September 26, 2009

Racine Art Guild opens invitational show

The Racine Art Guild opened its latest Invitational Exhibition Saturday with a reception for artists at Avenue Gallery and Frame, 402 Main St.

Forty-one members of the Guild submitted works -- mostly paintings but also some sculpture and fabric work, as well as a life-size papier mache statue of a young man entitled "When I get some money I want a Chevy Impala like my dad" by Russell Bohn (closeup at right). Seventy-one pieces are displayed in the gallery, filling its south wall.

The exhibition by members of the 52-year-old Guild -- which stages Racine's Starving Artists Fair toward the end of every summer and donates funds to Wustum, RUAF and others, as well as art scholarships -- will continue through Oct. 10.

The Guild meets at Wustum on the second Thursday of each month (except for January, July and August). Another interesting project done by Guild members was Art Squared, in May. Details HERE.

Rebecca Venn's pen-and-ink drawing gets a once-over

James Chaplin poses for a photo next to his portrait of a young girl

Ardeth Trebra near two of her paintings (Moonrise, center; Rocky Creek, bottom)

Pat Guttenberg's clay Madonna

Nancy Justus' fibre piece, Sunset in an Urban Sky


  1. Although I have nothing against the Racine Art Guild, I believe that our badnews burg needs less art and more heart. With the unemployment and crime rates as they are, we ought to be helping the less-fortunate instead of admiring exquisite objects. (Nobody is blaming the people in RAG for this sorry situation. We all know which hyper-privileged people run the Dumbbell City for their exclusive fun and profit.)

  2. I cannot wait to check out the art. I am gonna grab some young people so they can appreciate and get inspired too.

  3. That's great, but please make sure that those kids get enough to eat and have a roof over their heads. This town is a poverty pit full of folks who are losing (or have already lost) their jobs, homes, health insurance and other necessities.

  4. Dear 7:30 P.M., Although art is fine for those who can afford it, the only thing it inspires in poor people is rage at the rich for playing with pricey toys while the rest of the community struggles for survival. (None of the above is an attack on the good folks at RAG who sincerely believe that art enhances our quality of life.)

  5. Maybe the rest of the community should have studied in school or worked their way up or made something of themselves. Playing with toys! Please. You mean like playing with a $300 cell phone PDA while you wait in the lobby of "workforce" development to get signed up for welfare? How about the nice cars driven around by "poor" daycare providers? Maybe you mean the guns the "poor" play with while they terrorize the decent people in the neighborhoods? That's not it, you must mean all the name brand clothes and bling that is purchased by the "poor".

    Rage at the rich? Come on, how about rage from the middle class at the poor for screwing up our community with their poor life choices.

  6. Most of the poor folks I know never had a chance to make a significant choice in their existences. Because they were born poor, they've been stuck in poverty. As for the fancy cars and bling you mentioned, they don't have any of those goodies. The same applies in many cases to the weapons you accuse them of owning. (In some Rat-Scene neighborhoods, poor and lower-middle class people feel that they must be armed for protection. Even so, most low-income folks I know don't have guns.) Don't blame the poor for their plight--rather, blame the pyramid scam we call "capitalism" for their misery.

  7. Dear 8:34 A.M., In this corrupt system, people can follow your Victorian advice by studying in school and working hard without receiving anything to show for their effort. People who've had to do too much for too little compensation hate their oppressors and resent the way that bourgeois bossie-poos blow serious cash on frivolous items. Unfortunately, for most working class victims of our system, art--especially modern art--comes under the heading of pricey playthings. When the poor rise up, the cult of art for art's sake will go down in blood and fire. No, this is NOT a threat but rather a historian's prediction based on past events. During the French Revolution (1789-1794), the elitists' erstwhile victims destroyed their oppressors' costly Sevres and Limoges doodads before they terminated the aristocracy along with its bourgeois imitators. To survive, artists and art-lovers had to go into exile or take up non-artistic lines of work. (Only a few artists were allowed to continue functioning in their field. Usually, they took government commissions to produce propaganda for the new regime. For example, Jacques-Louis David churned out paintings and sketches glorifying the Revolution. Except for him and a few of his disciples, French artists had to travel abroad or go underground for years.)

  8. Dear 8:34 A.M., Why shouldn't poor people have electronics and the other good stuff our capitalist porkers tell them to buy? Be glad that some of them are spending money and helping the middle class remain afloat. (Frankly, the poor people whom I know don't own any of the items you listed. Still, for the sake of courtesy, I'll take your word that some paupers have them.)

  9. The fact remains that the crass clique in charge of this sick city will spend mega-cash on trash by Nic Noblique instead of helping the poor. One reason poor folks hate modern art is Nic Noblique's statement that art was whatever he could get away with.

  10. Let's agree to disagree about art. For those who like it, it's fine. For those who view it as nothing but richmen's eye candy, it should be secondary. In and of itself, art isn't bad. The trouble starts when we worship it or value beauty above our duty to humanity. Then obsession with art can morph into a form of idolatry.

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