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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, July 26, 2014

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In Arts & Entertainment

Spackle Gallery owners Andrea Larson, Katie Perton, Sarah Simpson, Tara Klamrowski and Megan Vetting. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Arts & Entertainment

"Re-vision: New Photographic Works," is up through July 27. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Arts & Entertainment

The gallery's featured artists are photographers Tom Harris, Emiko Franzen, Josh Martines and Dominic Rodriguez. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

Spackle Gallery space spotlights local artists


Spackle Gallery's newest installation is a dirty one. Four Milwaukee-based artists have journeyed to the neglected, unkempt, disheveled spaces of their environments in search of beauty, and have emerged soiled and victorious. The results of this exploration make up Spackle's "Re-vision: New Photographic Works," which opened June 27 and runs through Sunday, July 27.

Local photographers Tom Harris, Emiko Franzen, Josh Martines and Dominic Rodriguez produce works that gallery co-owner Andrea Larson says "create a sense that one is in the presence of relics or records of modern ruins."

"Revision" is the gallery's fourth show since opening at 2674 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View in March. Larson curates each exhibit with her four fellow co-owners, Katie Perton, Megan Vetting, Sarah Simpson and Tara Klamrowski.

"As Spackle curators, we are five individual artists that have collectively come together with a set of common goals and interests," says Larson. "We believe that great work, despite content, should embody quality craftsmanship, good presentation, and fresh ideas and concepts."

Simpson says Spackle's focus is spotlighting new, underrepresented work by Milwaukee artists and to widen the dialogue between Milwaukee's art scene and that of national and international art communities.

"We aspire to place these artists' works side by side to set this in motion," she says. "People seem to get excited and sometimes even attribute more praise to work when they hear the artist is from New York or overseas; we want to show the public that work from Milwaukee is just as deserving of admiration and attention."

But it has to be the right kind of attention, says Vetting. While there's no denying the expanding importance of the Milwaukee Art Museum or the growing prominence of Gallery Night on local event calendars, Spackle's owners fear a widening gap between commercial / high-brow galleries and the small, alternative, cutting edge spaces like theirs.

"We are interested in organizing and allying with other likeminded and diverse galleries to form a community that will propagate and support the alternative art market and its makers of art," adds Perton.

"Breaking conventions and boundaries in the art world can happen anywhere, but it often takes a willing artistic community to support and further those ambitions; there must be more dialogue among artists, curators and historians alike to help support progress."

Spackle Gallery is open Friday through Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.


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