Samer Ghani, local artist, videographer, photographer, DearMKE Award winner, and “cultural documentarian,” captures stories as they emerge from Milwaukee events: from milestone moments like the Bucks’ victory parade to intimate rock concerts in neighborhood music venues. Ghani draws energy and inspiration for his artistic practice from Milwaukee’s unique spirit, landscape, and people.
Ghani’s love of art sparked more than 20 years ago, when he was a student in a Milwaukee Public Schools 4K art class at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Now, Ghani comes full circle by photographing the Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion to commemorate its 20th anniversary. The photograph appears on this year’s Member mug, offered to Members who support the Museum with an early renewal.
In a recent interview, Ghani discussed how his connection with the Museum has evolved over the decades.
This year, the Milwaukee Art Museum was pleased to work with artist and Milwaukee-area native Reginald Baylor for its annual Member mug. The mug features a detail of his painting On Duty, Not Driving, which is part of the Museum’s collection and currently on view.
I recently took the opportunity to ask Baylor a few questions, including some about the painting.
Kantara Souffrant and Robert Stein are two new senior leaders at the Museum as of January 2021. The positions that Souffrant and Stein were hired to fill, Curator of Community Dialogue and Deputy Director/Chief Experience Officer, respectively, are integral to the Museum’s Strategic Direction, which, in short, outlines the work the Museum is committed to doing to ensure that everyone in the community feels welcome. Souffrant and Stein recently connected over Zoom to discuss their roles in designing experiences that not only connect people to the art and each other, but also unfold across the galleries, online at home, and out in our neighborhoods.
Each year, the Museum produces a gift exclusively for Members who renew early, in response to the first notice that their membership is about to expire. In 2020, we worked with Orchard Street Press, in St. Francis, to produce a distinct Member tote bag. The bag features an original design by Alison Kleiman, design and brand lead at the Museum, that is a playful abstraction of the Museum’s Burke Brise Soliel, affectionately known as the “wings.”
The Krei Family Sponsors a Month of Free Admission in Memory of Melinda Krei
The Museum is honored to have received the Krei family’s tremendous gift to support amonth of free admission for all visitors when we reopened to the public this past summer. The family provided the sponsorship in memory of the late Melinda Krei, and comments from guests overwhelmingly expressed their thanks to the family.
“Melinda was one of the Museum’s greatest advocates, and her legacy is sharing the comfort and inspiration she found here with the community during this challenging time,” said Marcelle Polednik, PhD, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director, Milwaukee Art Museum.
Just how does Robert Indiana’s The American LOVE sculpture make its way from the truck bed to become a fixture on the lakefront? What does the back of a Robert Henri painting look like? How does a three-dimensional sculpture get packed for safe travel to Spain?
The NDP, as we at the Museum affectionately refer to it, is a network of businesses in the Milwaukee area that support the mission of the Milwaukee Art Museum by offering our card-carrying Members access to special perks. It’s like the businesses are saying, “Hey, thanks for supporting culture in Milwaukee. Cheers to that; here’s 20% off your coffee.”
Which businesses participate in the Neighborhood Discount Program?
The kinds of businesses that participate range from cafes, to hotels, to fine furniture purveyors, to wine shops and bars, to wellness studios, and more. The roster of businesses changes from year to year and can be found here.
Here at the Milwaukee Art Museum, our hope is that Members feel like VIPs with us all year long. We simply can’t do the work that we do in presenting exhibitions, stewarding art, and offering educational and family programming without the many thousands of individuals and families that choose to support us with membership donations each year. That being said, we know that our Members use the Museum in so many different ways—about as many different ways as there are members. Some Members never miss a Preview Celebration, when the feature exhibition is unveiled exclusively to Members with lectures, live music and a reception. Other Members plan their social calendars around the dynamic monthly MAM After Dark event. Other Members never miss the opportunity to bring an out-of-town guest to Windhover Hall and the collection galleries. Some Members are even out-of-towners themselves, and support the Museum’s mission from afar. Because we want all our Members to feel appreciated, throughout the month of May we’re offering a variety of specials and discounts available to all levels of membership. Stop by, and let us show our thanks for all that your support has made possible!
Bring a guest—for FREE!
All levels of membership are invited to bring a free guest with them during their visits in May. Bring your favorite art-viewing buddy every day if you like! Museum is not responsible for aesthetic debates that may ensue.
Enjoy Deeper Discounts in the Museum Store and all three Café locations
Members receive 20% off all purchases in the Museum store on Thursdays throughout May. The Museum Store offers an ever-changing selection of unique art objects and books, jewelry, home goods and more. Stop by and see what’s new!
Café Calatrava, the East End Wine Bar and Windhover Coffee will all be offering 20% off food and beverage to Members (with Member card) all month long! All three locations offer delicious food, paired with the most beautiful vista in city of Milwaukee. Be sure to stop by and experience the culinary stylings of our new chef, Zak Groh!
Online shoppers, take note…
All Museum store purchases made online by Members in the month of May over $25 will receive free shipping. It’s a great excuse to splurge on a mom in your life (or on yourself)!
Explore the universal themes of motherhood and young life in art. The 3 p.m. tour is designed specifically for families; bring your kids in strollers and babes in arms. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-224-3284.
Join Barbara Brown Lee, chief educator emerita and fifty-four-year Museum veteran, for this exclusive Member lecture about some of your favorite works at the Museum. Barbara is famous for her behind-the-scenes stories about the Museum, and will be sure to shed some sassy light on the history behind works of art including the Janitor and works by Andy Warhol and Cornelia Parker.
There are so many ways to experience your Museum this May. Check out the full scope of all the Member Month offerings, here.