With its newest show Sky High gallery continues to define itself as Bay View's premier art outpost, drawing an eclectic assortment of noteworthy artists from across the country.
The paintings of Stacey Rozich, the latest artist to land at the tiny gallery housed in the back of Sky High Skateboard Shop, 2501 S. Howell Ave., are the kind of bold and and often fantastic work that has come to identify the loosely defined aesthetic curator Faythe Levine has crafted for her gallery and seasonal pop-up shop.
Rozich, a Seattle-based painter and illustrator, creates colorful and far out images that blend masked dancers, vibrant patterns and creatures from realms natural and beyond.
Her work can be found on the cover of the experimental drone band Earth's newest record "Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I", and has drawn attention from art press including the influential contemporary art blog My Love For You Is a Stampede of Horses.
"Initially I was drawn to her use of color and the darkness of some of her subject matter. I find she rides a delicate line of what I would define as joyful macabre," said Levine, "Stacey and I had the opportunity to meet in Seattle when I was there last year...to check out her work in person. Then we spent a few hours chatting over beers discussing art, inspiration and her show in Milwaukee."
The show will feature 14 new framed paintings and is in conjunction with "Cautionary Tale" a group show curated by Andrea Avery at the UWM Union Art Gallery where Rozich will have additional pieces from her collection from March 4 through April 1.
Rozich's work is influenced by folk art and costume from cultures around the world with images of Dia de Los Muertos, Pacific Native American tribal art, and beyond speckled throughout.
"The inspiration (from my work) comes from cultures all over the world and my research is key to keeping my ideas and story lines fresh. Not only is there evolution in the stories, but I see it in the sharpening of my technical skills in each piece I do," Rozich said.
While there is no formal opening for the Sky High show, the show goes on display March 1 and the gallery will keep regular hours Monday through Friday 12 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. To 6 p.m. And noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The shop is closed on Tuesdays. It will be open extended hours on Gallery Night, April 15 from 7 to 10p.m.
"This body of work is the perfect end of winter show when the mid west is getting ready to explode out of hibernation and into spring celebration," Levine said.
The affiliated show, "Cautionary Tale," opens March 4 and runs through April 1 at the UWM Union Art Gallery at 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
That show includes four other artists who explore pan-cultural folklore in their work including: Dennis McNett, Amanda Smith, Betsy Walton, and Nick Mann.