The Grohmann Museum hosts its fifth annual Lost Arts Festival celebrating the activities and ways of work captured in the paintings and bronzes in the museum’s permanent collection. On Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., artisans will share their expertise and demonstrate their techniques as the museum and its surroundings become a laboratory for the creation of “Lost Arts.” Museum docents will provide hands-on demonstrations and insight into the museum’s collection. Regular museum admission applies: $5 adults; $3 students and seniors; free for children under 12 and MSOE students, faculty, staff and alumni (with I.D.).
Steven Allen: craft brewing
With nearly a decade of experience, Steven Allen offers his expertise in home craft-brewing to the general public in a manner that is simple yet sophisticated. Rather than producing the large batch brews we are all familiar with, Allen works carefully to craft his beers to be unique, memorable and tasty. While he has produced pilsners, lagers and porters, his favorites consist mostly of Indian pale ales and stouts. Putting his experience and knowledge to work, Allen has prepared a craft brew special for this year’s festival, and will be offering sample tastings to museum patrons of age.
Helena Ehlke and the Grohmann Museum Master Painters: painting
The Grohmann Museum Master Painters use Old Masters’ techniques in order to create a sense of real depth in their art. In contrast to modern photo-realism, the Old Masters focused on creating three-dimensionality on a flat canvas. “Old Masters’ techniques” generally refers to a method of using indirect or layered painting techniques. By using the indirect method of painting, oil-painting artists of the past were able to stretch the ability of oil paints to create optical illusions of a three-dimensional world. The artists will be demonstrating these techniques by showing how artists of the past used layered painting techniques to create their works.
Kent Knapp: blacksmith
Kent Knapp began his study of blacksmithing and Milwaukee’s history at the age of 19. His passion for working with iron is matched only by his aptitude for working with it. The delicate leaves and scrolls within the immense strength of his projects are the perfect marriage for functional artistry. Capturing the classic designs or creating new ones in the old traditions, Knapp finds every challenge a new adventure. Knapp will tend to the forge and create unique pieces specifically for the Lost Arts festival.
Cheryl Myers and the MSOE Yarn Engineers: spinning, knitting, crocheting
A self-taught fiber artist, Cheryl Meyers started working with yarns and fibers almost 25 years ago. Along the way she has learned the art of knitting, crocheting and hand-spinning. She has taught knitting and crocheting to hundreds who have crossed her path, and today she still enjoys making all sorts of creations out of both handmade yarns as well as store-bought fibers. Some of her creations include wool needle-felted bears, knit wool felted hats, nuno wool felted items, crocheted baby afghans, shawls and many more handmade items. Meyers also directs a group of MSOE Yarn Engineers in their textile creations.
Jeff Selchow: woodturning
Jeff Selchow first began woodturning while in high school, but after taking a pen-making class, his skill matured and became more than just a hobby. Working carefully with lathes, saws, drills and planers, Selchow creates masterfully beautiful craft items out of a variety of woods. Ranging from table legs to pens and ***** mashers, the smooth textures and intriguing designs almost speak for themselves. With an affinity for rosewood, Selchow will be on site operating a live lathe and turning a variety of products.
Bob “Sieg” Siegel and Luke Traver: wooden shoe carvers
Having studied with 12 master carvers in the Netherlands, Bob “Sieg” Siegel is the last master wooden-shoe carver in America. Luckily, he has enlisted two apprentices, one of whom will carve for the Lost Arts festival. Luke Traver hand carves wearable wooden shoes from log sections using three traditional tools: a side ax, block knife and spoon auger.
Mary L. Spencer: glass artist
Like many artists, Many Spencer has dabbled and experimented with a variety of media. She fell in love with glass after being introduced to it by a friend. It was love at first score and snap of the glass. Her work includes home décor or wearable glass art using the traditional (Tiffany) copper-foil method, glass fusing and mosaic. She frequently incorporates copper, brass, and/or silver in the design piece. Much of her work is influenced by African and Asian culture. The joy derived from working with glass is evident in the color, texture and beauty of the final piece.
The Lost Arts festival will feature live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by Milwaukee’s own Frogwater, the acoustic musical pairing of John and Susan Nicholson. Renowned for their musical virtuosity and exuberant live performances, they like to think of themselves as musical ambassadors, and describe their style as “eclectic acoustic peoples’ music.” Their repertoire spans from Celtic to delta blues, classical to pop, with a healthy dose of unique, original material filling out the mix. Their innovative interpretations of traditional tunes span the centuries and the miles and defy categorization.
The Grohmann Museum is home to the Man at Work collection, which comprises more than 1,000 paintings and sculptures dating from 1580 to the present. They reflect a variety of artistic styles and subjects that document the evolution of organized work: from farming and mining to trades such as glassblowing and seaweed gathering. The Grohmann Museum welcomes visitors to three floors of galleries where a core collection is displayed as well as themed exhibitions. The museum is owned by MSOE, an independent university with about 2,700 students. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the engineering, business, mathematics and nursing fields.