Two alums of RedLine Milwaukee have opened a gallery on Historic Mitchell Street

When abstract painter Jeff Redmon met his future wife, Dana, six years ago, he didn’t imagine they’d one day go into business together. Their backgrounds were too different, he figured, and the costs of renting out a storefront too high.

“I could never have imagined that we would end up working together and then owning a gallery,” he says.

Good timing and a chance encounter with a Milwaukee real estate developer changed all that. Last month, the couple launched Scout, a sprawling gallery on Milwaukee’s Historic Mitchell Street that also includes a retail space and 20 artist studios on its main and lower levels.

The new venture comes after the Redmons wrapped up their duties with the RedLine Milwaukee, a charitable operation that closes this month after a decade of artist residency, education, outreach and exhibition programs focused on social justice and community improvement.

Dana, 34, a West Bend native, worked in accounting and commercial property management before developing an affinity for art. “I don’t know if I’d ever been to an art show before I met Jeff,” she says.

The couple married in 2017 at the RedLine, where Jeff, 41, spent the past three years as the gallery’s director while running its artist-in-residency program. Dana planned events.

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Then, at RedLine, they met Ryan Pattee, a Milwaukee developer who purchased a building at 1104 W. Historic Mitchell St. with a vision of transforming it into an art-centric space. Pattee purchased the 5,800-square-foot building from the city in April 2018 for $10,000 and spent upwards of $170,000 on renovations.

“They mentioned that it was a dream of theirs to have a gallery,” Pattee says. “They just needed someone who was willing to bet on them and give them a break.” The break includes six months of free rent and discounts for the following three years. “The goal is to make sure they succeed.”

A key element of the new gallery, which plans to host 10 to 12 shows per year, will be art sales. “We aren’t greedy by any means, but selling art is a major component,” explains Jeff, who says many of the exhibitions will be a bit edgier than what was on view at the RedLine, and that he and Dana will stock items at a variety of price points. “You can walk in here with $10 in your pocket and I’m sure we’ll be able to find you something, or you could have $10,000 and buy a beautiful painting, or anything in between.”

The Redmons settled on Scout as the gallery’s name to reflect their dedication to promoting a variety of local artists.

“We’re scouting artists, always looking for talent,” Jeff says.

What to See at Gallery Night and Day

Whether you are a connoisseur of art or just developing an appreciation for it, Milwaukee’s quarterly art festival – Gallery Night and Day (July 19-20) – caters to all tastes.

Grohmann Museum

1000 N. Broadway

The MSOE museum’s latest exhibition, “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” showcases Milwaukee industrial photographer Jim Brozek’s work showing workers at their trades.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

420 S. First St.

A recycled-art exhibit focuses on some of Milwaukee’s most resourceful repurposers and their works, which they made using donated products found at the store.

The Pfister Hotel

424 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Rosy Petri, a Milwaukee-based multidisciplinary artist, is the hotel’s current artist in residence. Petri showcases her passion for social justice and storytelling through fabric portraiture, quilt-making and photography.

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“Talent Scouts” appears in the July 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning July 1, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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