Call it Art Nouveau for the high-tech age: landscape, light and sculpture merge in a cutting-edge exhibit at Madison’s Olbrich Botanical Gardens this fall.
“The projects are diverse and very exciting,” says David Wells, artistic director of GLEAM: Art in a New Light, which opens Sept. 2. “They’ll invigorate viewing. They will provide counterpoints to nature yet be engaged with the nature of the gardens themselves.”
Milwaukee’s Present Music ensemble helps kick off another year of fine arts, with a season-opening concert that will bring together the largest ensemble Present Music has ever hosted. It’ll also be bringing together the company’s love for chamber music’s classical roots and its passion for contemporary works.
Beer is central to many Wisconsinites, but many of them don’t think of central Wisconsin as a hub for it. That’s a misconception worth changing. The heart of our state features a variety of breweries new and old, some highly acclaimed and others little known outside their communities.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so, William Shakespeare famously wrote in Hamlet. That same ethos is even better demonstrated in his later work Othello, where the Bard weaves a tale of evil intent, with all the expected consequences.
Natasha Nicholson stands in the middle of “Studiolo,” an immense room filled with hundreds of arranged artifacts and found objects that replicates part of the Madison artist’s home studio. She looks around to make sure every piece of her collection is where it needs to be — to foster the artistic environment she considers critical to her work.
“Pretty” is not an adjective that tends to apply to the Milwaukee music scene, but it’s one that has been leveled at — and embraced by — pop rock band Testa Rosa more than once. Betty Blexud-Strigens and Damian Strigens, the couple who lead the band, haven’t lost any of that shine as they gear up for the release of their third album. But the appropriately titled Testa Rosa III is tempered by a deeper, darker and denser sound than Testa Rosa has dabbled with in the past.
In the opening of her Netflix special, I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), comedian, author and podcaster Jen Kirkman tells a story about overhearing someone ordering a drink and slowly realizing that person cannot tell the difference between a lemon and a lime. It’s like she’s a dear friend venting her frustrations with the world already, and it’s only been a few minutes.
More than anything else, Milwaukee’s improv scene has been dominated by ComedySportz, the now-national troupe that specializes in short-form improv — quick “games” where performers riff on audience suggestions in short bits before erasing everything and starting from scratch.
But that approach to improv is not the only one. In many cities, short-form companies coexist with an alternative style: long-form improv. Neither is inherently better than the other, and many improvisers and comedians do both. But Milwaukee only having a training center and performance space for short-form has skewed popular opinion here as to what improv can be.
From across the room, Jody Emery’s “Universe” catches light like a cosmos of stars twinkling in the night. Enamel paint glistens in a cloudy crush of three-dimensional texture that builds from the artwork’s surface. Approach more closely and see that this murky constellation is built from metal detritus of various chains, tool bits and other tough implements.
Is there a better way to celebrate the end of summer than by listening to some “face-melting” rock ’n’ roll by the Meat Puppets?