OnMilwaukee.com's art gallery guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on April 4, 2010 at 9:02 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
When the economic recession hit, Milwaukee began losing more art spaces than it was gaining, leaving some in the arts community concerned for the city's prosperity as a cultural hub for independent artists and entrepreneurs.
Thankfully, the tides are shifting and not only does our economic future look brighter, but our active arts scene does, too. With spring Gallery Night coming up, we thought we'd round up several of Milwaukee's successful art galleries to give you an idea of where to go and why.
Artasia Gallery & Museum
181 N. Broadway, (414) 220-4292
This charming Third Ward spot features authentic Asian art, artifacts, antiques, accents, furniture, jewelry and housewares that come directly from places like China, Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia and southeast China.
BYO Studio Lounge
2246 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 489-7474
As the name suggests, owners Kerry and Ken Yandell encourage Milwaukee's "creatives" -- a much broader term, they say, than "artists" -- to literally bring their own art to the studio, whether it's painting, sculpture, yoga or modern dance. The idea is that the studio is available for anyone -- painter, dancer, actor, sculptor -- looking for an inspiring and affordable space to create, practice and share his or her craft. In early 2010, the Yandells added another component: As the day comes to an end, the interior lights dim and the world music starts to spin as the space transitions into the city's first "cocktail gallery."
918 E. Brady St.
Owners Kaitlin Rathkamp and Joe Ledger call their gallery and consignment space "an art experiment." By showcasing the works of local and regional artists, their goal is to creating a stronger, richer and more accessible creative art scene for Milwaukee.
326 N. Water St., (414) 750-3550
Owner Scott Jackson opened his gallery above the Starbuck's in the Third Ward a couple years ago and has shown both local and national artisst. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Dean Jensen Gallery
759 N. Water St. (414) 278-7100
As a former Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design professor and art critic, gallery owner Dean Jensen has pondered cyclical transitions in the Milwaukee art scene. He has spent his life buying, selling, and foremost, appreciating good art. The Dean Jensen Gallery opened more than 20 years ago, though it has relocated three times. Today, the gallery is a beautiful representation of Milwaukee's architectural history. Terra cotta tiling, steel-stained glass window framing and a 1920s staircase railing all contribute to the building's distinct design.
DeLind Gallery of Fine Art
450 E. Mason St., (414) 271-8525
At DeLind Gallery you'll find a continually changing collection of outstanding art, from the best local and regional talents to the internationally and historically known greats. They also offer appraisal, art restoration and consignment services.
207 E. Buffalo St. Suite 218, (414) 643-1732
For nearly two decades, Gallery 218 has showcased contemporary painting, printmaking, and photography. It's open Friday, 1-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 12-5 p.m. (or by appointment.)
Green Gallery East
1500 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 226-1978
The Green Gallery East is the more formal, contemporary counterpart to the original, experimental Green Gallery space in Riverwest. Owner and local artist John Riepenhoff curates both galleries. A more formal counterpart to Green Gallery West, East's shows feature practiced artists, both international and local, in hopes of gaining more national attention for the Milwaukee art scene.
213 N. Broadway, (414) 273-1301
Hot Pop is a Third Ward boutique specializing in urban vinyl toys, screen-printed apparel, books, modern home decor and sneakers for men and women. At 3,000 square feet, the boutique allocates a significant portion of its space to showcasing local and national talent and owner Margaret Martin has dedicated the entire space to all the fun little things that make our urban world a bit brighter.
241 N. Broadway, (414) 289-0855
Founded in 1980, the Katie Gingrass Gallery, a contemporary art and fine craft gallery in the Third Ward, hosts exceptional exhibitions of lithographs, paintings, pastels and the fine craft of regionally and nationally recognized artists. Even if your mother is hard to shop for, you will find a gift for her here. The gallery specializes in twists on the traditional, including clothing, house items and frames for pictures.
1119 E. Knapp St., (414) 223-4278
This gallery opened in 1989 and has been showing contemporary art out of its 1885 Victorian home ever since. Look for paintings, drawings, small sculpture, and a large inventory of museum-quality original lithographs, etchings and wood block prints.
207 E. Buffalo Street, Suite 526, (414) 870-9930
Portrait Society is a contemporary art gallery devoted to portraiture. Established in 2008, the gallery showcases contemporary and historic artists who work with the ideas of portrait traditions. The gallery also represents artists for commissions. Portrait Society is interested in project driven bodies of work that explore the concepts and ideas of making art about identity and presence.
233 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 273-7311
This gallery, located in the Historic Third Ward, is a showcase for nationally and internationally recognized painters and sculptors. It features still-life, abstract, landscape and figurative works of art in all media. In its 3,000 square-feet of exhibition space, it devotes exhibitions to established as well as emerging artists.
1430 Underwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 559-1063
Located in a cream city brick firehouse dating back to 1899 in the quaint Wauwatosa village, this gallery features art glass, pottery, paintings, prints, art jewelry, fine crafted wooden boxes, photography and more.
320 E. Buffalo St., (414) 727-8488
Bill Appleby's VP Gallery focuses on photography in its intimate Third Ward space and has shown works by Life photographer John Dominus and David Burnett and others.
Walker's Point Center For the Arts
839 S. 5th St., (414) 672-2787
A non-profit gallery committed to fusing the community with Milwaukee art, this center holds workshops, performances, exhibitions and art classes for children. Innovative and local, Walker's Point Center for the Arts has been promoting alternative visual and performing arts since 1987.
A number of galleries were left off the list - almost too many to mention. The Gilded Edge (2 locations - Elm Grove and Shorewood) are both currently running local artist shows and also do amazing framing work.
This is what I come to OM for. I just learned about a few art galleries in Milwaukee that I had no idea that existed.
Thank you for your article on Art Galleries in Milwaukee. May I add 3rd Ward Jewelry which features art to wear. Each piece of jewelry in the gallery is hand crafted of fine materials; sterling silver, 18 & 22K white and yellow gold, platinum and precious stones. I consider each piece a tiny sculpture that one can wear. Stop in and see for yourself. The store is located inside the Katie Gingrass Gallery.
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