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Sat, Sep 30


Var Gallery 2nd Street

Var Gallery Opening Reception: Bridge Work 09

Var Gallery is pleased to host the opening reception for Plum Blossom 2023 at our 2nd Street location. This annual exhibition is the culmination of the Plum Blossom emerging artist in residence program.

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Var Gallery Opening Reception: Bridge Work 09
Var Gallery Opening Reception: Bridge Work 09

Time & Location

Sep 30, 2023, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Var Gallery 2nd Street, 643 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204, USA

About the Event

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.

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