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WEST ALLIS — From impressionistic and romantic portraiture to nature-inspired objects and landscapes and finely crafted miniature books, Inspiration Studios here offers the mixed media exhibit  “Six Chicks and a Rooster,” presented seven Milwaukee Riverwest residents.

The colorful exhibit will adorn the gallery walls March 31-April 30. An opening reception with the artists will be free and open to the public 2-5 p.m. Sunday, April 2. Refreshments will be served.

This collaborative exhibit includes new works by Lisa Luz (acrylics and watercolor), Madeline Glaspey (oils), Carol Liesenfelder (acrylics, watercolor and pastels), Bonita Bruch (conte crayons and pastels), Susan Leopold (watercolor), Kathleen Kelly (handmade book structures), and Stuart Leopold (watercolor and pastels).

All works will be available for purchase.

“There is nothing in the world like painting,” says Lisa Luz, who gathered this group of artists for the exhibit. “It can be life changing and offers a definite kind of solace.

"I became an artist when my kindergarten teacher proclaimed I had created an impressive rendering of a tree. I paint then and I paint now. It simply brings me joy.”

Stylistic portraits

Bonita Bruch will include stylistic portraits of people, caught unaware, in a moment of time. Working with conte crayons, Bruch shows her mastery of smudging and smearing people into their story.

Adding 3-D objects to this exhibit is Kathleen Kelly who enjoys designing and creating unique books. Her miniatures utilize a variety of acid-free papers along with eco-dying, printmaking, and paper marbling processes. Refrigerator magnets by Lisa Luz and decorative pins by Carol Liesenfelder will also be featured.

Seeking to express not only the beauty of the outer shell, but also the complexity of the individual’s inner experience, Madeline Glaspey’s paintings typically depict the human figure, primarily the face. Drawn to concepts that explore identity as well as the masks worn in daily living, the results are realistically rendered portraits that allude to a timelessness of the human experience.

Natural world

The natural world in all its majesty, variety, and color is what intrigues and fascinates husband and wife team, Susan and Stuart Leopold. The medium of choice for both is watercolor, but Stuart also works with pastel, graphite, and acrylic. In Stuart’s words, “Landscapes, wild spaces, and gardens form my usual focus as they seem to connect me to that wonder which is creation.”

The exhibit's quirky title came about during a planning meeting held by the seven artists. Tossed into the ring as a joke, it took on a different form as these artists realized that their body of work might appeal to a broader artistic community, given the nature of their relationship to one another and the fact that chicks and a rooster would be part of the exhibit.

“Six Chicks and a Rooster” will be available for viewing 4-6 p.m. Wednesdays in April. A closing reception will be held from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, April 30. Inspiration Studios is located at 1500 S. 73rd St. More information is available at bit.ly/2ovpoOO

Contributed by Erico Ortiz, owner/founder of Inspiration Studios

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