Powerful Window Exhibitions in Downtown Kenosha

When I’m  in Kenosha I take time to spin around downtown to see the storefront window art exhibitions. Working with a crew of artists and volunteers Francisco Loyola organizes and helps install revolving exhibitions in the window storefronts of six empty properties. This month’s highlights are  large abstractions painted by Kim Rahal and the poetry of William Lowe.

Kim Rahal’s paintings entitled “Spirit” and “Fire” in the windows at 58th and 6th in downtown Kenosha.

Kim Rahal’s luminous abstractions shine in the windows of the building on the corner of 58th Street and 6th Avenue, a block-long shallow stage for art.

Rahal, Untitled, acrylic paint, 2010.

Smaller scale works do not show particularly well in this window, but Rahal’s abstractions make strong statements here as they hang against their white backdrop and are framed by the darkened  building interior.  Her paintings have enough presence to hold their own in this  somewhat dilapidated environment.

Rahal calls this piece “Fractured Time”.

Rahal’s work will remain on view here for a several months. Be sure to visit during the day, because this exhibition is not lit at night.

Just east of Rahal’s exhibition, at 58th and 7th, the window display is a tribute to the poetry of William Lowe.  Lowe is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He lives  in a care facility specifically for veterans just around the corner from this window display recognizing his poetry. His work touches just about everyone that passes by, but it must be specially meaningful to his fellow residents, many of whom also served in Vietnam.

William Lowe with the display of his poetry in the windows of the building at 58th Street and 7th Ave in Kenosha.

Lowe’s poetry is taped to the windows  of the storefront making it easy to read a few poems as you pass by on the street. It is powerful writing.

William Lowe, “Words of War.”

I’m looking forward to next month’s windows and dream of the day when we can get artists working with community youths or students to thoughtfully curate these unconventional exhibition spaces.

Please use a comment to share your thoughts about the Windows of Downtown. Have I missed something you liked? What do you think about using empty storefront windows as art galleries?

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.

4 Responses to Powerful Window Exhibitions in Downtown Kenosha

  1. Thank you Patricia,

    The Windows of Downtown is a collaboration between ExposeKenosha.com and the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce.

    The goals of the Windows of Downtown project are:

    To improve the Downtown Kenosha image by transforming vacant store fronts located in Downtown Kenosha along 6th and 7th Avenues between 55th Street and 59th Street into showcases for art by promoting art displays; To increase foot traffic to grow downtown businesses; to market downtown to decrease vacancies; to enhance our arts culture, and to help establish a local arts council.

    The rest of the current exhibits are listed below:

    -5711 6th Avenue – Wing Young Huie’s “The University Project”
    This exhibition offers glimpses into the everyday realities of the inhabitants of urban neighborhoods, and was photographed along Lake Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    -5801 6th Avenue – The Poetry of William Lowe
    William Lowe suffers from amnesia. The only thing he can remember is his participation in the Viet Nam War. Inspired by a book of poetry he found in a library, he started writing poetry 20 years ago. He writes about humor, children, weddings, anything that he sees that inspires him. He looks for the meaningful things in life – the expressions, the sorrow, whatever he sees “embodied within air that needs a voice.”

    -5806 6th Avenue – The Photography of Andrea Ruane and Sammy Chatmon – “Frame Half Full”

    -617 58th Street: Mikasi presents: “Dissent,” a Photographic Commentary”

    – David Dallison: “Hastings Winter” – a one painting show. David Dallison is a professional artist who paints people and landscapes of diverse cultures all over the world.

    – Art by Kim Rahal at Paperazzi – 5621-6th Avenue and 622-628 56th Street
    Kim paints what she feels – her artwork, she says, is an expression of her soul and enables her to share what she thinks, feels, and experiences.

    – Sazzy B’s – 5623 6th Avenue – “Pencils in Motion” – by Frank J. Hartle (in collaboration with Forever Grateful gallery) Frank has always been a “renaissance” man and his artwork is an attempt to reflect that side of every human being. These collages best represent his “Pencils In Motion.”

    – Scoops – 5819 6th Avenue – Art Series by Lauren Miller – “The Wizard of Oz”

    Thank you!

    Francisco Loyola

  2. Pegi Christiansen says:

    Thank you Patricia for giving a sense of these windows.
    I am always interested in how empty storefronts can be used in multiple ways as pop-up galleries.
    As you suggest, the art has to be chosen carefully.

  3. Thank you for your poetry William, and serving our Country….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: