Walker’s Point Center for the Arts
839 S. 5th Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204
March 3 – April 1, 2017
On Friday, March 10th, the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) is hosted the first Midwest Artist Studios™ Group Show, opening on Friday, March 3. The Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) project is the brainchild of artist, gallerist and art educator Frank Juarez. Marking its third year in 2016, Juarez and a team of professionals including a writer, photographer, and videographer traveled throughout the Midwest, over 5800 miles and 18 cities/towns, visiting artists at their studios to document and learn about their art and process. This research provided the basis for the three volumes of rich curriculum resources and three catalogues.
The project creates a dynamic resource for K-12 students and art educators, drawing from current art practices of participating artists and using those practices to develop curriculum that is relevant, current and innovative. The project answers the criticism in art education of relying on decades-old curriculum, teaching the historic masters of art, e.g. dead artists, and not providing students context on or direct access to contemporary artists who are breaking new ground.
During Juarez’s studio visits, he and his team documented each of the artists’ studio environments, their process, and discussed what it is to be a working artist, including work schedule, work ethic, creative stimulation, what drives them, and much more. The content is published in a yearly volume along with a workbook with curriculum created based on each artist’s practice.
“This project began with a need within my art curriculum. I never imagined the impact that it has on secondary art education, regional artists, and the Midwest,” said Juarez. “What started as an idea developed into a resource that archives talented artists living in our region as well as working along these artists who embrace art education, inspiring the artists of tomorrow, and demonstrating that one can be successful living and working in their own community.”
The MAS Group Show will feature artwork by 15 M.A.S. participating artists between 2014-16. The artists are Jason Ackman, Jessica Anderson, Emmy Lingscheit from Illinois; Joshua Wilichowski from Minnesota; Lori Elliott-Bartle, Jody Boyer, Rachel Mindrup from Nebraska; Karri Dieken from North Dakota, Jenniffer Omaitz from Ohio, Jane Ryder from Iowa, Larry Thomas from Kansas, Todd Mrozinski, Josie Osborne, Paula Schulze, and Suzanne Torres from Wisconsin.
The exhibition is curated and coordinated by Frank Juarez, with assistance from Josie Osborne and WPCA’s Howard Leu.
Walker’s Point Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization in support of visual and performing arts and youth arts education. The center fosters creativity in children through innovative, hands-on education and encourages audience development and artistic talent with a diverse blend of programming. Our exhibitions, which feature both regional and national talent, encourages thoughtful social dialog and community engagement.
Photos by MAS photographer, Pat Ryan.