Madison art exhibits you don’t want to miss this summer
Travel through space and time by checking out these local and internationally renowned exhibitions.
Madison is booming with a vibrant art scene, with eclectic work by locals and storytellers alike. This summer escape the heat by checking out one of these local galleries.
Chazen Museum of Art
The Chazen Museum of Art prides itself on owning the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin. Sign up online and in advance to see its exhibits this summer at no cost. While you’re there, grab some food and a cup of coffee at the Chazen Cafe! The museum is premiering its new exhibit “Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation,” available for viewing until Aug. 8. Saar, described as “the master of the art of printmaking,” infuses jazz and romance images with other important stories on the African American experience. Importantly, the museum says Saar “charts the tragic history of slavery in America, but her figures symbolize defiance and strength.” Free and open by reservation, 800 University Ave.
Fine Earth Studio & Gallery
The Fine Earth Studio & Gallery features the work of more than 20 local artists. The collection of handmade pottery, jewelry, cards, soaps and gifts are all available for purchase. 12-5 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment, 2207 Regent St.
Pairing art with music at Gallery Marzen. Five artists from Madison’s east side are displaying their work at the Marzen Gallery, affiliated with the Integrated Art Group. Check out the works of Thomas Ferrella, Skinny Gaviar, Sharon Kilfoy, Sandra Klingbeil and Terry Talbot, all on display through the end of September at the Aventine Apartments. Marzen will also have new artwork July 15 to Sept. 15.
Gallery Marzen is also hosting an event with photography, poetry, graphics and portraits on Aug. 12. Braille as well, making it available to people with visual impairments. The artist reception, which also includes Braille to make it accessible to those with visual impairments, will have live music, refreshments and good conversation. Free, 5-7 p.m., Aug. 12, 2345 Atwood Avenue
Hatch Art House
Just walk into the Hatch Art House on Williamson Street, where you’ll see a collection of paintings, textural art, mixed media pieces, weavings, pottery and jewelry, all bright with color and ready for sale. “There’s something for everybody,” says owner Tammy Schreiter. The spot has supported artists in Madison and throughout the state of Wisconsin for over a decade. Schreiter also says there is an important emphasis on reusing and upcycling materials with a focus on sustainability. Featured artists include Randy and Lisa Lee of Tin Cat Studio, Susan Fiebig, Rooted Veins and Cream City Rocks. Beginning in July, the house will feature one artist every Friday. “We are bringing in a lot of new artists. There’s going to be a lot of fresh work in the shop,” she says. Mondays-Fridays 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.-4, 1248 Williamson St.
James Watrous Gallery
Explore “the paradox of fragility and resilience” with the “Vulnerable Bodies” exhibit, available for viewing until July 24. Speaking to the uncertainty and fear that arose from the global pandemic, the art addresses internal and external tensions resulting from economic uncertainty, political polarization, racism, xenophobia, transphobia and different forms of othering. Erica Hess, Masako Onodera, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Demitra Copoulos, J. Myszka Lewis and Valaria Tatera look at the body through different means of sculpture, self-portrait, mouth and hand pieces, and ceramic. Each challenges observers to think more critically. Don’t miss out on the closing reception, scheduled for July 23, to meet the artists and curator Jody Clowes (refreshments included!). Open by appointment, 3241 Garver Green
On display at Stoughton’s Livsreise is some of Herbjørn Gausta’s artwork, collected from the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. Gausta moved to the U.S. at 12 years old and documented gorgeous landscapes of Norway and the Upper Midwest throughout the late 19th century. He’s most known for his 400+ altar paintings, though he also took numerous photographs, made satirical drawings and created a number of portraits of Norwegian Americans. The exhibition is on display until May 1, 2022. If you want to learn from an expert, join for the “Finding the Hjemland: Herbjørn Gausta and the Immigrant American Artist Experience,” a fun and free virtual event on Aug. 11. 277 W. Main St., Stoughton
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
With paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, drawings and the like, MMoCA welcomes an impressive collection of artwork. Beginning in July the museum will feature a new exhibit — one that has yet to be named but illustrates an “in between” concept full of visual transitions, shadows and contrasts, as Michael Muckian wrote. And thanks to its 2020 acquisition of the Mark and Judy Bednar Collection of Chicago Imagism, the museum has surpassed its number of 1960s- and 1970s-era work to as many as 227 individual pieces. Don’t miss out on the museum’s “Full Circle” exhibition, available for viewing until August 22. The exhibit features favorites including Roberto Behar, Rosario Marquardt, Deborah Butterfield, Sam Gilliam, Susan Rothenberg, Frank Stella and John Wilde, among others. All individual pieces are available to view at an individual basis — free of charge. Fridays-Sundays noon-6 p.m., 227 State St.
Milward Farrell Fine Art
Milward Farrell Fine Art features a wide range of artists, all of whom are producing new and innovative work this month. Full of color and open space, Milward presents the works of Max Arthur Cohn, Dakota Finn, Charles Dwyer and others. Cohn’s art has been seen in several art museums including but not limited to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art and the Chicago Art Institute. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2701 Monroe St.
PhotoMidwest Online Gallery
Cameron Gillie, the featured artist of PhotoMidwest, presents “Nonessential.” His work depicts various sights around Madison, where he wandered empty streets and took photos using vintage cameras. Although the pandemic lockdown threw him a curveball, Gillie knew he wanted to continue with his work, specifically with film photography. “For the first time in my career, I took photographs strictly for myself, without any thought to monetizing the images,” he says. Virtual
Summer is the perfect time to reflect on the year… hence, the Summer Reflections exhibition at the Tandem Press, a publisher of fine art prints. Founded in 1987, the organization is part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has produced works with internationally renowned artists. The Summer Reflections exhibition will spotlight new and old favorite works by Suzanne Caporael, Lesley Dill, Jim Dine, Jeffrey Gibson and Mickalene Thomas. Open by appointment, 1743 Commercial Ave.
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