Walker’s Point Center for the Arts hosts Midwest Artist Studios Group Show

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 6, 2017

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Exhibition Announcement

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts hosts 

Midwest Artist Studios Group Show

March 3 – April 1, 2017

Opening reception: Friday, March 10, 5:00–9:00 pm

 

Milwaukee, WI – Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) is proud to host 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.

Emmy Lingscheit (IL), Cover the Earth

Emmy Lingscheit (IL), Cover the Earth

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.”

Jenniffer Omaitz (OH), Shaping Space

Jenniffer Omaitz (OH), Shaping Space

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 Elliot-Bartle, Jody Boyer, Rachel Mindrup from Nebraska; Karri Dieken from North Dakota, Jenniffer Omaitz from Ohio, Jane Ryder from Iowa, Larry Thomas from Kansas, Suzanne Torres from Madison, Wisconsin; and Todd Mrozinski, Josie Osborne, Paula Schulze from Milwaukee.

The exhibition is curated and coordinated by Frank Juarez, with assistance from Josie Osborne and WPCA’s Howard Leu.

For more information, visit: midwestartiststudios.com and wpca-milwaukee.org

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 features both regional and national talent, encourages thoughtful social dialog and community engagement.

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Todd Mrozinski – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Today we head back to our home state to visit Todd Mrozinski at his studio inside the Nut Factory in Milwaukee. Visit toddmrozinski.com to check out his shadows series. 

Working Wall with Collard Green 2013“Butades, a potter of Sicyon, was the first who invented, at Corinth, the art of modeling portraits in the earth which he used in his trade. It was through his daughter that he made the discovery; who, being deeply in love with a young man about to depart on a long journey, traced the profile of his face, as thrown upon the wall by the light of the lamp. Upon seeing this, her father filled in the outline, by compressing clay upon the surface, and so made a face in relief, which he then hardened by fire along with other articles of pottery.”

-Pliny the Elder, in his Natural History (circa 77–79AD)

The shadow series started on the one year anniversary of my father’s death. Wanting to connect with him, Mrozinski started to paint his portrait based off of a black and white photo from when he was a young priest. He had not painted a traditional portrait in years and soon was frustrated. Disgruntled, he laid on the couch until his wife entered the studio. She saw the large amount of dark acrylic paint mixed on the palette and asked if she could cover the canvas so it would not go to waste. He agreed and took a nap. When he woke up, he noticed the warm light coming in through the front door. He looked out at the tree shadows and realized, in that instant, what he needed to paint. He took the dark canvas off the working wall, laid it on the ground, knelt down and traced the tree shadow directly onto the canvas. He realized as life is to light, death is to shadows, one cannot be without the other. His dad was showing himself in a different form and he felt his presence profoundly. The shadow series began.

Mrozinski’s work is a record of what is going on around him in the present moment. His subject matter is his family, friends, house and yard which he records and adorse on a daily basis. The beauty and power of shadows, the mysterious and ever changing light that creates them and their ambiguity and implied meaning continue to inspire me and infuse my work. Each painting begins by tracing the object’s cast shadow directly onto the canvas and is an actual size record of time and space. He is constantly amazed how a single outline can capture a gesture, mood and personality and how color and edge can create space, focus and mood. Each painting becomes a light infused container that preserves a moment, painted directly though the malleable and flowing medium of oil paint. Through drips, skeins and piles of paint, the surface becomes activated and glows with a light from within.

These are paintings of gratitude, joy and love that I feel for my family, home and loved ones and the light that infuses our lives. Intimate views of contemplation, interaction and everyday life are recorded during a specific time, conveying a universal feeling. He never knows what the next day will bring, it is a constant treasure hunt where the jewels are always right under my nose.

About

Born in Rensselaer, IN in 1974, Todd Mrozinski has loved to paint for as long as he can remember. He acquired his BFA in painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 1997 and in 1996 attended The New York Studio Program. He has been in solo and group exhibitions nationwide and his work is in various public and private collections. By focusing on two main areas, shadows and clothing, he explores the power of a subject’s presence through its absence. Meditation and contemplation as well as following inspiration and free flowing expression are essential to his working practice. Todd sees and shares the beauty and illumination of light and personality through drips and skeins and piles of paint. He and his wife, Renee Bebeau, have a studio in The Nut Factory, Riverwest, WI, where they offer art classes and workshops. He is currently represented by Woodman/Shimko Gallery, Palm Springs, CA.                                                      

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