Cedarburg Art Museum’s Faces of Wisconsin is an exhibition featuring portraiture in a variety of media and styles. Wisconsin artists Lori Beringer, Patrick Doughman, Sasha Kinens, Rosy Petri, Vicki Reed, Janet Roberts, and Doug Witz reveal their portraits of historic, noteworthy, and today’s everyday citizens as their subjects in this show at the museum on display through May 9.
Cedarburg artist Patrick Doughman’s entries include a four-color linocut print, five paintings in his unique acrylic engraving technique, and an egg tempera painting. Doughman’s works feature historic Wisconsin-born heroes or heroines such as General William “Billy” Mitchell, founder of the U.S. Air Force, or Margaret Fish Harnack who was a Milwaukee-born and educated resistance fighter in Nazi Germany in the 1940s.
Vicki Reed, a Cedarburg photographer whose works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, has submitted thirteen prints from her Pandemic Portrait series. All these photos were taken through windows or doors, and Reed makes artful statements with reflections of the environment playing a role. A vintage window with glass panes provides the showcase for nine portraits of citizens coping in different ways with the 2020 “Safer at Home” order in Wisconsin.
Artists Sasha Kinens and Lori Beringer utilize traditional oil painting to reveal their portraits. Kinens of Whitefish Bay uses live models for her portraits set in the Wisconsin landscape. Attention to distinctive garb plays a role in her portraits rendered naturalistically. In two of her four portraits, Plymouth artist Lori Beringer reveals the hard-working role of her sister in working the family farm in all seasons. Beringer incorporates the rural Wisconsin landscape in these portraits in oil.
Doug Witz of West Bend has contributed his unique miniature sculptural works in painted polymer clay. Four of his works feature quirky characters in Wisconsin’s current and past culture in miniature. However, Harry in a Can is larger, showing Witz’s sculpted head of Harry Houdini poking out of a life-size, metal milk can.
Milwaukee fiber artist Rosy Petri and Brookfield artist Janet Roberts employ fabric in new and exciting ways in their portraiture work. Petri is mindful of her ancestors’ survival of the Middle Passage from Africa to America when she depicts Black American heroes and heroines in Wisconsin’s history. Petri utilizes colorful, patterned fabrics in raw-edged appliqué to depict Major League Baseball’s Hank Aaron or the role that Milwaukee legislator Vel Phillips played to achieve the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Portrait artist Janet Roberts skillfully employs oil paint over vintage, patterned fabric in two of her portraits of nearly full-figure subjects. While oil paint is typically opaque, Roberts also allows areas of translucency with the fabric showing through in her “Up North” outdoorsman portrayed in Flea Market Man. Another painting, Portrait of Fatima Laster, is a traditional, extraordinarily realistic three-quarter view of a Milwaukee gallery owner and artist in oil paint. See Roberts’ portraiture and that of the other six Wisconsin artists on Cedarburg Art Museum’s second floor.
The Faces of Wisconsin exhibition is on view at Cedarburg Art Museum in the historic Wittenberg-Jochem mansion at W63N675 Washington Avenue along with the Wisconsin Watercolor Society’s Little Gems exhibition that occupies the first floor of the museum. Currently, the Cedarburg Art Museum maintains visitor hours of Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00 to 4:00pm. Protocols of required mask-wearing and ten visitors at a time are in place. To stay up to date on the museum’s visitor hours, refer to the museum’s website at www.cedarburgartmuseum.org.