by Nathan Hall
Local commix artist Tea Krulos recently participated in the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) “Dossier Project,” an event focused on criticisms of the Patriot Act. Krulos was surprised to receive a call from one of the show’s curators, Peter Goldberg, telling him that his piece, “Weedapeeple,” was discovered torn to shreds near where it was being displayed. “I was very excited [about the project] for two reasons. One, it was the first time my work had been displayed in a gallery setting. [Two,] it was a learning experience,” Krulos said. When he started the project he had a rough idea what the Patriot Act was about, but he learned much more through his research. Krulos was contacted by the comic’s co-creator Mary Ann Onarato five or six months before the exhibition. She suggested collaborating on a comic for the show. “We met a few times over the months, comparing notes, slowly working and reworking the concept,” he said. They went blew the comic up to poster size and mounted it on large cardboard sheets, then colored it in using colored ink and colored pencil. They also made several hundred copies of the comic as a pamphlet. Krulos attended the show on opening and gallery nights, and a week later he was told unknown parties had ripped the piece apart — “most likely after a Marquette game.” Krulos was positive about the event in general. “It was a great show and this unfortunate event should really just be a footnote.” Although upset about the incident he does not blame Turner Hall, MARN, or anyone but those who vandalized his work. He feels even more invigorated to produce his art. “I would be all up for debating with them what the art means … if anything, it makes me feel like I should be doing more art of this nature,” he said. He plans to include a written statement in next issue of Riverwurst, the comic book he regularly produces. “I am challenging the vandals to a boxing match. If they win, I will give them more of my art to rip up. If I win, I will behead them,” he said.