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Julia Bradfish, Ellie Garry, Margaret Griffin

Sept 30 - Nov 26
At Var Gallery on 2nd

Opening Reception: Saturday Sept 30th, 6 to 9 PM

Plum Blossom Initiative and Var Gallery proudly present the Bridge Work 09 exhibition, featuring works by Julia Bradfish, Ellie Garry, and Margaret Griffin.


Julia Bradfish is an artist based in Milwaukee, WI. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. She has been awarded numerous scholarships at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, including the Laurence Rathsack Art Scholarship. Bradfish has curated and facilitated numerous exhibitions at local galleries. Her work has been shown in various exhibitions, the most recent being the “TMA Contemporary Exhibition” at the Trout Museum of Art in Appleton, WI, and “I-80 East” in Brooklyn, NY. 


Ellie Garry was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, but has lived in various cities across the United States. She is based in Milwaukee, WI, and received her BFA from The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2023, majoring in New Studio Practice with a minor in Art Management. Garry has showcased her work in various exhibitions in Milwaukee, such as "Dear Nature" through Sculpture Milwaukee and DIY spaces in the greater Milwaukee area. She also has curated a textile-based show at the Gray Area within Hawthorn Contemporary. She creates art with the central theme of wonder and enjoys producing works that transport the beauty of our world into a magical realm, looking to show both the hard and soft moments of being alive. 


Margaret Griffin is a sculptor based in Milwaukee, WI, who received her BFA in New Studio Practice: Fine Arts from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2023. Her work explores themes of the body and industry while being visually inspired by the Post-Minimalism movement and ideas of what is abject in presentation.

Inspired by the intersection of the human form and industry as it relates to strength and the rigging of objects, Griffin creates abstract figures that enter into a spatial dialogue with industrial equipment. The materiality of her work speaks to both vulnerability and resilience. She raises questions about the relationship between the individual and the environment they inhabit, ultimately seeking to answer what it might take to hold a body. Since her acceptance into this Plum Blossom Initiative's Bridge Work professional development program, Griffin has been further exploring both additive and subtractive sculpting methods and how each can add to the implication of weight in her work. Griffin has been showing her work since 2019 in both the Milwaukee and Chicagoland areas and in St. Joseph, Missouri at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. 


In existence since 2015 and initiated by Jason S. Yi and Leah Kolb (Plum Blossom Initiative), the Bridge Work Professional Development Program is a collaborative endeavor that provides recent art school graduates with opportunities to sustain artistic momentum and transition into a professional studio practice.  Acknowledging the nuances inherent to the contemporary art world, our interest centers on guiding emerging artists to navigate this uncertain terrain by broadening the scope of their professional experiences and community engagement.


In addition to helping sustain artistic practice by providing consistent mentorship, studio spaces, and community outreach programs, the Bridge Work program exposes artists’ work through multiple exhibitions within Wisconsin and beyond. The resulting exhibitions will also serve as a professional development and relationship-building platform to facilitate meaningful artistic exchanges and dialogs among artists and deepen their relationship with the broader community.

Var 5th Street





Aug 10 - Oct 1
Opening Reception Aug 19, 6-9PM
At Var Gallery on 5th


Var Gallery is pleased to announce, “Body Sense”, a solo exhibition of new works by Nicole Woodard.

“Body, Sense” explores the relationship between portraiture and the human form. Woodard is motivated by her emotional struggles and confronting fundamental traumas in her life. Making is intuitive and helps to create part of herself in a tangible form.


The process-based works represent how our bodies and identities are in flux. Ceramic, figurative forms are layered with stains to expose nuances of the body. “The irregular surface shows the memory of my hand, where I work by pinching the clay. I build directionally with my mark, shaping significant features without alteration.” Pyrography is a technique employed in response to ceramic works. Using molten glass on paper, the artist slowly layers freehand strokes until she is satisfied with the image.

Nicole Rene Woodard is an artist living in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Nicole was awarded the Foundation Residency at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City in 2021 and 2022. She has taught foundation and ceramic courses at Benedictine College and the University of Kansas. Nicole is exhibiting nationally and has completed short term residencies at the Hambidge Center and Penland School of Crafts. Nicole is currently the Pottery Technician at John Michael Kohler Art Center, where she supports residents in the Pottery at Kohler Co.

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