The Pfister Hotel…Milwaukee

We were in the elevator with LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. We enjoyed breakfast on the 23rd floor with Greek Orthodox Priests.  Seeing the priests walking alongside professional basketball players in the lobby was just fabulous.  I didn’t get that shot.  I wish I had.  If you’re in Milwaukee…stay at the Pfister Hotel which was the vision of Guido Pfister and his son, Charles.  The hotel opened in 1893.

Here are a few of the images that show the beauty of this truly remarkable hotel.

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I love the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.  There are a lot of things that make this hotel exceptional.  The Pfister hosts the largest Victorian art collection of any hotel in the world.  There also is an artist-in-residence for a one year stint at a time currently.  What a great gig. His work was stunning.  See link below.

Current Artist-In-Residence: Todd Mrozinski a 1997 Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design graduate.

http://www.thepfisterhotel.com/artist-in-residence/current-artist

http://www.thepfisterhotel.com/

http://www.thepfisterhotel.com/boutique-hotel/pfister-history

I’ve slept in…

seven different cities in the last two weeks and I am finally home.  This prairie girl truly loves to wander and it was a grand adventure.  However, tonight I’m very happy to be in Burlington, Vermont with my daughters, my husband and my cat.  I’ll be posting photos as I get them organized.  Here’s a few from my travels.  Goodnight.

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ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME

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HEIDELBERG PROJECT DETROIT

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MILWAUKEE AT NIGHT

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SOMEWHERE NEAR TREASURE CITY/MINNESOTA

Oh, circles—let me count the ways…

I am organizing my photos and I began playing a game in my head.  Find the (blank) and see how many times it shows up in my photos. Today it was CIRCLE. Without having to look very hard circles began appearing everywhere.  It’s such a pleasing shape.  I love a circular table.  Coins. Cookies. Pizza. Rings. Plates. Hoola Hoops. There is beauty everywhere when we pay attention.  Finding little ways to amuse ourselves is, I believe a good skill to practice.

I am also a very big fan of the square, but I will save that for another day.

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Milwaukee Moments…

I was in Milwaukee visiting my son, Ellis who attends MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design) this weekend with my twin daughters, Lucy and Willa and our friend, Jen.  Milwaukee has the vibe and friendliness of the prairie and the undeniable spirit of an American city that still makes stuff.  Here are a few of the highlights of our trip.  I always appreciate the shift in perspective when you get out of town for a few days. Travel always makes me want to explore my own city more when I get home.  I like that.

HARLEY DAVIDSON MUSEUM

This is a rust-encrusted Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was swept away by the Japan tsunami in March 2011 was found by Peter Mark in April, washed up on an island off the coast of British Columbia. We got to see it at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee this weekend.  What a remarkably well designed museum. If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods.  It is well worth your time.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Madsonian/Museum of Industrial Design

What a charming museum we have in Vermont.  The Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design started by architect, David Sellers is in Waitsfield, Vermont and well worth the trip.  My son is studying Industrial Design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.  I wish he had been with me yesterday to poke around this charming space.  Everything is so entirely Vermonty too.  There was a lovely and well-informed girl who came in from sitting in the sun when I entered the museum.  It’s a loose, donation museum and you may put one amount in the clear donation box on your way in and another amount on your way out because of the gems you’ve witnessed.  Now, I eat this sort of design up.  It’s one of my passions and what one person might not think a second about keeps me up at night thinking about the shape, color, origin and how it might influence my work.  It took me way to long time to finally visit—but perhaps precisely the right timing.

From the museum’s website:  “David Sellers is an architect and designer living and working in Warren, Vermont.  The Madsonian is the result of his lifelong dream to honor the world’s best in industrial design.  Dave got his start in architecture at Yale University.  He has since been designing and building in Vermont and around the world. Dave has been named one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 architects.”

http://www.madsonian.org/

Here are a few carefully curated items I got to spend some time with yesterday.

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1934 DeSoto Airflow Coupe (I was drawn to richness of the interior.)

The DeSoto Airflow was built by the Chrysler for sale through its DeSoto division during model years 1934, 1935 and 1936. 

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If you get a chance, it is well worth a visit or at least checking out the website.

It’s all in perspective.

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I was working in my studio yesterday on deadline for a big project on deadline (September 6th-YIKES) and I had this realization. Sometimes life looks so daunting if you look through a big scope. When I narrowed the way I was seeing what needed to be done, it really settled my nervous system down. I took these photos of the same sculpture in Milwaukee last week. What a difference leaning down a bit made in my perspective.

“The Calling” is a sculpture by American artist Mark di Suvero in O’Donnell Park, which is on the lakefront in Milwaukee across a footbridge to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

college, coffee, poetry & connecting

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This week my husband and I took our son to college in Milwaukee. He’s a freshman attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design or MIAD. Milwaukee is a great city and the local coffee shop is Colectivo Coffee. My son, Ellis has been a big coffee drinker since the age of 9—thanks to friends who own Mirabelles in Burlington, Vermont.

I just loved the aesthetic and color story of Colectivo and now have a good sense of where he’ll be hanging out with new friends. On Thursday morning, my husband Jeff and I were having breakfast at the one located on Lake Michigan. I started talking to a Timothy Kloss who was sketching and reading something very amusing at the next table. Turns out his Dad (Gerald Kloss) was a humor columnist for the Milwaukee Journal. Timothy proceeded to recite a beautiful piece his Dad had written about him when he was two about a robin being just out of his reach. Anyway, it was an interesting morning at the coffee shop and I am sure that Ellis will create many memories hanging out there too. Maybe one day he will even get to the weekly poetry/painting night Timothy hosts. Here’s all the links. Have a great Saturday!

http://do414.com/artists/poets-monday-w-host-timothy-kloss
http://slightlyhoffbeat.wordpress.com/tag/gerald-kloss/
http://www.miad.edu/
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Champlain Leather, MIAD & Original Designs

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My son, Ellis graduated from Vermont Commons School in South Burlington last Friday. I had this messenger bag made for him. This is no ordinary messenger bag. It’s his own design. The first image is the bag Ellis designed and constructed for his art school portfolio. The leather bag was made at Champlain Leather in Burlington, Vermont. The folks at Champlain Leather went above and beyond to redo something that I had not been clear about. If you ever need or want some leather work done, I highly recommend this operation. Ellis was thrilled with the bag. I hope that carrying a bag of his own design is a reminder of the many possibilities and directions you can explore as a designer.

I can’t wait to see what Ellis will be creating at The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design this fall. Here’s to ALL of America’s graduates—”The world is your oyster”. Admittedly the world for our graduates now is very challenging, sometimes tainted and hard to access from a lot of vantage points. So, “the world is your oyster” has a lot of resonance in these challenging times. But striving toward things that spark you is always worth the effort and challenge.

Milwaukee Inspirations

Lillibridge Milwaukee Third Ward
The light was just right for my warehouse district ramble.

Lillibridge Iron Horse Hotel Milwaukee
Iron Horse Hotel portraits by artist—Jerry Feil

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Yes. Thank you for the reminder.

Lillibridge cowboy boots
Late afternoon light was extra special.

Lillibridge color inspiration
Random building near the river. I just loved the color story.

MIAD students illustration work
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design/illustration students