WLIW Arts Beat


WLIW Arts Beat - April 4, 2019

This WLIW Arts Beat episode looks at the Milwaukee Art Museum's mobile art experience; a Minneapolis pet photogrpher; an Oregon-based rock group innovates with layered music.; and a seventh generation Chimayó New Mexican weaver carrying the family art of weaving into the modern age.

AIRED: April 04, 2019 | 0:26:24



>> Coming up on this edition

of "WLIW Arts Beat"...

an art studio on wheels.

>> We can go to school

cafeterias, to parks, really any

location, and set up a really

fun and authentic art


>> A photographer capturing

the personalities of pets.

>> The best part of what I do

is really the owners

and the interacting and hearing

about all of their wonderful

experiences with their pets.


>> Revitalizing culture

through layered music.

>> We felt like there was more

to life

than just putting your head down

and doing 9:00 to 5:00.


>> And a weaver whose craft

has been passed down

from generation to generation.

>> I really feel that

in my career as a weaver,

I was entrusted with the

tradition to put our culture

into the new millennium.

>> It's all ahead on

"WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat"

was made possible

by viewers like you.

Welcome to "WLIW Arts Beat."

I'm Diane Masciale.

The Milwaukee Art Museum brings

art to residents of Milwaukee,

Wisconsin, in more ways than


The museum has a mobile

art studio

that travels throughout the

city, offering free activities

to families based on the

museum's permanent collection.

Here's a look.





>> We can go anywhere and bring

art projects to families.

We can go to school cafeterias,

to parks, really any location,

and set up a really fun

and authentic art experience.

Kohl's Color Wheels is

Milwaukee Art Museum's

off-site studio program.

This program goes to local

community events

throughout the Milwaukee area,

and we visit over

100 sites per year.

So we visit school

and community festivals

and, uh, we bring free

art activities to families.

>> Nice job!

>> We're always creating art

activities inspired by

Milwaukee Art Museum's

permanent collection

and feature exhibitions,

and we're using all different

kinds of media.

So you could stop

by Kohl's Color Wheels

and try printmaking,

painting, sculpture, or any --

any number of art projects.

All of the activities at

Kohl's Color Wheels are drop-in,

and they're geared towards

families with kids 12 and under,

and it's really fun

for the whole family.

So kids and their parents

are invited to participate.

Kohl's Color Wheels is part

of the Kohl's Art Generation

program at Milwaukee Art Museum,

and this is the partnership

between the museum

and Kohl's Cares.

And Kohl's Cares has been

involved with the museum

since 2008,

and they've made a $6.3 million

commitment to the museum.

And it's jut really a great way

for families to spend time

together and learn about art.

>> Look!

>> It looks good.

>> The great thing about

Kohl's Color Wheels' projects

is they're all free.

So you just drop in,

and you can try one project

or you can try more than one.

With the Kohl's Color Wheels

program, the projects

are always changing.

We'll always highlight

some of our feature exhibitions,

which change 3

or more times a year.

But then we're also

diving deeply into our

permanent collection.

During the school year, when

we're visiting school events,

sometimes we'll find out

what's going on at that event

and try to customize a project

particularly for it,

and then during the summer,

we tend to focus on our big

summer feature exhibition.

So, this summer, we're focusing

on Milwaukee Art Museum's

feature exhibition,

"Van Gogh to Pollock:

Modern Rebels."

So in this exhibition,

you see some of the most famous

and beloved artists

in the world.

So Van Gogh,

Jackson Pollock, Matisse,

and we're making art activities

inspired by these artists.

So, you can learn about Van Gogh

and how he painted from nature

and make

your own landscape painting.

>> You just have to have fun.

That's the most important part.

>> We're also looking at Matisse

and his intricately patterned

still-life arrangements.

You can make your own patterned

still-life arrangement.

>> Are you going to make

a pattern on this side?

>> Yeah.

>> Yeah?

>> And also, uh, you can have

a chance to try action painting

like Jackson Pollock.

So we've got a long canvas

on the ground, and you can,

just like Jackson Pollock,

use unusual tools

and your whole arm movement

in creating a painting.

It's really fun,

and then a bonus is that

you get to learn more about art,

artmaking, and art history.

>> [ Giggles ]

>> Was that fun?

>> [ Laughs ]

>> It's not just for kids.

Parents can take part, too.

So, it's a great family

experience, and kids

get to learn at the same time.

>> I think it's beautiful.

>> We have a full team

of really great art educators

that are museum staff,

and so they learn

all about the collection,

they're all makers themselves,

and they have a passion for

working with family audiences.

>> So, it's really fun

seeing kids just click.

>> I think part of what makes

Kohl's Color Wheels

important to the community

is it's totally free.

It's fun, and it's a great way

to introduce families to art.

We love making art with families

off-site, out in the community.

We also really want to encourage

them to visit us on-site

and see some of these works

of art in person

and develop a love of art.

I think enjoying art together

is a really a great way for

families to spend time together.

Families can have great

conversations about art

when they make things

side by side.

They can learn a lot

about each other, as well

as learn about the artworks

in the museum's collection.

For kids developmentally,

they really have a chance

to develop fine motor skills,

to test things out,

to experiment, to problem-solve.

So, it, it's really

very beneficial.

My favorite part of

Kohl's Color Wheels is having a

chance to take aspects of

Milwaukee Art Museum's

collection out

into the community.

It's really fun

that we can go anywhere.

We can set up in a school

cafeteria, or we can set up

outside next to the lake.

It's really fun to introduce

different artists to families,

introduce different materials.

You know, we're always

using beautiful

and authentic materials,

things that artists

themselves use.

And it's just fun to see

families enjoy that time

together while making art.

Families just love it.

They can't believe it's free,

and we really love seeing

families out in the community

and then having them visit us

later at Milwaukee Art Museum.

We always hope families learn

something new about art,

something new about making,

and are inspired to keep looking

and keep making.

>> To find out more, head to the

"WLIW Arts Beat" Web page.


Growing up on a farm

in northern Minnesota,

artist Sarah Beth Ernhart

didn't set out to be a pet


but a love of animals gradually

led her from a graphic-design

path to her full-time dream job.

Ernhart's modern and unique

portraits capture

the personalities of her

clients' four-legged friends.

Here's a look.


>> I would say that my work

is fun and modern.

It's very bright and colorful,

and I feel like

it's very real, very honest.

I really try to capture

the personality and spirit

of my subjects.


I never set out

to be a pet photographer.

I came out it very organically.

I've always been an animal

lover, and I went to school for

graphic design, and through that

job, I kind of got into

photography professionally, and

I started photographing kids and

families and weddings and

discovered that wasn't really

for me.

So I started volunteering

with some pet rescues,

and that got me involved

with other pet businesses,

and it grew from there.

It was a part-time thing,

and now it's full-time,

and I love it.


[ Camera shutter clicks ]

Do you want to have a treat?

[ Camera shutter clicking ]


[ Toy squeaks ]

Let's see if he'll shake for


[ Camera shutter clicks ]

He's silly.

Coming into the studio

is a very strange experience

for a lot of animals,

and they do tend to be

kind of excitable or nervous.

Just kind of having a routine

helps keep the sessions

going smoothly, and animals

is on a much different

communication level, and they're

not always going to do

what you want them to do.


>> Nope.

>> [ Growls ]

>> [ Meows ]

>> Ohh!

>> Isabel, be nice.

>> You gonna go see Gizmo?

Gizmo's her best buddy.

[ Toy squeaks ]

You're going up to see all your


Yeah, Uncle Steve.

>> I love my clients'

relationships with their pets.

Their pets are their children,

in a sense, and it's such a

sweet and a very short-lived

relationship, which I think it

makes them embrace it a little

more because they know they only

have a short amount of time,

and a big part of what I do

is end-of-life

photography sessions for

terminally ill and elderly pets.


Just seeing the relationships

that these people have had,

it's --

The best part of what I do

is really the owners

and the interacting

and hearing about all of

their wonderful experiences

with their pets.

>> We did a photo shoot

I think like five years ago,

and it was in the fall,

I remember,

because then we did

our Christmas cards.

Our pets are our kids,


I mean, we don't have children.

We love them.

They're a huge part of our


It seems like it would be

unnatural to me

not to have professional

photography of our animals.

[ Camera shutter clicking ]

>> Good boy!

[ Clicking continues ]


>> That's so neat.


[ Camera shutter clicking ]

>> Sometimes I think about what

I do, and I just have to laugh

because I -- this is what I do.

I photograph pets, and so many

people that I meet are like,

"Oh, my gosh, you have my dream


I would love to do that."

I think from the outside, people

think that it's really just

playing with animals all the

time, and it's so much work.

But the hour that I get to spend

with some amazing animal

makes all the rest of it

totally worth it.

And -- I don't know -- I can't

imagine doing anything else.

>> To find out more about

Ernhart's work, visit our

Web page.

Challenge yourself with this

"Arts Beat" fun fact.




Two young musicians from Oregon

are turning alternative rock

into an art form.

The Portland-based band

Helio Sequence

gives us a glimpse of their

layered recording techniques.

>> Hi. I'm Brandon.

>> And I'm Benjamin.

>> And we're the Helio Sequence.


>> We grew up in Beaverton,

Oregon, which is,

you know, this kind of --

It's kind of a miserable place.

You know, it's a suburb.

There's no culture.

We bonded over the fact that we

really, you know -- we felt like

there was more to life than just

putting your head down

and doing 9:00 to 5:00

and being surrounded with,

you know -- I don't know --

this suburban sprawl.

So it was really important to us

to get into the city

and to do something that we felt

like was meaningful.

You know, that's probably

part of being, like, the tail

end of Generation X.

>> ♪ The city where I live

>> Feeling like, you know, you

could do something meaningful

with your life, you know?

But it's really true

that I think that's been a big

part of, you know, our whole

thing is just trying to do

something that actually is

contributing something positive

to the universe.

>> Yeah.


And when we started our band,

you know, our dream was,

I would say, oddly enough,

to be on a label as amazing

Sub Pop.


My thought was, "Wouldn't it be

amazing to write a song

and have it out there in the

world and have somebody way out

in Ohio or, you know, way out in

Florida or these places that I

could never imagine at that

point, because I'd never been,

you know, that far from home and

just have this secret knowledge

that, you know, it's helping

someone out there

or someone out there can relate

to the music

that we make, that we write,

in the same way that the bands

that were so important to us

helped us get through all the

growth you go through in life.


In the past, you know,

our songs have actually come

together in parts.

We'll have, you know, a keyboard

part and we'll layer something.

Another part will come in.

And the songs kind of come to

life as they're layered and


Benjamin had a bunch

of keyboard loops --

probably 20 or 30, maybe more.

And we set up a P.A.

that was also being recorded --

we have our own studio,

and so we have the luxury

of doing this --

and set up mics on the guitars,

over the drums.

And the idea was to pull up

all these keyboard loops

as we went along,

just press "play," not knowing

what was going to come up,

what key it's going to be in,

where it goes,

and just start improvising

over it.

And we did, you know, 15, 20 of

these improvisations,

and "Battle Lines" was one of

these in probably 10 minutes

or more, and then we would use

that as a raw material for the


♪ Before a wall

♪ Before a window

♪ Before an image of a fallen

tree ♪

♪ Without a cause

♪ With all the pain

♪ I cut the tethers that were

holding me ♪

♪ Oh, I'm looking for a new

direction ♪

♪ Oh, I'm looking for another

way ♪

I view success, you know,

as the connection we're able

to make with with people,

you know, our fans

and anybody who listens to

our music, you know, and try to

kind of always take --

take myself back to

to being that 13-year-old

who just picked up a guitar

and was just learning

how to write songs.

[ Mid-tempo music plays ]

♪ Yeah, I always do

[ Music continues ]

>> To learn more about

the Helio Sequence, click on

the link on our Web page.


And now here's a look

at arts history.




The art of the loom

is a practice lost to many

but still kept alive by

the true masters of the craft.

Irvin Trujillo of Chimayó,

New Mexico, is a 7th-generation

weaver who brings with him the

practices of his forefathers

while finding ways to carry the

art of weaving into the modern



>> Carrying on a tradition

is basically using

or interpreting

what my father said,

what my forefathers said,

to express today.

It's not only using the past

but also brining my contribution

into the tradition

to help the tradition grow.







I'm a weaver, and my father told

me I was a 7th-generation


My curiosity kind of took hold,

and then as I grew older,

I wondered where I came from,

and then I started asking


And I took what I learned

in weaving,

when I was 10 years old,

to start to

interpret the culture

and try to express myself

as part of the culture

and also express things

in the world that are happening.


The techniques that my

great-grandfather and his father

used were out of necessity.

And most of the weaving

here in my family

was done as frazadas.

"Frazada" is a Spanish word

for "blanket."

My father started working

in Los Alamos at the laboratory

because he wanted to earn money

to start his own studio

and shop.

And he ended up staying there

because the schools were some of

the best in the State of

New Mexico.

We were brought up

in a scientific world,

in a scientific culture.

And then on weekends,

we'd come here to Chimayó,

which was the Spanish culture

that had been maintained.


There was never anything to do

in Los Alamos

except ride my bike around.

My dad would come home from work

and start weaving

on this big loom, and then he'd

come and eat dinner and then go

back to weave, and he'd weave

until like 10:00 at night.

I heard all this racket

that the loom was making,

and I went over

to see what he was doing.

It looked interesting, so I just

stood there and watched him.

After a while, he asked me

if I wanted to learn,

and I told him that I did.

I knew weaving was in my family,

but I really didn't know that my

father was a master.

In my upbringing, he didn't say,

"You have to weave a red piece

with a white and black."

He kind of gave me philosophies

on designing.

He used to say that color was

the most important part of the


It wasn't materials

or technique, it was color.

What I eventually learned as I

got older is that weaving

an individual design,

not copying the design over

and over,

was more attractive to people.

My dad's philosophy

in designing

was to weave a new design

every time I got to the loom.

And I developed a vocabulary

for designing.

The early inspiration

was my father's philosophy

because he didn't have

any drawings or he didn't

take pictures of his weavings.

My grandfather,

we only had a few examples left.

So those were inspiration,

and when I got married

to my wife, Lisa,

we started to do research

in museum collections,

so that influenced

our vocabulary in designing.

We didn't copy the old pieces,

but we used the ideas from

pieces to create our own






There was a midlife crisis,

and the theme was cars

because I was looking

for something to weave, and

what I did is I stood still here

in the studio

and I listened for sound.

The only sound I ever heard

was the cars passing by.

I started to think about

how cars influence our lives.

In our early stages of life,

we want the sports cars.

Then later on, in midlife,

we have to work, so the truck,

in our culture, is used to work.

Old age, for me,

is represented by hearse.

And death, to me,

was the space shuttle.

Why I did that,

I really don't know.

I have an engineering degree,

and I kind of thought

uncontrolled technology

will basically destroy us.

And then after death,

I started to think about, well,

what happens after death?

I represented that with a dove,

a white bird.

And then up at the top of the

piece, I have two birds

talking to each other,

telling about their path and

their life to the other bird.

That's kind of like the Vereda,

which is the path.

It's the path of life.




I've thought about what purpose

I was here for,

and I really feel that

in my career as a weaver,

I was entrusted with

the tradition to put our culture

into the new millennium,

to guide the development

of my culture and my influences

in the tradition as it grows.

The most important part of what

I've done in my life so far

is to learn about my heritage

and to express it

so that people can look

at my weavings and my work

and learn a little bit about

where Chimayó comes from.



>> To see more of Trujillo's

work, visit our Web page.

That wraps it up for this

edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

We'd like to hear what you think

about "WLIW Arts Beat," so like

us on Facebook, join the

conversation on Twitter, and

visit our Web page for features

and to watch episodes of the


We hope to see you next time.

I'm Diane Masciale.

Thank you for watching

"WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat" was

made possible by viewers like



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