# Arts in Milwaukee – Thomas Ferrella – music
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Arts in Milwaukee

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  • “vomiting patriotism”vomiting patriotism

    From a larger body of work titled Forgive Our Sins

  • “Flag .3”Flag .3

    Hand-sewn dyed money, origami stars

  • “# me too”# me too

    From a larger body of work titled Forgive Our Sins

  • “Insex .12”Insex .12

    Oil on metal

  • “Gather Shadows”Gather Shadows

    Solid Ash blocks painted in oils depicting the history of the Ash tree in this country as a result of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer.

  • “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. I’m fortunate to be a part of an artist community that drives a social message. Collaborations like this tell me, “We can become the examples of change and unity that this one world of ours needs right now.” 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 memorial’s 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 women’s 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 residents’ 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 “looking” 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.


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


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


    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 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


artist statement

Exploration is the simplest way to assay his work.

Thomas Ferrella is a Wisconsin-based artist who conceptualizes a piece or a body of work based on visual clues and their subsequent sensory perception. He speculates in a variety of artistic mediums, frequently commenting on and responding to social and environmental causes using truth as his guide. Photography has been the foundation though he willfully strays into music, video, painting, large scale installations, sculpting in wood and found objects. His art is as free as is his interpretation of the world. Everything is fair game.

Common threads exist though he considers them irrelevant. His aesthetic is a natural abstraction, a graphic documentation, a personal dialogue, an invitation to poetry


    aaron granat – live music and film performance in a planetarium setting