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Art Art News Education Exhibitions

“The Art of Now” on View in the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards: Wisconsin Exhibition

Young woman looking at the screen with stick people drawings in the background holding hands
Victoria Fernandez, “We All Hold Hands,” 2020 (detail). Acrylic and watercolor. National American Visions Award and Gold Medal in Painting. Grade 12, Pius XI Catholic High, Milwaukee, Cathy Burnett, instructor.

This year marks the 45th year the Milwaukee Art Museum has hosted the Scholastic Art Awards: Wisconsin Exhibition, celebrating the artistic talent of students in grades 7–12 from across our state. Unlike in years past, the exhibition is entirely virtual, with more than two hundred works available for viewing through March 21, 2021.

Selecting the works to include in the annual Scholastic exhibition is a challenge in normal times. When twenty-nine arts professionals from across Milwaukee’s creative community gathered online in early January to judge the over 1,800 art submissions, they all agreed this exhibition of next-generation art felt more essential than ever.

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Art Education Studio at Home

Snow + Art = Perfect Wintry Mix!

Young man out in the snow holding a small shovel

One of the best parts of living in Wisconsin for many is the snowy winters. While the joy of snow days might not be the same for adults as for kids, the fun of making snow angels or the thrill of throwing a snowball never fades. I remember spending hours digging tunnels through snow drifts that couldn’t possibly have been as tall in life as they exist in my memory. I wouldn’t come inside until my masterpiece was finished…or my toes were numb.

As we settle into this cold winter, there are two things that can help us thrive: art and the great outdoors. That’s why the Kohl’s Art Studio is teaming up with the Urban Ecology Center (UEC) to encourage everyone to bundle up and get creative together—outside! 

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Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Art About Work

Man in a straw cowboy hat holding a boot and a Wisconsin belt buckle

Make your own drawing inspired by the action-packed artwork of Luis Jiménez.

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Art Education

I Have “Big Adventures” at the Museum, Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act

Woman with short blonde hair and a bright green top sitting in a wheelchair talks to a small group of young boys at a Museum
Photo by Matt Haas

July marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. July was also when the Museum reopened to the public after being closed for four months to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has necessarily brought new attention to concerns about safety and access—something that Museum docent Mauree Childress, who uses a wheelchair, said “people with disabilities have top of mind whenever they leave home—pandemic or not.” Based on conversations we’ve had over the years, I invited Mauree to write about her experience as a person with a disability who frequents the Museum—and what the anniversary of the ADA meant to her.
—Amy Kirschke, director of adult, docent, and school programs

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Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Making in the Moment

Man in sunglasses giving a thumbs up and holding three pieces of colorful chalk

Learn about an abstract painting, and then make a summer-inspired work of your own.

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Art Collection Education Modern Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Paint and Pour

Abstract paint strokes of black, blue, and red on a white background
Helen Frankenthaler, Hotel Cro-Magnon, 1958. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1966.153. © 2010 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Abstract paint strokes of black, blue, and red on a white background
Helen Frankenthaler, Hotel Cro-Magnon, 1958 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1966.153. © 2010 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

When you look at the painting below, what do you see? American artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) was an Abstract Expressionist; these artists used line, shape, and color to express themselves.

Frankenthaler invented her own painting technique, which she called “soak staining.” First, she added turpentine to her oil paints to make them thinner (and very runny!). Then, she laid a cotton canvas flat on the floor, and poured, dripped, and brushed the paint onto its surface. Since her canvases were unprimed, or raw, the paint soaked into the fabric.

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Art Collection Contemporary Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Picturing Pets, Sunny

Gray, long-haired dog sitting in a field by the lake with its tongue out
Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin. © 2019 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971 (detail). Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin. © 2019 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

We commonly refer to dogs as everyone’s best friend, and for me, that’s true. But I have many other best friends, too, including my cat, my rabbit, and some nice people. Each has their own unique personality. Artworks can also have unique “personalities,” or styles. Artistic styles help us explain how artworks look and how they were made. There are many different styles of art.

Alex Katz’s Sunny #4, a larger-than-life portrait of the artist’s dog, is painted in the Pop Art style. Pop artists often used bold lines, flat shapes, and vivid colors in their artworks. Here, Katz used long, straight brushstrokes to paint Sunny’s hair, and for Sunny’s tongue, he painted a flat, pink rectangle.

Let’s make our own drawings inspired by Sunny!

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Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Story Time

Did you miss Story Time at the Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays at Home: Animals in Art event last month? Catch it here! Emily reads Help! A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller.

Woman holds up a book while sitting on a red couch with her corgi
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Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Adventure in Art

Black cat walking across the lawn

Enjoy a highlight from our recent virtual event, Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays at Home: Animals in Art. “Step inside” a painting with Ali, and learn to move like a lion!

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Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Animal Sketchbooks

Man holding up a Milwaukee Art Museum sign in front of the Museum

Did you miss Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays at Home: Animals in Art? No worries! We’re featuring some of our favorite activities from the virtual event right here, on the blog.

Check out Brett’s animal drawings, and then make your own sketchbook.