Downtown gallery to display talents of five women chosen for artist-in-residence program
A new venture — Gallery 224 Studios, an artist-in-residence program — will open Saturday, Feb. 1, in the lower level of the Boerner Mercantile Building, 211 N. Franklin St., Port Washington.
Five artists have been chosen for the first residencies and will be at the studio from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays to explain and demonstrate their work. The public is invited to see the artists in action.
Gallery 224, where artwork is exhibited, is not moving. It will remain in the downtown Port Harbor Center, where an abundance of natural light, an outdoor patio and expansive views of Lake Michigan, is ideal for displaying artists’ work.
An opening reception will be held at the gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, for its new exhibit “Abstract Conversations.”
Gallery founder and curator Jane Suddendorf — in partnership with Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) and with a grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund — is expanding the art outreach efforts and offering a place for emerging artists to work.
“I became aware of the available space in the basement of the Boerner Mercantile Building, and I know that artists are always looking for affordable studio space, especially when first starting out,” Suddendorf, an art teacher at Port Washington High School, said. “I approached MIAD with the idea, and they were interested in the concept.”
The studio space was donated by Boerner Mercantile LLC, she said. An application process was developed, and the five artists were selected by a committee of MIAD staff and faculty. The Nohl grant pays a stipend to artist Tonia Klein, who oversees the studio.
The current residencies will end in July. The work the artists create in the studio will be exhibited at Gallery 224 in August.
A new group of resident artists will be selected this spring for the fall session, which will run from September through December.
The five artists-in-residence are:
• Elizabeth Ann Guokas grew up in Saukville and is a 2010 Port Washington High School graduate. She is a senior film and video student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts and also studied at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
• Klein, of Milwaukee, earned her fine arts degree in painting from MIAD in 2007. Her first solo international exhibition “Recurrence” was at Flash Atölye in Izmir, Turkey, in January 2013. She received a Mary L. Nohl Travel Suitcase Grant for the exhibit. More information is available at www.toniaklein.com.
• Monica Miller of Milwaukee is a multi-disciplinary artist and recent MIAD graduate. She explores the relationship between performance and audience through sculptural and digital media. She has exhibited throughout the state and is a contributor to the curatorial group Swim Team. More information is available at www.facilitating-situations.com.
• Alice M. Waraxa of Milwaukee received her fine arts degree in photography from MIAD in May. She earned an associate degree in applied science photography in 2009 from Milwaukee Area Technical College. In addition to photography, she enjoys working in natural fibers, metal and wood. She employs various techniques in felting, sewing, collage, book arts and sculpture. Her website is www.amwaraxa.com.
• Elise Thomm of Manitowoc earned a fine arts degree in integrated studio arts from MIAD in May. Her current focus is wearable sculptural forms and presenting them through photography. She has exhibited at the Milwaukee Art Center, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield and Gallery 224. Visit www.cargocollective.com/elisethomm for more information.
Visit www.gallery224.com for more information on the gallery and its artist-in-residency program.
Image Information: PREPARING FOR THE OPENING of Gallery 224 Studios on Saturday were artists-in-residence (from left) Elizabeth Ann Guokas of Saukville, Elise Thomm of Manitowoc and Milwaukee artists Alice M. Waraxa and Tonia Klein. Monica Miller of Milwaukee is also an artist in residence at the studios in the lower level of the Boerner Mercantile Building, 221 N. Franklin St., Port Washington. The studio will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The artist-in-residence program is a partnership with Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund. Photo by Sam Arendt