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Folk art in a familiar state

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  • Richard D. Hendricks
    Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/enter/books/dec05/381219.asp Folk art in a familiar state Last Updated: Dec. 31, 2005
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 1 7:42 AM
      Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/enter/books/dec05/381219.asp


      Folk art in a familiar state


      Last Updated: Dec. 31, 2005




      <http://www.jsonline.com/art/colbar.gif>



      "I was a hitchhiking man of God for over 40 years," says Prophet William
      Blackmon. "I traveled Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin." He
      eventually landed in Milwaukee's inner city, "where hate is in the air
      and it's all colors." And slowly, he became known - not so much for his
      preachings as for his art: crude but elaborate painted signs conveying a
      message of love and brotherhood, of right and wrong.

      Blackmon, whose works have been hung at the Haggerty Museum of Art at
      Marquette University and the Rahr-West Museum in Manitowoc, is getting a
      spot of attention again these days. He's among 26 folk artists featured
      in "Miracles of the Spirit: Folk, Art, and Stories from Wisconsin," a
      fascinating hardbound book from the University Press of Mississippi.

      This volume, along with some others pertaining to Wisconsin, had been
      sitting on my desk for the last few months of 2005, waiting to be
      noticed. But time was fleeting and I dawdled - so I must bring them to
      you quickly now, even as last year has given way to a new one, and
      before the new one gets too old. These books are not any less
      pleasurable for the wait.

      "Miracles of the Spirit" celebrates Wisconsin's "tremendous heritage of
      art traditions including sacred grottoes, yard environments, and
      enticing private spaces," as the book jacket notes. Edited and compiled
      by Don Krug, an associate professor of curriculum studies at the
      University of British Columbia, and Ann Parker, an art teacher and
      photographer in Baraboo, the volume presents the stories and work of
      these everyday artists in their own words.

      So you have Blackmon telling his own story, his voice rambling and
      humble. Then there's Ellis Nelson of Muscoda, wry and straightforward,
      methodically recounting how he started making his fantastic metal
      prehistoric creatures (one of which I have dangling from an oak) and how
      "school was not my thing at all" but mechanical and electrical things were.

      And there's Mona Webb, who knew Aldous Huxley personally and whose
      Madison home was a veritable monument to her idiosyncratic work until
      she died in 1998 at about age 84. She is pictured with her major
      sculptural creations, "Aphrodite," (a towering female created out of
      concrete, mirrors, jewelry, beads, shells, brass and found objects) and
      "10 Ton Buddha," a jaw-dropper that defies words. "I don't think I make
      art," Webb says. "I think I make. I don't know whether it's art yet."

      Authors Krug and Parker traveled the state between 1991 and 2000,
      hitting big cities as well as small towns and rural outposts. They
      discovered the unschooled artists next door, the Grandma Moseses of our
      state, the whimsical unknowns, the folk heroes. And they put our folk
      art in a national and international context, as creative impulses
      flowing from cultural and geographic imaginations.

      And yes, there are photos, 30 color and 188 black-and-white, which make
      the stories soar.


      Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Jan. 1, 2006.
      Get the Journal Sentinel delivered to your home. Subscribe now.
      <http://www.jsonline.com/services>





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kim Poeppey-Del Rio
      Hey, is this that old guy who drives around with all the crap stuck to his car?? Not the one with the loud speaker, his pal with the plastic flowers, and signs
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 1 8:55 AM
        Hey, is this that old guy who drives around with all the crap stuck to his
        car?? Not the one with the loud speaker, his pal with the plastic flowers,
        and signs stuck all over his car?
        IF that is the guy, looks like Santa Claus, he's a FREAK!! Takes photos of
        nude girls. Tried to get me to pose for him when I was a teenager. Gave me
        his card right in front of my dad. Dad took it and tore it up.
        I see him at the Estate Sales....EVERY ONE avoids this guy as he's super
        creepy.

        I wish there were photos, but the link doesn't work.

        Kim
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Richard D. Hendricks" <rdh@...>
        To: <weirdwi@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2006 9:42 AM
        Subject: [weirdwi] Folk art in a familiar state


        > Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/enter/books/dec05/381219.asp
        >
        >
        > Folk art in a familiar state
        >
        >
        > Last Updated: Dec. 31, 2005
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > <http://www.jsonline.com/art/colbar.gif>
        >
        >
        >
        > "I was a hitchhiking man of God for over 40 years," says Prophet William
        > Blackmon. "I traveled Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin." He
        > eventually landed in Milwaukee's inner city, "where hate is in the air
        > and it's all colors." And slowly, he became known - not so much for his
        > preachings as for his art: crude but elaborate painted signs conveying a
        > message of love and brotherhood, of right and wrong.
        >
        > Blackmon, whose works have been hung at the Haggerty Museum of Art at
        > Marquette University and the Rahr-West Museum in Manitowoc, is getting a
        > spot of attention again these days. He's among 26 folk artists featured
        > in "Miracles of the Spirit: Folk, Art, and Stories from Wisconsin," a
        > fascinating hardbound book from the University Press of Mississippi.
        >
        > This volume, along with some others pertaining to Wisconsin, had been
        > sitting on my desk for the last few months of 2005, waiting to be
        > noticed. But time was fleeting and I dawdled - so I must bring them to
        > you quickly now, even as last year has given way to a new one, and
        > before the new one gets too old. These books are not any less
        > pleasurable for the wait.
        >
        > "Miracles of the Spirit" celebrates Wisconsin's "tremendous heritage of
        > art traditions including sacred grottoes, yard environments, and
        > enticing private spaces," as the book jacket notes. Edited and compiled
        > by Don Krug, an associate professor of curriculum studies at the
        > University of British Columbia, and Ann Parker, an art teacher and
        > photographer in Baraboo, the volume presents the stories and work of
        > these everyday artists in their own words.
        >
        > So you have Blackmon telling his own story, his voice rambling and
        > humble. Then there's Ellis Nelson of Muscoda, wry and straightforward,
        > methodically recounting how he started making his fantastic metal
        > prehistoric creatures (one of which I have dangling from an oak) and how
        > "school was not my thing at all" but mechanical and electrical things
        > were.
        >
        > And there's Mona Webb, who knew Aldous Huxley personally and whose
        > Madison home was a veritable monument to her idiosyncratic work until
        > she died in 1998 at about age 84. She is pictured with her major
        > sculptural creations, "Aphrodite," (a towering female created out of
        > concrete, mirrors, jewelry, beads, shells, brass and found objects) and
        > "10 Ton Buddha," a jaw-dropper that defies words. "I don't think I make
        > art," Webb says. "I think I make. I don't know whether it's art yet."
        >
        > Authors Krug and Parker traveled the state between 1991 and 2000,
        > hitting big cities as well as small towns and rural outposts. They
        > discovered the unschooled artists next door, the Grandma Moseses of our
        > state, the whimsical unknowns, the folk heroes. And they put our folk
        > art in a national and international context, as creative impulses
        > flowing from cultural and geographic imaginations.
        >
        > And yes, there are photos, 30 color and 188 black-and-white, which make
        > the stories soar.
        >
        >
        > Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Jan. 1, 2006.
        > Get the Journal Sentinel delivered to your home. Subscribe now.
        > <http://www.jsonline.com/services>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > Escape the Mundane!
        > Read Weird Wisconsin!
        > http://www.weird-wi.com/
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Robert Schneck
        ... William BLackmon is black; is the Santa-man? [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 1 11:07 AM
          On Jan 1, 2006, at 11:55 AM, Kim Poeppey-Del Rio wrote:

          > IF that is the guy, looks like Santa Claus, he's a FREAK!!


          William BLackmon is black; is the Santa-man?

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Kim Poeppey-Del Rio
          Hi, Nope, scary old white guy with a big white beard like Santa. Guess it s a different preaching artist. Milwaukee must have a bunch of them, LOL! Kim ...
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 1 11:17 AM
            Hi, Nope, scary old white guy with a big white beard like Santa.
            Guess it's a different preaching artist. Milwaukee must have a bunch of
            them, LOL!
            Kim
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Robert Schneck" <damon333@...>
            To: <weirdwi@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2006 1:07 PM
            Subject: Re: [weirdwi] Folk art in a familiar state


            >
            > On Jan 1, 2006, at 11:55 AM, Kim Poeppey-Del Rio wrote:
            >
            >> IF that is the guy, looks like Santa Claus, he's a FREAK!!
            >
            >
            > William BLackmon is black; is the Santa-man?
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            > Escape the Mundane!
            > Read Weird Wisconsin!
            > http://www.weird-wi.com/
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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