If you live in Racine and are at all interested in art, chances are you know the work of David Holmes.
A Racine resident, Holmes is a University of Wisconsin-Parkside professor emeritus whose sculptures and paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the state and across the country. His pieces — which range from a “mystical mechanical menagerie” of creatures to futuristic painted landscapes — are in collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum and Sheboygan’s Kohler Arts Center, as well as the Racine Art Museum, just to name a few. And his murals grace the walls of schools and churches in Racine and Kenosha (http://homepages.uwp.edu/holmes/index.html).
For all of that, and more, Holmes is being honored with a Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award. He is one of seven state artists who will receive the WVALAA award on Friday, May 16, at a ceremony at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend.
Founded in 2004 as a collaboration between MOWA, Wisconsin Visual Artists and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, the WVALAA is Wisconsin’s “Hall of Fame” for individuals, groups and organizations who have supported the visual arts with distinction. This year’s other recipients are Edward S. Curtis, Martha Glowacki, Audrey Handler, Mark Mulhern, Della Wells and Ruth West. And the work of one of them — Glowacki — is currently on display in the Racine Art Museum’s Windows on Fifth gallery, which can be viewed outside the museum, along Fifth Street.
Titled “If Only We Had Met — Six Stories,” Glowacki’s installation is a series of tableaux inspired by historical photographs found at flea markets and antique shows throughout Wisconsin. Glowacki is director of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters’ James Watrous Gallery in Madison, For more about her RAM exhibit, which runs through July 20, go to www.ramart.org.
As long as you are at RAM’s Downtown campus, you might want to stop in and congratulate the museum’s executive director, Bruce Pepich. Pepich, who also serves as RAM’s curator of collections, recently marked his 40th anniversary leading and growing the nationally recognized museum.
Originally hired as project manager of the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Ave. (now part of RAM), Pepich became the museum’s director in 1981. Since then, he has expanded it into a two-site institution called the Racine Art Museum which today is home to the largest collection of its kind in North America. More about Pepich — and RAM’s Main Street facility which is celebrated its 10th anniversary last year — go to www.ramart.org.
Harris in ‘Wit’
Racine’s artistic talents can also be seen on stage in Chicago this month. Local native Matthew Harris is in the ensemble cast of the AstonRep Theatre Company’s production of “Wit,” running through June 7 at The Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. “Wit” is Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a brilliant and seemingly unemotional poetry professor who becomes a student of life as she contemplates her possible death while going through cancer treatment. For more about the AstonRep production, go to www.astonrep.com.
Harris, a graduate of Park High School and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, has also worked with the National Pastime Theatre, Broken Nose Productions and Pride Films and Plays.
Lee Roberts is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Journal Times. Scene & Heard appears periodically in Out & About. Lee can be reached at 262-631-1755, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by mail at 212 Fourth St., Racine, WI 53403.