April 19, 2008

Variety is the spice of Gallery Night

The season's first Gallery Night downtown Saturday presented a wide variety of sights and sounds, as 16 galleries rolled out the (figurative) red carpet and (literally) treats of all description, including edible.

Among the highlights:

FLAMENCO! Tabatha Salas and William Washabaugh provided traditional Spanish music and dance to go along with Monfort's Fine Art Gallery's exhibition of art by five of Spain's modern masters. When they're not performing together, he's a professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she's a loan officer for a mortgage company.

BLOWN GLASS: Darby Graham of Chicago demonstrates glass blowing at Hot Shops Glass Studio.

RAKU: Downtown's newest gallery is Elements, on Sixth, featuring the raku pottery of owner Jeff Shawhan of Caledonia, an art professor at Concordia University in Mequon.

PAN FLUTE: Jaime Encalada of Racine, by way of Ecuador, plays the pan flute on Sixth Street. His band, Inkapirka, keeps busy in the summer traveling to fairs and shows all over the Midwest. He played music from the Andes in a store doorway, accompanied by his wife, Becky -- a Racinian by way of Racine.

WATERCOLOR: Lee Hill of Lake Geneva, a former journalist, makes her living now as an "organic" artist. Here she shows an imaginative piece incorporating river rocks with her watercolors, at Northern Lights Gallery.

ENAMELED JEWELRY: Artist Leslie Perrino demonstrates how to make enamel jewelry and cloisonné at the Racine Art Museum. She will also teach a workshop at RAM on April 26.

ART OF THE BULLDOZER: OK, maybe it isn't art, but these kids know what they like.

MAKING DO: Sixth Street's new, temporary sidewalks were mostly in place as art lovers braved the construction on Gallery Night. Better times are ahead ...

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