Thursday, February 21, 2008

Opening March 1st!

For Immediate Release:
Sky High Celebrates 20 Years
March 1- March 31, 2008

Opening Reception Saturday, March 1st 7-10pm
After party at Franks Power Plant 10pm- Close

Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery
2375 S. Howell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Note from the curator:
This show is about more than skate boarding, it is about the fact that a small independent business has made it through 20 years of business in a time where the mass majority of people shop either online or at mega malls. This show is a celebration of the accomplishments that a small independently owned business specializing in a niche community. It is not only admirable but exciting to see a small business make this is a reality, we realize the struggles and sacrifices one has to make to see their dream come true are not easy . Paper Boat is proud to show solidarity to their neighbor Sky High who has made it to the 20 year mark- join us opening night and give a toast to the future of supporting local business.
- Faythe Levine

Sky High is an independently owned skate shop currently located in the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee, WI. That will be celebrating its 20-year mark of being open this year. Sky High Neighbors, Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery is pleased to be hosting a
Retrospective show of Sky High in Wisconsin that will include photographs, skateboard decks, flyers and memorabilia of the past 20 years.

20 Year Timeline of Sky High
: George and Dimitri Dimitropoulos opened the Douglas Ave location in Racine, while they were still in high school.

1991: The shop moves to a larger space on Main St. operated solely by George Dimitropoulos.

1992: Aaron Polansky starts working for Sky High
George is planning to open a new location on Hwy 100 and Layton Ave in Greenfield.

1993: New Shop opens at 4649 S. 108th st. and sales in Racine were dwindling so the old location was shut down.

1994: Aaron Polansky moves back to Milwaukee and begins working at Hwy 100 location.

1998: Polansky, while San Francisco for two months is given the offer to buy Sky High from George. Aaron wasn't interested at first, but then could see the trend of skateboarding rising in popularity once again. In October Aaron Polansky decides to buy the store.

1999: With the help of a loan from his father Aaron Polansky is the new owner of Sky High. As he predicted, skate boarding's popularity hit the roof. During this year Aaron worked 7 days a week without much pay, but with the increase in popularity sales kept going up.

: Polansky has all loans paid off and the store was doing well.

2004: In February, with the repeated help of his father, Aaron bought a building in the up and coming neighborhood of Bay View for the newest location. 2501 S. Howell Ave.

2005: In June the new space was open for business. By August of the Hwy 100 location was closed.

2006: In an effort to promote local businesses Sky High works with small independently owned Bay View shops creating the "Common Ground" project releasing a limited edition of 100 skateboard decks designed by each company. Businesses included were Fashion Ninja, Solid State Tattoo, Cactus Club, Fasten Collective, Rushmore, Luv Unlimited, Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery, Hi Fi Café and the Brew City Brewsers Roller Girl League.

2007: In December DC Shoes released a Sky High specific skate shoe that was inspired by a two-car garage with a small mini ramp where Polansky and friends spent every Friday night for two winters skating. The DC shoes were limited to 88 pairs and the Danger
Room shoe was a great success, kids were asking people where to get Danger Room shoes, not knowing what Sky High even was.

2008: Sky High celebrates 20 years of skateboarding in Wisconsin being an essential part of the local and national skate community.

Sky High will continue to offer a wide selection of decks, shoes, books, and apparel.

The future of sky high from owner Aaron Polansky:
"Sky High has always been involved in the Milwaukee skate scene. In the future I hope to continue in that tradition by hosting more skate jams, block parties, and other community events. I am looking forward to organizing an event this summer at the Humboldt Park band shell that would include live music, skating, and bring your own BBQ. I plan on continue to work with the other local businesses promoting ourselves and the Bay View community, which a good majority of us live and work in. I have hopes of developing our already expanding line of Sky High clothing to include not only just tees and sweatshirts, but also expanding into denim and other outerwear such as spring jackets and winter coats."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Valentines Day Card by Axelhoney $4

We have super sweet valentine's day cards and thoughtful handmade gifts for your lady or dude.

Hotcakes is closing!

I am sad to pass on the news that Gallery director Mike Brenner officially announced the closing of his space Hotcakes yesterday via email [which I have reposted below]. Galleries like Hotcakes are what this city needs to grow and it's sad to know there will be one less awesome art space (out of the very few this city has to spare) in Milwaukee.

Thank you Mike Brenner for all the hard work you have done for this city........ read on to hear what Mike has to say:

via email February 1, 2008
Hotcakes Gallery Will Close July 3, 2008 at 5PM
It's official. In less than 3 months, Visit Milwaukee (Miwaukee's convention and visitors bureau) has raised the $85,000 it needs to erect the Bronze Fonz, a monument to the small-town Milwaukee of old. It's with great sadness, I announce that on July 3rd, Hotcakes Gallery will close it's doors for good. I cannot see running a contemporary art gallery in a city who's "leadership" is so eager to invest it's limited resources in garbage instead of fostering it's burgeoning arts community.

February 6th marks Hotcakes Gallery's 4th Birthday. It has been a wonderful four years. I truly appreciate everyone who showed up and supported me in my attempt to engage, excite and educate the general public with affordable, contemporary art and music. I made many new friends and had many incredible experiences I will never forget. I extend special thanks to those of you who put your money where your mouth was and invested in art.

My plan for the near future is to focus on my role as Executive Director of MARN (Milwaukee Artist Resource Network). MARN has been working closely with the Eastside Business Improvement District to build an arts incubator on the Eastside of Milwaukee, and I would like to see the project through to completion. I plan to spend the next couple years trying to raise the necessary funds to create a truly cutting-edge arts center that will nurture the next generation of artists and arts supporters.

My goal is to put Milwaukee on the map and make it an international destination for creative thinkers and doers. I want the world to see what I see... a city full of warmhearted, hardworking, creative individuals who deserve to be defined by so much more than beer, brats, cheese and Arthur Fonzerelli.

mike brenner

Chris Crites & Anthony Weber

February 1- 27th 2008
Paper Boat is pleased to announce the opening of their next show featuring Seattle artist Chris Crites and Baltimore based artist Anthony Weber, opening Friday February 1st with the opening reception running from 7-10pm. Anthony Weber will be in attendance.

Curator Faythe Levine first stumbled across Chris Crites “bag paintings” in Seattle, WA at the Blue Bottle Gallery & Boutique. Struck by the choice of subject matter, color palette and of course, the brown paper bag it was painted on, Crites paintings made an immediate impact on Levine. These criminals from the past, forgotten and hid away in the system, brought to life by Crites hand. Levine found herself wanting to know more information about each man and women of the underworld in Crites collection. Paper Boat will have 15 original paintings on display as well as limited edition prints and card sets.

Showing along with Crites is Anthony Weber, a mixed medium artist from Racine, WI currently working and residing in Baltimore, MD. Levine met Weber at the first Art vs. Craft in Milwaukee where he was selling limited edition prints and original paintings. She is pleased to welcome him home to Wisconsin for his first show in Milwaukee since 2005. Weber received his B.A. in 2004 with a concentration in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. His listing of solo and group shows include KM art Gallery in Milwaukee, WI, Working Dog Art Gallery in Racine, WI, Reversible Eye Art Gallery in Chicago, IL and Supreme Trading in Brooklyn, NY.

Check out Chris Crites work HERE
Artist Statement
Years ago I saw a book of black and white crime photographs from the past. I found it amazing. The characters and crime scenes looked like surreal glimpses into the history of human interaction. Much more intriguing for me were the mug shots. Portraits of people who had just been caught. Despair, frustration, anger – so many expressions could be read on the faces. Each one of these images has a story. Often times I have no idea what the real story is, but it’s hard not to make one up. One of the reasons I paint them is to bring out another possible story, for people to look at and think about. The majority of the images I base my paintings on are from the 1890’s through 1950’s.

Originally I began using charcoal and white conte´ crayon on paper bag. The way the wrinkles, folds and texture added to the piece really appealed to me. In 1999 I painted my first 4 mug shots in acrylic on paper bag with a limited palette of 5 colors each. Paper bag has been my main substrate ever since. Brightly colored acrylics have a different effect on the brown bag than on a typical white backing.

I try to bring new life to these practically discarded portraits of criminal and human history. Using an everyday, disposable item as the surface gives new life to the bag as well. It is my hope to get people thinking about the past, their present, and how we all affect both.

Check out Anthony Weber's work HERE
Artist’s Statement:
For the most part, I consider my artwork to be a personal exploration. It is a method for self discovery and grasping a better understanding of life in general. I consider my style to be the result of a complete bastardization of influences. Over the years I’ve developed an iconography filled with multiple and evolving meanings. Recurring themes in the form of severed body limbs, knives, teeth, etc. populate my work. There is no one-to-one relationship between these forms and their meanings. Subject matter comes from personal experience, emotions, desires and thoughts about my surroundings. My work is deliberately crude and raw. If my hands are shaky I allow for the shaky line to come through. I have no desire to use devious imitative or flashy drawing techniques to reproduce reality. I am more interested in experimenting with abstract mark making in order to explore a convulsive beauty. I am attracted to the unconventional and not the tried and true. I am a nontraditional printmaker. I consider the process of printmaking to be a form of drawing. I often go back and forth between printing and drawing until I’m satisfied with the image. I tend to dwell on a darker side of life and often my work is confused to have a violent nature. Any violence I do include within my work I consider to be to the extreme of a cartoon. My artwork is in a constant state of evolution. The future of my artwork is only limited by my imagination and my dedication to constantly make image after image.