Culture Jam MKE is the largest all-local gallery show this year, but it aims to be more than that. The exhibit, located at The Hide House (2625 S Greeley St.) challenges people to explore big issues in the world today.
The exhibit has been in the works since November. Organizer and participating artist Jeff Redmon and a few others wanted a way to use art to impact the community. He reached out to artists he thought would fit the theme, and got a total of 40 artists to participate.
“Really it’s just all about impact. It’s an interesting lineup of up-and-coming artists and established artists. We wanted it to be an interesting show,” Redmon says.
The exhibit tackles many issues in society including war, violence, race, gender, sexuality, corporations and more. Each piece examines a different issue and hopes to get the public thinking and talking.
“I think it’s important to expose real issues,” Redmon says. “Art is a great way to get people talking about things. I think it’s something different and it has real meaning behind it. It’s creating real conversations and bringing issues to the surface.”
Participating artists include Dara Larson, Daniel Fleming, Elias Valejo, Therd, Overpass Light Brigade and more. Larson examines the pathways to home ownership in her piece, “New Ownership Society-Zombie Home Milwaukee”, while “Men’s Hall” by Daniel Fleming explores race, gender and sexuality and the current cultural perspective and understanding.
The exhibit, which goes from 5 p.m. to 11p.m., coincides with Gallery Night.
“We did it on Gallery Night full-well knowing the challenges of getting people from other places. It’s something different to do,” Redmon says.
Normally an abstract painter, Redmon used the show as a chance to try something different. His piece titled “Street Walker” makes a statement about the Wisconsin Governor’s ‘pay-to-play approach’ to politics, according to the piece’s description.
“It’s a fun way to break out of my zone and make something with content which is something I don’t normally do,” Redmon says.
While this is the first event of this kind and scale, it could become an annual event depending on the turnout and response, Redmon says.
“This is a cool change for people to get out and see high quality subject work with an interesting subject matter,” Redmon says.
A complete list of artists and additional information lives here.
Homepage photo of work by Overpass Light Brigade. Thumbnail work by Eric Koester. In-text photo by Dana Larson.