Gallery Night in Milwaukee, WI and for the first time I was not just a viewer of art, but rather an artist with work being exhibited during the quarterly mass celebration in my city. There are always many recommendations in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about where to go and who to see. The exhibit I was part of was not recommended or even listed on the schedule of official stops, but that is part of the fun of Gallery Night as there are a lot of other exhibits that happen, some impromptu and some well planned that don't quite make the printed official list. The exhibit called MIX at the Tenth Street Theatre was a well planned exhibit featuring work by artist, Thea Kovac and the many adult student artists who have studied under her tutelage.
I love Thea! She is a great teacher and artist. Since I spend the bulk of my time during the school year in the classroom being a teacher I can truly appreciate Thea's gifts for education. She is a free thinker, nudging her students in many directions with fun and sometimes a bit wacky exercises that really do help the artist come out and play! One of the better paintings I've done with Thea was the result of one of these exercises. She had us don old glasses and then rubbed KY jelly or petroleum jelly can't remember which all over the lenses. This view of the world is a lot like how I really see if I don't have my contacts in. This blurry observation freed up your brain's preconceived notions and allowed you to see the colors and shadows while not sweating the nitty gritty details. One of my better watercolors was the result. No the Louvre isn't calling for it, but at least it is good enough to grace the walls of my dining room.
To be part of the Mix exhibit opening was great. There are so many wonderful people who stopped in to see the exhibit, enjoy the fabulous hors d'oeuvres that the artists provided and of course look at the art work. I believe only one painting sold, but that wasn't really the point. It was a true mid-summer celebration of the artistic talents and spirit of those who have studied with Thea. Several friends and my cousin stopped by and even one of my students. This support was quite gratifying. It is always worthwhile to note that while there is a great deal of enjoyment and pleasure taken from painting, having the works actually seen by people and looked at and enjoyed is a much richer experience. I am proud to be part of the show, which runs through September 2nd.