about Zinn Preserve will start with the collection of photographic images from many visits. While on site I have been draw to the micro and macro aspects of nature.  The same patterns echo from all around, patterns in the roots of the trees to the veins in the leaves. Repetition continues within the entire eco-system they inhabit, from the branching of the stream and valleys to the animal trails that follow from hilltop to lake. My first instinct as an artist is to use the photographs, I create to explore fractal based sculptural objects.  What final work will be created using these ponderings?  In the past my work was an attempt to model what I observe into imagery with a specific meaning. Over the years I have learned to wait and let the subject mold my outcome.  What will a full year of exploration of one environment end in?  I am curious to see how I will turn the two-dimensional photographs documenting the micro/macro of Zinn Preserve back into three three-dimensional objects….

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Jayce Kolinski - Filmmaker and Projection Artist

Jayce Kolinski is a Milwaukee-raised and based nonfiction filmmaker and photographer. Their work explores our connection to the spaces around our everyday life through diaristic documentaries. The films take on a hybrid form that wanders between personal, cultural, and environmental investigations and stories of landscapes and places. Rooted in personal experience, their films reflect on the hand of the maker and authority of documentary as it relates to truth.  Most of their work explores topics relating to the natural world and our knowledge of it. These works are intertwined by a collage of analog and digital video formats that explore alternative processes to image-making.  The final form for these images comes in short and feature-length films that are distributed primarily through live outdoor screenings that showcase the film in the setting it was created.

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This property has been the focus of my filmmaking for the last year or so.  When the pandemic hit, I thought it was the perfect time to create an urban nature documentary exploring the history of the greenway and the voices that shaped it.  Throughout the production, I met so many whose passion for conservation inspired me to make a nature documentary that places history, conservations, and personal stories next to the plants and animals that have lived here since time immemorial.

 

The product of this residency will be a live-outdoor screening series that features my film, Daydreams from Yesterday, presented alongside the river where it was shot.

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Berel Lutsky - Printmaker

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Marsha Mcdonald - Photographer and Installation Artist

Marsha McDonald lives and works between the US, Asia, and Europe. She is the recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner, Puffin, Mary Nohl (travel) Foundations, a New York Fellowship, as well as grants and residencies in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Japan. She has recently contributed to platforms for art and poetry in Hong Kong, Paris, Liverpool, Venice, Hamburg, Budapest, New York, and Queensland, Australia. Recent regional exhibitions and installations include the Portrait Society Gallery, Lynden Sculpture garden, Art+Lit+Lab (Madison WI), MARN, the Watrous and Wisconsin Historical Society galleries. She is represented by galleries in San Francisco and New York.

As an artist and educator (with part of the year abroad teaching EFL), I have been able to walk and live among a variety of urban environments. I have been keenly aware of the edges and influences of nature found in or near, coexisting, with urban places. The Milwaukee Greenway has provided city residents, as well and animals and plants, with a corridor that sustains our well being. I’m creating visual and written work, documented through a blog, that honors those connections. I’m hoping to create a chapbook and exhibit images. I’m also planning an event for late summer with the River Revitalization Foundation.

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Heidi Parkes - Fiber Artist

Before Heidi Parkes was born in Chicago, IL in 1982, her grandmother organized a collaborative family quilt to commemorate her birth.  This set the tone for a life centered on the handmade- raised in a home where sewing, mending, cooking, canning, woodworking, photography, ceramics, painting, and plasterwork were the norm.


Now based in Milwaukee, her quilting and mending celebrate the hand, and her works tug at memories and shared experience.  Often using specific textiles, like an heirloom tablecloth, bed sheet, or cloth teabag, Heidi adds subtle meaning and material memory from the start.  Ever curious, she works with a variety of quilting techniques including visible hand piecing and knots, improvisation, patchwork, and applique.

 

Heidi pursues her passion for teaching by lecturing and leading workshops across the country and shares her creative process with thousands on Instagram.  Heidi has exhibited in art and textile museums across the country and is a current resident artist at Milwaukee’s Lake Park through the ARTservancy with Gallery 224.  Additionally, Heidi lives a handmade lifestyle, sewing her own clothes, fermenting, eating from pottery she made a decade ago, and practicing hand yoga, which she shares with other creatives on her YouTube channel.

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Karen and Patrick Robison - Mixed Media Artist and Ceramicist

My husband, Patrick Robison, and I are exploring the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve during this year long residency co-sponsored by Gallery 224 and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.

 

Beginning in October of 2020, we hiked, nestled in to observe, took photographs, gathered ephemera like leaves and driftwood, and cataloged the plant and animal species that we encountered.

 

My sketchbook serves as a diary of visits, ideas, and journal pages testing images and methods. A ‘finished’ product is still illusive, but the ephemera and images are already living in collages, assemblages, and printed on paper and fabric. 

 

As a botanist and educator, I am dreaming of some on site public projects and walks with ‘thinking’ from my experiences with Project Zero. Thinking walks were my favorite way to introduce students to new concepts and ecosystem.

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Science is a discipline, a way of thinking about and investigating the natural world, and a way of knowing.  Science isn’t done. It is constantly growing, changing, and responding to the current culture. Albert Einstein said, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.” I have put my imagination to good use by observing the world around us - especially our local ecosystems - as a scientist would; asking and investigating important questions; and connecting science knowledge and inquiry to our own lives. 

 

Next, please substitute ‘art’ for science in all of the ideas presented above. It works!

 

I am interested in making mixed media and found object works that bring disparate materials into a balanced form. A little visual peace.

 

Current projects include: sculptural books, clay box assemblages, and encaustic over clay and book covers to capture collage work.

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Tom Smith - Plein Air Painter

I came to Milwaukee from Toledo, Ohio in 1981 to earn a Master of Music Degree at UWM, and then became a professional cellist. Since 1985, I have played in the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and been Principal Cellist of the Festival City Symphony. Along the way I also taught 1st Grade for 15 years in Wauwatosa.  In 2012 I stopped teaching due to severe depression and anxiety. At that time, I decided to try something I had always wanted to do: be a painter. 

Since then, I have become an advocate of art as therapy for mental illness. In 2020, I was invited by the League of Milwaukee Artists and the Cedarburg Art Museum to speak on “The Transformational Power of Creating Art”, sharing how painting has brought light to a dark area of my adult life, fulfilled my childhood dreams, and helped drive away my depression.

Shortly after I began to paint, I learned about the world of plein air painting and fell in love with it. When I started to paint “en plein air”, it gave me the opportunity to experience the natural world in a new way-to really study and think about what surrounds us. Our lives are fleeting, but though it seems that everything must change, the world will go on, and we, as humans, must strive as hard as we can to be stewards of the gifts of nature that we have been given. 

As a painter, I try to capture the evanescence of light and dark, of snow and rain, and of wind and calm, through my painting. Perhaps, in my own little way, I can preserve the sense of nature’s beauty and wonder. 

The property that I am visiting this year for the ARTservancy project is Spirit Lake Preserve in Mequon. This beautiful slice of Earth appeals to me for its variety of natural features, including forest, lake, marsh, and river habitats. My project intention is both planned and spontaneous. Planned in the sense that I intend to make at least 12, 12x12 inch plein air paintings.

 

Spontaneous because I have no idea what I will paint! Each time I visit with the intention of painting, I hope to discover something new-to be inspired by some aspect of the Preserve that will call out to me. I am so lucky to have this special piece of land in which I can explore, and I hope to capture, at the very least, some of its wondrous beauty.

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Beth Stoddard - Visual Artist

I’m a Milwaukee artist who draws and paints from life with a modern sensibility. Recently my primary practice has been plein air oil painting the nearby nature of the over 150 Milwaukee County Parks.


The appeal of Fitzsimmons Woods lies in its fabulously active forest floor, its grand sweep of layered trees, and in the solitude afforded by its accessible yet splendid isolation. Somewhat hidden in Franklin, its largely undisturbed 43 acres of old growth woodland betray but a handful of human contacts from the surrounding subdivisions.


Thus far my approach has been to make weekly visits observing the seasonal changes whilst creating drawn or painted on-site sketches. Unhurried exploration and solitary observation in the woods opens the door in the studio to the appearance of invented figurative elements on larger canvases.


Developing are three bodies of work borne of three ways of looking at Fitzsimmons Woods: focused forest floor drawings, panoramic palette knife color sketches, and imaginative layered paintings.

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Laj P. Waghray - Filmmaker 

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Jaymee Harvey Willms - Painter and Sculptor

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ARTservancy 2020-21

in partnership with

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