What makes Milwaukee special…

December 1, 2009 | Comments (0)

There are many things that make Milwaukee a great place to live: Lake Michigan, the Sausage Race at Miller Park, the State Fair, the Riverwest Coop, and some great thrift stores, to name just a few things. This past weekend though, Rachel and I got to experience two more events that need to be added to that list: Mondo Lucha and Art vs Craft.

Friday night, the Turner Hall ballroom was host to the Mondo Lucha Holiday Variety Show. The ballroom was packed with people eager to see the burlesque dancers, pole dancers, live music (Kid Millions and Scarring Party), breakdancing, and Mexican-style all-star wrestling! The two-hour show was impressively over-the-top on all aspects. The wrestlers’ costumes and masks were like super-hero costumes and their confrontations were appropriately dramatic; the burlesque dancers were beautifully costumed and their performances classically inspired. All in all, it was a real fun evening! Next Mondo is in Spring 2010–date TBD!
Oh yeah, and I almost forgot–Santa Claus got body-slammed by the Skull Crusher and I, feeling so inspired by all the action, got my own luchador mask!!
According to an online “Wrestling Name Generator”, my wrestler-name is “Abdullah the Critter”–wowza, how’d they know?

Saturday afternoon, Rachel and I went to Art vs Craft at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center. “AvC” is the brainchild of Faythe Levine, an artist, curator, film-maker and prominent figure in the Milwaukee art-DIY scene. Art vs Craft is an “alternative” art/craft-fair that’s been happening since 2004. AvC brought 70 artists to Milwaukee to sell their wares. The hall was crowded and visitors could find everything from hand-made soap to art prints to shadow-puppets to clothing and jewelry. Art vs Craft is partially sponsored by Our Milwaukee, a buy-local trade-group that I belong to.
Besides all the artists that we saw, Rachel and I also ran into a number of other Milwaukee artist-friends: Stephanie Bartz (photographer/artist), Sally Salkowski-Witte (exec. director of Artists Working in Education), Melissa Muller (artist/curator/sommelier), Janet McMillan (photographer), Joe Wagner (wood-worker/furniture maker) and Kristian Larsen (illustrator/web designer).

Standout artists (for me) were: Stonesters, Loose Tooth, Love Lulu Mae, Art Goodies, Matt Cipov (we bought 4 prints!), Owly Shadow Puppets, Milwaukee Beer Soap, Tugboat Printshop, and Christina Ward’s Creatures!

About Troy Freund

Independent photographer working for commercial and editorial clients, based in Milwaukee, WI.

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