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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

  • “ECO Ephemeral”ECO Ephemeral

    UW-Milwaukee Installation of invasive willow http://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/arts/art-city/2016/10/06/thomas-ferrella-uwm-roadside-memorials/91599948/

  • “ECO Ephemeral”ECO Ephemeral

    UW-Milwaukee Installation of invasive willow http://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/arts/art-city/2016/10/06/thomas-ferrella-uwm-roadside-memorials/91599948/

  • “1 WORLD”1 WORLD

    1World is a part of Intentionally Welcoming Communities, an initiative led by local artist John Steines. Iâm fortunate to be a part of an artist community that drives a social message. Collaborations like this tell me, âWe can become the examples of change and unity that this one world of ours needs right now.â Press: http://isthmus.com/events/intentionally-welcoming-communities-art-collaborative/ http://madison365.com/mean-intentionally-welcoming/

  • “Wisconsin Roadside Memorials_James Lierman”Wisconsin Roadside Memorials_James Lierman

    I came to this project through another life. For 30 years I worked as a physician in the field of Emergency Medicine. I retired in 2013. Throughout my career in medicine I always maintained a passion for the arts and have actively shown my photography, paintings and sculptures. This project bridges those two worlds. In 1991, I observed the construction of a roadside memorial at the intersection of East Washington Ave. and 4th St. in Madison, WI. At this location, two young East High School students died after being struck by a car while crossing the street. I happened to be the physician who took care of one of those girls, so this memorial struck a personal chord. This intersection also happens to be very close to my neighborhood, so I witnessed the memorialâs evolution over the next several months. I was immediately struck by its beauty, but what truly resonated was its organic personal nature. Woven into the roadside fence were colored plastic flowers, stuffed animals, hand written messages, bits of personal memorabilia and balloons. The wind from passing vehicles interacted with the memorial accentuating the loose construction. There were no preconceived designs and there was no architect. It was a free-flowing improvisational community art piece paying tribute to these young womenâs lives. I regret that I never took any photographs of that memorial site. It did, however, lead me to this project and ever since, I have photographed and documented these sites throughout Wisconsin. Roadside memorials are not a novel idea. In fact, I have seen hundreds in Central and South America as well as in the southwest United States. They are, however, new to Wisconsin. Through another artistic endeavor, I collaborated with Anne-Marie Cusac. Her ability to investigate and broach troubling contemporary issues along with her poetic sensibilities make her the perfect person to tell these personal stories. She brings an intellectual and artistic sensitivity that amplifies the poignancy of this project. The website www.wisconsinroadsidememorials.com and all of our related endeavors are intended as another means of remembering these people and honoring their lives. It also gives us the opportunity to share these beautiful and intimate places with you.

  • “A Mutual Curiosity #4”A Mutual Curiosity  #4

    A MUTUAL CURIOSITY was a series of 10 large scale photographs of Sauk County residentsâ eyes, cut into strips and woven into existing infrastructures such as gates, corn cribs, silos and fences throughout the 2015 Farm/Art Dtour route in Reedsburg, WI. It is no secret that festival goers will not only be looking at the art, but will also be looking at the local way of life in all of its nooks and crannies. Well, this installation is a means of depicting that the âlookingâ goes both ways. A MUTUAL CURIOSITY explores the physiognomic theory that there is a relationship between a creature's inner character or personality and their outward appearance and how this extrospection exists as an inherent human trait. A MUTUAL CURIOSITY was sponsored by AlphaGraphics Madison, a City of Madison BLINK Grant and the Wormfarm Institute.

  • “WHAT SHAPES US”WHAT SHAPES US

    Debarked willow commissioned for a private individual on a back water slough on the Wisconsin River.

  • “ENDANGERED WISCONSIN”ENDANGERED WISCONSIN

    Painting of 17 tragically endangered plants and animals in the state of Wisconsin. 36x36,oil on wood

  • “WHAT HOLDS US”WHAT HOLDS US

    Poems by the Lake Effect Poets were written specifically for these 12 portraits. These poems were then brailled into the photographs by Wisconsin Council of the Blind member, Virginia DeBlaey.

  • “BLACK HAWK YAHARA: a river of tears”BLACK HAWK YAHARA: a river of tears

    BLACK HAWK YAHARA: a river of tears was an installation of over 300 blood-red dyed willow branches installed in a tree along the Yahara River in Madison, WI in 2014. The early summer verdant foliage juxtaposed against the contrasting red willow represents the unspoiled and historically tarnished landscape, a modern interpretation of the fatal genocidal Black Hawk Wars of 1832. A tragic event that lead to the "birth" of our nation. BLACK HAWK YAHARA was supported by a City of Madison BLINK Grant.

  • “TERRA EXTERNA”TERRA EXTERNA

    TERRA EXTERNA is a reflection of land and time as the two great unrelenting unchallenged equalizers. These portraits are representative of the people that have worked the Wisconsin land and how both time and the land shape us regardless of our differences. Installation Aug 21- May 1 2014, Silverwood Park, http://www.silverwoodpark.org Partially funded by the Farley Center.

  • “AHA”AHA

    40x60 photograph for ANTICIPATION show, Madison, WI

Thomas Ferrella

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artist bio

Thomas Ferrella is a Wisconsin-based artist who uses his work to comment and respond to social and environmental causes.

He incorporates a variety of media into his practice, from natural materials such as willow branches to manmade constructions to painting. The material often guides the message, and in this way can be seen as a vessel for the purpose the work ultimately serves.

artist statement

Thomas Ferrella speculates in a variety of artistic mediums. His aesthetic is a natural abstraction, a graphic documentation, a personal dialogue, an invitation to poetry.

collaborations

proficiencies