Menu
Stories
Displaying items by tag: Art
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

"Pollinators and Prairies" by Escuela Verde's Field Research Team

December 2019 - February 2020

Opening Reception: Thursday, December 12, 4 - 6 p.m.

In Escuela Verde's Field Research Team, students explore the natural world around them through the practice of community science. Works in this show speak out about issues of conservation, preservation, climate change and environmental justice.

DSC 0149

 

 

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


 At our Riverside Park branch the spacious Community Room serves as a gallery, meeting space, and classroom, and with its plentiful wall space typically exhibits two artists concurrently.

Beth Stoddard | Milwaukee County Parks Painting Project &
Danielle Bell | The Details of Nature

October - December 2019

An art exhibition of photographs and oil paintings provides views both focused and expansive of area ecosystems. Danielle Bell’s Details of Nature photography invites the viewer to appreciate the smaller features of plant and animal life. Beth Stoddard’s Milwaukee County Parks Painting Project represents the spacious Parks system’s varied scenery. Together these artists mount a show that urges us to heed John Muir’s call to “saunter through nature and stop walking past the landscape all around us.”

As a landscape designer and photographer, Danielle Bell sees a need to slow down and observe the features of the landscape from different perspectives. “So many times people walk past the landscape surrounding their home or place of work instead of enjoying and exploring it. As a society we need to come back to our roots and no longer see our front yard as a static element but as a living, diverse ecosystem.” By removing all outside clutter in her photographs, Danielle creates a hyper-focused moment of time capturing important details in nature that people overlook.

City dwelling landscape painter Beth Stoddard delights in Milwaukee’s green spaces by painting its County Parks. Her oil paintings' visible brushwork and modernist emphasis on shape activate the restful imagery of familiar urban parks and nature preserves. “Just over halfway through my project to paint all 169 of the parks, I continue to be surprised and delighted by the variety of views they offer, as well as how they facilitate a city dweller’s contact with the natural world.”

Beth Stoddard

Up close view of bumble bee on the center of a yellow flower

Danielle Bell


Jeff McAvoy, Heidi Koester and Maggie Szpot

January - March 2020

Jeff McAvoy

Golden Crowned Kinglet by Jeff McAvoy

Golden Crowned Kinglet
Digital Painting, created in Procreate App on iPad

Jeff McAvoy is the Urban Ecology Center’s Director of Marketing and Communications and has been fortunate enough to have Riverside Park just steps away from his desk and regular occasions to visit Washington and Three Bridges Parks for the past ten years. Jeff has been able to draw creative inspiration from these three parks for the graphics and branding of the Urban Ecology Center in his marketing role and more recently in his personal digital fine art practice. He loves choosing subjects for his digital paintings that can be observed in the natural world in Milwaukee and beyond. Jeff’s digital paintings have a traditional oil painting feel but his brush strokes are created with software and a stylus. Also on display will be a selection design and illustration work done for UEC programs over the past decade.

Heidi Koester

Heidi Koester has always had a great love for animals, insects, and art. She enjoys combining her love for these by exploring them in her creative process. They have served as a source of fascination, in both their form and hidden beauty. Through painting, photography, illustration, and printmaking, Heidi has reached an entirely new level of observation and understanding. She hopes to share this with others so that they too will begin to appreciate these creatures if only for the small glimpses of splendor they offer wherever they are found. Heidi’s artwork focuses on the animals and critters that live and thrive in our Milwaukee neighborhoods.

 

Dragonfly by Heidi Koester

Dragonfly
Acrylic painting

Maggie Szpot

Moose in the Living Room by Maggie Szpot

Moose in the Living Room
Inkjet Print

Cranes in Condo
Inkjet Print

Maggie Szpot is an emerging visual artist based in Milwaukee. No matter the medium, her goal as a visual artist has always been to inspire the viewer to share her passion for wildlife and the natural environment. She does this by depicting animals and nature in spectacular, unusual ways, whether it is through the vibrant colors and loose strokes in her paintings or through the entertaining edits in her photography and videos. The Wild House exhibition originally started as an experiment in digital composting. Maggie began by photographing taxidermy exhibits from various local natural history museums and then digitally compositing images of the home, creating a striking dichotomy between the “wild” and the “domestic”.

 

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
Serigraph

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

“Veining”
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.

 Haglund

“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.

Winter

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

Kutzer

“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
Underworld
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.

Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00

Inventive EcoArtists

Summer camp at the Urban Ecology Center is awesome for me as an educator. It’s laid back and having the same campers for four days means we have the opportunity to focus on activities they are interested in and help them gain a more in-depth knowledge of the environments just outside the Center’s doors.

Page 1 of 2

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Early Morning Bird Walks (Menomonee Valley)

Menomonee Valley

Tuesday, January 21st

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

More Details...

ROOT - Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Tuesday, January 21st

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

More Details...

Find event

Connect

Email Sign-Up

Subscribe

* indicates required
Which Emails would you like to receive?

Connect Now

facebook instagram 2018 2 twitter linkedin

Get Involved

Become a member today!

Copyright © 2020 The Urban Ecology Center