Plum Blossom Initiative and Var Gallery are pleased to announce the opening of Bridge Work 06 exhibition at
Var Gallery. The exhibition will run from September 18, 2020 through November 7, 2020.
Leah Kolb (Curator of Exhibitions at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) and Jason S. Yi (visual artist and Director of Hawthorn Contemporary) along with Riley Niemack (visual artist and Bridge Work Program Manager) run 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.
𝗘𝘅𝗵𝗶𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗦𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟭𝟴 – 𝗡𝗼𝘃 𝟳, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬.
(𝗯𝘆 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘃𝗶𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆):
See viewing protocol below:
𝗦𝗢𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟𝗟𝗬 𝗗𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘𝗗 & 𝗠𝗔𝗦𝗞 𝗥𝗘𝗤𝗨𝗜𝗥𝗘𝗗
Guests of Var Gallery & Studios are to follow the below guidelines in order to ensure the safety of our staff, artists, and other guests:
1. Arrive at the front door located at 643 S. 2nd St. Var Gallery & Studios. Wait to be let in. If the gallery is at capacity, you may have to wait until the previous group has departed.
2. Please be prepared with a mask and to get your temperature checked before entering.
3. You will then be allowed to explore the gallery for the duration of the timeslot you've scheduled. If there are gaps in the schedule, you may be permitted to extend your stay.
4. If beverages are being served during the event you are attedning, please try and re-affix your face-covering in between sips.
5. Enjoy the show!
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. In 2018, PBI and Var Gallery partnered in order to provide further support to the selected Bridge Work artists. Learn more about PBI and Bridge Work at plumblossominitiative.org!
For the 6th iteration of Bridge Work, PBI and Var selected three artists to participate in the Bridge Work 06 professional development program.
Nick Drain is a fine artist born in Chicago, IL, who lives and works in Milwaukee, WI. Through image, sculpture, and writing, Nick works to understand the relationship between blackness and visibility at the site of the camera in order to contend with the ways that the photographic medium works, and is used, to perform violence on Black people. This body of work acknowledges that violence and seeks to engage existing methods, as well as imagine new ones, for Black people to render themselves visible and invisible at will. With his work, Nick seeks to rotate the triangular viewer—subject—maker relationship present in instances of figural representation to place the Black subject at the top, thus reconfiguring the surveilling power dynamic between those who are privileged to observe by way of the white gaze and those who are rendered hyper visible by their blackness.
Nick attended the Yale Norfolk School of Art in 2019 and received a BFA from the New Studio Practice program at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2020.
Kirsten Meier is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on textiles, performance, and the exploration of material culture. Objecthood and language are both integral to her work. In this body of work, she investigates love from three different vantage points. Firstly, love lurking in the shadows. Second, a love that is dumb and blind. Third, clarity found through love. Meier was born in Brookfield, WI and received her BFA at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2020, with a major in New Studio Practice and a minor in Art History. Throughout Milwaukee, she has exhibited work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Gallery, Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts, Genesis, Gluon Gallery, and the Haggerty Museum of Art, among others. In addition, she has participated as a docent in the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Jobs at Art Museums” program.
Jayce Kolinski is a Milwaukee-raised and based nonfiction filmmaker and photographer. Their work explores our connection to space by compiling and weaving the personal, cultural, and environmental significance of a place into a purposeful document. These documents are intertwined by a collage of analog video, 16mm film, analog photography, and digital video that take on the final form of single-channel films, installations, photographic sequences, and live performance presentations.
Their most current work, Daydreams from Yesterday, explores the iconic Milwaukee Greenway through an anthology of interviews and images illustrating the past visions of its founders while presenting the present voices working to conserve and restore this communal treasure. This film will be shown live at outdoor venues in and around the Milwaukee Park System in Fall 2020 and Spring of 2021.
They received a BFA in Film from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts in 2020 during which they founded Milwaukee Nonfiction. Since its founding, Milwaukee Nonfiction has hosted numerous screenings and workshops facilitated to empower local documentary makers. Their films have been exhibited at venues and festivals such as the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, the Milwaukee Film Festival, and the Walkers Point Center for the Arts. They were the recipient for the 2020 Grilled Cheese Grant, and the 2017 Lubar Scholars in Film Scholarship.