August 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Brian Hofmeister is an oil painter living in southeastern Wisconsin. He has captured many streets, parks, and homes in his impressionist work (some of his work is below).
We are excited to have him share his voice on art in this space.
I recently participated as an exhibiting artist at the second Annual Milwaukee Domes Art Fair, and had the opportunity to reflect on how visual artists can best contribute to and capture the attention of the surrounding culture.
Patience would be an asset to visual artists and their influence on culture. The Domes put on a good show. Viewers commented on the growth and improvements since last year. However, a number of artists expected the show to achieve greatness overnight. Some hoped for greater attendance, other hoped for greater sales. Whatever the hope may be, the visual artist loses influence when their unfulfilled hopes are redirected toward sour feelings against the general public, or arts advocates.
The right to influence is never handed to us. Whatever influence we presently have, whether big or small, must be nurtured to earn more.
A nod to Brian Hofmeister.
July 13, 2011 § 2 Comments
Yesterday, I talked with Pakou about her last few weeks in Uganda and the cultural differences she was noticing. “With every single thing I’ve bought here,” she told me, “I’ve met the person who made it or know the story of where it came from.” Even in her other experiences abroad, she hasn’t had this depth of knowledge of the products she’s consumed from food to clothing to the pieces of art she’s packed to take home.
Knowing the creator behind the product is rare in the U.S., but Pakou’s comment made me reflect on my weekend when I wandered around a local art fair. It was one of the rare times I enjoyed beautiful craftsmanship as well as glimpsed the people and quirks behind each piece, such as the jolliness of the couple behind Bear View Ridge’s Refined Rustic Furnishings. (It sounds paradoxical, but it’s true! Their work is both lovely and woodsy.) They were so eager to talk with me, their booth neighbors, and other wandering consumers. They have moose in their Wisconsin backyard. They could talk forever about birch bark. They make lovely pieces like this:
Or how the photographer behind these stunning images of dancers mid-movement, Erik Saulitis, was also dressed in black and white so that he blended right in with the pieces in his booth.Being surrounded by Mikel Robinson’s art was like stepping into my grandpa’s house as a kid. Mikel’s mixed media is filled with old knickknacks on shelves, ancient looking rulers and yardsticks, and yellowed photographs. Mikel was hidden in a nook wrapping purchases, next to a curved and weathered church window frame.
It was so peaceful to enter the space filled with Mark MacKinnon’s landscape photography. I loved the vast expanse of cloud, sky, sand, and ocean, the muted shades of grey and blue, and all that space allowed to remain empty.
Latvian artist Marina Terauds who does printmaking and etching leaves her hand-scrawled notes on everything. She’s also got quite a thing for birds.
And finally, Sarah Kaufman’s whimsical and dreamy paintings made two observers say she reminded them of Salvador Dali.
It wasn’t until they left that Sarah turned to her friend to ask which Dali painting were they talking about and did her friend think the comment true. They dismissed Dali and moved on to the topic of lunch.