Written for Lakeshore Artists Guild by Jody Kuchar
The Lakeshore Artist Guild members are presenting for the first time ever, Manitowoc Art Slam; an event aimed at getting local artists in the out of doors to create art in the downtown area of the city. The art, in the spirit of En Plein Air will be created on the spot – with perhaps some planning and pre-set up of materials. The Lakeshore Artist Guild members are diverse in their media. The members include painters; oil, water and acrylic on all types of medium. There are woodturners-carvers, fabric artists, leather workers, paper and hand made book makers. There are photographers and film makers. There are print makers and writers and potters/ceramic workers. To adequately represent such diversity, the organizers of Art Slam realized they needed to have judges with experience in a variety of media. The three judges decided upon for Art Slam were chosen from amongst teachers, gallery owners, the digital press and working artists.
The inaugural Art Slam will take place with artists on sites in downtown, on Saturday, September 15th from 9am until 5pm; and Sunday, September 16th, from 9am until 4pm.
More of the events planned for Saturday, September 15th are a Public Mural Project at the corner of Jay and 9th streets; “Artenlunch”, an opportunity to brown bag your lunch and eat with an artist or two at Manitowoc Public Library from noon to 1:30pm. Saturday evening the fun continues with “Poetry Slam”, an event sponsored by Lakeshore Artist Guild and part of Art Slam. Poetry Slam will be at Kathie’s Stage Door Pub at Franklin and 7th Streets, it will begin with established poets reading their work at 6pm. There will be an open mic portion of the program as well.
It will be a difficult task to judge all of the works created at Art Slam. Participants will include Lakeshore Artist Guild members as well as any other interested artists. The judges for Art Slam are:
Art Slam judge Kathryn Dreifuerst
Kathryn Dreifuerst is a Wisconsin painter, potter, gallerist, teacher, and arts advocate. After teaching art for nearly two decades, Dreifuerst left full time teaching to focus on her gallery, Fond du Lac’s Riverwalk Art Center, and, her own art work in oil painting and ceramics. Dreifuerst’s paintings are often inspired by words; in poetry, prose, or lyrics; and have recently taken a surreal turn. The interaction of people in public spaces, self-portraiture as metaphor, and crows are subject matter that Dreifuerst has visited recently. Her oil paintings are guided by Tolstoy’s words: “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”
Dreifuerst creates functional pottery for daily use. She says she works with clay for the tactile pleasure, and the immediacy of such a forgiving medium. She has recently returned to figurative work in ceramics.
When Dreifuerst is not in her downtown Fond du Lac gallery or Oshkosh studio, she can be found in area art venues; viewing art, lecturing on art, teaching an art workshop, or jurying an art exhibit.
Art Slam judge Frank Juarez
Frank Juarez is a gallery director, art educator, artist, author, presenter, and arts advocate living and working in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Organizing local and regional art exhibitions, community art events, facilitating presentations, supporting artists through professional development workshops, use of social media and networking has placed him in the forefront of advancing and promoting local artists and attracting regional and national artists to collaborate, network and exhibit in Wisconsin.
Juarez is the art department chair at Sheboygan North High School. He is actively involved in local, regional, state, and national arts organization such as the Wisconsin Art Education Association, and the National Art Education Association. He has served as a board member in the following organizations: Milwaukee Artist Resource Network, Arts Wisconsin, and the Cedarburg Cultural Center. He is the founder/former director of the. In 2011, he has opened his first art gallery, the Frank Juarez Gallery in Sheboygan and has relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has presented at local universities, colleges, galleries, and artist groups on the Business of Art | Art of Business. He is the founder of two projects focused on contemporary art and art education called The Midwest Artist Studios and the 365 Artists 365 Days Project. In 2015, he was awarded the 2015 Wisconsin Art Education Association Teacher of the Year and in 2016, he was awarded the 2016 National Art Education Association Wisconsin Art Educator of the Year, joined the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, joined SchoolArts Magazine as a contributing editor, and co-founded the Randall Frank Contemporary Art Collection Artist Grant Program. Recently, he has been elected to serve on the National Art Education Foundation Board of Trustees and has been awarded the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 2018 Teacher Fellows.
Art Slam judge Berel Lutsky
Berel Lutsky was born in Buffalo NY and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He earned his BS in studio art with a concentration in printmaking from UW Madison, and his MFA in studio art with a concentration in printmaking and drawing from UW Milwaukee. He has taught at several UW Colleges, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Carroll University in Waukesha, and the Avni Institute in Israel. In addition to his formal education he has worked as a printer at the “Fishy Whale Press” in Milwaukee WI, the Tel Aviv Artist’ House Printshop, and has presented workshops and done residencies at the Jerusalem Print Workshop. His work has been exhibited locally, regionally and nationally and is in public and private collections in Israel, Belgium, Japan and the US. He is currently a Professor of Art at UW Manitowoc where he teaches drawing, design, photography, printmaking, and painting.
On Friday, September 21st, there is a Public Awards Ceremony and Exhibit opening at Rahr-West Art Museum; with awards presentation at 7:30pm. This is free and open to the Public.