Museum of Wisconsin Art reopens with new exhibition of Milwaukee artists

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The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend has reopened after a three-month closure with a new exhibition featuring the work of six Black female artists from Milwaukee. 

The new “A Community of Voices” exhibition includes the work of artists Blanche Brown, Rhonda Gatlin-Hayes, Chrystal Denise Gillon, Ruthie Joy, Tia Richardson, and 2019 City of Milwaukee Artist of the Year Rosemary Ollison. 

It was originally scheduled to be on view April through June, but will now be available July 8 through Sept. 6. MOWA, like museums across the state, closed in March due to the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

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“A Community of Voices is an exhibition that’s been in the making for several months. While it was planned for earlier in the year, we’re delighted to share it now as it embodies our ongoing commitment to support emerging and established artists from Wisconsin’s communities of color,” said Graeme Reid, director of collections and exhibitions for MOWA. 

Themes of the artists’ work include championing social justice and civil rights, giving voice to the voiceless, expressing spirituality and coping with trauma, MOWA said.

Gillon and Richardson graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and Milwaukee Area Technical College, respectively. Brown, Hayes, Joy, and Ollison are self-taught. 

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The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the first hour reserved for seniors and vulnerable members.

A Chrystal Denise Gillon piece on display as part of “A Community of Voices” exhibition at MOWA.

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