Galaudet Gallery Fine Art
Please visit our updated website at:
This site is not current.
This second location for Galaudet Gallery will continue exhibiting wonderful work by established and emerging artists.
To present fine art exhibitions and education from professional fine artists and emerging talent including oil painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media and multimedia pieces
Where Our Food Comes From: The Receiving Jar
Galaudet Gallery presents Part 1 of Where Our Food Comes From: The Milk Receiving Jar: Dairy Farming in the 21st Century which reveals new perspectives in dairy farming through oil paintings, drawings, photos and fiber art influenced by rural culture and the people that feed us.
My Medicine Part Two
Works by Native American Artist Oscar Howe
Photos and drawings of Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota by Vicki Milewski
Selected prints by John James Audubon
Native American flutes and Native American regalia and Native American ritual items
Tools of the Trade
Art by Michael Milewski
A dynamic look at what tools and imagination can do.
Christmas Around the World
Christmas decorations, art and more!
Opens 11/20/14 and every weekend after Noon-7pm
Winter Retreat Part Two
Selected prints by John James Audubon
Selected prints by John James Audubon
Endangered, Extinct birds selected from Audubon Prints
Christmas Art Show and Sale
Over 50 artworks of Christmas from the Medieval Times to Contemporary Art were on display including:
17 nativity scenes
8 works involving the shepherds including Annunciations to the shepards
12 works of the 3 wise men
12 Victorian Christmas artworks
Christmas cards from the first one in 1843 to ones made today,
100’s of one of a kind and uniquely beautiful Christmas ornaments
Christmas decorations and music
unique gifts from Tiffany replica lamps to artist made clothing and more!
Artists on view
Arthur Hughes (1832-1915)
Gerard David Dutch Artist (1460-1522)
Hans tot Sint Geertgen 1490
Albrecht Altdorfer, 1513
Jacques Darat, 1433
Pieter Bruegel, 1564
Hendrik ter Brugghen, 1619
Peter Paul Rubens, 1634
Marten de Vos, 1577
Gerard van Honthorst 1622
Thomas Buchanan Read
Govert Flinck, circa 1639
Alexandre-François Caminade, 1831
Vincent Van Gogh 1880’s
Louis Comfort Tiffany American Artisan (1848-1933)
Peter Howson Contemporary Artist
Vicki Milewski Contemporary, American Artist
Famous Faces Exhibit
Movie Star and Musician Photos of stars like Elvis, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Miley Cyrus, Dean Martin, Dizzy Gilespie, Duke Ellington and more!
Gold, Silver and Bronze Age Comic Book Art by artists like:
Frank Miller, John Byrne, Jim Lee and Jack Kirby John
Selections from Vicki Milewski's Talking Worlds Collection
and Local Artist Mark Lone
Please call 715-513-9994 for an appointment and for our hours.
The Chakra Collection
46 oil paintings, oil pastels, prints and historic ethnographic art
Artists on View:
Charles Webster Leadbeater
Johann Georg Gichtel
10 original paintings by Vicki Milewski of the 7 Chakras with original sketches of Chakras and educational materials http://vickimilewski.com/chakra.html
Selected prints of Chakras by C.W.Leadbeater and Rev. Walker
Yoga Energy Art by Erin O'Brien http://www.erindesigns.com/
Ancient Indian Chakra Art
In cooperation with: Smithsonian Museum of American Art Washington D.C., Terra Museum of American Art Chicago, IL and Private Owners of selected paintings
Come to downtown Eau Claire’s Galaudet Gallery’s new exhibit The Chakras featuring Vicki Milewski’s nationally acclaimed Chakra Collection and other chakra related art. Vicki Milewski’s artwork is internationally collected and exhibited by museums like the Terra Museum and the Smithsonian. She is an American Abstract Expressionist working in oils, photographs, words, music and film; she is a published music composer, author and poet. Vicki’s Chakra Collection is 7 oil paintings that have toured the U.S. and is in Eau Claire for 6 weeks.
Chakras have been utilized for 1000’s of years for healing, acupuncture, meditation and yogic pursuits. Originally from Ancient Indian spiritual practices, the word “chakra” is Sanskrit meaning wheel. Galaudet Gallery’s The Chakras exhibition will also include art from the beginning of chakra knowledge in India and C.W. Leadbeater, who brought chakra knowledge to the U.S. in the 1920’s.
Local Chippewa Valley artist, Erin O’Brien will also have her chakra art on display.
Leadbeater writes in the 1920's, "The Chakras are not so farfetched at a time when our television sets and radios, give constant testimony to the existence of supersensory waves rushing about us. Instruments have revealed invisible light, inaudible sound, x-rays, cosmic rays, microwaves, and more. We know that the space around us is charged with a variety of energies we cannot detect with our senses."
The Chakra Event
1-2pm Judy Meinen, RN of Angel Care Healing Touch with her talk Sensing of the Chakras
2-3pm Jody Hagedorn’s talk: Turn Up Your Light with Chakra Meditation
3-8pm a Silk Painting Demonstration with Erin O’Brien of Erin Designs
6.18.2014 – 8.1.2014
My Medicine Part One
Opening Night6/18/2014 6:18pm--9:18pm
Artists on view:
John James Audubon
by Native American artist Oscar Howe (Yanktonai Nakota 1915-1983)
and Robert Freeman (Luiseno/ Sioux 1939---)
Photos and Drawings of Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota by Vicki Milewski
Selected prints by John James Audubon
Native American flutes
Native American regalia and Native American ritual items
Mounted birds from the Field Museum of Natural History
July 12, 2014 2pm Come and hear Rita Simon play the Native American Flute
Rita Simon started playing Native American-style flute 7 years ago, when she bought her first flute at the International Native American Flute (INAFA) Convention in Eau Claire. Since then she has ‘been hooked,” and her flutes have multiplied; one cannot just have one! Rita loves the improvisational, play from the heart nature of the Native American flute, and she takes a flute with her on most of her travels. She has played above the tree line in the Rocky Mountains, alongside Crazy Woman Creek in the Big Horn Mountains, in Arizona deserts, on beaches in Hawaii and the Caribbean, and on top of Machu Picchu in Peru. Rita is a member of Clearwater Flute Circle in Eau Claire, WI. She is a retired Family Practice physician and owner/director of Spirit Horse Dance Company in Chippewa Falls, WI. www.spirithorsedancecompany.com.
This exhibit was held over an extra week due to popular demand and will end on August 1, 2014!
My Medicine Part One An Exhibition Presented by Galaudet Gallery
Howe’s Paradox and Anomalistic Legacy--Essay on Oscar Howe
Vicki Milewski’s Badlands Roads
John James Audubon, American Artist, Selected Birds’ Native American Symbolism
My Medicine: Part One Exhibition by Galaudet Gallery The title of this, the first exhibition by Galaudet Gallery, curates the power art has to heal and to aid in self discovery and discovery of worlds beyond our day to day lives. Great art transports the viewer to another place and time, another space and moment, a new way of seeing life. The art in My Medicine: Part One does just that. The title also comes from the belief that the two primary artists hold that art is medicine for themselves and for others.
The exhibition utilizes three rooms in Galaudet Gallery to showcase three artists’ work, with explanatory sheets for each work (included in this catalog) The turret room has the work of Native American artist Oscar Howe (1915-1984) set against deep blue and deep green wall color—which are two of the colors in some of the works displayed by Howe. The round turret part of the room has a buffalo skull from a relative of the white buffalo, Miracle, who lived in Janesville, WI.
Howe stated that he found his art to be his medicine. From a Native American perspective of medicine men and how they give their lives to healing others, this statement can position artists as medicine men—healing and aiding themselves and others. The sacred rituals and cultural stories Howe used within his art all speak of a healthy life and power and energy to live it.
The middle room has three prints from John James Audubon with correlative taxidermy birds from the collection of the Field Museum of Natural History. Each bird is placed at the same level as the hung print with these ensembles utilizing one wall each. This arrangement is not didactic; but instead, informs about Audubon’s artistic process since he painted birds he had hunted and killed, placing them in poses that would exude their personalities which Audubon studied for years. Also in this room are some Native American artifacts with the rare opportunity to purchase them.
Galaudet Gallery will be exhibiting about half of Audubon’s book The Birds of America over the course of four years. On average three birds will be chosen for inclusion in each exhibit based on exhibition themes, symbolism and/or the quality of Audubon’s work.
The studio room has the art of American artist Vicki Milewski’s Badlands Roads Collection which hangs together on one wall at dual hanging heights requested by the artist. The roads which seem to reach toward the heavens (Badlands Roads North… and South…) are placed at the highest point with the Badlands Road South… seeming to incorporate the exposed original wallpaper from the early 1900’s which has a similar color as the road in this drawing. The torn quality of the layers over the original wallpaper speaks to the discovery of other worlds, other points of time. Badlands Roads Below… and Above… hang at the same height since they express the same alchemy. Badlands Roads East… and West… hang at the lowest level since both depictions of these roads are seen from that angle.
American artist Vicki Milewski feels strongly that art is medicine. She says her art has had healing vitality for herself and others, “Healing is not just about our physical self, healing can be spiritual, mental and within our love. My art has resurrected my life for me and I hope it can offer healing to anyone else who may be in need.”
Pieces from Milewski’s White River Valley Collection are also on view. These are also inspired by the badlands of South Dakota.
My Medicine: Part One is the first of a four part series Galaudet Gallery will offer in the late spring for the next four years. Each of these four years will include art by Oscar Howe and Vicki Milewski along with other artists who share the belief that art is medicine for self and others.
Written by Vicki Milewski and Mike Milewski
the sister/brother curating team for Galaudet Gallery June 18, 2014 Eau Claire, WI
Howe’s Paradox and Anomalistic Legacy
Oscar Howe’s mid-career art is currently on view in an exhibition entitled My Medicine: Part One at Galaudet Gallery in Eau Claire, WI. Howe painted symbolic scenes based on his Native American cultural mythology that are imbedded in a Tohokmu (spider web); this Tohokmu could inform internet usage for the present and future users and programmers. In a Howe construction, every color and shape imaginatively propels the viewer forward into the seemingly infinite progression of possible configurations, meaning and myth; while simultaneously pulling the viewer backwards toward a quest for the “original” source or referent that underlines the paradoxes between sacred rituals and the real life harshness they honor. This paradox between ritual and real life has an ancillary paradox in internet programming and the internet users who surf--unaware of the code beneath them.
The soft complimentary colors in Howe’s Buffalo Hunt (1973) set up a paradox in their softness that speaks to the sacred ritual of Plains Sioux buffalo hunting, with reverence paid to the buffalo, while at the same time there is an energy present in this work, in its forms and shapes, that speaks to the energy of the hunt and the anticipation of killing another creature in order to exist. These paradoxes lay within Howe’s use of a Tohokmu (spider web) construction which is clearly visible touching the buffalo, horse and rider bringing them into a true cycle of life. The internet code which seemingly touches everything online is of a similar nature to Howe’s Tohokmu, since it holds the action of internet browsing within its active code but cannot touch everything related to the internet like the use of its information, the collaboration of internet users in adapting code to do something it was not written to do, or even how the processes behind internet usage are understood or not. The ritual of a buffalo hunt is similar to the ritual of coding for the internet since both have prescribed actions that must be followed until the actual hunt begins and then real life enters the programmer’s constructs in order to create the active, hidden code we have all become accustomed to.
Howe’s Woman Scalp Dancer (1964) also shows this Tohokmu construction. The correspondence of color in Woman Scalp Dancer makes the movement almost stilled until you see the Tohokmu encircling her and inside of her form, it is this circular formation that provides much of the movement in Howe’s work, while it is his artistic individuality which creates the inner movement most viewers experience that translates to a deeper understanding of one’s self because of viewing a work of art. Howe’s use of the Tohokmu is akin to our 21st Century internet “web” because the Tohokmu connects the elements of Howe’s pieces just as the internet web connects users with information and more. The disembodied quality of internet usage is also present in viewing an Oscar Howe piece since there is a separation from reality present. But then there are realistic forms, just like online with a woman dancing, that are clearly representational but an individualized, artistic style.
The cold war creation of the internet as a non-hierarchical, without-center information management tool meant that it would be harder to destroy and hence messages could get through even during wartime. Howe has a similar non-hierarchical construction in the prints on view in My Medicine: Part One like his Calling Wakan Tanka (1967) which features a family of three praying that a strong storm will not come back toward them. It would be easy to suggest that a center lies in the middle of the three figures; however, the construction of the lightning caused prairie fire in the distance, the raised pipe of the central figure and the concentration of the figures nearest the ground move the center around the painting as the viewer takes in the elements and sees how they are all connected by the Tohokmu which is imbedded with tornadoes and white birds. The buffalo skull in the foreground is ostensibly located in the center but it is really slightly off-center since the real center lies within each viewer’s understanding of the themes of prayer, storms, family, ritual and tradition.
Howe’s Ghost Dancer, also in this exhibit, easily shows how the internet web is currently constructed: honoring the myth of freedom America presupposes and which the internet web supports by the ease we have in finding information, connecting with others and accessing a world beyond our day-to-day existence. Just as mystics and medicine people transcend the physical world and attempt to transform their students and those in need of medicine by providing knowledge of this world, so too the internet provides access to information through an active code which lies beyond most user’s perception but which provides a new sense of reality. The Ghost Dance religion relied on the Native American Myths involving medicine men and visions. Does the historical outcome of this religion and Native Americans predict a future for internet users?
Howe, like any great artist, provides access to a world beyond our physical one, just like the internet does, by using active code to create his images within the Tohokmu—which can carry messages along many different routes. Howe sends forth messages seeped in Native American cultural mores and also allows viewers utilization of the Tohokmu matrix to access messages we send to ourselves and to our worlds. Like a touchstone, Howe’s art is an active participant in message sending while allowing the paradox of a painting, capturing a moment in time, which reminds each viewer that even in the flux of this 21st Century we are still very much the same as ancient peoples and ourselves from our own personal pasts.
0’s and 1’s may encode our very lives at this moment, but we can control that encoding (and the reading of such code) by how we live our lives. When I logon to Paypal and watch the timing wheel spin its web into my account, I think of Howe’s Wa pi ya (Medicine Man) With Herb Root in Human Form (1974) which is surrounded by a Tohokmu which touches the medicine man, the herb root and the surrounding area alternately as well as intimately showing the interconnectedness of all life in this touching, showing a ritual moment caught in time, showing how not every part of the herb root or the medicine man is touched by the Tohokmu. This tells me not every part of my life is touched by the internet, that there are vast spaces within my life that are free even of the myth of freedom. As PayPal loads my account and its familiar homepage comes on, I see that I am touching and not touching millions of other users who are in reality individuals who have parts of their lives untouched by a societal convention such as the internet we; but as a collective we have agreed to create this 21st Century myth, like PayPal being an online bank, and in that creation we get paid, we may pay or another story may unfold which we have yet to consider within the myths of webs and freedom and self.
Howe’s anomalistic representation of Sioux cultural tradition seems to draw viewers further away from this state of 21st Century being; not into a past but into a different world, into a different way of seeing. Howe also uses his anomaly of the Tohokmu to draw his own art further away from the primary source materials we have concerning Native American art up until the moment Howe decided to draw from his artistic eye instead of from accepted Native American linear motifs and genres like Cubism which he insisted he was not a part of. Howe may have shared the Cubists’ shift of art from representation of reality to the expression of the artistic eye but he did not share their fractured and fragmented view of this expression. Just as Georgia O’Keefe fought against those who would call her an abstract painter, Howe also stands apart from cubism—since his paintings speak more of interconnectedness than a fragmentation, of joining forces together instead of fracturing them. As more time passes, Howe’s degree of separation from those historical Native American representations and art critic labels grows ever greater, as if his orbit has shifted its center. The anomaly Howe presents as an individual artist painting his cultural history has stood the test of time and represents a part of American Art that is still being debated since it was in the later 1950’s and 1960’s that America clearly broke from European models of artistic representation and American Art was fully recognized as a separate entity. It is no coincidence this is also the time period when the internet web, as we know it, was created and set into operation.
While all artists and internet programmers across the world share a common muse and genres seem to circulate the globe much like the atmosphere we live in, there are cultural arenas that each geographic location claims as their individual stake. If it were not for the early 1900’s American artists who began to break from European traditions by proposing new forms and colors, then the artists of the 1950’s and 60’s would not have been so clearly separate. While the term “American Artist” was still being tried out on the world stage in the 1950’s, Native American Artists had a clear linear style that had come to be expected by Americans and the world. Oscar Howe started his artistic career painting in this style but soon abandoned it for his artistic integrity moved him to create paintings that only he could create. As his art opens new avenues for internet webbing considerations, it also offers viewers new perceptions of self. Oscar Howe is truly one of the great American Artists of the 20th Century, even without paradoxes and anomalies, and he is speaking to the multi-faceted artists of the 21st Century—to be an artist means to be an individual.
By Vicki Milewski, Curator for My Medicine
Viewing of the Galaudet Gallery exhibition My Medicine: Part One will be until July 28, 2014
Essay on Vicki Milewski’s Badlands Roads
When viewing Vicki Milewski’s Badlands Roads at Galaudet Gallery as part of their exhibition My Medicine: Part One, the viewer has a sense of timelessness and movement. The roads in question all exist in her artistic reality and in the badlands of western South Dakota; and they offer a glimpse of the transformation of the American road trip into one of self discovery and humble acceptance that there are powers and experiences that are a part of our physical reality but which are seldom spoken of in our 21st Century lives.
Badlands Road North: The Pink Road (a gentle way to learn the red one) (2014) climbs over Bigfoot Pass in a gentle way that shows a care for the surroundings as well as an understanding of the historical nature of the named pass. That the road is pink also shows an understanding that learning the Native American red road takes time and means sacrifice of exemplar ego and restrictions in how reality is defined. Although this road, and the 7 others of this collection, seem localized to the badlands area they are also eminently open ended and can be found on any road or trail we care to see them in. The complimentary colored formations surrounding this pink road support it and allow it to climb to its destination in the North, but they also allow it interconnectedness with its surroundings. Even though this road lies on top of these forms and seems almost to hover over them, it is a part of these forms and as it meets with the horizon line on top it shows that it will bring a sense of these forms with it.
Yet while Badlands Road North… may deliver its travelers to the horizon line with formation baggage, Badlands Road South: Going to See Joe (2014) takes its cue from the alchemical idea of, “as above, so below” since it shows a star studded sky ostensibly mirrored in the prairie grasses below it. But upon closer inspection, those stars in the prairie grasses are not mirror images but stars that stand alone and apart. When Milewski asked her Native American friend, Joe, about these prairie stars his alchemical reply was familiar to Milewski but then he launched into a story about inner knowledge: “reminding me of the people who would come to hike on Mt Harney and Bear Butte hoping for the hike to change their lives but when they returned to their cars unchanged Joe would say to me ‘As above, so below’ referencing the person remaining the same on the top and bottom of Harney because they wanted the hike to change their lives instead of changing it themselves. ‘The mountain can assist us but it cannot do the work for us.’ Joe would say. But in seeing the ‘stars on earth’ Joe said I was seeing my life already changed and this idea helped to sustain my work in creating a better life for myself steeped in my own personal and cultural history and living fully in the present.”
Badlands Road East: Road Like a River Spilling Me Home (2014) and Badlands Road West: Hills Breathing Pink (2014) are similar in their soft shading and coloration with one being called “the blue one” and the other being called “the pink one”. Both represent a movement toward self and an understanding that our environment is alive since the hills are ‘breathing” and the road is like a “river”, both of these elements show a commonality in their support that everything is alive. Milewski states that the blue road mirrors her state of mind depending on the hue of the road; while the pink outlined road reminds her to remain gentle and soft—it is when we are open to new experiences that they are able to occur.
The two pieces which seem the most other worldly are the Badlands Road Below: The Green Road (2014) and the Badlands Road Above: The Twelve Tribes (2014). The former shows a spiraling green road within a badlands formation. The shape and movement of this road show again that these formations are alive even though many of them hold the fossilized remains of a prehistoric ocean which covered this area, but also a concern for the environment is present in that the green is “inside” the formation. Milewski states that she saw this twice during her time hiking and camping in the badlands area and both times were separated by a decade which saw her shift her environmental focus from working with environmentalists to being more “gentle about my approach to our environment and feeling more akin with conservationists. When I recently saw the green road in a badlands formation again I knew I was on the right path for my time spent conserving environmental resources instead of my past work in trying to get people to radically change their approach to environmental resources usage. We have to be able to live our lives, and as long as we use common sense and a gentle approach we should be in harmony with our resources.”
Badlands Road Above: The Twelve Tribes (2014) shows a blue road spiraling up into the sky. Milewski says she was hiking during a full moon night and that the trail “lifted up into the sky and then became a road.” The full moon then dimmed and twelve stars started shining, some of these stars were in the sky and some were on the blue road connected to the trail Milewski was hiking. She thought of the Native American ghost dancers from the 1890’s who used the moon and stars as symbols of rejuvenation on their clothing and who also thought that water would wipe out the “white people” or the “bad people” who were not honorable and who were forcing Native Americans to change their way of life. But even more so, Milewski see connectedness with the twelve tribes of Israel and the blue of their priestly tradition since she is a Christian. That this vision of the blue road and twelve stars appeared to her in a place she has found to be spiritual and a symbolic representation of the desert region many of God’s people had to traverse to reach a promised land only makes sense to her. That she has found many modern day monks and mystics go out into the desert to avoid distractions from modern day society only to find the distractions really exist within their own minds is also a part of this painting.
Milewski’s Badlands Roads Collection has much to offer in the way of art that can stand alone as art but also as art which holds much more for contemplation. There are still visions to be seen and experienced and Milewski knows that as long as she continues to tell the world about her experiences it will help others to share what they have experienced. From her counseling and education background, Milewski has found that the more she shares about her personal life the more she can create a space that is accepting of everyone as they are not as society needs them to be. “My art is a way to create that space and I am overjoyed to be a part of this gallery that supports such a space and enables conversation about these ideas to take place.”
By Mike Milewski, Curator of Galaudet Gallery
Essay on John James Audubon, American Artist,
Selected Birds’ Native American Symbolism
John James Audubon is best known for The Birds of America, a book of 435 images, portraits of every bird then known in the United States – water-colored painted and then printed in life size. Audubon spent eighteen years finding the birds, making the book, and selling it to subscribers. Audubon also wrote narratives about the birds (Ornithological Biography) while also working on paintings of mammals (The Viviparous Quadrapeds of North America). Three of the birds from The Birds of America are on view in Galaudet Gallery’s My Medicine: Part One exhibit. The Rough Legged Hawk (aka Falcon), The American Crow and Blue Jays were chosen for their Native American symbolism, for the beauty of the prints and because Audubon assisted in the discovery and formulation of knowledge about birds and about how naturalist illustrators should seek artistic qualities in their creations.
For many Sioux Native Americans the blue jay symbolizes clarity of vision and how the blue of the jay against a blue sky means a double vision can occur or a vision with twice the amount of power. Blue on blue often means truth and purity, but mostly clarity. For many Native Americans the hawk is associated with the power of vision. Just like the hawk can see in great detail at great distances, so too will a vision be able to provide great detail and distance. Hawks are seen as messengers from the spirit world bringing visions and other experiences.
According to many Native American myths the American Crow had the power to talk and was therefore considered to be one of the wisest of birds. The sacred bird of the famous Ghost Dance was the crow. The Ghost Dance Religion used it as a symbol of the past when the crow had acted as a pathfinder for hunting parties. The feathers of the crow were sewn onto their clothes and each dancer was to wear an eagle feather or a crow feather in their hair, The Sioux believed that when the great flood came to earth that the crow feathers would lift the ghost dancers from the ground to the safety of the heavens.
Audubon did not select birds because of Native American symbolism; he set out to paint every known bird of North America; however Galaudet Gallery has selected these three birds because of their affinity to Native Americans and because of the high quality of the prints. Audubon was also a consummate artist who “combined a naturalist’s curiosity with an artist’s eye and a poet’s expressiveness to ensure his unique place in the pantheon of natural history.” A true American artist, Audubon has kept the world viewing for almost 150 years.
Through a partnership with the Field Museum, Galaudet Gallery is able to display the taxidermy American Crow, Rough Legged Hawk and two Blue Jays alongside these Audubon prints to elucidate the artistic process of and to assist in our appreciation of these fine birds.