Images, Lights, Sounds, Tastes: Second Saturday in Downtown Kenosha

I attended my first “Kenosha Second Saturday” last weekend. I got a great tour of the events from Francisco Loyola, one of the organizers of this very collaborative monthly event. I’ll describe my evening before I get caught up listing the many people and organizations that make this exciting program work.

Ramirez, detail installation Omega Candle Factory

Ramirez installation

Carthage College senior Katherine Ramirez stages her senior show in the windows of an empty Kenosha downtown building.

Francisco and I started our evening with a look at the exhibition by Katherine Ramirez, a Carthage College senior, who staged her graduation show in the windows of the Omega Candle Factory on 58th Street between 6th and 7th Streets. Ramirez’s show fills the entire length of the huge long-abandoned storefront windows with energetic graphic design-inspired paintings and spooky Gothic photographs. For the opening of Ramirez’s show, the guys from Art Bar (coming soon to Kenosha) donated a light show that filled the windows with colored light as the sun went down. I liked the way the building ended up looking like a haunted house. Because of the rain, the opening for the show was held at Boobe, a women’s clothing boutique across the street, instead of on the street in front of the windows. At the opening I ate the best Italian wedding cookies I’ve ever tasted, talked to the Carthage College Gallery director about Mexican art, looked at amazing Italian shoes for sale in Boobe, and made facebook friends with the ArtBar guys.

Orpheum Theater marquee calling us to ice cream and sixty teenagers playing brass instruments for Second Saturday event.

On our way over to Scoop Ice Cream parlor in the Orpheum Theater building, Francisco and I passed another window exhibition—in the old Walgreens Drug store on 6th Street—featuring “We Shall Not be Recognized,” a series of photographs honoring same-sex couples in long-term relationships. This re-purposed storefront window is something to see , especially at night.

Exhibition of “We Shall Not be Recognized” in repurposed drug store window on 6th Street in downtown Kenosha

Even though it was cold and rainy, Scoops Ice Cream parlor was jammed because they were hosting a jazz band from the Kenosha Unified School District Middle School. These young musicians played their hearts out to a packed house as I squeeze through the crowd to get a few pictures for the blog.

KUSD Middle School Jazz Band performing at Scoops.

Next Francisco and I walked over to Secret Garden for an exhibition of paintings by KUSD Middle schoolers and to hear more live music.

Artwork by KUSD Middle School students on view at Secret Garden.

KUSD students on view at Secret Garden.

We stopped in at Pollard Gallery and saw an exhibition of interesting work by Maria Varga-Hansen (she goes by Vargamari on facebook). Vargamari’s small paintings are surrealist and quite disturbing–as all good surrealism is. In fact, this artist’s work reminded me of the great woman surrealist Remdios Varo.

Painting by Maria Varga Hansen/Vargamari at Pollard Gallery in the Rhode Center for the Arts.

After Pollard, Francisco and I stopping in to see the ladies at the Kenosha Art Association who were working on the booth grid for the up-coming Art Fair (Sunday June 5th at Civic Center Park). After a quick glass of wine and a few yummy donut holes, we drove over to Lemon Street Gallery where we planned to conclude our evening, but alas the lights were out by the time we got there.

Lemon Street Gallery in Kenosha.

The people and organizations that work together to make Second Saturdays in Kenosha happen: [Add your organization in the comments section of this post if I have missed you.]

  • Business Improvement District of Downtown Kenosha (BID)
  • The Orpheum Theater, Scoops and the Downtown Toystore
  • The “Windows of Downtown” is a partnership between ExposeKenosha, LLC and the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce,
  • The Kenosha Unified School District in collaboration with is showcasing the student’s artwork at the Secret Garden Cafe, Scoops, and Carolyn’s Coffee.
  • Boobe
  • Carthage College Art Department
  • Pollard Gallery
  • Lemon Street Gallery
  • Kenosha Art Association
  • The ArtBar guys
  • Jeff Pearcy and Will Fellows “We Shall Not be Recognized: Portraits of Same-Sex Couples”

About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs is the director of galleries and curator of exhibitions at Jamestown Community College in Western New York. She writes the blog "Scene Unseen: Viewing Notes" about visual art in her community.

11 Responses to Images, Lights, Sounds, Tastes: Second Saturday in Downtown Kenosha

  1. haha,it is an journey about the art market and gallery that is interesting .if have chance and time ,it will be journey that is full of images and photos and story and interesting feeling . is it about the exhibition and gallery and journal ? and is it the special personal experience ?if so,wish it will be the record of one critical’s view.

  2. whether it is about the condition of art in one city of America? and whether it is the observation to the surrounding of downtown city? if it is ,i think it is full of element of art but not the typical system and the special kind form . just as the journal ,it is full of lexuary and release and
    holiday atmosphere ,it is an journal ‘view of an thinking person.

  3. Hello Xuchen, It is good to hear from you. How is life in Beijing? I hope your studies of modern and contemporary art are going well. I have a little bit of trouble understanding your English here but I get the sense that you like the post. Thanks for reading my blog.

  4. Rebecca Venn says:

    Looks like you had a good start to what goes on in Kenosha on Second Saturdays…you must return and see Lemon Street Gallery when the lights are on and then swing by Artworks Gallery on 7th Avenue too. I know of another studio you could visit sometime but it is too obvious so do return to fill out your experience…it is worth the trip.

    • Hi Rebecca, For some reason ArtWorks was not open when we drove by. I look forward to connecting with Chet there. I hear great things about that gallery.

      • Chet closed up early, and was at Lemon Street for a time. He is always so supportive of artists by attending their receptions. We all LOVE Second Saturdays, but of course, if you are the business owner, you never get to attend the festivities unless you sneak out! Boo.

  5. Hummm… I wrote a comment yesterday on the activities at Lemon Street, and it’s not here?? Any ideas on that?

    • Hi Melanie, are all your comments here now? If you subscribe to the blog I think your comments are posted automatically. Please subscribe if you have not already. Pass the word about my blog to Chet too!

  6. I think I subscribe, and No, I left a lengthy comment that is not here. It would have been the very first comment, as I posted it immediately after I read your review. It was about the happenings at Lemon Street.

  7. Anna says:

    Love Middle school jazz bands.

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