Thank you to the Sheboygan Press for covering this amazing project.
Help us spread the word on this project, it’s talented artists and it’s aim to link Contemporary Art practices with Art Education across the Midwest.
Correction: MAS artists will be available via Skype only and Frank Juarez is the Past-President of the Wisconsin Art Education Association.
Today we visit the studios of Josie Osborne from Milwaukee and Paula Schulze from Shorewood. Josie is an assemblage artist and Paula is a printmaker.
Solace and quiet contemplation provide an antidote to our busy daily lives. We must seek out a balance between our fast-paced exterior lives and maintaining that rich interior life that brings together memory, imagination and a more poetic understanding of our daily experiences.
In Osborne’s assemblage boxes and print collages the elements used and the organization or treatment of space references dreams, poetry, memory, architecture, and a neo-modernist language of color, simplicity, process, materials and mark-making. The works bring together various aspects of my experience (both internal and external) and reflect a pondering of the relationships of those two realities as they place the necessary openness to intangible experiences in parallel to that which we physically and more directly experience in the world.
Josie Osborne is an artist and director of the First Year Program in Art and Design at UW-Milwaukee, Peck School of the Arts where she has taught for 6 years. She served for 12 years on the City of Milwaukee Arts Board and has received Mary Nohl Suitcase Fund support for an international studio residency and exhibitions of her work. She has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions including Quiet at Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Miller and Shellabarger: Hiding in the Light at Inova Gallery and many others. For ten years, while serving as Director of Community Outreach at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, she co-founded and oversaw various award winning programs including the Creative Educators institute, Future Designers and the MOST Pre-College program. Osborne received her Master of Fine Arts in Graphics (printmaking) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her BFA in Painting and Drawing from UW-Milwaukee.
She has exhibited her work regionally and nationally. Select exhibitions include: Texture at Fredericksburg Art Center (VA), Fabulous Women Show and Top Drawer Prints (at Peltz Gallery in Milwaukee), In the Balance, (Walkers Point Center for the Arts), Thread (invitational at UNC-Charlotte); 5IVE (traveling exhibition: Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee and Flagler College Carrera Gallery, Florida); Art Chicago (Hotcakes Gallery); Art Basel Miami (Hotcakes Gallery); Things Avian and Architectural (solo exhibition at Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts); Proscenium (solo exhibition at Wisconsin Academy of Science, Letters and the Arts), Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Biennial, A Decade of Wisconsin Art (invitational, James Wattrous Gallery, Madison Overture Center), Diabolique (curated by Fred Stonehouse); UWM and MIAD Faculty Exhibitions. Osborne’s work has also been reproduced in literary journals and professional magazines, including The Cream City Review and the Madison Review.
Schulze explores notions of space and order in my work. She works in a reductive manner, drawing in charcoal or utilizing the printmaking technique of mezzotint. Over the past several years her work has moved from explorations of architectural space towards abstraction and flattened space, with an interest in maps and in pattern, geometry, ornament, and economy of form. She has been inspired by pre- and early-Renaissance art, with its ornamental detail and its elegant use of geometry as a backdrop to a larger narrative or devotional setting, and by traditional Islamic principles of geometry and design. In all of her work, through isolation and examination, she investigates formal elements and their ways of ordering space.
Paula Schulze is a Milwaukee-area artist and printmaker. She has a BA in anthropology and Ibero-American studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has participated in artist residencies at Anchor Graphics in Chicago; Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin; Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy; and Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain. She has also collaborated on temporary public art projects with the organization IN:SITE in Milwaukee. Images of these projects and her drawings and mezzotint prints are available online at http://www.paulaschulze.com.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.
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.
“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.
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.
In less than 2 hours we will be on the road for the first part (of a 3-part project) of the Midwest Artist Studios Project.
Here is our schedule for August 3-10, 2014.
Featured studio artists are:
August 4 | Josh Wilichowski, North St Paul, MN
August 4 | Vincenzio Donatelle, Minneapolis, MN
August 5 | Jane Ryder, Oskaloosa, IA
August 7 | Jamie Bates Slone, Kansas City, MO
August 7 | Catie Miller, Kansas City, MO
August 8 | Todd Mrozinski, Milwaukee, WI
August 9 | Josie Osborne, Milwaukee, WI
August 9 | Paula Schulze, Shorewood, WI
August 10 | Suzanne Torres, Madison, WI
We will be sharing updates and photos via facebook.com/midwestartiststudios.