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September 2003

The artist formerly known as Celia Farran is going by “Celia” — no last name — these days, in the great tradition of other singers (Prince, Madonna, etc.) who prefer a simpler, one-name moniker. Celia has a new CD, “Breathe,” produced by Willie Porter, who also co-wrote three of the tracks. Her CD release party is at Shank Hall, 1438 N. Farwell Ave. September 6 at 8 p.m. A $10 cover gets you in the door for the singer-songwriter’s eclectic mix of music styles, including alt-country, bluegrass, world beat, and R&B. Holly Haebig of One Drum will open the show. The CD is available at area Exclusive Company stores and Borders locations.


Book Lovers: Join the “Portraits of Self” Book Club at Bean Head Cafe, 1835 N. MLK Drive. The group meets on first and third Saturdays from 4-5:30 p.m. The current book selection is “The Spirit of a Man” by Iyanla Vanzant. Contact Simon for details at 264-2502. “Portraits of Self” is open to everyone!


The Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 911 W. National Ave., kicks off two new exhibits in its series La Tradicion e Innovacion: Discovering the Art and Culture of Mexico this month: Scott Townsend’s multimedia installation, Borderline Stories, and a photo exhibit by John Ruebartsch portraying the people and the land of the Sierra Tarahumara. The exhibit opens with a wine and cheese reception from 6-9 p.m. Friday, September 12, and continues through Oct. 18. In conjunction with the exhibit, Ruebartsch, a Riverwest resident, is also leading a photography residency for youth from El Puente Alternative High School. The student work will be on display Gallery Night, October 24, from 6-9 p.m.


A small art academy, The Academy of Unconventional Art, has begun in Riverwest. The artists teach conventional lessons; it’s the context and environment of the lessons that gives them their name. The one-month oil painting and drawing workshops consist of eight classes that are two and a half hours long. Call 372-1829 if you are interested.


On Saturday, September 13, Linneman’s Riverwest Inn will participate in a series of benefit concerts held to help ailing singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo pay his medical bills. Escovedo collapsed after a April 26 show in Phoenix and has since been diagnosed with complications of the liver due to Hepatitis C. Escovedo headlined Gilfest last year, driving non-stop from Canada to play the annual Milwaukee street festival. Acclaimed by roots-music bible No Depression magazine as “Artist of the Decade,” Alejandro’s music smears folk, country, glam, punk, chamber, and dead-on Rolling Stones riffage into one soulful gumbo. The Milwaukee artists performing reflect this eclectic mix: headliners will be Chicago-based Dollar Store, featuring former Milwaukeean Dean Schlabowske, who also performs with Escovedo’s Bloodshot labelmates, The Waco Brothers; The Aimless Blades, The Carolinas, The Mighty Deerlick, Stall, Stick Pony, West Of Rome, plus other special guests.


Rhythm & Soul Drum Line: Chris “Nati Drummer 23” Smith combines solid beats with soulful movements and drum stick “flashing.” He performed at The Summer of Peace Youth Rally and Marcus Garvey Days at the Black Historical Society. There is a renewed interest in drum lines since the release of “Drum Line,” the major motion picture on the art. Several youth have been captivated by the skill and flare of Chris’ performances and now have the opportunity to audition for his new drum line. Chris believes drumming is an excellent way to develop and foster discipline in youth and is seeking to network and collaborate with other programs and agencies. Auditions will be held September 27 at the YMCA Holton Youth Center at 510 E. Burleigh from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Leave your contact info at 935-9746.


Riverwest’s Bremen Cafe is now selling beer, wine, and sangrias. Their permit came through just in time for the Clarke Street Block party, and patrons made good use of the newly available spirits. Now you can take in good music and have a coffee or something a little stronger while you treat yourself to a homemade sandwich or good eats from Wild Flour Bakery.


Before a packed house at Circle A last month, Milwaukee favorite Matt Cook read poems from his book, In the Small of My Backyard, as well as several new works. An obviously inspired and occasionally rambunctious audience was all ears as Cook humored, delighted, and enlightened those in attendance. Cook’s reading was part of Circle A’s 5th Tuesday poetry readings. For those without a calendar handy, September is one of those five-Tuesday months.


Did you know Nessun Dorma has $1.75 taps of Riverwest Stein on Tuesdays? All night, until close. They’re also celebrating their first anniversary this month.


Speaking of bars with good eats, Onopa Brewing Company should soon be joining the ranks of Riverwest pubs that serve food, according to Paul Onopa. Preparations are being made to get the kitchen up and running.


Sway to music under the stars with Paul Cebar and The Milwaukeeans at the final Gordon Park Grooves concert on Thursday, September 11, 6:30-9 p.m. The park will be set aglow with a Commemorative Candle Light Vigil facilitated by George Martin of Peace Action. For more info, call The Tracks at 562-2020 or e-mail Tess Reiss at


Message Music: Conscious Hip Hop can be heard on WMSE 91.7 Here are the scheduled sets: – Monday, Midnight – 3 a.m. Andre presents “Cultural Revolution” – Tuesday, 9 p.m. – Midnight “Late Night Hype” – Saturday, Noon – 3 p.m. “Barry’s Boogie Bang”3- 6 p.m. Paul Hosts


This from Milwaukee Artist Resource Network: The Dossier Project, an art exhibition on the security/surveillance state, is putting together a collaborative group to develop an in-your-face interactive environment for the show. “It is meant to jar visitors into thinking seriously about the insidiousness but universality of the changes in our society going on around us in the name of security. We need a group of fiendishly clever installation and performance artists to conceptualize and mount this,” they say. If you’re fiendishly clever or have a tip or lead on someone who should be involved, contact MARN through the project’s webpage, www.dossierproject.com. Proposals are due by September 15 for the January 14 show at Turner Hall.


The works of Milwaukee artist Will Kolstad are on display at the Charles Allis Art Museum, 1801 N. Prospect Ave., from August 17 to September 14. Will Kolstad: Paintings and Drawings uses a variety of mediums to depict scenes of regular Americans at work and at play. Exploring subjects from intense isolation to simple leisure, Kolstad draws the viewer into the lives and experiences of his figures.


Madison artist Andre Ferrella is the next featured display, at both the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums from September 21 through October 26. The Charles Allis Museum will feature Ferrella’s Living Pictures while the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum will show his Beautiful Flowers. The opening reception is Sunday, September 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. Ferrella, an innovator in digital imaging, manipulates photographs through creative use of mold at various points in the photographic process in his Living Pictures series. In the mold picture process, Ferrella allows mold to eat away portions of his negatives before developing the pictures. “When I projected that first negative onto my large scale processing tray the picture seemed to actually contain life,” Ferrella said. “It was like looking through a microscope.” The Beautiful Flowers portion of the exhibition will feature color portraits of a wide variety of wild flowers.


Riverwest’s Annual Artwalk is coming up the first weekend in October! Mark your calendars and be sure to check out the many neighborhood venues that have art works to show.


Do you have information about an upcoming event, concert, exhibit, etc., that you’d like us to publish? Please send news tips, briefs, press releases, and suggestions to Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 9 – September 2003