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Sense of Place: THERE

Song of Myself

Artwork Focus:

Michael Milewski's There



Artist Michael Milewski finds art in the Daily Herald


Eau Claire, WI  September, 2019—Artist Michael Milewski is already getting praise for his newest artwork There: You Had to Be There which uses as its foundation a newspaper piece from almost 20 years ago.  The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, IL ran a piece “Remembering the victims of September 11” in 2001 and artist Michael Milewski is creating a touchstone from the events of 9/11/2001 with the Daily Herald’s piece as a gateway. 


Milewski is a Contemporary Artist working in a genre he has labeled Interruptive Art—art which interrupts our daily lives to make a space for us to see things in new and fresh ways.  Some of Milewski’s work involves archival materials that he sourced or held onto with the intent of making Interruptive Art. Milewski held onto a graphic design piece from the December 2001 Daily Herald issue first having it framed in his studio as an inspiration to honor those who have come before and as an acknowledgement of an “interruption” in our daily lives which occurred on 9/11/2001.  Milewski then noticed the flag was fading and so put it into his archival storage a few years back.


The upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11 caused Milewski to remember the Daily Herald piece thinking it could work as part of an artwork for several upcoming exhibits.  In the Daily Herald piece was an American flag covering a full sheet of newspaper.  The graphic design listed the names of those who had perished in the attacks on 9/11 (as of Dec 2001) inside the stripes as well as lyrics of patriotic songs.  But when Milewski took out the newspaper it had not only faded to brown but all the names had disappeared!  The patriotic songs were still present as well as the bottom tagline denoting the Daily Herald and designer Maria Chroronzecki’s (sic) signature after the title of the piece “Remembering the victims of September 11”.  Milewski saw in this fading Daily Herald piece another way to look at 9/11 as he writes in his artwork narrative for There: You Had to Be There






There is on exhibit as part of Galaudet Gallery’s Song of Myself  and will be part of  Floating, Fleeting Worlds exhibit before traveling to other exhibits in the future.  Milewski thanks the Daily Herald for creating such an inspiring piece of graphic art—a testament to the importance and need of daily newspapers and the people who create them. News online is fine, but to be able to save a newspaper for almost 20 years and then create a new piece of art from it is something the virtual world cannot offer.  Milewski is also planning an honoring ceremony through the not for profit he is president of, The Memorial Nature Fund, which will be held on September 11, 2021 The plans include an honoring of the now 2,996 people who lost their lives as a result of the attacks on 9/11/2001. “I believe that honoring those taken from us that day also honors all Americans because it is the only moment, in my lifetime, where I witnessed all Americans united as one.”




Biography of Michael Milewski


Michael Milewski (American b. late 20th Century) is a fifth generation artist steeped in creating works of functional beauty helping people to express themselves. Since the age of 13, Milewski has worked alongside his father, Lenard Milewski a master craftsman and his artist mother, Elizabeth Galaudet.  Currently, Milewski is breaking away from the confines of working strictly on commission to express someone else’s dream and has begun creating works that he says, “have always been inside me.”


Milewski grew up in Arlington Heights, IL attending St James Catholic School, Arlington High School and Harper College before moving to Chicago to start two companies Mike’s Building and Consulting and McVicker Properties both of which have flourished under Milewski’s visions of the future and old world craftsman training.  Milewski worked with his father, Lenard Milewski, his whole life learning first on hand tools and how the craftsman created some architectural wonders which stand the test of time.  Milewski is also a visionary of future building needs and possibilities holding certifications from University of Illinois and other schools in sustainable building practices, renewable energy systems in installation, output and effectiveness and low impact/ zero impact ideas.  Milewski is also an EPA Certified Lead Renovator and a specialist in Mold Abatement—two areas he thinks need interruptions in how we currently deal with them.


But first and foremost Milewski is a celebrated artist who is widely exhibited and collected and sees how his commercial work translates into and through his artistic work bringing high quality craftsmanship and visionary ideas to whole new levels.



Jules Heffe, Art Consultant

Galaudet Gallery 715-513-9994




























Exhibit Themes

You are also asking me questions, and I hear you,

I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself

—Walt Whitman Song of Myself 46

Let Galaudet Gallery take you THERE this summer with their Sense of Place:  THERE Song of Myself art exhibit where you can experience local and global artists exploring questions about politics, rules and self with some invigorating art that answers and sometimes asks more questions! Paintings, drawings, sculptures, jewelry and more in realism, figuration, abstraction, surrealism, conceptualism and other genres are there for the experience and they are for sale so you can take home a Sense of Place: THERE: Song of Myself.   Visit our YouTube channel to see a short video about the exhibit:

This second year of our four year art series finds inspiration in Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass focusing selection and curating on three poems: 

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

Memories of President Lincoln

The Political THERE

Do your politics and art intersect?

What does being there politically do to your art?


Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul,

There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim.

—Walt Whitman When Lilacs Last.... 16


The Tower Room holds politically inspired works with Whitman's  When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d Memories of President Lincoln guiding the artists, judges and curators.  Some artists responded to the current state of the United States  by looking into the future to chart a way forward and away from divisiveness and toward a "We the People" idea. Other artists like Craig Jobson determined to point to the reality he is experiencing with the current president.  Besides the literal artworks like Craig's there are also  symbolic and figurative ones.  All the works in the Tower Room range from the presidency to specific legislation, to the 21st Century American Dream, to ideas on how to transform an empire instead of letting it crumble these artworks show local, national and global artists seeing in a similar way.

Last year the Tower Room held Sense of Place Wilderness artworks which utilized ideas from last year's exhibit muse Ed Abbey by proposing new ways to view place-making and way-finding.  In a sense we are in a democratic wilderness which needs new paths found and place-making made so that we can all navigate the new landscapes before us and come back together as a unified country.

Whitman ends his poem with a line stating "There in the fragrant pines and cedars… " because it was there at that moment that Whitman found his voice to write the poem and his voice as an artist.  Due to the conflict Whitman experienced in losing a President he believed in and respected, Whitman was able to move his poetry forward into another way of being.  Can the political landscape of today offer such experiences?  Does our government incite artists to create art whether in approval or disapproval?  Whitman created a sense of place in his poetry and most of the time the place was there, not here or everywhere, but a definite there is where this happened or there is where this will happen.  How do the artists in this exhibit create a sense of place in their art? 

Installation View of Song of Myself

There by Michael Milewski, Suffragettes by

R . Hendrickson, Fake Governance Mail Art Series by Craig Jobson, MAGA Hat made by Liz Acyone

Banksy Heart
Banksy Heart
Banksy Heart
Banksy Heart

There (2019)

by Michael Milewski

Newspaper Print, Oil Paint on Board

There (2019)

by Michael Milewski

Newspaper Print, Oil Paint on Board

mikes signs.C._edited.jpg

There:  You Had to Be There is a past, present and future piece of Interruptive Art.  The past There is a 2001 Daily Herald newspaper graphic of an American flag printed with all the people who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks significantly interrupting every American’s life from that moment to now.  The present There is the same newspaper flag with the names faded away as if forgotten which interrupts the way Americans see themselves as America changes demographically.  The future There is the confluence of the past and the present which you see the American flag being interrupted by how each American views it.  There… not only asks us to remember what happened on 9/11 but to also see what has happened since, to see how thoughts of our country have changed and have stayed the same.  Using 9/11 as a touchstone to link the past with the present affords us an opportunity to honor all those who sacrificed so that we can be who we are today and create a future that includes all Americans.

There  (Detail) (2019)

by Michael Milewski

Newspaper Print, Oil Paint on Board

Galaudet Gallery

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