We’re All in Grant

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Galaudet Gallery Receives We’re All In Small Business Grant

Merging Obstacles and Inspiration to Vision a Way Forward

Eau Claire, WI August 2020—Galaudet Gallery has been selected to receive a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) We’re All In Small Business Grant which encourages “adoption of best practices to keep employees, customers and communities safe.”   

Co-owner Mike Milewski was happy to hear about the award “Surprisingly writing the grant was as exciting as receiving the We’re All in Grant because of the overwhelming community support Galaudet Gallery received when we asked around for “letters of acknowledgement” needed for the application. It was energizing to read the many letters from community art collectors and businesses like Royal Credit Union.  These letters showed us all the lives we touch with our curatorial work mounting exhibits, our critical work writing art criticism and creating art exhibit catalogs, our consulting with buyers and sellers on artworks, our art conservation work in tandem with conservation centers.  It was eye opening seeing all these activities in one place as we collected these letters.  We figured out then why we are so busy!  Eau Claire has become Galaudet Gallery’s hub for all this activity and more out of the box ideas are planned like our work with Banksy’s There’s Always Hope. 

Developing a protocol and best practices for keeping our community safe has currently been a primary focus as we discuss how to safely be open and the We’re All In Grant will assist us in making these plans a reality.  We see safely being open as two parts.  First, we will explore a more personalized online experience that is the epitome of safe shopping.  Second, we will implement best practices for having the gallery open in a safe and pleasant manner by making hand sanitizer and masks available, and repurposing this fantastic large space with social distancing in mind.  We see this moment as an opportunity to create new ways for people to enjoy viewing, talking about and purchasing art that could not only enliven a wall in their home or office, but their lives too.  WEDC’s grant shows Wisconsin’s support of small businesses is not just words but action.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic upended Galaudet Gallery’s 2020 exhibition work encompassing three important shows.  In the Eau Claire gallery space The Temple of Flora and Sense of Place: EVERYWHERE are now being rescheduled.  The gallery is also managing an international tour of Vicki Milewski’s Suffragettes Dancing with the Dawn which is still quarantined in pieces across the globe.   

Co-owner Vicki Milewski has been visioning the online component of this new world, “Creating an equal experience in-person and online creates philosophical and physical work. Equalizing these experiences keeps them balanced in terms of value—both in person and online have equal value—this does not mean these experiences are the same.  The success of our Temple of Flora online viewing rooms showed us this.  We learned about these rooms working with Hong Kong Basel which had to go fully online because of COVID-19. My Suffragettes Dancing with the Dawn Collection began its 2020 tour in Hong Kong and was supposed to be widely exhibited honoring the 100th anniversary of women voting in the U.S., but the pandemic changed all that.  This change reconfigured how I view the entire collection—it’s not just about past Suffragettes it’s also about the present Protesters continuing the Suffragettes’ work toward valuing people equally.  This does not mean we are all the same; instead, this means we need to learn how to value each person equally. Constructing equal experiences online and in person has informed my thinking on this art collection and my work as an artist.  It’s good when you can take an obstacle like COVID and an inspiration like the current protests across the country and merge them to create new ways of experiencing and thinking. Now with the assistance of the We’re All In Grant, Galaudet Gallery can design safe experiences for selling art that promotes conversation and inspiration equally online and in person while also allowing this crisis to push us in our work creating a world where each person is valued equally and their way of expressing and communicating is given a space.”

Look for Galaudet Gallery’s next exhibit in mid-September.  Please visit our website for more information: http://galaudetgallery.wix.com/ggllc

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Notes

For more information about Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s We’re All In Small Business Grant visit their website https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/wai-small-business-grant/

The Temple of Flora art exhibit is the end of a four-year art series exploring botanical artists who primarily work with flowers.  First held at Galaudet Gallery’s Chicago location in early 2020 Temple of Flora, the show received rave reviews and was set to arrive in Eau Claire in mid-April but was postponed due to the pandemic   Beginning with the master floral botanical artist Pierre J. Redoute, Galaudet Gallery curators Mike Milewski and Vicki Milewski worked with epochs, nations and styles to reach the series’ goal of exploring how beauty, history and 21st Century meaning is found in botanical art.  The first show focused on roses, the second show focused on bouquets and traditional and non-traditional still life with an ancillary focus on fashion.  The third show focused on the work artists are doing with X rays and flowers.  The final show Temple of Flora was an exhibition of the works from the Temple of Flora books.  The curatorial progression was the following:

Spring 2020 Temple of Flora

Spring 2019 Naked Flowers:  Poetry Revealed

Spring 2018 Choix Roses: les Deux:  Beauty and Bouquets and Bread and Roses:  Fashion Illustration

Spring 2017 Roses la Debut:  Redoute’s Roses

Since many Eau Clairians have requested the Temple of Flora show to be installed once the pandemic is over Galaudet Gallery is working on their exhibition schedule to make that happen.

Sense of Place:  EVERYWHERE is also part of a four-year art series this time exploring the meaning of place.  The curatorial progression for this series is as follows:

2021 (maybe 2022) Sense of Place: NOWHERE : News from Now Here

2020 (maybe 2021) Sense of Place:  EVERYWHERE:  Freedom

2019 Sense of Place: THERE:  Song of Myself

2018 Sense of Place:  HERE:  We Are Here

Because the Sense of Place Art Series is an internationally juried show there are extensive exhibition catalogs which may be found at https://issuu.com/galaudetgalleryllc

Vicki Milewski’s art collection Suffragettes Dancing with the Dawn is a homage to all the suffragette’s past and present in hope that the future will hold a new environment for women.  Inspired by learning more about her mother, Elizabeth Galaudet Milewski’s work for ERA, Vicki embarked on this collection which has been ten years in the making.  Also, a part of the collection is the astronomical studies Vicki does particularly with Mercury and Venus. Now that the original iteration of this collection has been stalled, Vicki sees how the dancers are more about the work still needed to create equality not only for women but for all people, in all places.  Learn more at https://vickimilewski.wixsite.com/vmartist/suffragettes

Galaudet Gallery’s There’s Always Hope by Banksy