The Green Gallery Works
September 11 - October 31, 2020
Jordin Alanis ⚒ Spud Butler ⚒ Scott Cowan ⚒ Neil Gasparka ⚒ Michelle Grabner with Dabin Ahn ⚒ Nadeena Granville ⚒ Chloé Gutmann ⚒ Elise Hanson ⚒ Rachel Horvath ⚒ Sam Joseph ⚒ Kayle Karbowski ⚒ Brad Killam ⚒ Nicholas Kinsella ⚒ Krister Larson ⚒ Sarah Luther ⚒ Marissa Macias ⚒ Rudy Medina ⚒ Beth Miller ⚒ Sara Moralez ⚒ AJ Morley ⚒ Keith Nelson ⚒ Felipe Pagán ⚒ Mike Paré ⚒ Brian Pfister ⚒ Alec Regan ⚒ Haynes Riley ⚒ D Rosen ⚒ Karl Saffran ⚒ Kirsten Schmid ⚒ Madeleine Schweitzer & Sean Kafer ⚒ Paul Anthony Smith ⚒ Aaron Stoelb ⚒ Oliver Sweet ⚒ Laura Volkert ⚒ Avery Weiler
As a new wave of economic hardship and uncertainty arrives as a result of the pandemic and exasperated by chaotic national leadership, resources for the arts seem to be more scarce than ever. The origins of Milwaukee’s art scene however, were carved out by artists and for artists in small privileged interstices formed by the systems which dictate much of our lives. Geographically marginalized from the cultural capitals and at the bottom of national arts funding, the artists of Milwaukee have made their own language and economy of art. For a nascent Green Gallery, years would pass with the only proof of existence or value an exhibition would garner was that people showed up to look and talk about art. Through these conversations in attics, warehouses, bowling alleys and on barstools, strangers became familiar and a community formed. This was the making of an “art world.”
Within this art world The Green Gallery served as a hub of activity. People exhibited art, read, cleaned, painted, opened, closed, drank, talked, and generally most of this was related to some idea of “art”. There have been dozens of volunteers, interns, friends, family and employees who through a group effort have kept the conversation going and the gallery alive. Though there is no causal connection between working in or for an art gallery and identifying as an “artist” there is a prerequisite artistic sensibility: the knowledge that the gallery space is a place for this collective activity. And this activity incrementally builds a convincing version of an endemic arts culture.
Marking 100 exhibitions since the opening of our location on Milwaukee's Lower East Side, The Green Gallery is honored to present a show featuring works by 35 artists who have worked or volunteered to help run the gallery over the past decade plus. This exhibition puts to the forefront the gallery’s artist-run-space origins and ongoing operations.
Work in this exhibition was made with an awareness of the unique gallery setting. Pieces are situated on the walls and floor as expected but also nest in some gallery insider spots: one gallery worker’s local art ephemera archive occupies the file cabinet, a pink exit sign inconspicuously hangs inside our front door, a freshly minted “Employee of the Month” sign reserves prime parking out front, and the usual Beer Endowment chills in the fridge.
Artists-as-workers here also exemplify a strong sense of collaboration and social justice. A trailer for a documentary on the People’s Revolution movement in Milwaukee which our gallery manager has been shooting for over 100 straight days is debuting as part of this show. Small bronze sculptures are supported on an art pedestal made by a former student of the sculptor turning the roll of support on its head. A banner by a new home owner artist invites us to “Form Relationships with Neighbors”. A painting that taps into our electrical grid literally sheds light on other art it shares the room with. One cast bronze piece is made in collaboration with goats from a farm sanctuary. In an even greater expansion of self, many of the artists, with the gallery, are committing sales of their work to local causes, more on those participating pieces attached to each artwork info.
Quilting, printing, painting, photo, jewelry, ceramic, toilet tops, plunger and bowl, butt, pants, chair, augmented reality, essence, tattooed fruit, weaving, drawing, lots of painting, streaming content, polished steel, and much more.
Thank you to everyone who has helped make the gallery happen over the years. We're honored to have worked with so much talent, many of whom have gone on to work at other galleries, run galleries of their own, or author and show work in a variety of forms. They’ve all made and continue to make an impact on The Green Gallery and beyond. Come support some of their art in the online links above and by appointment. We’d like to leave you with a poem by our former gallery manager Karl Saffran:
Buying cheap beer for artists I’d
later see on covers of magazines
too expensive to afford
Some sales in this exhibition (itemized in the checklist) will benefit:
Love on Black Woman https://loveonblackwomen.com/
Milwaukee Freedom Fund https://supportwomenshealth.salsalabs.org/mkefreedomfund/index.html
Leaders Igniting Transformation https://www.litmke.org/
Growing Home http://growinghomeinc.org/
Ancestral Apothecary's Black Scholarship Fund https://ancestralapothecaryschool.com/
The Green Gallery Works is on view now through Saturday October 31st 🎃. Virtual Zoom walkthrough with the artists took place September 24th and the documentation of that is below.
Please contact the Green Gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.