Milwaukee Art Beat – October 9th, 2009 [Part 1]


"Artbeat encourages artists and non-artists alike to explore their own inspirations and creativity..."

I was immersed in marvelous talent last Friday (Oct. 9th) at the Milwaukee Art Beat. There was art in various scintillating forms including photography, sculpture, mosaics, painting, and even performance art. It was quite the experience. In some cases, we were able to hear directly from the artist in on-stage interviews, receiving an in-depth look into their work.

For the record, Artbeat is a non-profit organization that encourages and promotes art among youth and the community. It also acts as a showcase for local artists to present their work to the masses. I commend and admire their efforts. Personally, I can’t imagine my life without the arts (this blog definitely wouldn’t exist). All of the artists at this show are extremely talented and often do many different things.

Steve Daubs at Art Beat

First up, is photographer and writer, Steve Daubs. He recently roamed through Russia on a photographic expedition, shooting people and places. In the interview he shared that a lot of activity actually occurs below ground in passages and tunnels, which is where a good number of his photographs were taken.

Also, on display were a number of his beauty shots that recreated that old Hollywood glamour. The images convey the idea of being almost impossibly perfect and the model appears to be untouchable. He included a photograph of one of the models in her normal state (still naturally lovely). It was fascinating to see the juxtaposition between manipulated reality and actuality. Below are shots taken from Steve Daubs’s website.

Steve Daubs Photography

Steve Daubs Photography

Next, is professional mosaic artist, Shelly Bird. With many years of experience, she has completed various residential and commercial pieces ranging from walls to wall hangings. I find her work beautiful and dynamic. Shelly uses unique materials like blown glass or natural rock, some of which is reclaimed. She also prefers stained glass for its quality of light and mirrored iridescent elements for their ability to express a sense of movement. Below is a picture of her with her work at Art Beat, but I encourage you to look at more of her work on Yessy Art Gallery.

Shelly Bird at Art Beat

Shelly Bird MosaicShelly Bird Mosaic

Now we move on to sculpture. Bruce Niemi is a second generation sculptor who works with stainless steel and bronze. I love the rhythmic, yet powerful curves, and overall flow of his work. The twists, shapes, and connections are quite alluring. What’s more, a positive message is behind all of his artwork, with titles such as “Protected,” “Living the Dream,” and “Reaching for the Heights.

Bruce Niemi at Art Beat

Niemi has been creating sculptures for over thirty years and quoted from his site he states “if you studied my art you would know my heart.” If you are ever in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Bruce and his wife Susan invite you to visit their Sculpture Garden featuring artists from around the world. To see more of Niemi’s work check out the galleries on his website.

Bruce Niemi PieceBruce Niemi Piece

This was a performance art piece that was fun to watch and listen to. Artist Shelby Keefe put on a lively 18 minute show in which she painted a scene from one of her photographs while groovin’ to the music that she put together herself. She is a contemporary impressionistic painter who has won awards for her urban landscape paintings, and her work is displayed in collections around the United States.

Shelby Keefe performing at Art Beat

I’ve gazed at many of the pieces on her website, my favorites being the ones that are architectural in nature (no surprise there). I would also like to mention that Keefe is about to release a CD with her music. She collaborates with other musicians and uses a great program called GarageBand (I even modeled a part of one of my studio projects after it). Listen to samples of her work on Reverb Nation.

Shelby Keefe ArtworkShelby Keefe Artwork

That’s it for now, but I still have more artists to cover. Check back for Part 2.

Art Beat photos are referenced from Lisa’s List.

Leave a comment


  1. Chelsea

     /  December 31, 2009

    Great review! I truly enjoyed seeing ArtBeat through your eyes! i was there and still failed to notice some of the marvels you wrote about. It was a wonderful exposition of talent and I’m so glad you had a chance to share what you saw! Great review! :o)

  2. Girl…very, very nicely written. You are an inspiration to me! And a great writer! Nice to see your take on the artists and learn what I missed while helping out Annie B. Just marvelous.

  1. 2009 Artbeat Press & Reviews | Milwaukee Artbeat dot org
  2. Milwaukee Art Beat – October 9th, 2009 [Part 2] « Inside My Head

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