Surprises abound in the usual gallery spaces and elsewhere. Info
Madison's twice-annual gallery night, organized by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, spans about 70 venues this time around. It's a good excuse to check in on the city's more prominent museums and galleries, but also to happen upon some surprises in shops, restaurants, and other local businesses getting in on the act. At MMOCA itself, you might be able to get an early look at some works in this year's Wisconsin Triennial, which doesn't open until October 19 but is currently mid-install. Around the corner at the Central Library, the Bubbler program's Artist-In-Residence, illustrator and multimedia artist Emily Balsley, will be leading an interactive workshop, and don't forget that there's almost always art worth catching on the Library's other three floors. If you're browsing downtown, also stop by the James Watrous Gallery (on the third floor of the Overture Center) to see a show we featured at Tone Madison this week, Helen Hawley's The Blues Of The Rain. Also up now at the Watrous Gallery is Gabriel Pionkowski's Touching—Self—Touching, a show that combines paintings on intricately woven canvases and bright but provocative sculpture.
If you're doing the Gallery Night thing, don't restrict yourself to downtown. Over on the north side, UW-Madison's mighty printmaking hub Tandem Press will be showcasing explosively colorful work by Derrick Adams and Mickalene Thomas, and Arts For All Wisconsin (an arts non-profit that serves artists with disabilities in Wisconsin) will be celebrating the surreally layered works of painter Joyce J. Gust. Highlights on the east side include a multi-artist, pop art-focused show at Prism Dance Club, new work from Jenie Gao at Giant Jones Brewing (and tours of Gao's new studio, in the same building), and an outdoor sculpture garden at Robinia Courtyard. Points west include an installation by Leslie Iwai at Middleton's The Regal Find and a last chance to see the paintings of Pranav Sood at Edgewood College's ever-underrated gallery space. Given the large scope of Gallery Night, of course, your mileage may vary, but this year's lineup is promising. —Scott Gordon