Green Gallery

ART At Large by Melanie Hupfer • Going Green: Green Gallery East Opens on Farwell Amidst the streetlight, headlight, and neon light interrupted darkness of the 1500 block of North Farwell Avenue, the bright white Green Gallery East casts an enticing glow. The art in the gallery operated by John Riepenhoff, director of the Green Gallery West in Riverwest, and Jake Palmert is clearly visible from the sidewalk through the large windows covering the front of the building. The gallery is announced by a sign whose only text is a solid green rectangle. The Green Gallery East, which opened January 31, serves to expand upon the curatorial work Riepenhoff has done at the Green Gallery West, 631 E. Center St., for over five years.  Riepenhoff started the West gallery while he was an art student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, “out of necessity,” he said.  “Artists I knew didn’t have a venue to show their art,” he said.  Evolving out of the do-it-yourself mentality that fueled Riepenhoff and his brother Joe when they ran a music venue and recording studio in their attic, the Green Gallery West has expanded to host a number of projects.  The space, in addition to showing work by artists local to international, serves as a base for the Green Gallery Press, which publishes books by artists and writers, a venue for local filmmakers to share their films over Indian food, and a recording studio. It also houses the John Riepenhoff Experience, “the world’s tiniest art gallery,” Riepenhoff said, as well as “Club Nutz,” which may also be the world’s tiniest comedy club. There is also studio space and a bedroom for an artist in residence, though the space is currently unoccupied.  The East gallery is a more formal venue designed to increase the number of international artists showing in Milwaukee and to showcase “local artists working at the same level as my favorite international artists,” Riepenhoff said.  “We want people to have access to good art, art pertinent today, dealing with interesting issues,” Riepenhoff said.  At Green Gallery East  Paintings of personal trainer Joshua Van Schaick, framed scraps of paper bearing Van Schaick’s thoughts and advice, and a flatscreen TV projecting a short documentary explore the edges of the definition of art and the artist in David Robbins’ “Lift: Part 2,” which runs at the East gallery through March 7.  Michelle Grabner’s silverpoint drawings, along with a mobile by Brad Killam, will bring an entirely different aesthetic beginning March 14. Grabner’s radial drawings, which are the result of an extremely repetitive and precise technique, examine the process of art making while offering interesting visual effects. The play of light off graphite, an intense sense of motion, a subtle softness, and other rewards reveal themselves and recede with different viewing angles and the passage of time.  At Green Gallery West  The West gallery features the collages, photography and sculpture of Milwaukee artist Paul Stoelting through March 20, the tentative date of the exhibition’s closing event and the release of a corresponding Green Gallery Press book (visit the for more information closer to the date). Stoelting’s work is at once playful, modern and pensive.  A small photograph by Brian Scott Zbichorski hangs in the John Riepenhoff Experience, the gallery within the Green Gallery West that is accessed by climbing up a ladder and sticking one’s head through the opening in a small white box that serves as the gallery.  Viewing Zbichorski’s work in the John Riepenhoff Experience is an unexpectedly effective transportation into a bright, meditative and intimate experience involving numerous shifts in perspective.  Multimedia artist Frankie Martin’s videos, sculptures and paintings will be up next at the West gallery on April 3. The exhibition will explore death and the afterlife with footage shot in Pompeii, Italy. A film about the birth of Venus will show in the John Riepenhoff Experience.  Both Green Galleries offer periodic lectures and other special events.  Green Gallery East, 1500 N. Farwell Ave., is open Thursday and Friday 4-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 2-6 p.m. For info: 226.1978 or . On the web:  Green Gallery West, 631 E. Center St., is open by appointment. Contact . On the web: