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Crossman's fall season features art with ties to Whitewater

Stephanie Pamperin /The Week

(Published Sept. 26, 2007, 4:00 p.m.)

For the 31 years that Leon Pescheret lived in Whitewater, he created etchings of landscape and architectural views that earned him national and international awards.

The Crossman Gallery opened its fall exhibition series with “The Graphic Works of Leon Pescheret.” The exhibition runs through Oct 13 in the Greenhill Center of the Arts on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus.

“There are about 70 prints on display from Wisconsin (including Whitewater), Chicago, the Smoky Mountains, the Southwest and Europe,” said Michael Flanagan, director of the Crossman Gallery.

Several original printing plates were recently donated to the exhibition and will be showcased in a printmaking demonstration on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 6-8 p.m. in the Crossman Gallery.

During the demonstration Flanagan will explain the process of producing an etching and printing an intaglio print, which is the same process that Pescheret used.

Pescheret, born in 1892 in Chiswick, England, was a noted artist, designer, etcher and illustrator. He came to the United States in 1910 where he studied interior design at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 1936 he purchased the Halverson home at 519 W. Main St. in Whitewater, which is now the Mercy Whitewater Sports Medical and Rehabilitation center, where he opened his studio.

His color and monochrome etchings depicted scenes from the Whitewater community and other cities around the country.

In 1967, Pescheret closed his studio in Whitewater and relocated to Tuscon, Ariz., where he died on February 23, 1971.

Several of his works in the exhibition come from the special collections holdings in the university library. Other prints are being loaned from private collections.

“The university received over 100 pieces from his widow.  They are housed in the Special Collections area of the library,” said Flanagan.

Interim Chancellor Richard Telfer, Interim Dean Richard Haven of the College of Arts and Communication, the art department, Gaylon and Hannah Greenhill and David and Laura Triebold have contributed pieces to the exhibition. The Taft family has recently added three large format color etchings to the exhibition on Sept. 20.

Following the Pescheret exhibition will be “Paper Politics.” The exhibit will open October 18 with a reception from 5-7 p.m. and will run until Nov. 17.

“The Paper Politics show, the next exhibit in the gallery, will give a very broad look at the social issues of the day as interpreted by over 200 national, international and regional artists,” said Flanagan.

The exhibit is organized by Josh MacPhee, an artist, curator and activist. In 1998 he created a distribution system, to get radical art projects seen in the community, called justseed.

Macphee, author of Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority and Reproduce and Revolt, has also organized the “Celebrate the People’s History” poster series.

Print art will be showcased in the exhibit that will use themes of social justice and global equity in hopes of engaging community members in political conversation.

This exhibition has been on display across the country in different venues, but will be added to by regional artists for the exhibit to be held in Whitewater.

 “There will also be a student component to the show, so students can get a chance to express their viewpoints as well,” said Flanagan.

The Crossman Gallery is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, contact the Crossman Gallery at 472-1207.

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