Featured Business: Re:Vision Gallery and Artist Studios

1/24/2016 - Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

Arts & Culture, Downtown, Featured Business, Shopping
Re:Vision Gallery and Artist Studios, owner Marjorie Meyer, Downtown Kenosha
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Kenosha – and Downtown Kenosha in particular – is becoming quite the arts community with many art galleries. Creative, hard-working artists are given a venue to show and sell their work, while residents and visitors are given an opportunity to be inspired and enlightened. Each gallery serves a different purpose, and each has its own story behind why it opened. Re:Vision Gallery and Artist Studios is a juried gallery with solo shows, created by Marjorie Meyer so she could give back to her community.

Re:Vision Gallery is a fine arts and crafts gallery featuring works in all media, created by regional artists. The gallery’s name has layers of meaning, Marjorie explains. Revisions are what Marjorie does. While she doesn’t call herself an artist, she is one. She designs and redesigns by taking discarded materials and turning them into wearable art. It gives her great joy to see someone walking down the street in one of her coats. She revises and changes materials, making them better, more interesting and more useful, she says. The colon is in the name because the gallery is regarding the vision of the visual artists; it’s “about the vison each artist expresses,” Marjorie says. Each person sees life in different ways and expresses feelings in different ways. That is what you see when you look around the gallery. Marjorie says when you see art – it helps you understand yourself, and you learn what appeals to you.

The gallery opened at 4625 Sheridan Road on June 13, 2015. Just in case you miss the incredible mural on the south side of the building, the hand-painted sign on the west side will let you know you’re at the right place. Dean Tawwater – the man behind many storefront signs in Kenosha – created the outdoor sign that features the gallery’s name. The mural was created by Prince James Alexander Parise –– to add another layer of meaning to the name, Marjorie says. The picture is based on the artist Margaret Keane, who was portrayed in the 2014 movie “Big Eyes”. Driving down Sheridan Road, you also see handmade lamps in the windows – made out of metal and paper by Jurga Petkus.

Sustainable art, functional art, fine art, graphic art, sculpture, furniture, wearable art and accessories, and jewelry are among the art on display at the gallery at any given time. There is a juried process before artists can display their work. About 35 artists from throughout the region (including Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee) feature their work in the gallery; many have trained at UW-Parkside in Kenosha. Marjorie wants the art to represent the community and southeast Wisconsin. “This area has produced amazing talent in the arts, music, theatre,” she says.

Art – in its many forms – can be found throughout the first level. The second level features solo shows by a different artist every month, so the community can appreciate the depth of the artist’s work, Marjorie says. During Downtown Kenosha’s Second Saturday event each month, a reception is held for the featured artist of the month. Some artists also offer closing receptions at the end of their show, for an intimate talk with those interested.

Classroom space allows artists to work on their projects. Classes are also offered – for artists and art enthusiasts. Past and future class topics include experimental painting, simple printmaking, and fused glass tabletops.

Two artists have their studios inside the building: Diane Belland creates one-of-a-kind art cards. Meanwhile, Deborah Ferguson Paura creates portraiture and figurative art – primarily with oil and charcoal. She grew up in Kenosha, and returned after living outside the state. Her friend Marjorie inspired her to start creating art again. Deborah helps Marjorie run the gallery.

Marjorie was a school teacher for more than 30 years in Kenosha, before leaving town to take care of her mom for a decade. When Marjorie returned to Kenosha, she wanted to do something for the community. She wanted to give back. She saw how the cultural and arts community has been growing, and she wanted to be a part of that. She wanted to help nurture the talent in the area.

Encouraging and supporting artists is nothing new for her. While a teacher, Marjorie would teach her students how to sew. They would design their own line of “crazy hats” she says – called Wacky Winter Wear. The hats would be sold at school, with the profits going to a local charity. All the while she would be encouraging the kids to be creative and unique.

Marjorie is inspired by the mural inside the gallery, created by Jerry Belland. It includes these words by poet Marianne Moore - “Satisfaction is a lowly thing, how pure a thing is joy.” She says that is how she feels about the gallery; it gives others and herself joy. She says the serious, meaningful message is presented in an accessible and whimsical way.

Marjorie used to live in the same neighborhood as the gallery. She would like to see the neighborhood continue to be maintained and enlivened, so that it thrives and grows. She hopes to sustain the gallery, as she tries “to do something to give my life meaning.” And then she hopes maybe one day down the road, someone will take over the gallery. This gallery is her gift - her legacy - to Kenosha.

Love art? We’ve got art! Plan to spend a weekend art gallery hopping in Kenosha; make sure you put Re:Vision Gallery and Artist Studios on your list!

(262) 764-6603,
January 2016

Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

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