Midwest Artist Studios at the Museum of Wisconsin Art


Today the Midwest Artist Studios™ Project was MOWA’s featured presentation for its monthly Coffee Talks. Every month MOWA hosts a different art topic, which brings art-lovers to enjoy the morning with a presentation, refreshments, and conversation. 

The Midwest Artist Studios™ Project connects contemporary art with art education through studio visits, curriculum development, and opportunities for educator outreach. 

To order your own copy of the Midwest Artist Studios™ Catalog or Workbook click here

Click here to download our presentation.

Photos by Erika L Block. 

This project is supported by the Kohler Foundation, Inc., Wisconsin Art Education Association, and Sheboygan North High School.

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Frank Juarez, MAS founder, and Erika Block, MAS writer, will be sharing their Midwest Artist Studios Project journey at the Museum of Wisconsin Art today. Thank you, MOWA!


Midwest Artist Studios™ Catalog and Workbook Released January 2015


masthumbsWe are happy to announce that the Midwest Artist Studios™ Catalog and Workbook will be released in early January 2015. Just a few more minor touches and off to the printer it goes. 

Since my presentation at the Wisconsin Art Education Association Fall Conference in late October I have been talking to several artists, art teachers, and art professors about this project. The more and more I talk about this project, the more I get excited. Such a fabulous resource for every art/classroom in the Midwest and beyond. 

What started off as an idea reflecting on the last school year and increasing Literacy within my classroom has developed into a project that encompasses two passions, contemporary art and art education.

A big thanks to the following MAS artists: Josh Wilichowski (MN), Vincenzio Donatelle (MN), Jane Ryder (IA), Jamie Bates Slone (KS), Catie Miller (KS), Todd Mrozinski (WI), Paula Schulze (WI), Josie Osborne (WI), Suzanne Torres (WI), to my MAS Krew, Erika Block (writer, editor, publisher), Pat Ryan (photographer), and Jonathan Fritsch (assistant), and to the Kohler Foundation, Inc, Wisconsin Art Education Association, and Sheboygan North High School for their support. 

What we need now is your help to promote this innovative project. 

The best way is to share this post with them or just give them our website, midwestartiststudios.com. 

Ways to share this project:

  • Catalog: artists, collectors, art enthusiasts, family, galleries, art museums, arts centers, and friends.
  • Workbook: artists, art teachers, core teachers, administration, IMC specialists working in private, public, and home school settings. 

If you like to be added to our waiting list for the catalog and/or workbook all you have to do is email Frank at midwestartiststudios(at)gmail.com and type in the subject box: MASCatalog or MASWorkbook or MASBoth. We will be printing a limited amount of catalogs and workbooks for sale. 

All monies will go towards funding part deux: Summer 2015. We will be visiting IL, IN, OH, and MI. 

Stay tuned for prices and a specific release date. 


Click here to download the MAS Poster.

This project would not be possible without the support of the Kohler Foundation, Inc., the Wisconsin Art Education Association and Sheboygan North High School. 

Midwest Artist Studios ™ Project at the Wisconsin Art Education Association


On Friday, October 24th, Frank Juarez, founder of the Midwest Artist Studios ™ Project , and two of our featured MAS artists, Todd Mrozinski and Josie Osborne presented at the 2014 Wisconsin Art Education Association Fall Conference at the Bruce Guadalupe Community School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

The MAS Project is moving at a steady pace while gaining momentum in the art education field.

The presentation touched upon the following:

  • Increasing Literacy within the Art Room.
  • Lack of Text-based Resources Addressing Literacy in Art Education.
  • Reflecting on Current Teaching Trends. 
  • Research: a survey which was shared prior to further planning of the MAS Project. One question on the survey addressed, “do you use local artists in your curriculum?”. Here is the overall consensus as to why they do not. 1) Lack of funding to recruit artists in the classroom, 2) grants are too competitive. Same pool of money for all, 3) new to teaching, 4) lack of time, 5) too many things on the teacher’s plate, and 6) do not know any artists in my community or region.
  • Purpose of the MAS Project, which focuses on 6-12 art education and curriculum integration. As well as to embrace contemporary art locally and regionally whilst bringing it into the classroom resulting in the design of unit plans concentrating on such as but not limited to: varied art processes, narratives, collaboration, and technology and infuse interaction with the MAS artists into the classroom.
  • Implementation of artist-inspired unit plans to be part of a teacher workbook to accompany the Midwest Artist Studio Catalog, which will consist of such as but not limited to: photographs, interviews, artist statements, artist website(s). Unit plans will focus on such as but not limited to: the use of the Elements and Principles of Design, National Visual Arts Standards, Literacy, differentiated instruction and assessments.

MAS Poster 2014

Click here to download this poster

To be put on our MAS Waiting List for our Catalog and/or Workbook contact Frank Juarez at midwestartiststudios(at)gmail.com.

Type in the Subject Box: MAS Waiting List

This project is made possible through the support of the Kohler Foundation, Inc, Wisconsin Art Education Association and Sheboygan North High School.



MAS Update: October 6, 2014


Midwest Artist Studio Update:

The MAS Lesson Plans have been on hold due to some technical issues re: the use of the National Visual Art Standards. I am happy to report that the MAS Project has the green light to proceed with the inclusion of Artistic Processes, Anchor Standards, Essential Understandings and Questions. This will make a fabulous addition to this project.

Thank you State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) on behalf of NCCAS to use the National Visual Art Standards for their time, energy and dedication to the Visual Art in the country. 

To learn about the National Visual Art Standards click here [link]

A note from the founder, Frank Juarez

Photo by Irma Roman

Photo by Irma Roman

It has been a week since the Midwest Artist Studios (MAS) Team arrived back in its home state of Wisconsin. We met a great group of artists, Josh Wilichowski (MN), Vincenzio Donatelle (MN), Jane Ryder (IA), Jamie Bates Slone (MO), Catie Miller (MO), Todd Mrozinski (WI), Paula Schulze (WI), Josie Osborne (WI) and Suzanne Torres (WI). These artists were a pleasure to work with and you will be reading more about them as the project moves into its editing/production phase. Each brings something special to this project.

During our trip we were able to visit the Des Moines Art Center, Red Star Studios, and Belger Arts Center. We were so inspired by the people we met such as Mo Dickens from the Belger Arts Center, the art we saw and the conversations we had with people along our route. We were so inspired that we started to make work of our very own. This is the response that I hope our readers will have when they see our full-color catalog highlighting our MAS artists and read excerpts from our interviews and seeing how we took the works of these artists to develop lesson plans to compliment their studio practice. These lesson plans will be developed to inspire, communicate and challenge students to continue to pursue originality and to foster their creativity.

Visiting Suzanne Torres at  Arts Lofts n Madison, Wisconsin

Visiting Suzanne Torres at Arts Loft in Madison, Wisconsin

The MAS artists are living proof that making art and living in an art-centered life is rewarding; emotionally, mentally, professionally and financially. The next time someone asks the question, “can someone make a living in art?”, think of the people you know that are doing it and say, “yes”.

This project is aimed to create a platform that connects a contemporary art studio practice with art education. As an art educator, I often ask myself if what I am doing in the classroom is enough to broaden my students’ perspective on art, art education and living a well-rounded life. You know that the answer is no. There is so much out there that can benefit students and this project is one way of doing so. The MAS Project was created to give educators, administrators, library specialists, curriculum coordinators, school board members, access to artists who contribute their success to their art education experience. 

The MAS Team is working very hard to bring you the MAS 2014 catalog and workbook by mid-October of 2014. The best way to stay up-to-date on this project is by either subscribing to our blog, Midwest Artist Studios, or by following us on Facebook at facebook.com/midwestartiststudios.

If you like to be added to our MAS Email List all you have to do is email Frank at the address below and type in the subject box: Interested in the MAS Catalog/Workbook.

Visiting Jamie Bates Slone at her studio at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri.

Visiting Jamie Bates Slone at her studio at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri

All questions can be directed to Frank Juarez, MAS Founder, at midwestartiststudios@gmail.com.

This trip would be not be possible without the support of the Kohler Foundation, Inc, Wisconsin Art Education Association, Sheboygan North High School and Sheboygan Area School District

Libations Series by Todd Mrozinski: the MAS Team


On Friday, August 8th, the MAS Team stopped by MAS artist, Todd Mrozinski, to talk about the origins of his shadow paintings before heading to his Riverwest studio at the Nut Factory in Milwaukee. Prior to our visit I knew of Todd’s work focusing on shadows. I found it fascinating how something like a shadow that we create daily can easily be overlooked or under appreciated for its organic shape or exaggerated size. 

In his backyard he pulled out four canvasses and asked if we wanted to be a part of his “Libations” series. How could we say no? 

It was neat to witness how he positioned his canvas to obtain the perfect composition within the 16×20″ canvas. He was very patient as we sat with a drink in our hand (with the exception of our photographer, Pat Ryan). The entire sketching process only lasted a few minutes.

I could not resist posting these paintings for you to see.

The results are fabulous.


If you are in Milwaukee today (August 15th) stop by the Gallerie M inside the Intercontinental Hotel for Todd’s closing reception from 6pm-8pm. Gallerie M is located at 139 E Kilbourn Avenue, MilwaukeeWI 53202.

To read about Todd and his solo show, “Shadows” click here.

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

Written by Frank Juarez.

Suzanne Torres – Madison, Wisconsin


Today we visit our last studio for our Summer 2014 tour with sculptor, Suzanne Torres, at the Art Lofts Building, which houses graduate and professor studios at UW-Madison.

Suzanne Torres


Her work borrows elements from our physical and natural surroundings and reinterprets them through scale and abstraction. It brings to mind natural phenomenon, unearthed relics, built environments, and the act of transformation. She creates large-scale sculpture and installation that have an evocative presence – suspended from the ceiling, traversing wall and floor, or enveloping the viewer – they appear to exist in a realm of time somewhere between birth and collapse, both degrading and emerging before our eyes.


Constructed from common materials such as clay, rope, wood, cardboard, and cement, her work responds to natural and manmade landscapes, breeding both familiarity and instability. Often exceeding human scale, the work has a physical presence that translates as a spatial experience- it elicits an emotive response from the viewer and explores the body’s interaction with space.

Channeling opposing forces of structure and collapse, her work exists in a state of flux, conjuring notions of transformation and evolution. In utilizing unfired clay there exists a tension between solidity and fragility. The potential for breakdown and ultimate recycling of much of her work signifies its temporal existence.


­­Suzanne Torres (b.1982, New Jersey) received her BA in Art from Monmouth University in 2008 and was a Post-Baccalaureate student in sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute. She participated in additional studies at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy and the Metáfora International Workshop in Barcelona, Spain as a yearlong resident. Most recently she participated in the Open Studio Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and received a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center for the summer of 2014. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Torres is a third-year Ceramics graduate and MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.