Satellite: Field Trip

Satellite Students in Katie Musolff's studio at the Pfister Hotel.
Satellite Students in Katie Musolff's studio at the Pfister Hotel.
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 Satellite students and Katie (bottom row, right)
The Satellite students and Katie (bottom row, right)

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.

Chelsea Kelly, the School and Teacher Programs Manager, oversees school tours, special K-12 programming, and events for teachers at the Museum, and also creates resources for educators about the artworks in the Museum’s Collection.

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