The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Interfaith Lifetime Art Competition Winners

From November 11 through December 8, 2016, the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery is proud to host the work of 25 winners of the Interfaith Lifetime Art Competition. There will be an Art Crawl from 4 pm to 10 pm on Saturday, December 3rd. The gallery is open during regular box office hours. Here is a little bit about each of the artists:


Bill Allen – Arches

After his retirement in 1999, Bill Allen had time to pursue his love of oil painting. He has taken class at the Peninsula School of Art and The Clearing in Door County, Barnsite Art Studio in Kewanee and with James Hemple in Milwaukee. All of these classes helped to develop his style. Many of his paintings were inspired by photos from his travels. Some of his paintings are exercises that inspired him because of their colors and compositions.


Carl Basco – Country Church

The influential quote by the famous Danish poet Piet Hein summarizes Carl’s passion for art:

“I am a humble artist

Moulding my earthly clod,

Adding my labour to nature’s,

Simply assisting God,

Not that my labour is needed,

Yet somehow I understand,

My Maker has deemed it that I too should have

Unmoulded clay in my hand.”


Kenneth R. Beierle – Timberline Bobcat

The Bobcat or Wildcat can lick his weight in wildcats. Looking like an oversized Tomcat, he gets the name Bobcat from his absurdly short tail, which twitches with excitement, hangs inert or sticks straight out. The adaptable Bobcat lives wherever there is enough forest or brush land to provide adequate cover and food. The Bobcat is an expert tree climber, but hunts mostly on the ground. He hunts rabbits, destructive rodents, game birds and anything else that crosses his path. He is 26-30 inches high and weighs 15-30 pounds. The Bobcat displays the sensory tools of a superbly equipped predator. Keen eyesight, sensitive whiskers and excellent sense of smell and hearing; aided by the antenna like tufts of hair atop the ears. Cats’ dislike of water can be overcome by a cat’s lust for prey. Cats specialize in the long stalk, followed by the sudden, deadly leap for the prey that can include fish. The Bobcat relaxes in a favorite tree and is a solitary creature, hunting and living alone except for the breeding season in the late winter and early spring.

Five year Art Program at Boys Technical Trade School. I have juried many art shows; been painting for 73 years and still learning. Painting is my way to express myself and is ever present in my thoughts.


P J Boylan – Dragon 1/10

PJ is a retired lawyer and award-winning photographer. She earned a certificate in Professional Photography from the New York Institute of Photography. Primarily interested in travel, her subject matter is eclectic. Her images are captured primarily during her world travels. “Dragon” however was created from an image she captured at the Milwaukee Art Museum.


William K. Davis – Cityscape Milwaukee

“Cityscape Milwaukee” was inspired by the city view from the Third Ward Riverwalk on a sunny summer afternoon. The watercolor painting captures a skyline made up of Milwaukee’s architecture of varying styles, masses, and heights reflected in the Milwaukee River below. A towering crane, busy on new construction, a city roadway with flanking bridge towers, and tall light standards provide horizontal and vertical accents to the urban scene.

After retiring from local architectural practice, I began watercolor painting in the fall of 2004, at the urging of my wife. My interest was sparked by introductory painting classes with watercolorist Alice Struck of Cedarburg and has grown through participation in a number of workshops including several springtime sessions on remote Washington Island with Bridget Austin of Green Bay. Watercolor and sketching have now become major interests. I am a member of the League of Milwaukee Artists, the Wisconsin Watercolor Society, the Cedarburg Artists Guild, and the Mequon Thiensville Senior Art League and have had the opportunity to participate in a number of one man and group exhibits.

I continue to be a student of the medium, hopefully growing in skill and understanding. I am always amazed at the simple beauty and free flowing potential of watercolor art.


Tom Halfmann – Bleu Jour

I have been doing this type of painting for a number of years. The idea for a painting might come from colors and shapes in architecture or nature, from moods created by a piece of music, or by the way summer-sunlight strikes a blank wall in late afternoon. I try to use line, color and angles to achieve a balance to my personal liking. I’ve always found a full-color palette to be a difficult juggling act, so I’ve drifted away from the reds and oranges, and use greens only occasionally. I find painting to be stress-reducing and stress-producing at the same time, uplifting and satisfying, and sometimes frustrating and demoralizing. I guess the same could be said about performing in a high school musical, learning to play guitar or in raising a family.


Michael Havice – Title: COME ON: Sandy – Big Bay – Lake Michigan

When I take a photograph I wish to prompt a viewer with feelings like, pleasure, pain, empathy, serenity, and perhaps desire. The image viewer creates a personal story derived from my image.

“COME ON: Sandy…” was taken in the morning of October 30, 2012. The winds were nearly howling and hurricane Sandy was pounding the Eastern Seaboard. Sandy’s torrents created a great deal of turbulence in Lake Michigan. I went to Big Bay Park in Whitefish Bay where I captured the 9am mood of the lake. I took many photographs of the turbulent lake that day.

I am a retired Associate Professor from Marquette University, Department of Broadcast and Electronic Communication. I served 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA), Milwaukee.



My painting, DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE RIVER-1908 is a composite of scenes from numerous old photos. The view in the painting is northward from just south of the Michigan Avenue bridge. The skyline shows the towers of Milwaukee City Hall and the Pabst Building. The steamship depicted in the painting is the Christopher Columbus. It was the only passenger whaleback ship ever built. It could carry 4000 passengers. It was constructed in Superior, WI in 1823. After numerous mishaps it was scrapped in 1936. In the foreground are some local fishermen having a day on the river.

The medium is acrylic. Historical and nautical subjects feature in many of my paintings.


Judith Kaiser – Oak Leaf Trail III

As an artist and art educator, I have been involved in the arts throughout my life: curatorial assistant at the Milwaukee Art Museum; Art History lecturer at Mount Mary University; coordinator of art appreciation programs at local grade schools; juror or art critique presenter; and artist, exhibiting my work in area shows. My daughter Anne and I currently co-teach an art class for children.

My family and I walk the Oak Leaf Trail in every season, especially in autumn. This Pastel — Oak Leaf Trail III—reflects two major stylistic themes in my work — luminous color and dramatic light. Late afternoon is a favorite time — of strong cross-lighting and long shadows.


Vickie Kapellusch – Full Blossom

This is my first entrance to an art competition. I have been painting for four years under the guidance of Al Minzlaff, first with Oak Creek Park & Rec., now at the Wilson Senior Center.

Interfaith and the great group of fellow artists at Wilson have brought a wonderful adventure to my life. I wouldn’t have tried this without the encouragement of my fellow painter, my sister, Sue.


Charlotte Kovac – De-Vine

My painting is of the ubiquitous climbing vine some of us were given to care for and watch grow at the office, classroom, or home. I chose this painting for the show because it illustrates techniques taught in classes I have attended, such as glazing, watercolor, and working with pen and ink. Fortunately, the painted vine outlasted the real one.


Geri Laehn – Spence Farm/Milky Way

On dark clear starry nights I enjoy stargazing, searching the sky for the elusive Milky Way and the Aurora Borealis. Not often but on occasion I get lucky and have the opportunity to photograph both at the same time.

This image “Spencer Farm w/Milky Way” was captured on September 13th 2015. Spencer is located just north of Marshfield in Central Wisconsin.

About me….

I’ve been involved in Photography for the past 20 years.

Active member and past president of CoPA (Coalition of Photographic Arts) past board member and exhibitions chair for 5 years of CoPA, Current member of the Underwood Fine Art Photographers, Board member Wisconsin Area Camera Club Organization & Active member of the Wehr Nature Center Camera Club

Additional work can be seen at the PH Dye House in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, Boerner Botanical Gardens n Hales Corners, the Blue (the gallery at Reuss Federal Plaza) in downtown Milwaukee and the gallery at PDM (Prime Digital Media) in New Berlin, WI.


Susan M. Leopold – Puerto Rico Holiday

I’m a watercolor painter, \both studio and plein air. My favorite subjects are flowers and fruits. I’ve been painting seriously about 10 years and continue studies with two teachers in an open studio.

As a Father’s Day surprise present, I painted a portrait of my husband. I wanted to show him happy, relaxed and suntanned in an exotic location – the Rain Forest in Puerto Rico. As a reference, I used a photo taken on a hot, sunny day and sneaked peeks at him during a four month period. He kept changing his look: new glasses, a hair cut, trimmed his beard, lost the tan and lost weight! Each change created new problems for this painter – add the new grey hairs, keep the smile or not…

Eventually, I just painted my impressions of him, remembering a special happy day. He decided to share the painting and encouraged me to enter this show.


Judith D. Lesniewski – Surreal Forest

I entered the world of art through the world of Decorative Painting, which is a method painting program. I learned so many fine art principles from the many teachers I took classes from over the years. I progressed to wanting to paint my own creations and joined the AC Art Association many years ago and have benefitted greatly from their programs and critique meetings. The piece I entered into this competition is the result of the many years of classes, critiques and risk taking that I have experienced.


Terrance Nickasch – Skipping Church

This photograph is titled “Skipping Church” to add a little humor to show the fun they were having at the time. I was not able to record the sound, but they could easily be referred to as a “giggle” of nuns.


Thomas Pscheid – “Fresh Snowfall – Menomonee River”

“Fresh Snowfall – Menomonee River” is a digital photograph taken of the Menomonee River as it winds its way through Wauwatosa. The snow, clinging to the branches, contrast to the flowing river to make a spectacular yet soothing image.

Tom has exhibited his art throughout Wisconsin for over 20 years. He is a member of the League of Milwaukee Artists, Wisconsin Visual Artists, and the Wisconsin Designer Crafts Council.

Originally drawing in charcoal and painting in oils, he is a traditional landscape artist. Over many years, his photographs have been the inspiration for his paintings and drawings. Currently, he has been reexamining these photographs, and enhancing them on a computer. He has forged into photography as another means to express his view of the world we live in.


Carolyn Simpson – “By the Dawn’s Early Light”

“By the Dawn’s Early Light” is a watercolor panting developed from a picture I took on January 19, 2016 at the Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve in Grafton, Wisconsin. The air temperature was below zero, and my camera froze shortly after the photo was taken.

I started taking watercolor painting classes under Chris Sommerfelt at the Wauwatosa Senior Center in 2008. I continue to read and study about every Milwaukee Public Library System book on watercolor. My work has appeared and won awards at group exhibits in the southeastern Wisconsin area through my associations with the Wauwatosa Artist Workshop, League of Milwaukee Artists, and Wisconsin watercolor Society. Four paintings have recently been part of the 20013-2015 Watercolor Wisconsin exhibits at the Wustum Museum in Racine.

I thank the Interfaith Older Adults Program and their sponsors for supporting the visual arts and encourage all ages to create!


Ralph Skudlarczyk – Temptation

This painting depicts the temptation that humanity faces on a daily basis. It is a battle of choice – either right or wrong, since the beginning of time. Nothing has changed.

I belong to Bay View Art Guild. Attended Layton School of Art- Milwaukee. Have been taking various art courses during my life. As a career I became an electrician and continued art as a hobby (stress relief hobby).Now, retired, I am able to have the time to express and create what I enjoy the most.


Robert A. Socher – Fallen Leaves

My name is Robert A. Socher, 78 years old, residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The inspiration for this piece was a casual walk through Jackson Park during the past fall season and attracted to the different leaf formations, the slight changes of color in each leaf from various tree species. So I tried to capture these shapes and colors with the use of colored pencils. The original art work is not for sale but I would consider copies at some future date.


John Sowinski – Girl by the Window

I have belonged to the Wauwatosa Artists Workshop (WAW) for five years and attend Thursday mornings at MATC – Oak Creek. I have been painting off and on for 12 years. I am amazed that with just paper and paint you can create anything that your mind can conceive – Just love it!


Betty A. Storey – “Color”

I have spent 30 years researching my family genealogy. After the publication of the lineage of my maiden name [ANDREWS] I decided to change direction in my life and use the other side of my brain!

Over the years, I have had interest in art. I had attended a Basic Drawing class at MATC in the early 1980s; a pastel figure drawing class in the mid 1990s. Through the years other responsibilities and interests seemed to get into the way of having a scheduled time to concentrate on art projects.

I signed up for the Drawing and Painting class at Wilson Senior Center two years ago. The instructor, Al Minzlaff, has guided me to keep trying, to pay attention to detail, watch ‘the lightest lights and darkest darks’ and to stay active and involved. This painting is a result of his encouragement.


Loni Theisen – “Our Lord and Savior”

The subject of this charcoal and pastel rendering entitled ‘Our Lord and Savior’, was initially drawn as a personal statement to visually depict, defend, and publically celebrate the Christian Faith in a time when Christian beliefs seem disrespected.

Initially it was executed purely in charcoal pencil. Red pastel was added afterwards to strengthen the message. The key word that’s repeatedly been expressed by its

audience is: ‘Powerful!’

Loni Theisen is a MIAD graduate. She has been freelancing as a graphic designer for 23 years and is now concentrating her abilities in fine art. She started this

transition donating charcoal portraits through her parish to families who had recently lost a loved one as a memorial gift from her church. She now renders portraits on commission and has her work displayed in the Underground Collaborative Art Gallery at the Grand Avenue Mall in downtown Milwaukee. Please come visit and see more of her work along with several other very talented and diverse artists that display there.


Patricia Wiedower – Glimpse of Door County

The title of my picture is “Glimpse of Door County”. The inspiration for my painting is a photograph I have of the Door County lakeshore. I used to go there often but I haven’t been there for quite a while. The picture reminds me of the many peaceful walks I took along that beach.


Richard Yerkey – “The Hunter”

  • Always interested in Art & Drawing
  • Started taking Art at M.A.T.C. shortly after retirement
  • Pen & Ink and Pastel are his favorites
  • Donates most of his work to schools and non profit organization fundraisers



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