Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Suitcase Export Fund Reopens June 3

May 28, 2013

For immediate release: 25 May 2013
For further information: Polly Morris, (414) 446-8794


The Bradley Family Foundation, in collaboration with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (GMF), announces the Summer Cycle of the GMF’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Suitcase Export Fund for Individual Artists. Created to help visual artists with the cost of exhibiting their work outside the four-county area (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington), the Fund is designed to provide greater visibility for individual artists and their work as well as for greater Milwaukee. To date, the Fund has supported a diverse group of 168 individual artists and eight artist collectives exhibiting throughout North America, and in Europe, Africa, the former Soviet Union and Asia. The awardees have received a total of $100,200 in grants and work in a variety of media, from film to ceramics. They include well-established artists as well as those at the start of their careers. A special effort has been made to support Nohl Fellows as they exhibit work made during their fellowship year. (For a list of Winter Cycle awardees, see below.)

The Suitcase Export Fund is open to practicing artists residing within the four-county area who want to export their work beyond that area for public display. Priority is given to artists with exhibitions outside of Wisconsin. The Fund provides support in two areas: transportation of the work (packing/shipping/insurance) and transportation of the artist. The maximum grant available to an individual is $1,000. Funding is only provided for upcoming opportunities (exhibitions or screenings commencing between June 3, 2013 and January 31, 2014 for the Summer Cycle).

The Suitcase Export Fund opens twice a year, disbursing awards in response to demand until the funds for each cycle are exhausted. The Winter Cycle began on December 3, 2012; a total of $7,500 was awarded. The Summer Cycle, which opens on June 3, 2013, will make another $7,700 available. The guidelines are now available at; the electronic application will open at 10 am on Monday, June 3. For those without computer access, paper applications will be available from or (414) 446-8794.

There have been some recent changes to the Suitcase Export Fund program that are reflected in the new guidelines. These changes are designed to ensure that the fund continues to serve as many artists as possible. As demand has grown, funds have been expended very quickly and it has become necessary to close individual cycles within a day or two of opening. Among the changes: a longer waiting period before award recipients are eligible to reapply, and more specific guidelines for group exhibitions organized in the Milwaukee area that feature multiple local artists.

Artists have responded very favorably to the Suitcase Export Fund and its simple application process. The Fund contributes to the creative health of the region by supporting local artists at all career stages, from the emerging to the established; alleviating some of the financial burden faced by artists who want to exhibit their work at a distance; and by getting the work of Milwaukee artists out into the world. The support provided for artist transportation has enabled artists to be on site to install work--important to most artists and indispensable to those working in the areas of installation and site-specific art. The opportunity to attend openings, where artists can meet with collectors and distributors and make critical connections with gallery owners, is consistently cited as a significant benefit. The Fund also creates opportunities to expose work in new regions and to new audiences, to meet other artists and see their work, to sell work, and to plan new projects. Although the Fund does not directly support residencies or ancillary activities, awardees have taken full advantage of opportunities to make new work, deliver gallery talks, and participate in symposia at their exhibition sites. In 2011, artists stretched their travel grants by arranging simultaneous exhibitions at other venues, or by participating in residency programs. While the opportunity to make connections—with artists, curators, collectors and others in their field—was important, for many the sense of validation and affirmation that came from interacting with new audiences was the most powerful benefit of the program.

Artist Mary L. Nohl of Fox Point, Wisconsin, died in December 2001 at the age of 87. Her $9.6 million bequest to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is one of the largest gifts the Foundation has received from a single donor in its 98-year history. The Fund, by supporting local visual arts and arts education programs, keeps Nohl’s passion for the visual arts alive in the community.

In the first half of its tenth cycle, the Fund provided assistance with shipping, travel and promotion to fourteen individual artists and two artist collectives. These artists—five of them past Nohl Fellows—work in a range of media. Their exhibitions are taking their work to Miami, Los Angeles, Delaware, San Francisco; Johannesburg, South Africa; Jeonju, South Korea; Izmir, Turkey; and Tokyo, Japan.

Marna Brauner, Nirmal Raja and Rina Yoon each received awards for a group exhibition at the Gyodong Art Center and Gyodong Studio Gallery in Jeonju, South Korea. The exhibition came as a result of a study trip a group of six Milwaukee artists made to South Korea last year to learn about hanji, the traditional Korean craft of making and manipulating paper. Yoon, who curated the exhibition, and Brauner will travel to South Korea and will lecture at the gallery and at Jeonju Kije College.

Nicholas Grider traveled to Los Angeles for "A Public Drowning," a solo installation/performance involving photographs and text, a reading in a private swimming pool, and a collective reading of a performance text. "A Public Drowning" was organized by Bellyflop Gallery in Los Angeles.

Yevgeniya Kaganovich will have a solo exhibition at the Heidi Lowe Gallery in Rehoboth, Delaware. She will be showing work from the "Pearl Clasp Necklace" series, which utilizes altered images of a traditional pearl clasp and porcelain “pearls” covered with a glaze that incorporates crushed fresh water pearls. The clasps flatten, inflate, gradate and deform, losing their original function and becoming decorative elements; the combination of porcelain and pearls creates a new precious material.

Tonia Klein shipped mixed media collages, screen prints and a site-specific installation to Izmir, Turkey for a solo exhibition at FLASH Atölye, an independent nonprofit project and exhibition space. It was Klein’s first solo international exhibition.

Shana McCaw & Brent Budsberg exhibited video installations and large-scale photographic prints from their series "States of Matter" at The York, a bar/restaurant in Los Angeles, programmed by Culture Reference, a curatorial project based in Echo Park. "States of Matter" depicts a 19th-century Midwestern farm couple struggling with the unfamiliar landscape of the American West. McCaw & Budsberg participated in two residencies while on the west coast: one at Goldwell Open Air Museum in Beatty, NV, the other at MKE-LAX in Los Angeles.

Marsha McDonald opened a solo exhibition of recent work--paintings, drawings, and small bronzes on the theme sort vand or black water—in April at Chandler Fine Art in San Francisco. McDonald gave a gallery talk as well as a public lecture.

Jessica Meuninck-Ganger and Nathaniel Stern traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa for “Dynamic Stasis,” a collaborative exhibition of new works at Gallery AOP. The exhibition featured fourteen new print and video works and was accompanied by a catalog and an artist talk. The artists also undertook several workshops in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, and Meuninck-Ganger further developed the transcontinental exchange by meeting with Kim Berman at Artist Proof Studio to coordinate an exhibition of South African prints for the "Print:MKE" conference that took place this past March.

Zina Mussman received funds to ship twenty-eight recent mixed-media drawings to a solo exhibition, “Under the Sun,” at the Lane Community College Art Gallery (Sister Gallery) in Eugene, Oregon.

Brad Pruitt made two trips to Los Angeles to screen and discuss his recent documentary, Mark My Words. One event, hosted by the Watts House Project (an artist-driven neighborhood redevelopment project) in collaboration with the Watts Art Center, Otis College of Art & Design and MKE-LAX, was designed to highlight art and media as a resource for social change and community engagement. This was the first public screening of the film in LA. Pruitt also co-taught a workshop on public education and community organizing for public practice artists and screened his film Bending Toward the Light at Otis.

John Riepenhoff opened a “John Riepenhoff Experience” at a new Lucie Fontaine Gallery in Tokyo. The “John Riepenhoff Experience” will be in place for at least a year, and exhibitions will change quarterly, beginning with miniature paintings by Los Angeles artist Jeni Spota. While in Tokyo, Riepenhoff co-curated “19516 kilometers from Milwaukee or 12126 miles,” an exhibition at Misako & Rosen.

Special Entertainment (Bobby Ciraldo and Andrew Swant) screened and discussed a selection of their work--past, new and in-progress--at Actual Size Gallery in Los Angeles. They participated in a simultaneous residency at MKE-LAX, during which they shot footage for a feature film.

Victoria Tasch will travel to Tokyo to exhibit altered and handmade books with screen printed pedestals in the group show, "Distant in Geography, Close in Mind" at the Bumpodo Gallery.

Eddie Villanueva presented a large wall installation at SCOPE Art Fair in Miami. The installation was part of Circuit 12 Contemporary’s booth.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is a family of more than 1,100 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the local charitable causes of their choice. Grants from these funds serve people throughout Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties. Started in 1915, the Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the world.

For further information about the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists program and Suitcase Export Fund, please visit

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