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The 21st Century
Arts and Crafts Movement
The Third Chicago School


The Revitalization of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the beginning of the Third Chicago School is explored in these two exhibitions and their corresponding tours and lecture series.  


The Arts and Crafts Movement began in the mid 1800's out of an increased awareness that the industrial age was creating a new social order and approach to art making.  Now the 21st Century presents its technological conundrum as virtual realities and e-living is changing the nature of social structures and ways of making art. Galaudet Gallery explores facets of the original Arts and Crafts Movement with the purpose to create awareness of these changes and ensure our artistic legacy and future not be undermined or lost. 


Another inspiration for these two exhibits is “The Chicago School” which originated with Chicago Architects like Louis Sullivan during the turn of the 20th Century.   Starting in the 1950's throughout the 1970's Chicago had "The Second Chicago School" of architects.   Both these schools promoted new technologies and construction methods that worked with the art of their given times and created new avenues for art and architecture to follow.


Now as we turn fully into the 21st Century we have found the “Third Chicago School” is beginning and the Arts and Crafts Movement needs to be revitalized.  The dissolution of a hierarchical system for producing, disseminating and collecting art has created a new platform to work from that is based on networks, dialogue and cooperation.  Architecture is experiencing this transition also as it seeks more sustainable ways to design, build and reclaim.  The arts have always looked to nature for inspiration and structuring and now is no different; however, we are looking with new eyes that have vast amounts of information to integrate, understand and take into consideration.  Galaudet Gallery embraces this new looking and puts out the call for others to see anew too.

"Now Make the Dry Bones Live":  

The Finer Magic of Louis Sullivan

Exhibit at Galaudet Gallery


Galaudet Gallery will host the exhibit "Now Make the Dry Bones Live":  The Finer Magic of Louis Sullivan which explores 21st Century connections between Sullivan's A System of Architectural Ornament According with a Philosophy of Man's Powers, his egalitarian ideas about society which he proposed would mirror nature and his philosophy about the function of culture, art and architecture with  the 21st Century art of Vicki Milewski  an abstract experientialist who challenges the boundaries of canvas, film, paper, words and music; her mixing of mediums in artworks and in compelling art collections which pursue experiences expressing the healing potential of nature and her egalitarian philosophy of society founded in her belief of the sacredness of all life.  

"Now Make the Dry Bones Live":  The Finer Magic of Louis Sullivan will delve deeper into Vicki Milewski's Hunting with Louis Sullivan art collection which contains artistic collaborations between Sullivan and Milewski as she continues her work of elucidating and bringing Sullivan's ideas into the 21st Century.  The title for this exhibit comes from a handwritten note Sullivan made to himself as he worked on his philosophical drawings, "Now make these dry bones live" referencing Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous insistence that we should not be left with the dry bones of past civilizations but should recognize our lives can have revelations, visions and more that past people had.  Large scale installations, watercolor works and artist books will be on display as Milewski shows Sullivan as a 21st Century thinker whose line of thought needs to be injected into the discourses we are having today about art and architecture.


Milewski and Sullivan’s individual works often make precise references to sites, history, metaphysics and the meaning of communal living with both of these artists believing in new technologies but not at the cost of meaningful everyday experiences for everyone.   Sullivan influenced “The Chicago School” which was the first Chicago school of which Milewski now contends the “Third Chicago School” is beginning with an interleaving of artists and architects who share Sullivan's metaphysical philosophy about the real function of art and architecture and the true reality of a democracy that respects all living things as equals.  Works by Louis Sullivan and Vicki Milewski’s art collection Hunting with Louis Sullivan, comprised of large scale works that are inspired by Sullivan with some integrating Sullivan’s drawings and ideas, will be the main exhibition focus.



Shakers & Makers: 

American Folk Art

& Beyond

Galaudet Gallery rings in the holiday season with Shakers & Makers:  American Folk Art & Beyond.  This eclectic art exhibit begins with art made by 1800’s Shakers alongside fine artists of today with makers of our region.  Challenging stereotypes of both folk art and fine art brings fun and interesting art into Galaudet Gallery for Shakers and Makers Nov. 15, 2017—Jan.5, 2018 at 618 S. Farwell in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin


“We’re continuing our exploration of the Arts and Crafts Movement with Shakers and Makers as well as looking at the self taught artist trend that is so prevalent today.”  Co-owner of Galaudet Gallery Vicki Milewski explains, “American Folk Art really changed for me in the 1990’s when there were a lot of Chicagoans who started to make art and sell it.  At first they were called ‘Local Artists’ and then the term ‘Outsider Art’ was used to reference these artists being ‘outside’ the art world and the usual trajectory of art school, gallery exhibition then museum exhibition paths that most artists take in order to establish a professional artistic career.  Now these local or outsider artists are being recognized as the continuation of American Folk Art.”


The Tower Room holds the familiar American Folk Art found in Shaker art from the mid 1800’s along with folk art produced in the late 20th Century.  Shaker Artist Hannah Cohoon’s A Bower of Mulberry Trees (1854) was the initial inspiration for this exhibit since the arching Mulberry trees with text from the Book of Revelations beneath them has charm in the simple lines and colors but also a depth from Cohoon’s vision about art and faith. Charles Wysocki’s later 20th Century images of a mythical American history that is both storybook and naïve has a similar charm since it springs from a similar source.  Oksana Ambrose-Trychta’s Duet is sweet with a technical mastery that makes love look quite easy.
















Interspersed in all four of Galaudet Gallery’s rooms are fun and interesting holiday gift ideas and regional jewelry artists responding to the theme of Shakers and Makers.  Holiday decorations also abound with many Christmas ornaments and other trimmings as well as new Tiffany Replica lamps to light up your days and nights.

Shaker Religious Art Featured:

The inspiration for Shakers & Makers:  American Folk Art and Beyond is Hannah Cohoon’s A Bower of Mulberry Trees (1854) so the exhibit begins with her art and the art of her contemporaries.  The Shaker's firm belief in revelation to individuals found a fertile ground in the making of arts and crafts which for the most part were sold.  In the late 1800's the Shakers made a rule that art making was not part of their religion and so many Shaker artists had to go underground or left the church, so the art shown in Shakers & Makers is during the time art making in the Shaker community was embraced and considered “gifts” that they then gave to each other or the public.  The wonderful prints of Shaker art on display have a charm and whimsy that belies their undercurrent of deeply held religious beliefs about revelations still happening.  In line with Transcendentalist thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Shakers also believed that revelations happen today as they did in the ancient past and that we should seek out these revelations in nature.


New Jewelry for the Eau Claire exhibit:

Shakers & Makers:  American Folk Art and Beyond  will also bring in new jewelry that is folk art inspired.  Jewelry artists from around the corner and a little further have always had an affinity for folk art traditions and the skills they learned from their parents and grandparents in rural America. 


Some of the pieces are still being fashioned so stop in any time to see what just came in and get inspired for your own jewelry creations or support these great artists with a purchase.    Using these inspirations has produced some really great and fun jewelry that is all One of a Kind.  Our 30 day return policy can be lengthened if you are purchasing any item for Holiday gift giving, just let us know.


Our Chicago Gallery's exhibit is The Dawn Always Rises:

The Dawn Always Rises has 10 large canvases by Vicki Milewski with her dancing ladies bringing the dawn up and selecting which stars can stay int he dawn sky.  Inspired by Oscar Howe's dancers and experiences she has had in the Badlands of South Dakota, Milewski draws from many deep wells.  Recently finished and already nationally exhibited these "dancing ladies" as Milewski likes to call are already scheduled for several exhibitions in 2018.  Stop in to see new selections in Tiffany Lights and these dancers a sure smile will rise during our hectic city holiday season.  


Both of these art exhibits build upon the work Galaudet Gallery has done in bringing attention to new perspectives on art that the sibling co-owners Mike Milewski and Vicki Milewski have become famous for.


Shakers & Makers list of events:

All events are family friendly

Opening Receptions:



Dawn Always Rises


"Now Make the Dry Bones Live":  The Finer Magic of Louis Sullivan

5pm—10pm Galaudet Gallery 2223 West Hubbard Chicago, IL

Live Music and refreshments accompany the art



Shakers & Makers:  American Folk Art and Beyond

3pm—8pm Galaudet Gallery 618 South Farwell Eau Claire, WI


Exhibit Events:




Searching for Mike Teclaw: An Unauthorized Biography


This album-length concert/reading will explore these timeless questions through a grandfather’s life, death, and the struggles and triumphs in-between. Derick Black (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Ken Szymanski (nonfiction, vocals) will attempt to turn a tombstone back into a man through a powerful blend of

blues, gospel, stories, and songs.


Fun Art Exhibit Guided Tour



Enjoy a guided tour of our current exhibit Shakers & Makers:  American Folk Art & Beyond

for a cost of $5.00 per person.  Gain insights, appreciation and the fun side of art.  




Shop Local with Galaudet Gallery



Galaudet Gallery invites you to our Shop Local Day at Galaudet Gallery November 25, 2017 9am-8pm Come in to shop our current exhibits Shakers & Makers: American Folk Art & Beyond and our other exhibit Choix Roses along with one of a kind jewelry and other fine crafts.


Enjoy holiday refreshments, beautiful art, music throughout the day and more!


Stop in to shop our current exhibits Shakers and Makers: American Folk Art and Beyond and our other exhibit Choix Roses:  the Roses of P.J. Redoute along with One of a Kind Jewelry and other fine crafts.




Eau Claire Victorian Mansion Tour


Join Galaudet Gallery for an hour long tour that will explain the architecture and the historical residents of this 1882 Eau Claire gem. Enjoy learning about the many beautiful architectural elements and the symbolism in this well cared space where Galaudet Gallery displays art exhibits like their new ones called Shakers & Makers:  American Folk & Beyond and Choix Roses. The tour begins outside and moves into the first floor space with insights and revelations that will fascinate and intrigue. Visit our White House website to learn more:


and sometimes if the tour guide Mike is here and available he might be able to give you a tour just ask us.

The Wheel:  Auditorium Building Windows

Design by  Louis Sullivan

Photo Montage by Vicki Milewski


Corresponding Sympathies of the Heart

Watercolor and Pencil by  Vicki Milewski

Design by  Louis Sullivan

Bower of Mulberry Trees (1854)

Ink and Watercolor by  Hannah Cohoon

Western Town

Lithograph Print by George Wysocki

Parallel Axes:

Mystical Trails to Hike On

Watercolor and Pencil by Vicki Milewski

Design by  Louis Sullivan


The Bay Room displays the forward motion of American Folk Art.  Coming into its own since the 1960’s, Folk Art is now an accepted style of art garnering high prices at auction. Once a term meant to define a period style of art, now Folk Art defines self taught artists who choose experience over art school education in their artistic pursuits.  Wesley Willis’s line drawings challenge many minimalist artists with the energy and perspective. Angela Gonzalez takes her mechanical illustrating and knowledge of physics to dizzying heights abstract artists dream of.   


“This exhibit was fun to pull together since it holds so many artists who set off on a different path than the professional artists we normally work with.  Their irreverence is inspiring since it has allowed them to create art in new ways that many people might say isn’t art, but as we learned from Andy Warhol the minute you think something isn’t art is the minute you start to see it could be.” Co-owner of Galaudet Gallery Mike Milewski points out.

Fermilab Annual Report (1986)

Ink on Paper by  Angela Gonzales

The field of American Folk Art was first defined at the turn of the twentieth century by collectors, professional artists, critics, dealers, and curators whose search for an authentic American art seemed to be finally answered in works that presented a nuanced picture of national identity, faith, progress, ingenuity, community, and individuality. The “discovery” of Shaker religious art from the mid 1800’s cemented a the familiar type of naive, sometimes flat style.  In past European cultures, Folk Art diminished once industrialization was underway; however in England and America Folk Art continued to progress.  England founded the Arts and Crafts movement in the mid 1800’s for one purpose of retaining the Folk Art and skills that had accumulated for hundreds of years prior to industrialization. 

Tree of Life  (1854)

Ink and Watercolor  by  Hannah Cohoon

More recently, American Folk Art has taken a new turn being defined as art by “self taught” artists.   For the last twenty years, the term self-taught has more regularly come to address these artists, whose inspiration emerges from unsuspected paths and unconventional places, giving voice to individuals who may be situated outside the artistic mainstream. Some organizations like the American Folk Art Museum in New York have attempted to place Folk Artists in an inferior position in society; so saying they have attempted to gather institutionalized, mentally challenged individuals as the “true” Folk Artists; however, overwhelming response from the rest of the art world has caused this classification to be stifled since there are many more progressive American Folk Artists who are not challenged mentally or physically but who simply have not gone to art school. These artists continue to surface in history and in current trends of the Shakers & Makers in the movement of today’s art; they are active participants in the shaping of American visual culture.

From The Vivian Girls (1976) Detail

Ink, Pencil, Watercolor  by  Henry Darger

Galaudet Gallery

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