#ToddMrozinski #ArtistInResidence at the #PfisterHotel in #Milwaukee #WI

Thursday evening I had a wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with Todd Mrozinski about his artwork. In addition to the work in his “Shadow Series,” which consisted of 20+ (must be hundreds of paintings), Todd shared the Pop-Up Gallery installation in a former boutique at the Pfister. His work as well as the works of Timothy Westbrook’s are on display and the opening reception is this evening (Friday, June 12). Thank you to Todd and his wife Renee Bebeau as well as Pamela Anderson (from Milwaukee’s Plaid Tuba Gallery) and her husband Steven Kaishian for the wonderful conversation.

Also below is a great review of student created art inspired by the works of Midwest Artists from Frank Juarez’s (Sheboygan Artist / Educator) book Midwest Artist Studios (MAS). The link to the original site it here, but you can read my excerpt below. Please explore at all the student’s working and works HERE.

A Midwest Artist Studios Reflection, by Frank Juarez (and Frank Korb) – Here

The Pfister Pop-Up Gallery Press release HERE.

Reflection on Todd Mrozinski and Silhouette Drawings

Written by Frank Korb, art teacher

2015 Drawing Class – Waterford Union High School

Korb5I introduced my students to Todd Mrozinski through theMidwestern Artist Studios Project workbook designed by Frank Juarez. In order to help my students better understand who Todd Mrozinski is, I used Frank Juarez’s writing and interview with Todd from the M.A.S. Workbook as well as looking at Todd’s website and video prepared as his application for the Pfister Artist in Residence. From there, we discussed the ideas and history behind diptychs and triptychs. The ideas behind the works were planned around the idea of working with a partner, learning about them as individuals and then working together to create works about one another through the same ideas of Todd – working with the Silhouette of one another and also working with the ideas of shadows cast from plants or trees. Originally, we were going to be creating a triptych and including the shadow of a person made object, one chosen by the partner in the pair, but because of time limitations we only had one artist get that far with the drawing.

Korb6In the very beginning, we introduced one another through learning the ideas behind the elevator pitch. Using an elevator pitch approach to introduce themselves gave them a good understanding about who they are, what they believe in, how they make art, what their ideas about life and art. From there we all went outside and looked at shadows and the partners worked together to choose which types of plant shadows to trace. The artist traced the shadow their partner liked or felt symbolized them. They then traced the sitters silhouette. From there we all worked in studio and created these wonderful images through the use of oil pastels. Over these quick 2 weeks or so, a large assortment of strong and conversation starting compositions were created. Works were focused on the positive and negative space the silhouettes created while also being built up upon the idea of color scheme. Working together gave the artwork a collaborative element that previous works did not have. Students were a bit apprehensive about the use of oil pastels, but this was a good choice as time was of a concern. Oils have a quality that really show the mark of the artist and this showed through in many of the works. A few thoughts about the next time that this lesson is taught are to allow more time to work, a mid-critique, as well as a field trip to Todd’s studio in Milwaukee.

Each class period began with a virtual trip to Todd’s gallery and discussion about a few works. Personal written reflection happened at the end of each day with students thinking about and responding to the successes and failures that they were experiencing in the work. When we had about a week left, I provided an online written critique (google forms) for them to use as their final exam. All said and done – kids came into the final exam period with their finished artwork, Skype TV turned on, and Todd, my students, and myself I met up online to talk about the ideas and works that were created.

Korb10Over the course of two days and two separate classes, 20 kids each, a 1 1/2 hour time period we had GREAT critiques, conversation, and reinforcement of many words I spoke of earlier. Todd added a lot of new ideas about intention and symbolism, compositional ideas that were new ideas for the students. The young artists were very interested in Todd’s comments, critique, and support about the work. Discussion of the works was very strong and the students took to the conversation with elements and principles in mind with interpretation becoming even more a highlight. I sincerely hope that the ideas spoken about are carried forward into the individual student work.

Korb11During the first week of summer vacation, I put out a brief survey to the kids that asked four questions. 1) What are THREE (3) highlights that you found, experienced, or achieved in the working on your shadow / color scheme drawings? 2) What are TWO (2) suggestions you suggest for the next time this artwork / experience gets taught? 3) What is the ONE (1) thing that you feel you will remember / use in the future that you learned from this work of art? 4) Do you have ANYTHING ELSE that you would like to add? Please let me hear more of your thoughts. Survey resultsHERE. While I am not expecting a lot of responses, summer vacation having started, I do hope to get a few comments in about the project. My students works as well as images of the kids in the process of working and critiquing can be seen through this link: https://goo.gl/UgFmbo.

TheMidwest Artist Studios™ Project is supported by a grant from the Kohler Foundation, Inc and the Wisconsin Art Education Association. 

What are you THANKFUL for?

2013 Open Canvas Art Event – Milwaukee WI

“You won’t be happy with more until you’re happy with what you’ve got.” – Viki King (author, writer, speaker)

What are YOU thankful for? Take 30 seconds and write out 3 things you are thankful for.

Art Foundations 2D: Intro to Critiquing, 2 Point Perspective

What are YOU incorporating into your city / neighborhood / interior?


  1. (1.2) Create 2 point perspective art that demonstrates how your ideas relate to the media, techniques (VALUE) and processes you use. (P)
  2. (2.3) Create artworks that uses organization and function to solve specific visual challenges.

What was the success in today’s drawing? What was the challenge?  What were the goals we have had over the past couple of weeks that you feel you have accomplished? WHY are you successful or unsuccessful with this artwork?

Advanced Drawing: Drawing and Evaluation

How are you using pastels? How did Degas?


  1. 3.3 describe the creation of images and ideas and explain why they are of value
  2. NETS: TONIGHT Use digital media to work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning (Begin your crit.)

What was the success in today’s first portion of the critique? What did you see when you ANALYZED your work? What was the surprising to you?  What were the goals we have had over the past couple of weeks that you feel you have accomplished? WHY are you successful or unsuccessful with this artwork?

AP Studio Art: Still Life and Concentration (and WEB Design)

So… what are you worried about?


  1. 3.1 reflect on how your art differs and describe how it relates to the CONCENTRATION you have begun.
  2. 3.3 describe the creation of your images and ideas and how they work with your concentration.

What did you accomplish today? What do you need to do tomorrow?  Developing Still Life works, concentration work. How can you develop your OWN voice?

Making Plans to Create an “One Week Painting”

"I Will Fill It With Splendid Gifts," 2013, Art*Bar.
“I Will Fill It With Splendid Gifts,” 2013, Art*Bar.

Once a year, I get the opportunity to create a temporary artwork at the Art*Bar in Milwaukee, WI. The Art*Bar is exactly what it sounds like, a Bar that has no wall advertising for the adult beverages that it serves, but rather walls full of real, live, legitimate Art (with a capital A). To see MORE of my art and the PURCHASE MORE of my art (nudge nudge…) please visit frankkorb.com and get in tough with me through my e-mail there.

After September 11, 2001 occurred, and the world was still reeling from the shock, “Don Krause, then 42, took the event as a personal wake-up call and sought out a place to cultivate his Riverwest dream, to create a unique tavern. “I never told anyone what I was working on and I didn’t know when it was going to open,” says Krause. “I had never done anything like it before.” All he knew was how to create a good atmosphere, developed from his eight years as an interior designer at Ethan Allen.” (Putz, http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2013/05/27/taverns-artbar-is-a-painters-paradise/). Thank heavens Krause had this vision and was able to follow through with it. (As a side note: Please visit the a fore mentioned article / link about the Art*Bar. It is amazing how SMALL the world is. Nastasia Putz was a one semester student of mine YEARS ago and has now made her marks in the world of journalism. It is funny how people circle in and out of one’s life. Thanks for the conversation Nastasia – great article!)

10 years fast forward (and 10 paintings of my own at the Art*Bar) we arrive at July 7, 2013. Ok, the math doesn’t work out quite right, but the Art*Bar has been around for 10 years now… Walking into the space, I arrive with a start and see that the traditional scaffolding that usually holds the artist for the evening above the 3′ x 5′ canvas above the door is missing. This happened to me last year also, but it was just that the scaffolding had been forgotten about. This year… the scaffolding is gone and the canvas is propped up on a table awaiting the new ideas of the arriving artist.

Previous work by Jason Roberts (I think... sorry Jason).
Previous work by Jason Roberts (I think… sorry Jason).

The idea behind the “One Week Painting” that I have created and planned on creating is such an ingenious idea of temporary art, I have carried it into (or rather just outside of) my high school classroom. For one small amount of time (8 hours) a painting is created and then hangs for one week. After that week, another artist comes in and reworks, incorporates, or completely obliterates the previous weeks work and a NEW work is presented for the week. This happens for 51 weeks and then the final week a PARTY is held for the 51 artists who took part. Slide show of all the year’s paintings is projected, prints of the works are hanging on the large metal / magnet wall, and Don’s favorite 10 are printed / frames and hanging in the prominent place  around the bar. I have had the fortune to be a “favorite” twice in my 9 previous year… maybe 3 times… I’ll have to check my CV.

“Controversial Backdrop Sought” from 2012 at the Art*Bar.

Not entirely certain as to the direction I was planning on going, I prepared with some supplies of recycled drop papers, coffee filters, and my faith in the Bible pages I base most of my artworks over. I stepped into the establishment with supplies in hand, my trusty buckets and milk crates of paints, ready to attack, or at least gently work the painting from the previous week into my thoughts for the current week. The 6 hours I needed on July 7 were full of “What do I do NOW,” “How to solve that issue,” and “I think this is going to work, I have got it.” Here is the process of the 6 hours of making a “One Week Painting” at the Art*Bar.

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