Waukesha artists go public — for a cause

Published on: 4/21/2014

Three local artists have created works that will be featured in this year's Milwaukee Public Television's Great TV Auction from April 25 through May 3 on Channel 10.

The auction, a nine-day on-air fundraiser, is hosted annual to support Milwaukee Public Television and each year more than 19,000 items are donated.

JoAnn O'Hare

JoAnn O'Hare studied design and printmaking but after immersing herself in photography she became found of the way it affected her life.

'Life experiences lead you to wonderful opportunities, and photography became a real bonus,' O'Hare said. 'You become aware of all of these things going on and the more you look the more intimacy you see in landscape, the more spontaneity in people, the more unusual. You wait for things to happen and then you create your own work and it's just exciting.'

O'Hare, whose late husband worked as a producer and director on Channel 10 and Channel 36, said donating art to the auction has become more important to her.

'I've been submitting work off and on for a number of years, because I believe in supporting public broadcasting,' O'Hare said. 'We are so fortunate in this area to have the quality of broadcasting we do and to have two stations producing wonderful children's programming, concerts and lectures.'

This year, O'Hare's piece focuses on a poppy. The poppies are in her backyard, but the roots are from her grandfather's garden in South Dakota. She pulled the plants and brought the back to Wisconsin to start her own patch.

'I realized how fragile the flower was,' she said. 'It arrives and it's open and it's beautiful, but within a very short period of time it fades. It's life cycle from the bud to the bloom to decline becomes a dance, so-to-speak, where you have a grand opening and a finale but the in-between is wonderful.'

Her art piece consists of two flowers, one to the side and one full-face.

'They just radiate life and excitement and cheer,' O'Hare said. 'You can pull all sorts of things in there. That's what photography should be doing for people; give them inspiration.'

The original photo and a limited edition of 200 posters, 10 signed by the artist, will be available for bid.

Lynn Casper

Lynn Casper and her husband designed and built their home in the town of Waukesha in 1972, but her love of the arts started long before then.

'I was very fortunate to be raised in a family involved in the arts in Madison,' Casper said, citing her mother's extensive involvements in the art scene. 'We always had art supplies at home and I was encouraged to experiment with different media. Friends remember my love of drawing even as a little girl and how I coaxed them to collaborate on art projects through the years.'

Casper received a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in art history and a minor in French. Those memories inspired her to paint many familiar Madison landscapes.

She said she has been licensed by the UW Athletic Department and Collegiate Licensing to paint some truly Madison scenes featuring Camp Randall Stadium, the football team, marching band and Bucky as part of her 'Madison Memories in the Making' collection.

With her husband now retired, Casper has enjoyed traveling and 'adventures abroad,' as she calls them.

'I do not think you can ever 'retire' from art. There are so many things I want to explore with paintbrush, pastels, colored pencil and new media — subjects both close to home as well as those far away,' Casper said. 'I consider the creative process a lifelong friend.'

This is Casper's fourth time as a featured artist for the auction. Her piece, entitled 'Riverwalk Reflections,' is a painting that captures the Milwaukee River's dramatic night scene.

The original, 100 signed and numbered copies and 10 pencil artist proofs will be available for bid.

Chuck Weber

Chuck Weber, a lifelong resident of Waukesha County who currently resides in the town of Delafield, has been a full-time artist for 14 years.

He is responsible for familiar pieces in Waukesha, including artwork for Waukesha Memorial Hospital and a steam-punk 10-foot Gibson Les Paul guitar during 2012 Waukesha GuitarTown, which Weber called one of his more unusual, fun projects.

'I have always loved art, and it has always been an avocation, long before it was my vocation,' Weber said.

Weber, who has been commissioned in many portrait works, said that there are challenges in painting familiar faces.

'Capturing the 'spirit' of a person (is a challenge) — not only do you need to accurately capture their technical likeness and anatomy, but also that certain 'spark' that is uniquely theirs. This challenge is what I love about painting portraits,' Weber explained.

For the MPTV auction, Weber created 'Packer Power Sweep,' an oil painting depicting the Packers' 1967 Super Bowl team and their 'legendary' power sweep play and includes the likenesses of Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Fuzzy Thurston and Forrest Gregg.

When asked why he selected the piece he said 'They had asked me to do a retro sports image. I felt this was a 'classic,' the Lombardi area Packer Power Sweep.'

The original and 100 artist signed and numbered prints will be up for auction.

The auction

The MPTV Great TV Auction will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, April 25, and air until midnight, continuing each day from 1 p.m. to midnight through May 3.

It can bee seen on Channel 10, streamed at mptv.org or advanced bids can be placed at greattvauction.com.