Art City is going “to keep an eye on underground, unofficial galleries….i guess”.

I’m going to do it. I don’t care anymore what the damn newspaper talks about. We need a tabloid and we need it now. Mary-Louise Schumacher wrote on Sept. 18 that galleries like Nabr gallery, 62nd dimension, and Small Space were apparently “underground, unofficial galleries”(which by the way have never been visited by any of the Journal Sentinel Staff). I would really like to know when a gallery is official. Is it when the newspaper decides to finally start writing about the things that go on there or is it when it simply exists? That’s the only reason why these galleries rise and fall, because of lack of interest by the media. I remember a very special meeting at the Haggerty Art museum, some fellowship award thing that I think the newspaper lady was at er something, where Debra Bremmer talked about what our art community in Milwaukee lacked to become more successful and what was missing was a good media outlet. She simply stated that the only person that did write was Mary-Louise Schumacher, but Bremmer also added that if Schumacher didn’t write about an art show nobody ever knows about it. So is it any wonder why these “underground, unofficial galleries” have to network by word of mouth? There will never be an interest in the galleries outside of “The Schumacher Realm” until we break free of the bonds of the Journal Sentinel.
So that’s why I’m going to do it. If the Journal Sentinel’s Culture section is biased then I’ll start an Art Tabloid and force it down people’s throats with catching headlines and sensationalism. Let Art be what people want it to be, they don’t want it to be the sad truth that Schumacher makes it out to be. Lets make it interesting, lets make it entertaining, lets make people want to read about it even if it is embellished. Why not? Is it really that difficult to print off a thousand 11 by 17 tabloid sheets so that the public can grab some of what they want? Is it that hard to get local outlets to carry them and have them available for free? Who’s to say there couldn’t be a few small cheap advertisements to help with the cost. How hard is it?

Headlines I could have made from the shows I saw tonight (sensationalist of course)

DJ Johnny Fitz Meltdown On Stage, “I can’t scratch because my arm is broked!”

John Riepenhoff Punches Small Poodle To Death Outside Green Gallery

Smalls Doesn’t Show Up To ‘10,000 Jiggawatts‘, NO DOGS ALLOWED

Schumacher to Small Space : “I’ll be keeping my eye on you!”

That was easy, it took me six minutes to think of those. Sure its not real journalism but there is little kernels of truth that pop through just like regular tabloids. If this is what it takes to make people interested in regular news maybe this what we’ve been waiting for in our world. I don’t want to call out the Journal Sentinel but I want to call Shenanigans. I love reading about contemporary art but every time I read Art City I either want to take a nap or off myself in front of a young child just so he knows that theres no hope for the future and he can warn others. Yeah, its that bad. I’m not saying that these underground galleries are better than the more established institutions but I think they are fresher and more vibrant. They could be something. I’m reminded of the Young British Artists who were group of art students that began do-it-yourself art shows in warehouses. This group included the likes of Chris Ofili, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst, and Angus Fairhurst (rip). They were of the same make as these unofficial, under grounders you see before you. They were stuck in a boring scene, at the time British contemporary art was drab and only really had a few notables such as Gilbert and George, Lucien Freud, and Francis Bacon. They ultimately decided to take matters into their own hands and people began to notice, one of which was Charles Saatchi. After that they were astronomical stars with staying power, but overall they did wonders for the British Art scene and in my opinion they revived a cold dead corpse, not unlike Milwaukee.
So as long as things stay the same, they will inevitably never change. There is risks to be taken and I’m going to risk starting an art tabloid.


2 thoughts on “Art City is going “to keep an eye on underground, unofficial galleries….i guess”.

  1. Like Pedro Velez said in his talk to our class yesterday you can’t hound an institution like that into being responsible. Art City doesn’t produce art reviews it produces art related reporting that usually focuses on the most visible, commercially viable points.

    If we lived in a bigger city I don’t think I ever would have expected a mention in a source like that of spaces like nAbr gallery, Small Space, or a project like the Sixty-Second Dimension. I don’t think I’d even really want it (the mention, the attention) because personally what I feel these spaces try to do and do best necessarily operates outside of that system.

    It’s OK that galleries like Small Space or nAbr don’t last long because it’s not about establishing an institutional presence it’s about getting people out, engaging a community, and being responsible to and about that community. We’re artists first and we don’t have to be limited by the rules imposed by that higher organization. And! the crop of new spaces opening up, new venues, new projects proves we don’t need critical approval to do important, fresh (even on a small scale) work.

    I think we should take whatever recognition we get in stride, gratefully, but with an obvious grain of salt, get out of it what we can. If Mary Louise Schumacher “keeping her eye” on us sends someone our way who wouldn’t have made it out otherwise, no harm done, right? And so much the better, even. I’m usually more excited when a friend or someone I respect decides to put a link to my work on their blog or write about it there but there’s a place for everything.

    But! If you, we, whatever, see a lack in our community I feel really strongly that it’s our job to fulfill it. Sites like or are existing, under-utilized sources for Milwaukee art writing that we could all step forward to make more active and useful.

    • I’m not doing this to badger anyone. This is all the badgering that will happen as far as this project will go. I was only really badgering because apparently some are unofficial but others are not when all are just as valid. This project will simply be a tabloid and will be only this, it will report on the unknown stories that no one is covering and will give it an entertaining edge. I believe that this is an untapped niche that can be exploited. If you want to contribute let me know.

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