Category Archives: Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Waukesha South High School

The artworks in this exhibit were created by art students at Waukesha South High School. The thirty-three-day project challenged students to briskly produce artworks inspired by Moisés Kaufman’s play, 33 Variations. Various mediums and materials were explored.

The use of sheet music was a popular collage material. In Collection of Diabelli Variations, the student listened to the entire set, purchased the sheet music, and highlighted four variations by their tempo/mood. Master of Music was completely built with bits of sheet music in the likeness of Beethoven. Overall, sheet music and other paper products created a rich texture to the surfaces of many artworks.

Students examined certain themes to guide their work. Some students incorporated thirty-three components into their work such as flowers and human heads. To many, the brain symbolized ALS, the vehicle for creativity, or physical ability. The color blue was also used to represent the disease. The ear symbolized hearing loss; the heart symbolized energy and passion despite deteriorating physical abilities. Warm colors were used to show intensity and creative energy.

Some students took a personal approach by relating to their own specialty or uniqueness. In the piece, Hearing…My Wings, the student incorporated her ear/hearing aid in place of the painted eye which was a portrait-style jewelry fad of the late 1700’s. Another showcased her creativity in a painting of her trumpet.

Even though the subject matter was interpreted individually and described in a compartmentalized way, an overall commonality existed: passion and creativity endure.

Theresa Leal

Art Instructor


Cramer’s Corner: We Are Marching Along With Another Great Month Of Entertainment!

Everyone marches to the beat of a different drummer but, lucky for you, we have something for everyone at WCT during the month of March.

We open our next Mainstage show, 33 Variations, next week.  This innovative and inspiring show focuses on a modern music scholar facing the end of her life as she studies the mysteries of Beethoven and the 33 variations of a simple melody he composed while facing the end of his.  The show runs March 10-26 with two Pay What You Can performances on March 11 at 7:30 pm and March 25 at 2:00 pm.  We will also have two talk backs with ALS specialists joining the cast and crew immediately after the performances on March 12 at 2:00 pm and March 19 at 2:00 pm.  And we will be selling raffle tickets for several amazing items including the always popular Discount Liquor Basket.


We have two auditions coming up this month.  Barefoot In The Park auditions will be held on Monday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 14, starting at 6:30 pm both nights. Kelly Goeller is directing. And Miscast auditions will be held on March 27 starting at 6:30 pm.  Meghan Hopper is directing.


Our next PIX Flix movie of the season will be Mr. Holland’s Opus on March 20 at 6:30 pm.  The cast of the movie includes Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headley, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis, William H. Macy, Alicia Witt, and more.  All tickets are $5.00, and we have concessions available, including soda, water, beer, wine, cookies, beef sticks, and … wait for it … POPCORN!


Our spring fundraiser gala, Festival Of Fools, will be held at Westmoor Country Club on Saturday, April 1st.  We are thrilled to announce that our King And Queen of the festival will be Joel and Rebecca Kleefisch, and our emcee will be Vince Vitrano.  This will be an event you don’t want to miss, so get your tickets NOW!



Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby is a group of students from Waukesha South High School.  They were challenged to create art inspired by 33 Variations in only 33 days, and it is amazing!


Our 60th Season is on sale now.  Subscription packages for the Mainstage shows, and individual tickets for everything can be purchased now.  Please join us for the second half of our current great season of entertainment!


Registration is open for our A.C.T. spring and summer sessions, including our summer ACT production Disney’s The Lion King JR.


Just in case you missed it last month, our 61st season will include:

Sex Please We’re Sixty (directed by Peter Kao)

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (an area premier directed by Mark E. Schuster!)

The House Without A Christmas Tree (an original adaptation by our own Doug Jarecki directed by moi)

The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged) (directed by Dustin J. Martin)

Clue: The Musical (directed by Ken Williams)

Wait Until Dark (directed by Kelly Goeller)

Father Knows Best (directed by Rhonda Schmidt)

Amazing, right?  Season Tickets will go on sale in May 2017.


Thank you to all of the generous donors that have supported us so far this season.  If you would like to donate, you can choose from any number of ways you could help us not only maintain, but thrive, as Waukesha’s Cultural Cornerstone.

Please Consider Giving …
* A gift to our Operating Fund

* A gift to our Spotlight On The Future Capital Campaign

* A matching gift through local sponsoring business employers

* A gift that will last a lifetime through your Will or Estate Planning

* A gift by donation to CARS

* A gift by shopping through Amazon Smile

* A gift by purchasing something on our Amazon Wish List

* Choose WCT as your Thrivent Choice charitable organization

* Become a Sponsor of outstanding performances and educational programs

On a personal note – my daughter, Elena Cramer, will be playing Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point March 3-5 and 9-11.  My son, Jude Cramer, will be playing Gomez Addams in The Addams Family at Waukesha South High School March 9-11.
I’ll see you at the theatre!

Cramer John 2006John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Kathleen Walter


Kathleen received her BA in Art Education at UW-Milwaukee and a Masters in Integrated Arts Education at Alverno College. She worked as an art teacher for 35 years in the West Bend public school system and then as an adjunct instructor in the Art Department at Alverno College for 8 years.

She has lived for the past 37 years with her husband on a 10 acre farm outside of Slinger, WI where she raises vegetables, sheep and chickens. This space affords her endless opportunities to continue exploring and discovering the marvels in nature and the intersections and collisions between nature and humankind.

Kathleen has created both individual and collaborative art installations.  Her work has been exhibited in numerous one-person shows as well as juried, group and invitational exhibitions around the state.

Artist’s Statement:

My work is reflective of my fascination with the natural world and the interconnectedness I see in all living things including the human race. Each piece tells a story reflecting my interpretation of events unfolding across continents and in my own space.  Through my story boxes I try to make sense of the incomprehensible things that are happening in this world. The maps that become a part of much of my collage work are, for me, a statement about the mistaken human belief that there is a way to divide, contain and control the earth and all it is composed of and record this with simple lines, symbols, charts and graphs.

My work incorporates natural materials and found elements to create a more direct link between the natural world and human interpretation.  I continue to explore these themes with an endless curiosity and desire to make sense of this world.

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Jonathan Korotko



Art has been a vital part of Jonathan Korotko’s life from a very early age. He was always drawing, painting, or creating something throughout his youth which carried over into his college career. Jonathan is a recent graduate from Carroll University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. After working in various medias he has found his niche in screen printing. His most recent body of work, Revival of Life, consisted of 11 prints in which Jonathan drew his inspiration from his journey to veganism. This journey was insightful for Jonathan and he experienced it as if it was his awakening. The natural world become his faith in a way. He strives to pay his respect to nature in his prints. They depict biblical stories that involve nature and the importance it plays in the bible. His goal is to submit his prints in Revival of Life to graduate schools to pursue his MFA in screen printing. Jonathan’s career goal is to eventual work in a higher educational setting, teaching his passion to enthusiastic individuals. Sharing his ideas and knowledge with others and having it reciprocated is what really drives him. He was always inspired by his professors who really pushed him to look deep inside himself to find his voice in art.

What inspires Jonathan is his experiences in life. He has been lucky enough to travel to many cultural Mecca’s throughout Europe, such as Paris, London, Florence, Munich, and Zurich. These opportunities allowed him to see many different facets of art from various periods. Jonathan references his travels in his art. He also pulls inspiration from places he wants to go but has not yet been. Africa is one of these places. In his current work Jonathan is inspired by Adinkra symbols of West Africa. These Adinkra symbols have emotional meanings behind them. In his newest work, Jonathan is referencing the emotions he finds in himself.


Artist’s Statement:

These past two years have pushed me to look deep inside myself to capture the essence of what drives me to create. A new lifestyle has inspired me to rethink my life personally and artistically. I am vegan and the journey to embracing veganism has opened my eyes to how truly important the natural world is to us, as humans. Plants are essential to our existence. They are critical to our health and overall well-being. They provide us with the air with breathe, the food we eat and are important for medicinal purposes. Their importance is timeless. We could not function without what plants give us. In this body of work, I want to pay homage and respect to the natural world.print-2

In doing my research on veganism I have developed, a great respect for what our plants provide us. I honor and respect nature. It has almost become my faith. The concept of faith and believing in something is inspiring for me. I currently do not practice a religion but my Catholic background has driven me to create this body of work. The images presented before you are my combination of paying honor to the natural world and relating the importance they play in Catholicism. I pulled much of my inspiration from Byzantine art focusing on Icons. I found it inspiring the way Byzantine art glorifies their Saints and figures of recognition. Halos frame their head showing their importance and holiness. I also looked at the way we honor our deceased. We praise them for who they were, what they gave to us, and our love for them. In my work, I focused on trees and plants at the end of their life. I want to honor the plants I have drawn or photographed for their importance and what they have given us. The natural world is our life giver and I want to give my thanks to nature with my art. Through veganism, I feel like I’ve been revived and this is just the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Cramer’s Corner: Happy Holidays From WCT!

Happy Holidays! 

As Andy Williams said, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.”  And in the words of Blues Traveler “If it’s Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, Solstice Harvest, or December 25th, peace on earth to everyone, and abundance to everyone you’re with.”

I love this season, and I love WCT’s tradition of presenting an affordable family show for the community to enjoy.  This season we present a hidden gem by local playwright / composer Jason Powell; For Purely Elfish Reasons, a holiday show with great characters and a story line that gives a respectful (and hilarious) nod to the Marx Brothers.  We open tonight and run through December 18, including two Pay What You Can performances Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 pm and Saturday December 17 at 2:00 pm.  Click here for more information.

Waukesha Silver Bells is once again sponsoring Horse Drawn Carriage Rides in downtown Waukesha every Friday and Saturday throughout the month.  Click here for more information.

The West End Artists are presenting their 94th Art Crawl Saturday, December 3, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, with fantastic art displays in several galleries and stores in downtown Waukesha, including our own Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in the WCT lobby. Click here for more information.

For those of you looking for something a little naughty (but a lotta nice) Joel Kopischke brings his unique brand of comedy to our stage for the eighth consecutive season with I Got Yule, Babe Tuesday and Thursday, December 6 and 8, at 7:30 pm both nights.  Joined by his merry band of incredible musicians and singers, he will present some of his favorites with a few new songs mixed in.  Click here to buy tickets.

We have two auditions coming up this month.  A.C.T. Live! auditions will be held on Monday, December 12 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and auditions for 33 Variations will be held on Monday and Tuesday, December 12 and 13, starting at 6:30 pm.  Click here for more information.

Our PIX Flix movie series is utilizing our new screen and projector, bringing the silver screen back to the PIX.  Our next movie of the season will be Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas on December 19 at 6:30 pm.  The cast of the movie includes Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, and more.  All tickets are $5.00, and we have concessions available, including soda, water, beer, wine, cookies, beef sticks, and … wait for it … POPCORN!  Click here to buy tickets.

We end the holiday season with the return of Tony Davis as Elvis Presely in Elvis:  The Legend Lives On with performances December 29-31.  Click here for more information.

Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby is the InterFaith Lifetime Art Competition Winners through December 8, and then we will feature the art of Jonathan Korotko December 10 through January 9.

Our 60th Season is on sale now.  Subscription packages for the Mainstage shows, and individual tickets for everything can be purchased now.  Please join us for another great season of entertainment!

I know we are only half way through our current season, but I am so excited about our 61st season I have to share it with all of you.  I am thrilled to annouce that our 2017-2018 season will include:
Sex Please, We’re Sixty
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (an area premier!)
The House Without A Christmas Tree (an original adaptation by our own Doug Jarecki)
The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Sister Act
Wait Until Dark
Father Knows Best

Amazing, right?  Subscription packages will go on sale in May 2017! Individual tickets will go on sale in July 2017!

Thank you to all of the generous donors that have supported us so far this season.  If you would like to donate, you can choose from any number of ways you could help us not only maintain, but thrive, as Waukesha’s Cultural Cornerstone.

Please Consider Giving …
* A gift to our Operating Fund
* A gift to our Spotlight On The Future Capital Campaign
* A matching gift through local sponsoring business employers
* A gift that will last a lifetime through your Will or Estate Planning
* A gift by donation to CARS
* A gift by shopping through Amazon Smile
* A gift by purchasing something on our Amazon Wish List
* Choose WCT as your Thrivent Choice charitable organization
* Become a Sponsor of outstanding performances and educational programs

On a personal note, my son Jude will be appearing with the Waukesha South High School choirs in two concerts.  The first with the Wisconsin Philharmonic on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 pm at Shattuck Auditorium, and the second at Waukesha South High School on Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 pm.

Have a Happy Holiday Season, and I’ll see you at the theatre!

Cramer John 2006John Cramer
Managing Artistic Director
262-547-4911 ext. 13 office

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


Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Michael Karl

Michael Karl has lived in the Milwaukee area for most of his life, leaving for a few years to live in Texas. His artistic background started while attending the University of Wisconsin studying photography and painting. He continued further with his education attending Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD).

Travels to Ireland photographing the architectural history of the country, his works have been exhibited in shows and galleries throughout the state. While on a trip to New Orleans he became aware of artists working in encaustic. On his return to Wisconsin his research found a small group of artists working in this medium. Studying with these artists, he found a love of working in wax which has been his main artistic focus for a number of years.

His works are held in private collections as well as being shown in exhibits and gallery shows.

He is a member of the International Encaustic Artists Association and Wiswax, a Wisconsin based encaustic artists group. Michael is involved in multiple conferences and classes working with artists who have pioneered the encaustic process both national and internationally.

Here’s what he has to say about this show:

“Encaustic” comes from a Greek word meaning “to burn in”. Encaustic painting was first used by Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C.

These paintings represent several series:

Moving Forward utilizes bold color and line to express the many journeys we take in our lifetime. Documenting the changing paths we may encounter, times of confusion, being stuck or held in limbo until we are ready to break thru and move forward.

Pathways In comes from a place of lines and movement. Mapping directions our brain takes on through our life and how it stays within our mind.

My hope is this body of work stimulates thought and question stemming from your own place and time.

Preparation is key when creating with encaustic. My process begins with making the encaustic medium, melting large quantities of clear beeswax and resin (which is extracted from trees) creates my supply of medium. Adding pigments to smaller quantities of melted wax, my “paints” are kept liquid on a heated palette. I begin a painting by writing a question or message on my working surface that I will be painting on. Fusing layers of wax to my surface, I then incorporate graphite, inks and various methods of inscribing and scrapping to create a translucent, organic quality that gives depth and texture to the painting. Allowing time for the painting to cure, I then buff them. This removes cloudiness or “bloom” from the wax and enhances the color and shine to the finished painting.

A studio filled with the aroma of beeswax and resin, creates a meditative place for thought, process and creation!

2016-01-04-11-40-43Michael Karl

414 331-9343

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Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Fine Art Montage

Fine Art Montage is a group of local artists, including Janet Hudachek, Maddy Sherman, Chris Sommerfelt, Christine Thomsen, and Katherine Thomsen. You can see more of their work on their website:


Janet Hudachek Biography  

Organization affiliations:

Founder of “Fine Art Montage”

Former President of “The Art Guild of Menomonee Falls”

Member of League of Milwaukee Artists

Member of Wauwatosa Artists Workshop

Member of MARN



Many art related classes – enhance by peer critiques:

Wax pastel – Sharon Lynn Wilson

Oil painting – WCTI

Acrylic – WCTI

Layton School of art – several classes

Brookfield Art Guild – Paint and evaluation sessions.

Color Pencil – Kristy Kutch




  • General Electric Employees art show – 2nd Place
  • MARN – “Beyond the Canvas” Award for “Domiciliary”
  • League of Milwaukee Artists for “Amethyst Emeralds Topaz and Marble”
  • “Off the Beaten Path” Award and Published in the Richeson 75 Landscape show book.
  • Selected for the  WOW “Women of Wisconsin Women of Wisconsin ” show at Alverno College
  • League of Milwaukee Artists Award for “Marbles and Stones”
  • “Peek a Boo Blue” and “Marbles and Stones” Published in the Richeson 75 Still Life/Floral show book.
  • “Off the Beaten Path” Blue Ribbon for the Wauwatosa Work Shop “Tosa Library Show”
  • “Different Perspectives” award at the Plymouth, Wi “Alive in the Arts “ show.



  • Hidden River Gallery Show Case 2014
  • Bridgetown Gallery Wauwatosa, Wi 2014
  • League of Milwaukee Artists Multiple shows 2014
  • Wauwatosa Artists Workshop   Multiple shows 2014
  • Anderson Gallery, Kenosha 2014
  • Lemon Street Gallery 2014


  • LMA Grafton Arts Mill Gallery
  • WAW Grafton Arts Mill Gallery
  • Pyramax Bank
  • Lemon Street Gallery
  • Lemon Street Gallery Solo Show
  • Lemon Street Gallery
  • Boerner Botanical Gardens solo
  • League of Milwaukee Artists Grafton Art Show
  • Boerner Botanical “ Art in the Garden”
  • Hidden River Gallery Show Case
  • Menomoee Falls “Art in the Park”
  • League of Milwaukee Artists show at St. Johns
  • Alverno College “Women of Wisconsin” show2016
  • Tosa Library Show
  • Alive in the Arts Plymouth Wi
  • Art on the Walk
  • Grafton Arts Mill with Montage
  • Waukesha Civic Theatre


  • Almont Gallery – Waukesha 2012
  • Art Gallery of the Guild – Menomonee Falls 2012-2013
  • Purlon Studio– Menomonee Falls 2014 – mid 2015
  • Lemon Street Gallery  2014 – present
  • Fine Art Montage virtual gallery 2013 – 2014

janet-hudachek-3Janet Hudachek Artist Statement

Whether you are the artist or the art viewer the attraction to a single piece is your own personal connection to that piece, a memory, a dream, a thought. I may be inspired by a palette of colors that touches my senses or a visual that invokes a memory, or just a pleasing combination of the two that I want to share. Inspiration may be just the challenge of being able to reproduce the feeling of a visual that I have encountered. There are so many inspirations if you learn to look for them in nature and in manmade structures.

One thinks of artwork as a static object, but really it has a personality. It may be one thing in day light, another at dusk, and different in artificial light. Photograph it and find lines and hues you didn’t see before. View that photo on a video screen for another array of hues depending on your vantage point.

I have been painting nature subjects, ornamental vegetation, and landscapes for a long time.  However, lately I have become inspired by divergent art, which is more of a fantasy illusion art, by the 3 dimensional illusions of Frank Lloyd Wright’s blueprints.  It is a challenge; abstract art is much more difficult to do as you have nothing to work from but your imagination.  My new pieces are fascinating to look at and actually move as you look at them.

I work mostly work in Inktense pencil and Caran d’ache wax pastels both water soluble and sometimes oil. I enjoy drawing, even when I paint, I draw with the brush.

I am mostly inspired by composition and color, however, in the divergent art is experimenting with the ability to make the artwork move before your eyes.

What makes my work different?  Mostly the media Inktense is more intense than water color but can have the look of oil or acrylic and is easier to control.


Maddy Sherman Biography

Aside from high school art classes and a couple of classes at WCTC, I am a self-taught artist.  My mother was an artist who worked in oils and acrylics.  She exposed me to the art world early through her paintings, and the art shows in which she participated. I’ve always loved to draw but never really had time to paint.  Then, in 2010 I became very ill, suffering from a nervous breakdown and severe depression.  I started painting as therapy.  It made the thoughts in my brain stop going around in circles.  It gave me peace. I guess when God takes something away with one hand, he gives with another.  Ever since then, I have become an avid acrylic painter.  I thank God every day for the wonderful gift of art he has given me.  Acrylics offer an ease of clean up and portability, and maddy-sherman-1allow me to work in a variety of locations.  I have also dabbled in charcoal, pastels, oils and watercolors.    In 2014, I added mural work to my repertoire.

Maddy Sherman Artist Statement There is so much beauty in nature and the things all around us!  I enjoy painting the simple things that we don’t stop to appreciate as much as we should.  Art is therapeutic for me, and allows me to get lost in whatever wonderful world I am creating at that moment.


Chris Sommerfelt Biography Artist and graphic designer, Chris Sommerfelt discovered watercolor at an adult evening class in the early 1980s and has since been intrigued with what happens when you mix pigment and water. Chris has since studied with many fine artists who have influenced her in her art journey. Chris has work in private collections as well as twelve pieces in the corporate collection of Northwestern Mutual Life. Chris is a sought after watercolor instructor. Her teaching schedule can be found on her website. Chris has been asked to conduct critiques, demos, and to judge exhibits for local art groups. She is member of the League of Milwaukee Artists, exhibits chair for Wisconsin Watercolor Society, and mentor for the Wauwatosa Artist’s chris-sommerfelt-3Workshop. Chris has received awards at art group exhibits and statewide juried art exhibitions.

Chris Sommerfelt Artist Statement I am a watercolor artist. I believe no medium works better than watercolor for expressing the beauty of the natural world. It’s transparency and the way that pigment mixes and moves in the water gives the medium its own voice in addition to the intent of the artist. Nature is my primary subject matter, be it a landscape, wildflowers or an intimate close-up of the natural world. It is from nature that my creative energy flows. My hope is that viewers of my art feel my connection to nature when they see my art.


Christine Thomsen Biography

Christine Thomsen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from Cardinal Stritch University but considers herself largely self-taught. “Institutions taught me art had to be buyer-centered and grandiose. I was pressured to abandon my artistic identity to adopt the artiste persona. Essentially, I returned to my roots and to the moral imperatives I had taught myself. There is no definitive paradigm for judging art. Artists must create for themselves in a manner which copiously explores their spirit. They must paint what helps them breathe and makes their hearts swell.” For Christine, nature provided the great inspiration she needed.

Being a native Wisconsinite, her landscapes are mainly meditations on the beautiful, poetic imagery perceived in rural Wisconsin. “My body of work recalls a time of American values – a time when family and neighbors worked and prayed together. Barns are lasting testaments to the rewards of hard work and are not only striking, but are important symbols of our agrarian past. A constant forward motion in design and technology has resulted in the disappearance of barns and historic farmhouses from our landscape. My heart yearns for a simpler way of life, and a return to the values of the farming family.” For Christine, the quietude and peace of the land is a guide to faith contemplation and a door to spiritual repose; God continually reveals Himself to her through the environmental peace. Often pursuing traditional miniature dimensions for her works facilitates the simplification of her hopes. She is able to block out what she no longer wishes to see to instead focus in detail on a single, emotive instant of the American scene.

Christine has received several awards and honors for her work, most recently earning Grand Prize in the Waukesha County Courthouse Art Purchase Award Competition. She’s also received the Art in Action Dry Media Award through the Art Guild of Menomonee Falls, as well as Honorable Mentions, Peoples’ Choice and Artist Community awards through the Waukesha Creative Arts League, the Spring Creek Art at the Creek Exhibition, and Menomonee Falls Art in Action Exhibition. Now an artist in her thirties, she continues to enjoy rendering barns and landscapes, but finds the truest gratification in the simple, pure act of creating art.

christine-thomsen-3Christine Thomsen Artist Statement

My works are meditations on the truth and devotional beauty found in nature. When I look beyond the human detritus of electronics and greed-driven lifestyles, God continually reveals Himself to me through environmental peace. By portraying the beautiful imagery of rural Wisconsin I recall a time of American values; a time when family and neighbors worked and prayed together. Barns are lasting testaments to the rewards of hard work and are not only striking, but are important symbols of our agrarian past. I work primarily with acrylic paint because of its permanence and color fastness, qualities which marry greatly with the perpetuity of my subject matter.


Katherine Thomsen Biography

“When people first get to know you, they put you in a box. No matter how old you get, or how you change and mature as years pass, those same people put you into that same box whenever they’re with you. My job, as an artist, is to find a way out of that confining box.”

Exploring confinement – and pushing its boundaries – has become a mantra of Katherine’s current body of work. With a focus on the square form, and a critical eye on what’s happening around and within it, she develops a bold, colorful brand of self-expression via abstraction, all the while redefining her art’s essence and own artistic identity. Through a combination of evocative pigments and textural strokes, she illustrates the emotional, unrestricted side of painting. Such details provide movement and purpose in any emotional story. The interplay of formal visual elements – color and texture – inspire feelings relatable to everyone and, more importantly, the desire to break free from constrictions in order to redefine oneself.

A 2008 graduate from Cardinal Stritch University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art, Katherine is not only a proud recipient of the CSU Visual Arts Departmental Scholarship, but also a proud member of the Tau Nu Chi Young Christian Artists Society and Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honors Society for superior scholarship. Katherine’s unique work, impacted by these experiences, has received much recognition. Notable achievements include winning First Place in the annual “Art at the Creek” art exhibition, having her inspired design chosen for the Sussex Hamilton “Legacy Project,” and earning Honorable Mentions for work presented in the Waukesha County Courthouse Art Purchase Award contest and various shows featuring the artists of the Art Guild of Menomonee Falls, of which she is an active member.

Her work can currently be found pushing boundaries at Purloin Studio in Menomonee Falls, WI, and on the art website she shares with her twin sister:

katherine-thomsen-1Katherine Thomsen Artist Statement

I am deeply inspired by the relationships I witness around me, and by the way an expression or tone of voice can convey what is underneath. I view art and music as looking glasses into more complex perspectives, and I appreciate the symbiotic relationship between the two. As observers and partakers of the world, we are provoked and stimulated by what takes place in our daily environments.

Though the interplay of formal visual elements, and by adapting the square form, I strive to achieve an exploration of the internal and external. Furthermore, I work to illustrate the maturation of relationships as either inward or outward environments change, for whatever happens inside effects what is outside, and whatever happens outside effects what is inside.

Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Valerie J. Christell

Next month, the Waukesha Civic Theatre will present The Diary of Anne Frank. A powerful reminder of the horrors of war and a testament to the human spirit, The Diary of Anne Frank dramatizes the story of the Frank family and others who spent years trapped in a secret annex to hide from the Nazis. The tragic but inspiring story is perhaps best summed up by the Anne’s own words: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

The art on display Throughout the month of March, the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery, housed in the theatre’s lobby, will display the work of artist Valerie J. Christell. The exhibit, “Reflections on the Holocaust,” is a powerful reflection on human loss and cruelty.   Here is an excerpt of the artist’s statement:

Valerie J. Christell’s photomontages explore aspects of the nature of existence in terms of humankind’s interactions with each other and the environment, analyzing aspects of the destruction of the environment and life.  Creating in black and white, Christell works with figures, shadows and textures, manipulating flat images and/or building layers in order to capture within the piece the essence of specific environments and circumstances.  Her intuitive process in working with this digital form of collage involves letting the images speak to her.  She manipulates either full or partial images while developing an understanding of what the pieces can say for her figuratively and metaphorically, until she feels the piece fully reflects whatever concept has developed within the process.

Inspired by research culminating in a trip to places of the Holocaust across Eastern Europe, Christell’s Holocaust series expresses her experience of the history of human loss coupled with the energy felt while walking through the various memorial settings on that trip.  The creation of these pieces was her way to express the unspeakable and to share so that others may not forget.  The feelings she had during her experiences at the memorials come flooding back every time she views her photographs—an indication to Christell of the power of the spirits and environments of the Holocaust.  The photographs within in this group of works are primarily from the memorial sites Auschwitz, Majdanek, Paneriai Forest and several Jewish cemeteries.

Drop by the Civic during the Waukesha Art Crawl on March 7th or anytime throughout the month to see this poignant display.

Christell has taught studio art and art history courses at Alverno College.  Additionally, she has been a workshop presenter and juror for area art organizations and was chosen by Milwaukee Artist Resource Network as a Mentor. Her work has been displayed in many several local venues, both traditional and alternative.

Tickets for The Diary of Anne Frank are available through the box office at (262) 547-0708 or through our website.