2015 Year in Review

I knew that at the end of 2014 the New Year was going to be busy, but I never realized how busy it would become. So thankful for all of the opportunities this year brought me.

Below are my highlights from 2015.

IMG_0078The Sheboygan North High School Art Department continues to rock the visual arts in Sheboygan. We are in our second year of facilitating the NHS AiR Program, which invites two local artists to work with our staff and students for two (2) 18-week residencies. In addition, providing the artists their very own classroom as their studio. We continue to expose students to contemporary art through our Artist Lecture Series, the Midwest Artist Studios Project, and the 365 Artists 365 Days Project . As we continue to increase rigor within our art curriculum we also continue to embrace ‘literacy’ to guide our students to see the world around them.

This past fall I was recognized as the 2015 Wisconsin Art Education Association Art Educator of the Year at Lawrence University in Appleton. It was such an honor to receive this award. During this conference I presented on two projects that I am spearheading, the Midwest Artist Studios Project and the 365 Artists 365 Days Project in collaboration with Greymatter Gallery in Milwaukee.


One of my goals this year was to become a published author. It didn’t happen this year, but it will happen in January 2016 with a collaborative art project called The Germ Project, which I spearheaded with three amazing Wisconsin art educators, Jen Dahl, Brian Sommersberger, and Tom Uebelherr. My students’ work was also published in this same magazine. The magazine is called SchoolArts Magazine. Such a great resource for art educators.

Version 2 (1)At the end of this year the 365 Artists 365 Days Project will come to a close. What was supposed to be a one-year project rapidly grew into two (2) years. To date we have featured 650+ artists from across the globe. This project would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of Zina Mussman and Rachel Quirk of Greymatter Gallery, greymattergallery.com. Another project that I am overseeing is the Midwest Artist Studios Project. To date we have documented and worked with 17 amazing artists from MN, IA, MO, WI, MI, OH, IN, and IL. The MAS Project aims to connect art education with regional contemporary art through studio visits, curriculum development, and opportunities for educator outreach. We still have one more year to go. This project would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of Erika Block, Pat Ryan, and Jonathan Fritsch. This MAS Project is supported by a grant from the Kohler Foundation, Inc. and the Wisconsin Art Education Association. Both projects focus on contemporary art and literacy.

The Frank Juarez Gallery will close its doors at the end of December. I had five amazing years in Sheboygan. I have organized over 45+ exhibitions and have worked with local, regional, national, and international artists. Exhibiting their work at FJG and exposing, educating, and engaging the public on the variety of contemporary art being produced has been very rewarding. If you are wondering why I am closing since everything seems to be going great. Well, I want to get back into the studio and make my own art. However, I do plan on reopening in 2017… somewhere….

money shot2

The Artdose Art Guide that I started in 2013 will continue to expand to include other Wisconsin art communities. Our next issue, Artdose Vol XIII, will feature a photographer from Milwaukee and welcomes Algoma, Cedarburg, Milwaukee, and Waukesha into the publication. The content from Artdose will be merging with another project I have called, Frank & Co, which is a weekly art e-newsletter focusing on promoting Wisconsin artists, artist run galleries, arts center, and institutions. Frank & Co is available only as an online subscription.

Please note: you should be able to subscribe to Frank & Co by clicking the on link: eepurl.com/8m9q9.

What’s New in 2016?

I will be working on a couple of independent projects, My Contemporary Contemporaries, which will highlight 100 artists and a commemorative book celebrating 10 years of the Sheboygan Art Scene (2007-2017) as well as making new paintings at the Knaak + Juarez Studio.

Looking ahead

I have some exciting things to share with you for 2016

  • In February I will be facilitating a presentation on WordPress for Artists at the Racine Art Museum’s Professional Development for Artist Series.
  • At the end of March I will be participating in an artist in residency at The Thacher School in Ojai, California.
  • I will have a solo show at Project Space 314 in Ripon, Wisconsin in April 2016.
  • I will be co-curating the 7th annual INDIANA GREEN Exhibition with Melissa Dorn Richards. This show is called, “Then/Now: a survey of INDIANA GREEN artists (2010-2014). UW-Sheboygan Fine Arts Gallery will host it in July 2016. I will also be curating two emerging artist exhibition at UW-Sheboygan for August and September 2016.
  • This summer I will be on the road for the last time for the Midwest Artist Studios Project. My team and I will be heading to ND, SD, NE, and KS.
  • I have been nominated for the 2015 Golden Apple Award sponsored by the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce.
  • In mid-March I will be receiving the Wisconsin Art Educator Award in Chicago during the National Art Education Association Convention.
  • I will become a faculty member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in their low residency Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program.

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