Four people came for tea today. It was Lavender Earl Grey. First, Tony Petullo came in with his brand new book “Art without Category: British and Irish Art from the Anthony Petullo Collection.” This is a beautifully designed book that showcases the treasure trove of art that Petullo has gathered over the past decade. We spoke of his recent trip to China and Hong Kong, as well as his recent hip replacement surgeries. We also looked at Rudy Rotter’s work. Tony was not familiar with this self-taught artist from Manitowoc and was very impressed by the work. Then, the local Modern furniture dealer Skip Forrest sat down for tea. He had just eaten a hamburger in the Third Ward and decided to stop by to look at the Claire Stigliani drawing he had bought from the current show. Skip was wearing his summer attire, which was a Harley Davidson shirt. He complemented me on my new sandals. We chatted about art and Tony’s new book. Just after Skip left, Aisha Motlani, the art critic from the Shepherd Express came in. She is from England so she knows her tea time. We had a really nice conversation about our pasts and educations and kids. At 4:30 p.m. Art Elkon came in. He was wearing white pants, very much in the summer mode, with no socks and Birkenstock sandals. We chatted about Tony’s new book, aching joints, getting a new bike, and friends who have kids home from college. We also talked about how sitting down for a proper tea is a way to slow down. Art said he has an idea for an invention: a portable recorder to leave by art shows so people could leave messages to the artists.
Please come have tea. It is sometimes a challenge to sit still and converse, but it’s a very rewarding moment of human interaction and that’s what Portrait Society is all about. I won’t tell your secrets either.
I sure hope more people will come for tea soon.
Come have tea. Yes, that’s right, TEA!
Please stop by Portrait Society Gallery in the Third Ward on Fridays or Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. for a cup of tea and a bit of conversation with Gallery Director Debra Brehmer (and an occasional special guest). Through June 6, tea will be poured in Gallery B, which has been turned into something like a French salon with a little help from Milwaukee’s Riverview Antique Center. Madison artist Claire Stigliani’s fabulous portraits of Marie Antoinette and her sisters are in Gallery B as part of the Tender is the Line exhibition, featuring seven artists who draw portrait-related images.