art

Mark Frohna / Skylight Music Theatre

What is a crown? To some, it’s a symbol of royalty. To others a crown is a hat, but not just any hat. Skylight Music Theater’s production of Crowns: A Gospel Musical is about the African American tradition of wearing flamboyant and ornate hats to church.

Arthur Szyk / The Arthur Szyk Society

Political cartoons have a rich and often influential history in this country. The 20th century illuminator Arthur Szyk was known as both a caricaturist and provocateur – his work was used in the US propaganda machine during World War II.

But he’s also known for his work in Jewish motifs, and that’s a key reason for the exhibit currently on at Jewish Museum Milwaukee, called Arthur Szyk: The Art of Illumination.

Neal Easterling

While a 14th Century book by a sickly English mystic might not seem a likely source of inspiration, composer Carson Cooman might beg to differ. His piece, The Revelations of Divine Love (Metaphors from Sea and Sky), was inspired by St. Julian of Norwich’s book of the same name, and will make its Midwest premiere this Sunday with the Bel Canto Chorus at St. Dominic Catholic Parish.

Tom Margie / Flickr

The late Yip Harburg wrote the words to more than 600 songs in his life, but the one he’s probably known for more than all the rest is the iconic Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz, for which he won an Academy Award.

Angel Torres / Flickr

The strings program at the near-south side's Latino Arts has been hailed for providing top-notch education, free of charge, to low-income Latino students across Milwaukee. 

One highlight of the programs is their annual Guitar Festival for area youth. In fact, it was such a success that it grew to include not just a student competition, but also master classes for the whole community.

Tom Davenport / Milwaukee Ballet

In his tenure as artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet, Michael Pink has developed a number of new works - from Dracula to Peter Pan and Mirror, Mirror. His newest, Dorian Gray, is based on the Oscar Wilde novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

While it’s Pink’s newest work, it has been in development for a long time. Dorian Gray gets its American premiere Friday night at the Pabst Theater.

Gianofer Fields / Radio Chipstone

Black Smith and Iron Artist  Aaron Howard uses his tools to create art from metal. Friends call him "Thor" and "The Viking" because of his substantial size, which he has used to his advantage to wield his hammer, his nearly 200 pound anvil, and his materials, which can be in the thousands of pounds.

In early December Howard found himself in the hospital – diagnosed with congestive heart failure. His recovery demands that he not lift anything over thirty pounds. He’s now in recovery contemplating his health and his future as an artist.

Favianna Rodriguez

When people and organizations take to the street to protest an event or policy, you often see many homemade signs and banners. However, Milwaukee artist Nicolas Lampert believes that through creating unique and professional signage, a cause can get more attention and validation.

Photo courtesy of Jim Wildeman

For more than half of its life, a century-old mansion on Milwaukee’s east side has been open to the public, first as a library and then as an art museum. But until now, much of the building that houses the Charles Allis Museum’s collection has been off-limits to the public.

pathdoc / Fotolia

Both Shaw’s “Pygmalion” and the musical adapted from it, “My Fair Lady” make the point that it’s not just clothes that make the man – or the woman. Speech plays a part as well, perhaps even more so.  The current production of “My Fair Lady” running at the Skylight took advantage of a UWM speech and dialect coach to ensure that these very American actors could credibly sound like Cockney Londoners.

marcuscenter.org / Black Arts Think Tank

When American poet and playwright Langston Hughes wrote the play originally named Wasn’t It a Mighty Day?, the American civil rights movement was gaining momentum. 

It was 1961, and the play became Black Nativity. It was one of the first plays written by an African-American person to be performed off-Broadway.

Ryan Blomquist

Among the holiday offerings that reliably come around this time of year – like the Milwaukee Ballet’s Nutcracker, the symphony’s Holiday Pops concert, and the Milwaukee Rep’s “A Christmas Carol,” there’s always one that swims against the tide.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre / facebook.com

There have been many stage plays, movies, and books that are about booksellers or people in the literary world.  But a new production by Milwaukee Opera Theater takes it to its logical conclusion.

The Story of My Life” is about friendships, writers, and books, and is set in a bookstore.  So it only made sense to actually stage the musical among the stacks at Boswell Book Company. 

Courtesy the Estate of Larry Sultan / Milwaukee Art Museum

The big news at the Milwaukee Art Museum is that its long-anticipated new addition is about to open, along with the rest of the museum, which was renovated at the same time.  But there is still art to see between now and the grand re-opening on November 24th.

David DeSilva / Axis Dance Company

This week one of the more innovative and inspiring modern dance companies in the country will call Sheboygan’s John Michael Kohler Arts Center their temporary home. Axis Dance Company is based in Oakland, California, and draws on the equal talents of able bodied and disabled dancers alike to expand on the idea of what movement can be and is for.

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