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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

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In Arts & Entertainment

Frank Sadler is opening Sadler Gallery

In Arts & Entertainment

Sadler will custom frame anything.

In Arts & Entertainment

A sampling of the art to premier on Gallery Night.

Sadler Gallery moves into Marshall Building


Frank Sadler, formerly of the Frank Allen Gallery in Fox Point, checked out numerous spaces before finding the right location for his new gallery. He shopped Downtown, Walker's Point and Bay View before deciding that the Third Ward's Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St., was the best fit for his new venture: Sadler Gallery.

"I had always heard great things about this building," says Sadler.

Running a gallery from the Third Ward, in a building with many other galleries and artists' cooperatives, will be a new experience for Sadler. The Frank Allen Gallery was located inside a big yellow house in a suburban neighborhood.

Sadler Gallery will open on Gallery Night, which is Friday, April 20. It will join current tenants including Elaine Erickson Gallery, Cranston, Grava Gallery, Reginald Baylor Studios, Evens Griffith Evans, Too Much Metal's Showroom and multiple artist co-ops that are housed in the building.

The first show will feature the work of Carmen Benske, Lisa Brobst, Bob Hagen, Frank Hoeffler, Melissa Janda, Sasha Kinens, Arvid Petersen, Michael Santini and Ilya Zomb. Sadler has been working with many of the artists for 20 years or more. Knowing the artists' history, and who they are as people, is important to Sadler.

"I like being directly involved with the artists. And some of these artists have become close friends," he says.

Petersen originally showed his work at the Frank Allen Gallery and is one of the artists that Sadler now considers a friend. Petersen says Sadler has "true honesty" as a gallery owner and that he works with the artist and the client equally.

"This makes every deal relaxing and comfortable. Respect, honesty and enthusiasm are all qualities Frank holds true in his gallery," says Petersen.

Sadler says he's interested in showcasing the work of any artist – emerging or established – that has technical ability while offering something brand new.

"It's important to me that the artist's intent is believable," he says. "And everything I bring into my gallery are pieces I would hang in my home."

Sadler Gallery also offers in-home consulting on art and furniture arrangement as well as custom framing services.

"I love to help people find the art that matches who they are," says Sadler, who grew up in Germantown and graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with a degree in printmaking.

Sadler frames pieces of any size and style, from large fine art to small items from people's lives. He says he particularly loves framing personal items. Recently, he framed a 79-cent greeting card that was the last thing a man received from his deceased wife. He's also shadowbox framed important pieces of jewelry and golf clubs.

"These are the most satisfying jobs for me," he says.

Sadler wants his 1,400-square-foot space to accommodate more than art buyers. He wants people to feel comfortable talking about art in his gallery as well. Hence, he strives to make his gallery accessible and comfortable for everyone. He says some people feel uncomfortable going to galleries because they think they don't know anything about art.

"Art is really in the eye of the beholder," he says.

Sadler says Milwaukee's art scene has changed greatly over the past couple of decades, and for the better. Gallery Night, for example, has increased in size remarkably and the Marshall Building, according to what Sadler was told, can get up to 800 people coming through.

"I'm inspired by artists and the artist's process, but also by people who care about art," he says. "It's a symbiotic relationship: I need them and they need me."

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