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29 Sept. 2018 - 03 Nov. 2018


Plum Blossom Initiative and Var Gallery & Studios are pleased to announce the opening of "Bridge Work 04" exhibition at Var West Gallery. The exhibition will run from September 29, 2018 through November 3, 2018 with an opening reception from 6 - 9PM on Saturday, September 29.

In 2015, Leah Kolb (Curator of Exhibitions at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) and Jason S. Yi (visual artist and Director of Hawthorn Contemporary) formed Plum Blossom Initiative (PBI) to provide professional development opportunities for emerging contemporary artists in the Milwaukee area. For this year’s Bridge Work, PBI and Var Gallery have partnered in order to provide further support to the selected Bridge Work artists.

Bridge Work is a 9-month professional development program that encourages the selected artists to create new bodies of work while receiving professional support such as the facilitation of important networking opportunities, studio visits, and critiques as well as providing studio spaces critical to the production of work. PBI and Var Gallery recognize the importance of motivating emerging artists to sustain their artistic momentum and develop a professional studio practice. The selection process is determined by various factors including: nominations from faculty at UWM and MIAD, viewing of each institution’s graduating senior exhibitions, and conducting studio visits to identify artists who display thoughtful and intriguing approaches to their work. Above all, we seek artists who display energy, commitment, and the potential to thrive in the nuanced world of contemporary art.

This year, we have selected three artists to participate in the Bridge Work 04 professional development program.

Daniel McCullough is a visual artist and photographer based in Milwaukee, WI. Daniel received his BFA from MIAD in 2018 and has exhibited his work locally and nationally. His work investigates the atmosphere of place in both the natural and constructed landscape through intuitive and chance-based approaches to photography.

James Rogers is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Gainesville Florida. James’ practice focuses on painting, drawing and mixed media work. In 2018, James graduated from the MIAD with a BFA in New Studio Practice (fine art). James’ work tackles a range of themes including, war, violence, inner conflict, isolation, and trauma. In his practice he often utilizes figure and portraiture. He prefers to leave his hand in a work, does very little blending or smoothing, and often employs broad, emotive brush strokes. 

Brennen Steines  is based in Milwaukee, WI. His work examines the material properties of painting and its correspondence with time, process, and the languages of abstraction. He received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. In 2017, Steines attended the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art in Norfolk, CT through the support of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship. His recent exhibitions include Real Tinsel, Milwaukee, WI; Chamber, Milwaukee, WI; and Hoax Gallery, Milwaukee, WI.

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