LOT 1—Rosemary Ollison
Taking Leather to the Limit, 2020
Leather, plastic beads, metal grommets
L: 12 ft. but variable
Self-taught artist Rosemary Ollison is comfortable with untraditional as well as standard materials associated with art-making. Ollison repurposes her found objects into riotous assemblages that belie the humble origins of their components. Taking Leather to the Limit is crafted from second-hand leather clothes sourced from resale shops. Cascading strips of leather stream down like a waterfall arrested in motion. The colorful work captures and communicates the joy and peace that Ollison herself derives from acts of creativity. Since being discovered in the 2000s by Milwaukee’s Portrait Society Gallery, Ollison’s work has gained national attention with exhibitions at the 2017, 2018, and 2021 Outsider Art Fair in New York. In 2019, Ollison was named Milwaukee Artist of the Year by the Milwaukee Arts Board. Her work was most recently shown at Shrine Gallery in New York.
LOT 2—Anwar Floyd-Pruitt
Hip-Hop Puppet Party
for up to 15 participants
Anwar Floyd-Pruitt is an artist, curator, educator, and puppeteer with more than a decade of experience facilitating youth arts programming. His unique approach to arts education blends his background in psychology and studio art. His work was recently recognized with a grant from the Jane Henson Foundation to engage LGBTQ+ youth in puppetry. The winning bidder of this lot receives an all-inclusive three-hour Hip-Hop Puppet Party for a group of 12 to 15 participants, perfect for children or adults who want to work with puppets and have some fun. You choose the party theme and location, Floyd-Pruitt provides a customizable experience, complete with a variety of papercraft puppets, puppet theaters, and masks that you and your guests can take home and use again. The successful bidder must live within two hours of Milwaukee.
LOT 3—Dona Look
White birch bark, silk thread
12 x 10 ¼ x 10 ¼ in.
Dona Look’s white birch bark baskets are thoughtful down to the smallest details. All the bark is sourced from trees that have been logged or are slated for harvest. Look scrutinizes the tree to ensure that the bark is the requisite thickness, adequately flexible, and possessing visually appealing markings. She sews the pieces together with silk thread, creating a subtle contrast between the regular stitches and the irregular hatch marks of birch bark. In their understated perfection, the baskets evoke the majesty of nature and serve as a poignant, lasting tribute to the tree that supplied the material. Her contemporary, sculptural take on the folk art of birch basketry has won Look widespread acclaim and secured her work a place in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the White House Collection, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among many others.
LOT 4—Khari Turner
Grandmother Ocean, 2022
Acrylic, oil, ink, charcoal, sand, and water from the Coast of Senegal, lower Manhattan docks, Lake Michigan, Pacific Ocean
60 x 40 in.
Khari Turner’s work expresses a mystical connection to water as a repository of Black American identity. The human body is composed of almost 60% water and the paints he uses have a similar aqueous composition. He mixes water drawn from rivers, lakes, and oceans that have either a historical or personal association with Black people to create expressionistic portraits that reverberate with translucent layers of color, sand-encrusted paint surfaces, and fluid drips of paint. For Turner, water is the universal connecting force that allows him to express his ancestors’ spiritual and physical relationship to place.
In his work, Turner aims to bring the human life cycle together in a water cycle–based coming-of-age story. He personifies water, viewing rivers as children, lakes as adolescents, and the ocean as wise elders. Grandmother Ocean is a personification of water as a female elder turning toward the viewer with a dignified, knowing air. Earlier this year, Milwaukee-born Turner received his first solo museum show in his home state of Wisconsin following his wildly successful international debut at the 2022 Venice Biennale.
LOT 5—Art Party Bus Experience
Art Party Bus, Dinner, and Deluxe Accommodations for Eight
Enjoy a spectacular and intimate evening of unique art and gallery experiences crafted just for you and your guests. The excitement begins at the Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel, where a private Las Vegas-style champagne bus and two of the state’s leading artists will whisk you to exclusive art and gallery experiences. When you return to the hotel, dinner awaits your party at Aria, and a night with four deluxe rooms for you and your guests. Whether intended for you and your closest friends or as a reward for a special employee, this evening will define the unexpected.
Details: Art Party Bus Experience; Dining for eight in Aria (gratuity and alcohol not included; not redeemable for cash); Deluxe accommodations for eight in the Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel (includes four rooms and parking).
Reservations subject to availability. Some blackout dates may apply.
Donated by The Marcus Corporation
LOT 6—A Day in the Country
A Day in the Country with Lon Michels and Todd Olson
Art Experience for Six
The successful bidder of this lot will win an afternoon for six of casual painting with artist Lon Michels and his husband, fellow artist Todd Olson, two of the state’s most talented artists and extravagant hosts. Their magnetic personalities and joie de vivre will add sparkle to your informal painting class. Following an afternoon of champagne and heavy hors d’oeuvres, each participant will take home a finished and framed artwork. The opportunity to meet and learn from the artists and visit their artfully appointed home in Lodi just outside of Madison, Wisconsin is priceless. Talent or expertise is not required—the experience is everything!