Grand Opening of the New Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA)


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The Museum has been in existence since 1961 in West Bend, but this weekend they opened their new, larger facilities. These large glass sculptures hang from the ceiling of the landing between the two levels. The building itself is not symmetrical, shaped instead rather like a wedge. T-shirts can be had in the gift shop that have an image of the building and the words: MOWA Best wedgie in town.

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I didn’t write down the names of artists (shame on me), but I did photograph a sampling of interesting works. These glass corn are hanging on a glass stalk. Truly beautiful.

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There were activities for kids on this opening weekend. Here a young lady waits patiently for her Mom, sporting her latest creation.

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In the lobby, looking up to the second level. There is a large exhibit area, but also works lining the outer walls and hallways throughout the building. The large works visible here are by Reginald Baylor.

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The storage area for works not currently on exhibit features glass walls on both ends with a series of movable tracks that hang from the ceiling so that visitors can get a glimpse of what else may soon be on display.

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Looking down from the upper balcony to the lobby area below. Memberships to the museum are very reasonable. $12 allows one person to visit for a year, $24 for two people, and $50 for a family. Other levels of membership are also available.

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Reginald Baylor calls himself an architect before a painter. His digital works are brilliantly colorful, energetic and this one in particular, happy.

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This close up of a textile bird was in a side hallway. I couldn’t get far enough away with my phone to get the entire image. The main dark fabric is velvet which provides a highly contrasting background for the colorful threads.

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Again, I should have written down artists’ names! This reminds me of Milwaukee’s beloved Samson, the lowland gorilla that lived at the Milwaukee County Zoo for years. The monkey behind him lives with me. 😉

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These large hanging glass corn cobs are stunning!

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Close up of the glass sculptures hanging in the landing area.

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Another beautiful fiber creation in the hallway downstairs features fabric on fabric, the background felted wool. I particularly love this one.

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The moose above is by the same artist who did the gorilla. All those bumps on the surface are small, pea-sized clear glass balls embedded into the material.
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I end with this lovely piece by late Milwaukee artist and writer, Mary Nohl. As a high schooler, we used to drive down to her house along the lake in Fox Point and scare ourselves by looking at all of her sculptures placed throughout her small, forested yard. At night it was a rather frightening display, especially to silly teenagers who had no sense of what they were looking at. Her home, known by local kids as ‘The Witch’s House’, was visited frequently, usually at night, and unfortunately often vandalized. I’m rather embarrassed about how I viewed her all those years ago, but I’ve since come to greatly appreciate her work.

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5 responses to “Grand Opening of the New Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA)

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