In the last 23 years, Gallery Night and Day has become of the event of the season. Hosted by the Historic Third Ward Association, this quarterly affair opens the doors of the various art galleries (and other businesses) within the Third Ward and throughout the city to showcase art in all its forms.
Friday night, the Third Ward and Downtown bustled with people young and old -- all dolled up. In seemingly every direction people casually strolled the streets admiring the many displays. Women maneuvered cracks in the sidewalk effortlessly in heels and men begrudgingly adorned dress slacks despite the week's end, all in the name of art.
The celebration of Milwaukee's art carries on into the next day, which allows suburban folk unable to find a babysitter for the previous night a chance to see and experience the exhibits with a stroller in one hand and a double latte in the other.
Beyond the initial weekend and scattered throughout Milwaukee, several galleries maintain their displays long after the event. One such show is located in Danceworks Studio Theater and Art Gallery at 1661 N. Water St. "More Than Beer and Brats," a collection of drawings and paintings by Katie Perton, hangs in the entrance of the dance studio.
Perton aims to honor and explore Milwaukee with her work. Her drawings focus on the many small aspects of life that make up one's existence. The style is deliberate, yet casual and illustrates common Milwaukee vantages like a large yellow house typical of the style built on the East Side, or the view of Miller Park.
She uses a quick-handed and movement-filled stroke that creates a sense of whimsy in her portrayals. Perton perfectly captures life's small wonders like a kitchen chair or a ribbon that has fallen on the floor. The familiarity with the objects and the approachable way she has depicted them makes the work easy to enjoy. Her body of work successfully represents the concept of Milwaukee being greater than the sum of its parts and proves that we are more than merely a place filled beer and brats.
In this particular venue, Gallery Night and Day will extend through late December and the show is open and free to the public.
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