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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Polvo in Milwaukee October 2006

International art fair in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee the center of the art universe?
by Mary Louise Schumacher: Art City--Journal Sentinel Milwaukee

Well, we do sit at the center of North America, the heart of the land, as they say, or so say some local artists, curators and gallery owners who are working to put on the city’s first alternative, international art fair.

From the looks of things, what these art savants have in mind is the kind of fair that typically might be a “satellite” to a larger, more established fair like New York’s Armory or Art Basel Miami. Such big fairs are costly to the galleries that partake, galleries that pay high prices for tiny booths which are trolled by collectors with money to burn. The satellite events, like Scope or DiVA in New York or Chicago’s now defunct Stray Show, though, are more about bringing art and ideas into contact with people (and crossing fingers for sales).

The fair, which has a working title of Milwaukee International is tentatively scheduled for October, may not be a done deal, but those who are apparently signed on so far are evidence of something new and promising in the making. Local participants include General Store (which closed its physical gallery some time ago), the relatively new Green Gallery, Hermetic (also no longer a physical gallery but a curatorial force, among other things), Jody Monroe and Hotcakes Gallery.

The lead organizers include John Riepenhoff (of Green Gallery), Kiki Anderson (of Jody Monroe), Nicholas Frank (of Hermetic) and Tyson Reeder (of General Store).

From outside the area, the following have apparently said they’d like to come: Gavin Brown’s Enterprise from New York, Angstrom Gallery from Dallas, Jack Hanley from San Francisco, Locust Projects from Miami, Western Exhibitions from Chicago, Galeria Comercial from Puerto Rico and Polvo from Chicago.

It’s hoped, too, that Milwaukee International will feature spaces occupied by participants from Canada, Mexico, China and Japan. It will be a rare opportunity for Milwaukeeans to experience art in ways they generally don’t here, if this fair comes off as well as it could. P.S. Speaking of Hotcakes, check out some of the art from the "Exchange" exhibit, which opened over the weekend.
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