Kat Murrell

The fall edition of Gallery Night is coming up quick on Friday, October 15 and Saturday, October 16.  But, if you want a head-start on the hoards of art lovers descending on the downtown and Third Ward, there is plenty to see this weekend.  

Katie Gingrass Gallery (241 N. Broadway) is hosting their fall exhibition, “Urbane: Portrait of a City.”   As the title suggests, there is a great deal of polish in these paintings and drawings, and the pleasure of viewing is their intended outcome.  Jody dePew McLeane’s pastels have a rich weight like oil paintings and an undeniably graceful nostalgia.  Her images of people in bars and restaurants seem poised between memory and the present.  Mixed media compositions by Stephanie Barenz take a multilayered approach to city views, with a precisionist angle that recalls something of a soft-touch Charles Sheeler in the overlays of color and images.  

This weekend is the last chance to catch the paintings of Terrence Coffman at Tory Folliard Gallery (233 N. Milwaukee Street).  These are large, abstract works with the feeling of landscapes, but rather than drawing your eye to a distant view, they compel your attention to their tactile, textured surfaces and vibrant colors.  Brook Slane’s “Fruits” are a delightful find.  These meticulous paintings play off the conventions of still life and the arrangement of seeming inert fruit.  Sloan’s plums, apples, and others wink, wince and playfully spit rainbows from dainty mouths.

Alverno College’s Art and Cultures Gallery opens an ambitious program on October 8 with a set of three exhibitions taking on social themes.  “Them: Images of Separation” is a traveling show examining the intersection of pop culture and stereotypes.  Stereotypes and cultural symbols are examined in “Explorations of Mexican American Symbols in Contemporary Works,” by by Emiliano Lake-Herrera and Jose Chavez, who are also part of the Wisconsin Arts Board master craftsman/apprentice program. Coree Coppinger explores the culture and changing face of homelessness in the photographs of “The Invisible People.”  All three exhibitions are on view through October 30.