For the 4th year, Var will exhibit emerging artists recently graduated from MIAD
to be featured in our annual Emerging Artist Exhibition. Var seeks out artists that are producing engaging work, and active in Milwaukee's art community.
Featured artists include:
, Melissa Mursch
, Brian Pfister, Emma Ponath
, Brennen Steines
, Izzy Waite
About the artists:
Molly Hassler: Through embroidery, repetitive hand stitching, printing and dyeing techniques I am actively sewing up the past, literally and metaphorically mending. The recreation of childhood iconography into plush material represents the familiar, yet tap into a sense of the uncanny, “unheimlich,” or unhomedness – being unable to return to an innocence that may have never been there to begin with. My practice rests most comfortably between peculiar three dimensional objecthood and semi-narrative works containing drawings and text that speak to the sweetness and trauma of queer coming of age.
Melissa Mursch: In its simplest terms, my work has always dealt with my identity as a woman at the intersections of race and sexuality in my other identities as a mixed chicana bisexual individual. These intersections give me simultaneously unique and familiar experiences that mirror and speak to those with overlapping and different identities than mine. Through fabric wall hangings, soft sculptures, and textile design utilizing embroidery, hand stitching, sewing, dyeing, and screen printing, my work hopes to address these both shared and disparate experiences and begin conversations to bring attention to deeper rooted issues of class, colorism, gender roles, sexual taboo, and more.
Brian Pfister: In a world cluttered with people, things and ideas, I constantly feel I’m fighting to be my authentic self. How does one ethically survive in a world that moves at the speed of Fed-Ex trucks, conveyer belts, and fruit removed from its shell to be wrapped in plastic? I answer this question by making my own tools and systems, acquiring my materials from second-hand resources, and allowing both internal and external factors to influence my decision making. A family heirloom is just as relevant in the studio as the daily news. Though it make take many forms materially, all the work shares a global consciousness and responsiveness to the general excess of things.
Emma Ponath: My paintings are about explorations, opportunities, possibilities and the serendipitous relationships that can be found between the imagined and the tangible. Throughout the process of creating a piece, relationships are established within the work through line, color and texture that allow the painting to create its own identity, referring back to itself as opposed to being created out of literal references.
Ponath received her BFA in New Studio Practice Fine Arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2018, along with minors in Art History and Arts Management. She is currently a Gallery Associate at Lily Pad Gallery West, and is a founding member of Pink Salt Art Collective.
Brennen Steines: Brennen Steines is an artist based in Milwaukee, WI. His work examines the material properties of painting and its correspondence with time, process, and the languages of abstraction. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2017, Steines attended the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art in Norfolk, CT through the support of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship. His recent exhibitions include Real Tinsel, Milwaukee, WI; Chamber, Milwaukee, WI; and Hoax Gallery, Milwaukee, WI.
Izzy Waite: With an interest in daily ritual and routine, Waite has created a visual language from symbols found in the space around her. Inspired by architecture, people and location, new experiences propel her work beyond her current visual vocabulary, challenging her to further explore. By creating artworks that refer to
painting, sculpture and collage, she examines how mundane interactions, objects and images culminate into the documentation and reincarnation of an experience through physical media. These manifestations often refer to the domestic sphere as it is a place of great difference from person to person, offering a plethora of inspiring, intimate moments to create from.
This exhibition will be on display through April 20th, 2019.