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November 24 - December 30, 2017

Opening reception, Saturday, November 25, noon-5pm

Craig Clifford, Flower Brick, 2017. Ceramic.

Portrait Society Gallery’s third annual ceramic exhibition is geared toward small and affordable works for holiday purchases. This year’s theme is “Stacked.” We are stacking the odds that our more than 20 individual artists fearlessly explore the compositional challenges of the vertical realm with both functional and sculptural works in piled up formations. Solid and teetering, repetitive and reaching toward the sky, “stacking” is one of the first things a toddler does around 18 months of age as motor skills develop. This most deeply engrained primal motion of the human hand continues to reverberate through our lives. The urge to build from the ground up is powerful, as evidenced in the earliest form of architecture, the Mesopotamian ziggurat, one layer on top of another.

In addition to the ceramic artists, the walls will be equally abundant with stacks of two-dimensional work and special projects. Fun, boisterous and packed with amazing deals, Portrait Society’s annual holiday show is the place to find unusual, hand-made gifts. 

Ceramic artists include: Lisa Marie Barber, Renée Bebeau, Craig Clifford, Ian Connors, Joeann Daley, Christopher Davis-Benavides, Karen Gunderman, Ethan Kastner, Linda Kowalewski, Debbie Kupinsky, Jessica Laub, Brian Malnassy, Todd Mrozinski, Shelby Page, Olivia Rehm, Saskia de Rooy, Darlene Wesenberg Rzezotarski, Jill Sebastian, Meghan Sullivan, Marc Travanti, and Michael Ware.

Two-dimensional artists include: Tom Bamberger, Steve Burnham, Cassie Marie Edwards, Dan Herro, Pat Hidson, Ariana Huggett, and Melissa Lee Johnson.

Saturday Workshops (2pm, Free)

Saturday, December 2: Gallery Manager Tony Nickalls will hold court at Portrait Society from noon to 5pm. At 2pm come hear Tony talk about his favorite clay and 2D objects in the exhibition.

Saturday, December 9: Enjoy a free workshop with painter Pat Hidson. She will set up a table with art supplies and guide participants through a collage and drawing demonstration. Each participant will leave with a work.

Saturday, December 16: Todd Mrozinski, who has an eight foot painting of a bonfire in the current exhibition as well as two clay ‘stacks’ of wood, and his partner Renee Bebeau, who made miniature clay Monet haystacks, will guide participants in a free air-dry clay workshop at 2 pm. The clay will be provided. Adults and kids can join Milwaukee’s hardest working art couple in free-form communal clay play with an emphasis on producing stacked compositions of shapes and objects.

Saturday, December 30: Joeann Daley, a Dominican Sister, earned an MFA in printmaking in 1981 in Florence, Italy. While she still considers herself a printmaker, she has transferred her skills to a new medium. In 2010, while attending a meeting, Joeann realized she had nothing on which to take notes. She picked up a pen and her used styrofoam coffee cup. Realizing that the incised mark on syrofoam felt similar to etching, Joeann began making increasingly elaborate pen patterns on a variety of recycled cups. These jewel like objects appear precious and valuable until one discovers their humble material origin. Joeann will discuss her work and life at 2 pm December 30 and host a stacking competition of her various sized cups. Prizes will be awarded.

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