[Visual Art Review] Walker’s Point Center for the Arts 30th Anniversary Group Exhibition

[Visual Art Review] Walker’s Point Center for the Arts 30th Anniversary Group Exhibition


Thirty years is a long time for just about anything and it’s especially impressive to know that Walker’s Point Center for the Arts is celebrating 30 years here in the neighborhood with a new exhibition featuring prominent artists from their past history. Let’s go check it out. We’re here with Xela Garcia, the Executive Director of Walker’s Point Center for the Arts who is also an artist in her own right and she’s here to tell us about WPCA’s 30th anniversary group exhibition but before we get into that, tell us a bit about Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. Sure, so Walker’s Point Center for the Arts was founded in 1987 and we were a space that was thought of as a way to connect artists and community so for 30 years we’ve actually been in the Walker’s Point neighborhood which I think is a phenomenal contribution you know to the neighborhood here in Milwaukee and you know we provide quality art experiences for children from six to adults to 106 so it’s always great to come to work. We’re always envisioning ways to connect the community to exciting art experiences. Absolutely and it’s so impressive especially with sort of longevity. You know, 30 years being in Walker’s Point and it’s been in different locations before. It was on like 9th in National and now it’s been for several years in this beautiful location on Fifth Street and with that much history to sort through what was it like putting together this exhibition going back through 30 years of artists and their artworks? So I think that you know me coming aboard as a new leader here was perfect timing for the 30th anniversary because obviously there’s a lot of organizational knowledge that I really needed to catch up with. I think that the mission of it already resonated with me so the fact that I came to programs growing up here and now kind of seeing the you know the behind-the-scenes of how things get you know put together and the exhibits and how much work and thought really goes behind this. Every piece here represents a very thoughtful moment, an expression that we really wanted to convey with everyone. Because for 30 years for an organization to be relevant in any community I think that really resonates with a lot of the need that this organization is meeting for the community so I was very lucky to have that opportunity to not only learn about the artist that have made significant contributions to this organization and the arts community in Milwaukee but ultimately get to see it and really get a feel in touch for it so all of the pieces here are very intentional and why they are on this wall and I think it portrays a story from everything from you know very established artists to emerging artists and really you know one of our big tenants is making sure that art experiences and shows are acceptable you know to to all people regardless of socioeconomic situations so with that in mind I think that you know 30 artists that were selected for this show really do represent the different focal points the organization has so everything from the first exhibiting artist to one of our first arts educators to even fast forward 30 years, one of our interns that is majoring in photography and is currently a sophomore at UW-M so I think that for any organization I think that being able to provide that platform for talent is fundamental I think that with our arts programming being able to nurture that next generation of artists is incredibly important but obviously we could not have done this without the support of artists that have been with us for 30 years so it doesn’t just extend to artists but I think it’s a broader community really. Absolutely and one of the things about this show which you know spreads through the two gallery spaces, the hallways is that there’s a tremendous array of artists whom as you said are new but then also some very well-known and well established artists who’ve been integral to the history of WPCA which is really impressive and as viewers come in and they see the show and they experience the space, what do you hope that they take away with them. I think to me it’s really important that they realize that the physical space of having like a sanctuary where creative people come together and appreciate the art and the meaning behind it. A lot of these pieces have very political statements a lot of them are more about the aesthetics or telling stories that are significant to artists, that speak about a struggle so considering you know the political backdrop that and arts is really undergoing right now I think that it’s important to really look at you know the contributions and then the long-standing careers that folks have been able to make and the importance it is and really the duty that it is for us as community members to ensure that we can provide the same avenues of support you know for the emergent generation. Very wonderfully said and again it’s that sort of community involvement and longevity. It’s very impressive so congratulation. Thank you! Xelo thank you again for telling us about Walker’s Point Center for the Arts 30th anniversary group exhibition and thank you for joining us here on Shepard Express Visual Arts you

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