November 4, 2011

For immediate release:     November 4, 2011
For further information:    Polly Morris, (414) 446-8794

Seven Artists Recognized in Ninth Cycle

Seven recipients of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists have been selected from a field of 143 applicants in the ninth annual competition. Nicolas Lampert, Brad Lichtenstein and Sonja Thomsen were chosen in the Established Artist category and will each receive a $15,000 fellowship. American Fantasy Classics (Brittany Ellenz, Liza Pflughoft, Alec Regan and Oliver Sweet), Richard Galling, Hans Gindlesberger and Sarah Luther will receive Emerging Artist fellowships of $5,000 each. In addition to receiving an award, the Nohl Fellows will participate in an exhibition in the autumn of 2012. An exhibition catalogue will also be published and disseminated nationally.

Finalists in the Established Artist category included Santiago Cucullu, Greg Klassen, Keith Nelson and Will Pergl.

Finalists in the Emerging artist category included Joseph Bruns, Emir Cakaroz, Venetia Dale, Matthew Konkel, Colleen Ludwig and David Witzling.

Headshots and images of the artists’ work available for download at:

Funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund and administered by the Bradley Family Foundation, the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists provide unrestricted funds for artists to create new work or complete work in progress. The program is open to practicing artists residing in the four-county area (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties). The Mary L. Nohl Fund also supports a Suitcase Fund for exporting work by local artists beyond the four-county area.

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 96-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.

The panel of jurors included Xandra Eden, curator of exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum and adjunct faculty in Art History at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Tumelo Mosaka, curator of contemporary art at the Krannert Art Museum, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois; and Elizabeth Thomas, Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator at Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, where she directs the MATRIX series of contemporary projects. The panelists were in Milwaukee October 27-October 29, reviewing work samples and artists’ statements and visiting the studios of the seven finalists in the Established Artist category.

About the Fellows
Established Artists
Nicolas Lampert’s work addresses issues of urban ecology, social justice, and history--specifically the role that artists have played within social justice movements. Collectively, he works with the Justseeds Artists Cooperative, a decentralized network of twenty-six printmakers living in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Together, they run a print collective, manage a storefront space/distribution center, produce portfolios, contribute graphics to movements, work on large-scale installations, co-publish books, and stage exhibitions. Recent projects include co-organizing, with Raoul Deal, Watershed: Art, Activism, and Community Engagement--a multifaceted project that addressed the shifting ecological and political dimensions of water, and uses art as a form of activism to comment on water issues in Milwaukee, the Great Lakes Basin, and the world at large. The project involved a series of public interventions, presentations, film screenings, community workshops, and a gallery exhibition. Lampert rcollaborated with Paul Kjelland on a community-based art installation for the Villard Square Library on Milwaukee’s north side, a project funded by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library and the City of Milwaukee Arts Board. Other projects include working as an artist on actions with the Rain Forest Action Network (Chicago chapter), Tamms Year Ten, and Iraq Veteran's Against the War (Chicago chapter). Lampert’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, MASS MoCA, Philagraphika, RMIT Gallery (Melbourne International Arts Festival), and the Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Brad Lichtenstein has been working in documentary production since 1992 and his films can be seen in theaters, at festivals, in museums, and on television all over the world. He is currently in post-production on As Goes Janesville, a documentary about how a town survives and reinvents itself following the loss of their century-old GM plant and the worst recession since the ‘30s. It will air on the PBS series Independent Lens in October 2012. Work in development includes technology and transmedia projects for the common good, including What We Got; DJ Spooky’s Quest for the Commons; and Once You’re Dead, a film that compares America’s culture of death denial with other approaches across the globe.

Before making his own films, Lichtenstein was associate producer of FRONTLINE’s Peabody award-winning presidential election year special, Choice ’96, and Lumiere Production’s PBS series, With God on Our Side: The History of the Religious Right. With Lumiere, he produced and directed André’s Lives, a portrait of the “Jewish Schindler”; Safe, about domestic violence; Caught in the Crossfire, about Arab-Americans after 9/11; and the BBC/Court TV co-production of Ghosts of Attica, about the infamous 1971 prison uprising and its aftermath, for which he was awarded a Dupont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Journalism. His film Almost Home, a documentary about people who live and work in an elder-care community, continues to be featured in workshops on aging and caregiving five years after its premiere broadcast. Lichtenstein’s work has been supported by the Blue Mountain Center, Creative Capital, the Helen Bader Foundation, the HKH Foundation, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the International Documentary Association, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Retirement Research Foundation, the Sheldon and Marianne Lubar Foundation, and the Tides Foundation. Lichtenstein taught documentary production for five years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he founded doc|UWM, a documentary film center that provides students with professional documentary experiences. He is the president of 371 Productions.

As a conceptual photographer, Sonja Thomsen's practice has evolved from photographic series exploring phenomena of weather and the elements to more recent interactive, installation-based works that weave place and person to convey ideas about youth and aging. Issues of life cycles and memory have become common threads in her work. Born in Chicago in 1978 and raised in Milwaukee, Thomsen is pleased to call Milwaukee her home. She received an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2004 and a BA in Biology & Studio Art from Kenyon College in 2000. Thomsen is currently preparing for Echo, a two-woman exhibition at the Reykjavik Museum of Photography in Iceland that will open in January 2012.

Emerging Artists
American Fantasy Classics—Brittany Ellenz, Liza Pflughoft, Alec Regan, Oliver Sweet, all graduates of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design--is a collaborative artist group established in the spring of 2011. Their primary directive is to encourage ambitious experimentation and stimulate interaction in the art community. They do this by dedicating their skills, knowledge and resources to the artists with whom they work. By blurring the conventional boundaries between artist, curator, collaborator and fabricator, American Fantasy Classics offers a new model for a contemporary art practice. The collaborative has completed projects—paintings, sculpture, performance, photographs, delivering flowers, baking cakes--with nearly 20 artists, curators and gallerists, including Brenna Murphy, David Robbins, the White Box Painters and Paul Druecke, and has facilitated five exhibitions at their space in Riverwest. They anticipate that every new interaction will expand their “mutant gene pool,” challenging them and providing the community of which they are part with opportunities to connect and grow.

Painter Richard Galling’s work posits a form of Modernism while negating its idealism. He comes at Modernity obliquely, through academia and mediation, detaching it from its historical precedence. In developing a relationship to what has passed, Galling approaches painting with personal history imbued with a generational sensibility. A painted square, for example, is not a pure, absolute form; it will always-already be making reference to something outside of itself. Galling is interested in the semiotics of abstract painting: making the viewer aware of the dissemination of color, form, and mark as language; and the way these meanings are always-already changing and evolving. Galling received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 2006, and his MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University in 2009. He is adjunct faculty in painting at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.

Hans Gindlesberger’s artistic practice is rooted in the need to recover a sense of belonging from a landscape that is increasingly in a state of social, psychological, and physical transition. His projects span photography, video, and installation and have been shown widely in exhibitions, festivals, and screenings including: Galleri Image (Denmark), Gallery 44 (Toronto), Jen Bekman Projects (New York), Voies Off Photography Festival (France), and the CologneOFF Video Festival, among others. In 2008, as a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, he collaborated on a cinematic interpretation of Ohio Impromptu, Samuel Beckett’s play of loss and exile. It was subsequently screened at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo. His most recent project is a series of constructed architectural photographs that extrapolate on pictures taken by his grandfather during World War II, but lost as the roll of film sat undeveloped for more than 60 years. The resulting images reference the generational loss of familial memory and the German obligation to remember its history. Gindlesberger received his BFA from Bowling Green State University in 2004 and his MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2006. He is Head of the photography area in the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Sarah Luther is determined to find a way to create art for any space, situation, or audience. She creates visual experiences using satire, comedy, exaggerations of her own personality, and an unfailing intuitive sense of optimism, re-contextualizing ordinary, sad, simple, fragile, ugly, and under-appreciated things and turning these outcasts into subjects, stars, and phenomena. Most recently Luther has shown floral arrangements gathered from six disparate Milwaukee neighborhoods at the UWM Union Art Gallery, and has created an installation and performance about inanimate objects for the show Generation Next at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Luther works as a maker of temporary public art and project planner for IN:SITE, and she received a Wisconsin Arts Board Artist Working in Collaboration with Communities grant to create and run an open-ended public gathering space called The Amplifier in the Silver City area of National Avenue. She received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2004.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s mission is to strengthen communities through effective partnerships. It is made up of over 1,000 charitable funds, each created by individual donors or families to serve the charitable causes of their choice. Grants from these funds serve people throughout Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties and beyond. Started in 1915, the Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the U.S. and abroad.

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

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