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May 25 through July 6, 2024

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Review: More than a blip

Skully Gustafson

Melissa Scherrer Pare´

Project room: Diego Sosa


We are pleased to announce a new exhibition presenting work by Skully Gustafson and Melissa Scherrer Pare´. PSG has been showing Skully Gustafson's work since 2014 with the launch of her major immersive exhibition, The Juice. This is the first time the gallery has hosted Melissa Scherrer Pare´s work.


The pairing of the two artists evokes the intensely exciting fecundity of spring, with its storms, chirping birds, and blossoming of all sorts. Although the exhibition does not have a sound track (it should!), both artists seem to compress the life-affirming sensations of a new season into their work.


Skully Gustafson, formerly of Milwaukee, now resides in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She makes paintings and drawings that often explore issues of gender and queer identity in layered, rambunctious scenes. With Blip, the gallery has staged a dense installation where Skully’s small drawings float around larger paintings, almost like seedlings drifting in the air, waiting to implant into the soil of her creative process.


Skully said she made most of the drawings while working at a wine shop, sketching on the backs of discarded signage. She describes her drawing and painting process as “more of a gut instinct of channeling the universe and subconscious. They are snippets and fragments of different thoughts and feelings and moments combined together to create even more surreal and dreamlike fantasy worlds.”


This new body of work, according to Skully, is a “celebration of imperfection—a fearless embrace of the unpredictable and the spontaneous. Each detail serves as a testament to the inherent beauty found within the unexpected, transforming perceived flaws into moments of transcendence.”


Melissa Scherrer Pare´ creates textured vessels with paper pulp. By up-cycling existing containers, an interplay between the original life of the container and its new multi-colored dream coat feels like the rebirth of a fantastic new entity. She makes her own paper pulp from recycled household bills and bank statements. The shape of each vessel might be altered by the additions of handles, loops or fluted edges. Pare´ is an interdisciplinary artist, also known for her paintings on silk. Her work offers an active dialog between traditional and often historically embedded crafts and the contemporary art world.


Across the hallway in PSG’s project space, recent Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design graduate Diego Sosa is staging a tableau where ceramic beings occupy a dream landscape, another nod to spring and hopeful abundance. After working in customer service jobs, Sosa became disenchanted with the impersonal manner of most encounters. For his MIAD senior thesis, he built “an entirely new work where missing stories are filled with imaginative lore, where names speak on one’s soul, and where built spaces are monuments of achievement and mystery.”




Melissa Scherrer Pare´ earned her MFA at the University of Illinois-Chicago and her BA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She lived in New York for five years before returning to Milwaukee.


Skully Gustafson earned her BFA at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2012. She also completed a semester at the New York Studio Residency Program through the School of Visual Arts in 2011. She has been included in solo and group exhibitions, as well as several artist residencies including her most recent at the Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC. She also operated a DIY store-front space called Four Wheels in Milwaukee from 2015-2019, and was co-curator for Slug Space in Chapel Hill, NC from 2021-2023. She and her partner Olivia Gone make and perform music under the name Wetness.


Diego Sosa grew up in rural Wisconsin. He is a 2024 graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.


Skully Gustafson, Benefic Landing Inside Portal, 2023 Acrylic and collage on canvas, 40 x 30 inches


Melissa Scherrer Pare´
Left: Barbie, 2024. Acrylic paint, paper pulp and plastic form, 14 x 5 x 5 inches

Right: Bamboo, 2024. Acrylic paint, paper pulp and bamboo form (can hold water), 10 x 12 x 12 inches

Skully Gustafson, Born Loving Infinite Pleasure, 2024 Acrylic and collage on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Melissa Scherrer Pare´, Pepper, 2024. Paper pulp made from old art history notebooks, acrylic paint, cardboard from Diet Dr. Pepper box, broken water canteen bottle, 12 x 9 x 5 inches

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