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The Marquete Tribune THURSDAY, September 10, 2009

True Skool Getting the message across By Sara J. Martinez

Some kids steal. Some kids fight. Some kids want to make their voice heard and don’t know any other way. So some kids paint. Graffiti, as seen on the sides of bus stops, warehouses and street signs, is wrong. So say the community, the police and those who might be harmed by this sort of vandalism. Vandalism, however, is very different than graffiti in its intended form, according to Sarah Patterson, executive director of TRUE Skool, a non-profit dedicated to providing positive outlets for teenagers. “Graffiti doesn’t automatically refer to a criminal act,” said Patterson, who founded the hip-hopbased organization in MilPhoto by Ted Lempke/ waukee with her husband, Eliot Patterson. “TRUE A TRUE Skool student works on a Harley-Davidson installation with a professional. Skool is about using (hip-

hop) in its intended form to empower young people.” While volunteering at another community center in 2004, Patterson said she and Eliot saw the need for a youth program targeting the specific interests of young people. That interest seemed to manifest itself in a draw toward hiphop in popular culture. Eliot said he grew up seeing graffiti as a popular form of self-expression in early-’90s hip-hop culture. Urban art, as TRUE Skool describes it, tends to be misunderstood today, and TRUE Skool intends to break that stereotype. TRUE Skool offers classes in graffiti art, break dancing, DJ-ing and the art of emceeing as part of its cultural education. While kids are taught letterforms, color blending and the history of hip-hop in the street art classes, they also take part in community service projects such as graffiti removal. “Spray paint happens to be their medium of choice,” Patterson said, “and our goal is to use their talents to do See TRUE, page 16

D E K IN Even cops, judges, grannies get tattoos By Kaleigh Ward

Though I remember most things from childhood as being disproportionately important, I remember my cousin Kim’s new tattoo of a fish as a particularly epic event. Kim went to great lengths to hide her ankle from my grandparents at our family reunion, fearing it would lead to a heart attack. I was probably 9 years old, but despite my innocence and the innocence of an ankle fish, Kim was the only one of my fifty-something cousins with a tattoo at the time and that made her completely rebellious. Now, I don’t think twice when I see a tattoo on the street, and Milwaukee is home to a growing number of tattoo shops. “Miami Ink” used to be the only reality TV show about tattooing, but now there are too many to watch faithfully. It’s pretty apparent that the societal view of tattooing is changing, and while it’s nice to have greater

freedom of expression, I don’t mean to imply that greater acceptance necessarily leads to greater creativity or responsibility. Custom Tattoo, 1956 N. Farwell Ave., opened in 2007. Owner Greg Foster has Photo by Lauren Stoxen/ been tattooing on the East Side Tattoo artist Matt Zielinger works on a customer at Cutthroat Tattoos. All artists at Cutthroat have at least four years’ experience. since 1998. shift in the notion that only va- ever can be drawn on paper can Ribbon Tattoo, after owner Craig “Because we are a custom tattoo shop, it is more grants and criminals get tattoos, also be tattooed on skin. But skin Pape. With the increase in public of an art shop than a tattoo par- and now it’s more about individu- is an organ that lives, breathes and grows. If details are drawn exposure to tattooing, more and lor,” Foster said. “It’s very sterile, ality. “I’ve tattooed judges and police too close together, the ink can more people are coming to Pape’s very clean, and a very comfortable environment. It’s good to officers,” Foster said. “The oldest bleed together on the skin. He with clear ideas of what they feel as comfortable as possible lady I’ve tattooed was 80 years said depth can be accomplished want, Murnane said. Customers when you’re getting a pretty un- old. She was a widow and said in different ways, like shading, to research more thoroughly and are she’d always wanted a tattoo but compensate. less likely to come in and pick comfortable thing done.” Ben Murnane is a tattoo artist something off the walls, he said. Foster said he has noticed the her husband never wanted her to at Skin Tattoo & Design, 3483 N. “My best advice for people increased popularity of tattooing get one.” Foster said the biggest miscon- Oakland Ave. The shop will soon would be to look to the future a among all ages and walks of life. He said there has been a definite ception people have is that what- change names to Pape’s Blue See Inked, page 15


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Photo by Lauren Stoxen/

Milwaukee resident Kyle Muerra gets a sea turlte tattooed on his back at Cutthroat Tattoos at 1415 E. Brady St. on Monday.

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bit,” Murnane said. “A lot of people, especially college-aged girls, are coming in for small things on their fingers, for example, that might not look good in 5 years.” Pape’s has only a few artists, but those artists pride themselves on quality over quantity and there is someone there to cover everything, Murnane said. Pape’s expects to open an art studio in the space next door in late October. Brian Kiesner of Cutthroat Tattoo, 1415 E. Brady St., said the tattoo field is constantly growing and entering the mainstream. He said he is curious to see the future of tattooing, especially with so many shops opening up in Milwaukee. Kiesner advises those getting tattoos to remember that skin is not fade-free and ages with time. He said artists oftentimes have to simplify sketches to make them tattooable. He also advised potential customers to shop around and do the research, though he considers Cutthroat to be one of the better tattoo shops in the area. As Greg Foster of Custom Tattoo said, his artists are there to put art on people, which is really what the hype is all about.

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Not only is a ComedySportz event inexpensive to organize, but it’s an entertaining nightlife alternative, especially for those under the age of 21. “It’s a great date place,” Chudnow said. By Jessie Mahne Along with live comedy from 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., ComA freshman’s first week of col- edySportz offers an inexpenlege can be a scary one. Settling sive home-style menu that will into a foreign land and meeting definitely impress your date, or new people is difficult to do alone, even your family during Parent which is why a freshmen orienta- or Little Sibs weekends. Not to tion in Milwaukee is a giggling mention that getting off campus goldmine for organizations like and exploring the city is a huge plus, said ComedySportz player ComedySportz, 420 S. First St. Founded in Milwaukee by Bo Johnson. “Once you get them off camRichard Chudnow in 1984, Compus and get them to realize that edySportz is a competitive imthere’s comedy there, then they provisational comedy show used start to get a little bit further evfor both entertainment and eduery time,” Johnson said. cation. ComedySportz has spread Brian Green, another Comto 18 other U.S. cities as well as edySportz player, agreed students Manchester, England, according shouldn’t be scared to venture to its 25th anniversary informaoff-campus to catch a show. tional booklet. “They can get Kappa Sigma past the horror fraternity and Alstories of what pha Xi Delta soIt teaches you how to they heard about rority sponsored focus, how to be in ‘the the neighborhood the welcoming now’ ... It teaches you a s u r r o u n d i n g s , ” hilarity of Comgood kind of insanity. Green said. “PeoedySportz last ple are not walkThursday in the Richard Chudnow ing around with Weasler AuditoComedySportz founder big nets that say rium. Kappa Sig‘MU students.’” ma President Joe Aside from live Woelfel said he p e rformances, chose to organize C o medySportz the Late Night orientation show. also offers team-building workMary Baird, office manager for shops and adult classes to imComedySportz, said college camprove public speaking and perpus shows are a huge part of the formance skills. company’s business. “It teaches you how to focus, “We did Wisconsin Lutheran how to be in ‘the now’ and how to on Monday, we’re doing Uniget all the junk outta your head,” versity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chudnow said. “It teaches you a next week, and we’re doing one good kind of insanity.” for Milwaukee School of EngiWith any route you choose at neering,” Baird said. “I think we ComedySportz, you can end up probably do 20 shows a year for relaxed, entertained and with a Marquette.” good story to run back to campus So why use this sort of enterand tell your new friends about. tainment to welcome students to Who knows, you may even start college life? picking up the ComedySportz “It’s a good ice-breaker,” Baird said. “That’s why I think we’re philosophy: “We practice hard, really effective for ‘welcome we play hard, and we do our best weeks.’ And we can send you a to make everyone look good.” And if you think about it, that’s show for whatever your budget not a bad way to live. is.”

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Continued from page 14

something positive.” Their talents are rewarded when students are given the opportunity to work on commissioned murals in the community. One such mural is at 16th and Washington streets on the south side, which Patterson said is representative of local ties to Cesar Chavez and his history. This past weekend, Eliot’s forprofit art company, ResiComm Graffix, created an installation at Hal’s Harley-Davidson in New Berlin for Milwaukee Rally 2009. If students from TRUE Skool participate regularly, show they want to get better at the art and exhibit great potential, Patterson asks those students to work with him on ResiComm projects, he said. Jose Martinez, a 16-year-old student at South Division High School, worked with Patterson on the Harley-Davidson installation. Martinez said a benefit of TRUE Skool is that students are pro-

Marquee vided with a legal space to create their artwork. “I do better because of the things they teach, without having to do everything in a rush,” Martinez said. In his classes, he’s learned how to better control the paint, how to make different letters and characters and how to blend colors. Eliot said he also teaches students the history of graffiti art and the role it has played in hip-hop culture. “Graffiti has been around since before it was a criminal act. We use it in a positive form, in a legal space, to create art with it,” Sarah Patterson said. One of TRUE Skool’s main goals is to help people understand that graffiti is an art form. Patterson said she hopes the program provides kids with the tools necessary to make positive choices. A lot of negativity toward graffiti in general, Patterson said, comes from its confusion with gang graffiti, but the intent is very different. Gang graffiti makes a violent statement, often marking

territory or taunting other gangs. Tagger graffiti has an artistic style, frequently painted just to show off artistic ability. TRUE Skool tries to help its students develop these forms into artwork. Although many of TRUE Skool’s students are there under court order after they are caught painting graffiti in illegal spaces, the program has seen a positive response from both participants and parents. Patterson said the art programs and services seek to help kids attain a more productive lifestyle, in addition to redirecting their talents and energy into art. “While people think graffiti is synonymous with vandalism, it’s not. Vandalism can be kicking in a window, poking a screwdriver in somebody’s tire or spray painting on someone’s wall without permission,” Eliot Patterson said. “Graffiti is an art form, illegal vandalism is illegal. Graffiti is painting something with permission and vandalism is without. They’re not the same thing.”


Photo by Ted Lempke/

Jose Martinez, a 16-year-old at South Division High School, has been taking art classes at TRUE Skool for about a year and a half.

Don’t be a square: Throw your food! Molly Gamble

Photo by Gabe Sanchez/

On open canvas nights, George Darrow and other artists have eight hours to complete paintings while patrons watch.

Riverwest’s Art Bar offers open canvas Sunday nights By Laura Bulgrin

Part show room, part studio and part bar, Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St. in Riverwest, is the kind of place where you can meet your neighbors, bring your dog and watch the live creation of art. “The Art Bar is a stalwart of new art expression,” said artist George Darrow. With a smile and paint-stained hands, Darrow created a multi-medium piece at the Art Bar last Sunday, part of the weekly installment of “The One Week Painting.” Every Sunday, one artist climbs a scaffold to the 4- by 5-foot canvas near the front door and paints over or adds to the previous week’s creation. The artist can begin at 4 p.m., but must finish by midnight. There’s no restriction on content. “Art doesn’t have a genre — it’s art or art-not,” Darrow said. For his painting on Sunday night, he created an homage to the fallen of 9/11. The work included a painted background as well as what he called attachments, representing the World Trade Center, that he screwed into the canvas. Darrow said he had participated in the open canvas three times before, and that he enjoys working on the scaffold like Michelangelo.

“There’s no separation between painting over the work of Don the art and the artist, just an ex- English — an artist she said is pression of what the artist is do- famous in the underground art ing and being,” Darrow said. scene, has been featured in “Jux“The One Week Painting” tapoz Art and Culture Magazine” started the first week the Art Bar and who happened to paint the opened in March 2004. week before she did. Art Bar owner Don Krause said “(English) created a great in an e-mail that he thought of painting in less than two hours, starting “The One Week Painting” and similar works by him were after watching artists create tem- selling for as much as $40,000,” porary chalk drawings at Bastille Krause said. “People were tellDays in Milwaukee. He said the ing me, ‘you have to take it down artists’ work was washed away and keep it, or sell it on eBay,’ but in a rainstorm, and he was sorry one week later it got painted over they had lost just like everyone their beautiful else’s.” work. The artists English, Fritsch I had never seen that and the artist who were not upset, he said. Instead, spirit in an artist before. followed made a they said they’d Don Krause combined work that just do another Art Bar owner was honored as one chalk drawing of the top ten paintthe next day. ings in the 52-week “That experiperiod. Each March, ence of creating something for the all 52 artists from “The One moment and letting it go so easily Week Painting” are invited back — I had never seen that spirit in to the bar. Each year’s canvas is an artist before,” Krause said. cut into 52 pieces and distributed From that, his weekly open amongst the contributors. canvas was born. Art Bar also features a themed Open canvas artists agreed that art show every six weeks, said it’s difficult to paint over another patron Gaby Boutillier. Last Sunperson’s work. day’s show was called “Ambigu“That’s the way it goes,” said ous” and featured modern-style Erin Fritsch, a three-time “One paintings by Dan Weber and Week Painting” participant and multi-dimensional artwork by bartender at Art Bar. Daithi. Fritsch said she had difficultly “I don’t always like the art-

During the last week of August, approximately 20,000 people gather in the town of Bunol, Spain and pelt one another with ripened tomatoes. It’s supposed to be a celebration and according to the event’s Web site, a war with no winner because everyone will be having too much fun. The fruit is smashed up ahead of time so no one can be injured. Shirts with bullseyes are discouraged while goggles are encouraged. It’s a celebration of the peak of tomato season. The fight lasts an hour and then clean up begins — and that, too, is a celebration. Fortunately, you can throw a tomato or two this weekend without leaving Milwaukee. On Saturday, the East Side Business Improvement District will be holding its third annual “Tomato Romp!” on North Avenue between Oakland and Prospect Avenues. Events include a farmers’ market, Bloody Mary competition and neighborhood tomato fight. The tomato fight capacity is limited to a humble 200. Participants need only sign a waiver and donate $2 to Second Harvest, a food bank, before they can cover North Avenue with salsa. I’ve mentioned this event to a variety of people, in hopes they’d be by my side on Saturday, slinging tomatoes left and right. It’s garnered love/hate reactions. Some are really enthusiastic and down to get a little messy, while others cringe and end the conversation by asking, “Why would you want to do that?” They either think it’s plain work, but that’s the point of art,” said Boutillier. Art Bar also offers food — it serves a variety of 12-inch pizzas for $7.50, including standards like supreme and Italian sausage, as well as more exotic choices like roasted vegetable and goat cheese. The bar features a pool table, darts, board games and pinball,

gross, even animalistic, or incorporate issues of social justice and argue that food shouldn’t be thrown at healthy human beings for mere entertainment. And then I change the topic. Because that’s when I know I’m talking to a square that needs to loosen up — fast. Come on, don’t be a fun snob. It’s one thing to dislike something, but another to act like you’re too good for it. Squares are people who don’t dress up for college theme parties, sit out the Chicken Dance at wedding receptions and fake a case of laryngitis when it comes to karaoke. Don’t be like this. Milwaukee’s way too fun of a city to take yourself so seriously. We’re proud of our bronze statue of the Fonz and sausage races at baseball games, for crying out loud. There’s much to do here solely for the sake of fun, and a late summer tomato fight is only one example. Second, for those whose minds can only rest assured knowing food won’t be wasted, the tomatoes being tossed on Saturday aren’t sellable, according to “Tomato Romp!” event producer Julia Evans. Using hard, ripe tomatoes would not only defeat the purpose of donating to charity, but would also be rather painful. The tomatoes used will be donated by produce distributor Maglio & Co. Also, this will be the first time cash donations are required to participate in the toss. Last year, participants were required to supply a can donation. Event staff is hoping that monetary donations will increase contributions to Second Harvest. So go wild, have some fun, and throw tomatoes at strangers. It may be the only time you’ll get away with it sans ticket, arrest or black eye. with abundant and comfortable seating. Art Bar is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “One Week Painting” artists work from 4 p.m. to midnight on Sundays, but can begin later or end earlier by preference.

9/10/2009 The Marquette Tribune - Marquee Section  
9/10/2009 The Marquette Tribune - Marquee Section  

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 design for the Marquette Tribune's entertainment section, "Marquee." Page layout and design, photo illustrations b...