Displaying items by tag: Art

Let's get ready for those warmer afternoons and make your own sidewalk chalk! I enjoy the plaster of Paris recipe best because I can keep the chalk I don’t use for next time, but this chalk paint recipe is pretty neat too! Haga clic aquí para encontrar esta información en español. Translated by Angélica Sánchez Mora.

Thursday, 31 January 2019 06:47

Where Art Meets Ecology

I got started volunteering at the Urban Ecology Center through small mammal monitoring in the summer of 2012 and have been fortunate enough to help with that project at least a few times every summer since, alongside numerous other projects. These opportunities and the UEC have helped me get to where I am professionally, granted me steady friendships, taught me so very much, and, most importantly, welcomed me, enthusiastic quirks and all, with open arms.

As our art exhibits enter their tenth year, Sally Duback, one of the founding members of our arts committee offers this reflection about the beginning and growth of the program.

Ten years ago, UEC board member Danni Gendelman convinced the board that it would be a good idea to host nature-related art exhibitions in the community room. In order to make this happen, she pulled together a small committee of Milwaukee area artists/arts professionals Barbara Manger, Sally Duback and Leon Travanti; and discussions began among them about how this could work.

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 00:00

Art in the Menomonee Valley

Invisible and Visible Mending

Nancy Aten

June – August 2020 - UEC's first Online Art Gallery! See it here: landscapesofplace.com/gallery

For the Wild Ones by Nancy AtenSometimes ecological restoration activities can be “eco-revelatory”, that is, can reveal what are otherwise un-noticed behaviors or functions in the ecosystem. This can help us understand how things work. Like, planting a whole bunch of little bluestem grass in a long weaving drift of a pattern, oriented in such a way that in the late afternoon on a certain trail it simply glows in the sun, and you can’t help but learn what this grass looks like and how the seed fluffs to blow with the wind. Or, leaving a permanent vegetation sampling quadrat in the field, drawing attention to changes in species richness over time: two years ago, it was all switchgrass; today, I see it has five other flowering species I can count.

This exhibit explores fractures and wounds in the landscape, and mending that happens with ecological restoration, both invisibly and visibly.

Artwork: Nancy Aten - For the Wild Ones

I am me because of them — My journey of self discovery through my ancestors

Rozalia Hernandez-Singh

September – November 2020

Opening Reception: September 11th, 5-7 p.m.

For her entire life Rozalia Hernandez-Singh has always struggled with finding her self-identity. Rozalia has always felt that American history books did not include people that look like her. Her ancestral story was discarded and is one that needed to be told. After starting a family of her own it became even more important for her to know who she was. Believing a lot of the traits that we have we inherit from our family even the ones that we’ve never met, lead her on a journey to finding herself and her family. She began taking trips through United States tracing the footsteps of her ancestors seeing the communities and homes that they lived in.

Rozalia has made a thorough investigation of her ancestry, including finding lost ancestors, connecting with other historians, and attempting to piece together her family tree. Rozalia’s background includes Native American, Puerto Rician, African American, and Mexican ancestry. Her family has been separated through migration and difficult circumstances. Rozalia’s husband is from India which becomes part of her children's ancestry. Rozalia encourages everyone to research their family history and write and tell their own American story.

Mississippi Magnolias by Rozalia Hernandez-Singh

Mississippi Magnolias by Rozalia Hernandez-Singh

Now after many years (as well as countless days and sleepless nights) of research she wants to share the stories of her ancestors with you through this exhibit. Rozalia’s hope for this exhibit is to give a voice to her ancestors that had none and to challenge the never-ending attempt to erase and silence people of color. Rozalia chooses to share her story through vibrant visual paintings of portraiture that explore intense feelings and understandings of her research.

Perspective of Nature

UEC Photo Club, Julee Mitchell, & Jeff Veglahn

December 2020 – February 2021

Opening Reception: Friday December 11th, 2020, 5-7 p.m.

A collection of artwork, through many perspectives, of what we see in nature. Our perspective is expressed through photography, illustrations, and acrylic paintings. Nature isn’t only found in vast spaces across the country, but also locally in our own neighborhoods. We hope that our exhibit will inspire and encourage you to see nature in a new perspective.

Trees 2 by Julee Mitchell

Trees 2 by Julee Mitchell

Rattlesnake Master by Jeff Veglahn

Rattlesnake Master by Jeff Veglahn

Diaphanous Reminder by Terri Hart Ellis, UEC Photo Club

Diaphanous Reminder by Terri Hart Ellis, UEC Photo Club

Jolie Collins & Shelly Rosenquist

March – May 2021

Opening Reception: Friday, March 13th, 5-7 p.m.

Understory by Shelly RosenquistShelly Rosenquist says, “My subject matter ranges from what inspires me in the world around me, but I tend to take much of my inspiration from nature and the organic. I believe that in our hectic human existence, we have strayed from what makes this world a beautiful place. I like to use my work as a tool to remind people to look around them, to breathe the air, to take the ordinary and twist it into something even more beautiful.” Artwork on right: Understory by Shelly Rosenquist

Hidden Bud Rough Terrain by Jolie CollinsJolie Collins shares that “As someone who grew up in the city, it is the small things of nature that inspire and give me joy: the smell of lilacs in spring, playing in the surf, and taking pictures in the park. I especially love noticing things, like the rough texture of bark, seed pods on branches, blades of grass, or a lone goose standing in the fog. My nature inspired art reflects this interest. I love mixing mediums to reflect the variety of nature: its roughness, its smoothness, its color, it beginnings and its endings. I want to bring to life the many wonders that embody nature.” Artwork on left: Hidden Bud Rough Terrain by Jolie Collins

Brianna Siepel & Hannah Ribbens

The Mountains Are Calling by Brianna Joy SeipelSeptember – November 2021

Opening Reception: Friday, September 10th, 5-7 p.m.

Whether we encounter wild beauty, quiet poetry, or raw power, Brianna Joy Seipel believes we draw strength from the natural world and the stories of others. Inspired by multi-day backpacking trips, her vibrant oil paintings explore the beauty of local and national parks, forests, and wilderness areas.

Inheritance by Hannah RibbensHannah Ribbens’ work focuses on using collage and color to disrupt reality and challenge the world around us. Nature is often used to bridge the real and fabled worlds and provide a constant that everyone can connect with. The work is colorful and crosses freely between the real and the imaginary.

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 00:00

Art at Riverside Park

The Urban Ecology Center – Riverside Park is seeking artists interested in showing their work in our Community Room gallery. The deadline is January 30, 2020.

Read more and apply here

Rebecca Jabs & Peter Schultz

April - June 2020

Rebecca Jabs

Rebecca Jabs believes art and science share a basic similarity: their purpose is to investigate and interpret our world for an audience. Rebecca’s interest in this intersection led her to a career in scientific illustration. Her work is an observation of nature with a hint of narrative, representing Wisconsin’s native flora and fauna in a manner that strives to be accurate, interpretive and elegant. Each piece tells a story that enriches our connection with the natural world: how do migrating birds navigate? What does a pelican eat? Which wildflowers grow in a forest or prairie community? Research for Rebecca’s work is gathered through hours of bird watching, hiking and thumbing through field guides. Her wish is to create work that awakens interest and wonder for the nature existing in our world and in our own backyards.

RebeccaJabs Art

Left: The forest floor, Right: Set your course by the stars

Peter Schultz

Peter Schultz was confronted with thousands of acres of wilderness in northern Wisconsin and was motivated to preserve, through photography, the land and its details that may be lost to view in the present and the future. When Peter moved from the north he found himself in search of the same wilderness, this time in the small, hidden places surrounded by what he thinks of civilization. Peter isn’t sure whether photography, itself, is art. He says, “Nature is an inspiration for art through photography and he seeks to capture and share the art in nature.” Peter hopes his photographs encourage the viewer to search out and enjoy the natural places close to home and motivate some to find and experience the wilderness before it disappears.


aspen sky

Wednesday, 30 December 2015 00:00

The Intersection of Ecology and Art

“I realized I truly wanted to study ecology – a seed that was planted during my time at [the Urban Ecology Center] but took a few years to sprout.”

This is the opening line of an email from a former High School Outdoor Leader, Robby Friedlen, to Riverside Park Branch Manager, Jamie Ferschinger. He was eager to share the reason behind his decision to shift his research studies to “the intersection of ecology – through the lens of permaculture – and the arts.” As a High School Outdoor Leader in 2009, Robby spent a portion of his summer working with internationally known artist Roy Staab.

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

2015 Art in Menomonee Valley

Neighborhood and Nature: Inspired Art

Unfolding over the past several months, fourteen invited Plein Air artists painted outdoors in Three Bridges Park and at the Menomonee Valley Urban Ecology Center. Their works depict native plants and animals, the Menomonee River, activities at the Center and environs, and the neighborhood.

Join us as we host our first-ever art show in the Menomonee Valley! See the results of three seasons' worth of work on display at our Menomonee Valley branch now through December. And don't forget about our current show at Riverside Park!

Organized and led by artist Lynn Rix, participating artists include Tom Buchs, Audrey Dulmes, Kathleen Flaherty, Gail Franke, Barb Hayden, James Hempel, Sybil Klug, Carolyn Larkin, Les Lengwell, Gary Millard, Daniel Rizzi, Pam Ruschman, and Wendie Thompson. After the reception the exhibit will be on display at our Menomonee Valley branch through December.

UEC-MV-LynnRixPleinAirProject-2015 2 EDIT

What is "Plein Air" Painting?

The seasons each have unique inspirations: in Winter, the white snow and the clear blue sky produce a kaleidoscope of vibrant color; Spring and Summer with landscapes full of life and bloom; Autumn when oranges, reds and golds of the trees and golds vibrate against the cool blue sky.

Plein Air is a French term meaning "open air" and refers to the act of painting outdoors as opposed to the controlled conditions of a studio. Capturing what they see in natural light requires quick brush work and a limited palette, forcing an artist to work spontaneously. Paintings capture that particular moment in time; an impression of a beautiful effect of light. Paintings are usually worked on smaller canvases to be able to complete a painting in two to four hours capturing the sun before it moves on.

UEC-MV-LynnRixPleinAirProject-2015 painting EDIT
Painting by Lynn Rix



Friday, 26 June 2015 00:00

2014 Art at Riverside Park

The Urban Ecology Center is a neighborhood-based, not-for-profit environmental, community center that educates and inspires people to understand and value nature as motivation for positive change, neighborhood by neighborhood. Our quarterly Art Shows support this mission through locally produced, nature-related artwork.

All Opening Receptions are 5 - 7 pm, with artists speaking informally at 6.
Refreshments provided. Urban Ecology Center - Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Place, Milwaukee

Water and Light
January through March 2014
Opening Reception Thursday, January 16th, 5 - 7 pm

Abstraction and intimacy, water and light connect Kurt Kleman’s dramatic large-scale acrylic paintings (“shimmer” series) and Thea Kovac’s vibrant watercolors (“Floating Light” series). You might become mesmerized by our rivers and Lake Michigan all over again. In delightful and engaging counterpoint are bird carvings by Tom Petri.

Sara Daleiden, director of MKE <-> LAX will be on hand to host the event as well as moderate the question & answer session with the artists.

Kleman Kovak Petri

“18”, Shimmer series
Kurt Kleman
30”x60” acrylic painting

Floating Light series
Thea Kovac
Watercolor on paper

Black-capped Chickadee
Tom Petri

Visual Reflections: Printmaker Collective
April through June 2014
Opening Reception Thursday, April 10th, 5 - 7 pm

By invitation, twelve fine art printmakers were linked with twelve ecologists, to engage in a conversation that inspired visual representations of each ecologist’s story. Bench Press Events organized this exhibit for the World Conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration to encourage further insight into the work of ecological restoration.

Buechler Garth

“Diversity in Small Parcels”
Heather Buechler
Letterpress on handmade paper

“Return, Take Over”
Katie Garth

Additional artists: Kim Hindman, Niki Johnson, Jay Wallace, Rhea Ewing, Yvette M. Pino, Douglas Bosely, Laura Grossett, Tyler Green, Jonas Angelet, Kris Broderick

Intimate Nature
July through September 2014
Opening Reception Thursday, July 10th, 5 - 7 pm

Two artists pay close attention to nature’s details. Kristin Gjerdset sees the world underfoot - often overlooked, yet as deserving of reverence as grand scenery. Hers is the world of tiny shrubs and flowers, visited by winged beings and fur-bearing creatures. Jamie Bilgo Buchman notices the natural world in our everyday lives and asks questions: where do things come from? How do they work? What does this mean?

Gjerset Bruchman

“Horicon Marsh: A Day”
Kristin Gjerdset

Jamie Bilgo Bruchman
Mixed media on wood

The Mysterious, Magical World of Nature at Night
October through December 2014
Opening Reception Thursday, October 9th, 5 - 7 pm

Timothy Haglund is primarily a plein air painter. He works in nature, at night, a time that is unique and not always experienced by outdoor enthusiasts. Nature at night is a magical, mysterious time where one’s awareness of their surroundings is heightened, and one’s presence in the landscape feels noticeably alone. It is a time to come to know the land one exists within. The time, the mood, that stillness is alive in the subtleties of these painted night-scapes.


“Bats Over the River”
Timothy Haglund
Oil on gessoed birch plywood

Being / Seeing
January through March 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, Jan 8th 2015, 5-7 pm

A continuing quest into being and seeing. Joyce Winter describes her paintings as a dance on paper using color, texture and space - a process that seems to connect memory and sensory impressions of our relationships with nature. Michael Kutzer paints one place, Seminary Woods, in its many moods. He is interested in how the working of your eyes, and your ability to focus at multiple distances, affects how and what you see in nature.

 Winter  Kutzer

“This is Our Heritage”
Joyce Winter
Acrylic-prisma pencil on watercolor paper, 40”x32”

“Target 36: Forest’s Heart”
Michael Kutzer
Acrylic, 20”x20”

Friday, 26 June 2015 00:00

2015 Art at Riverside Park

The Urban Ecology Center is a neighborhood-based, not-for-profit environmental, community center that educates and inspires people to understand and value nature as motivation for positive change, neighborhood by neighborhood. Our quarterly Art Shows support this mission through locally produced, nature-related artwork.

New this year is our first-ever art show at our Menomonee Valley branch!

All Opening Receptions are 5 - 7 pm, with artists speaking informally at 6.
Refreshments provided. Urban Ecology Center - Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Place, Milwaukee

The Urban Ecology Center typically issues an annual Call for Artists in the fall of each year, to choose artists for up to six quarters ahead. Watch this page for information.

Artworks are often available for purchase. The artist contributes a portion of the sales price to the Urban Ecology Center. If you would like to purchase an artwork, please speak to Riverside Park branch manager Jamie Ferschinger or another Urban Ecology Center staff member.

Being / Seeing
January through March 2015
Opening Reception Wednesday, February 11th 2015, 4:30-7 pm

Joyce Winter describes her paintings as a dance on paper using color, texture and space - a process that seems to connect memory and sensory impressions of our relationships with nature.

With a collection entitled aRound the Deer Creek, Michael Kutzer shows one place, Seminary Woods, in its many moods. The compositions’ round shape, circles and center are inspired by old painted targets, but their meaning has become more spiritual.


“This is Our Heritage”
Joyce Winter
Acrylic-prisma pencil on watercolor paper, 40”x32”


“Target 36: Forest’s Heart”
Michael Kutzer
Acrylic, 20”x20”

Sacred Places
April through June 2014
Opening Reception Thursday, April 9th, 5 - 7 pm

Kevin Muente's paintings make the viewer understand that we need to protect as many wild places as possible no matter how big or small. At times the window of the canvas frames and perhaps allows places that are in our own communities to rival images of the greatest national parks.

kevin muente resize

Ghost Garden
July through September 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, July 9th, 5 - 7 pm

Ghost Garden is a collection of memories in the form of botanical prints. Plants gathered from Vicki Reed's gardens, and from outings with her elderly patients, were used to create lumen prints - a historical technique of placing leaves and blossoms on photographic paper to produce ghost images of the original plants.

vicki reed

The Nature of Prints
October through December 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, October 8th, 5 - 7 pm

Sally Duback: In making paper from rags, re-using natural materials that have been discarded, Duback’s finished works carry a deep level of meaning.

Barbara Manger: A river’s pulse and energy, secrets and constant change,lead Manger to explore and convey tangles, apparent disorder,and the river wending its own path of necessity.

sally duback

Sally Duback
Specimens on Green
Monoprint / handmade paper, 24x38"


barbara manger

River's Path
Monotype, ink, woodblock, linoleum block, 38x50"

Forest Floor
(A special sculpture exhibit)

Shannon Molter: Take a closer look above and below at the unsung forest understory. Sculptures will usher visitors into the Center, growing along the floor of the entrance alcoves and hanging overhead in the main hall. Molter's fibrous representations of the forest floor aim to create a palpably mysterious, spiritual representation of this rich and misunderstood ecosystem, which begs its viewer to spend time finding beauty in the spaces under foot. Woven from discarded leather scraps cut into leaf litter, sculpted into tree stumps, roots and fallen branches.

shannon molter

Shannon Molter
Detail: Forest Floor

Wood and Stone
January through March 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 14th, 2016, 5-7 pm

Cynthia Brinich-Langlois: The lithographic prints tell a story that begins on the tundra, with the drying up of rivers and ponds, but the series expands to include diverse habitats, and the land itself begins to disintegrate. The work depicts a journey through changing environments, with surreal geographies suggesting an unsettled future.

Ken Vonderberg: The inspiration for creating artwork with the wood burning process or “pyrography” was the notion that wood, as a raw natural material, could be transformed into images through the use of heat, an elemental force, employed in the artist’s vision.

cynthia brinich langlois

Cynthia Brinich-Langlois
Lithograph and hot stamping foil on gray Pescia, 11 x 30 inches, 2014


ken vonderberg

Ken Vonderberg
Blue Ridge
Pyrography & acrylic wash on birch cradled panel 14 x 18, 2014

Wednesday, 03 September 2014 00:00

When You Give a Kid a Camera...

Last year, while brainstorming ideas for summer camps, I suggested a photography camp for middle school aged campers. This summer was the first year, to my knowledge, that we offered a photography camp, and I was lucky enough to lead it.

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