This week, the Satellite High School students took a field trip to the Pfister Hotel to visit Katie Musolff, a full-time artist working in Milwaukee, and a Satellite graduate! Katie generously let us into her studio and shared her experiences and advice, from being a Satellite high school student, to her time at MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design), to her decision to make her art her job. Since many of the Satellite students are artists themselves, this was a great opportunity.
As the Pfister’s Artist in Residence this year, Katie is painting a total of six portraits of staff in the Hotel, all in an open studio where Hotel guests and visitors can come in and interact with her. A portrait painter, she spends about 20 hours with each of her sitters, getting to know them so that their personality is embedded in the finished work. In response to a question from one of the students about her decision to make art full-time, despite warnings of becoming a starving artist, Katie explained how she became successful: a combination of saving money, balancing commissions and personal artwork, and the importance of being confident in oneself as an artist. She even showed us a recent painting of her father, a weapons buff, done in Renaissance style, all in grays–that is, in grisaille, a term she first learned in Satellite years ago.
The class had a great time on our field trip. Many thanks to Katie! Make sure you stop into the Pfister sometime to see Katie’s work–she’s in her first-floor Hotel studio Thursdays through Sundays.