By Didi Menendez

Source: BuzzFeed
Updated July, 18, 2018

This is an updated list from last year's. I have refreshed the list new images and artists. This is a personal list based on articles, exhibitions, and my monitoring of work which is based on social media and personal interactions with many of these artists. It is not in any particular order although the first few are based on artists who are going to be busy for a very long time. Some artists are not on the list because they are not on Instagram and it is difficult to account for them or post on Buzzfeed, then they are not listed since this list is based on Instagram posts. This list was updated July 18, 2018.

Wausau Pilot & Review

The biggest figurative art exhibit in North America isn’t in L.A. or NYC. It’s here in Wausau.

Published on July 11, 2018  in Community/Wisconsin news

By Shereen Siewert



WAUSAU — The international art world is abuzz over an upcoming exhibit of works by some of the most famous living figurative painters in the world, an event that is taking art enthusiasts by storm.

But instead of traveling to New York, Los Angeles, London or Paris, art lovers from around the world are traveling to Wausau to see 41 paintings on display at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art (WMOCA), created by some of today’s most celebrated artists.

The exhibit, Painting the Figure NOW, features artists Marc Dennis, Eloy Morales, F. Scott Hess, Susannah Martin, Margaret Bowland, David Eichenberg, Rebacca Leveille, Hollis Dunlap, Pamela Wilson, and many more. These artists, already in the history books, are today’s Van Gohs, Picassos and Rembrandts. Their names are familiar to anyone who follows fine art; and many will be visiting Wausau in person this week.

Typically, Midwestern cities are not known as art capitals, especially small communities such as Wausau. But Executive Director David Hummer said WMOCA is quickly becoming a bridge between the established art worlds that exist on the east and west coast.

“The artists in this exhibit are famous in their own right,” Hummer said. “They’re very well known on the coasts and in Europe, but the Midwest has never heard of them. We’re bringing that excitement and that exposure to see these absolutely brilliant works to Wausau, and people from all over the country are coming in to see it.”

Ofelia Andrades Madariaga, from Santiago, Chile, arrived in Wausau this week along with her featured painting, Allegories II. The oil painting is stunning, part of a series that stimulates the imagination with its mix of allegorical messages that Adrades Madariaga says represent the “moment before we make a choice.” What is happening in the painting is not quite clear, something she says is intentional.

“I like to leave things open to interpretation,” Andrades Madariaga said. “I want people to read into it. Project their own feelings into it. Think about their place in it.”

Andrades Madariaga is one of several artists who will be in Wausau for a VIP reception Friday. An annual $250 donation or more offers access to this and other VIP receptions not open to the public. Those donors will also see their names etched onto a solid copper ivy leaf, part of a vine that will encompass the columns at the front entrance to the museum. Over time, with more and more people becoming a friend, the ivy will grow. 

A number of the featured artists in the exhibition have won prestigious awards; several hail from overseas. Miguel Ángel Moya,of Spain, participated in the celebrated BP Portrait Awards in London this year; his painting, Irene and the Unicorn, will intrigue you, stimulate your subconscious. Eloy Morales’ Floating Baby, on the other hand, is more likely to unsettle you. And a set of two paintings from Margaret Bowland, People’s Choice Award Winner for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., will simply take your breath away.

The museum itself is a feather in Wausau’s cap, another great reason to live here, settle here. For Hummer, who is also an artist, the museum has been a way to share his passion for great work with the rest of the community.

Hummer has attracted international attention for his work at WMOCA, giving interviews for some of the most widely-read art magazines in the world. He has also appeared twice on John Dalton’s Gently Does It podcast to discuss the museum, the exhibitions, the submission process and more. Dalton, a painter and podcaster from county Kerry in Ireland, is a popular name among artists who is widely known as the voice of painters worldwide. The New York Times and Huffington Post have expressed interest in Hummer as well. The publicity is most certainly a boost for Wausau in both reputation and tourism potential.

The exhibit opening this week was co-curated by Didi Mendez of PoetsArtists Magazine and Walt Morton and aims to investigate the many ways we see the human figure today; contemporary approaches to portraiture, narrative, and any and all visualizations focusing on the human form in life, action, play, work, and repose.

Source: Wausau Pilot and Review

Painting the Figure Now: The Human Form in a Contemporary Light

July 7 through September 28, 2018
Portrait and figure paintings at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin


“Painting the Figure Now” seeks to show quality paintings that investigate the many ways we see the human figure now. Contemporary approaches to portraiture, narrative, and any and all visualizations focusing on the human form in life, action, play, work, and repose. The museum is seeking artists who understand the finest traditions of figurative art. “We believe the human form is an endlessly interesting subject with inexhaustible potential,” says the museum. “We want to see humanity with a relevant, fresh, and contemporary feeling.”

 Jo Hay Maddow, 2017 Oil on canvas 48x60"

Jo Hay Maddow, 2017 Oil on canvas 48x60"

Miller Gallery's latest exhibit embraces political messages and human connections

The Art of Persisting

by Mary Scott Hardaway, Charleston City Paper, February 21, 2018
Source: Charleston City Paper

Gallerist Sarah Miller believes that art will change you, even if you don't believe it yourself. In her latest curated show, Miller has culled three seemingly disparate artists and works for one cohesive theme. "Art opens your eyes to different ideas, it sends a message without words," says Miller.

Jo Hay, Notorious RBG, Oil on canvas, 48x60"

In Fire & Grace, we find 4'x6' politically charged portraits by British-American artist Jo Hay. At that size, the brush strokes are like breaking waves, the bright pastels so rich and deep you feel as though you could dive into the canvas. In contrast, the smaller, monochromatic bunny sketches by internationally renowned artist Hunt Slonem are so simple you wonder at their genesis. And then there are the detailed silk screens, a positive and negative for each piece — the negative space in the first work is a color in the second — by now famous street artist and Charleston native Shepard Fairey.

From people to bunnies to bold graphics, all of the art in Fire & Grace is imbued with meaning: we can work towards a better world while appreciating what beauty the world still posesses. With visual art, one can gradually build a relationship with an idea, a concept, or mantra. "You're allowed to digest at your own pace," says Miller. "I love when someone comes in for the first time and they say 'Oh this isn't my style' and then by the third time they come in they're like 'Oh, I like this one.'" In an age where everyone feels compelled or obligated to make a decision, fast, to pick a side, now, it's nice to slow down and contemplate a subject.

"There's a political/social aspect to the show," says Miller, "but there's also this really beautiful side that represents humanity and all of the people and the simplicity of art, too."