October 27 - February 19, 2017

Welcome to Forward 2016:  A Survey of Wisconsin Art, the Charles Allis Art Museum’s biennial exhibition featuring the work of Wisconsin artists. Forward is our largest exhibition at the Charles Allis, as we open our doors and gallery spaces to artists from all over Wisconsin. Our jurors always have the difficult task of selecting from hundreds of works of art, and this year was no exception: jurors Brent Budsberg and Susan Barnett reviewed 350 submissions before choosing the 60 that make up the exhibition. We are grateful for their insight and dedication, and for making Forward 2016 a success.

What makes Forward a beloved tradition at the Charles Allis is the variety of artistic mediums, techniques, and cultures that intersect in a single exhibition. Realistic or abstract, political or personal, these works become a combined narrative of the Wisconsin art scene. Forward highlights this narrative and lets the art speak for itself.

It is especially appropriate that an exhibition like this be housed at the Charles Allis. Charles and Sarah Allis dedicated their lives to the art world, and have the art collection to prove it. When they bequeathed their home to Milwaukee County, they wanted to give back to the community that had made their lives so much richer; they wanted their home to continue being enriched by art, especially from Wisconsin.


Grand Prize: James Pederson, The Miracle in Mike's Apartment

Award of Excellence: Lois Bielefeld, Mary and Jillian - Riverwest. 2015

Award of Excellence: Kevin Giese, Murmur

Margaret Rahill Memorial Award: Rafael Salas, Two Cats (World Without End #2)

Honorable Mention: Maureen Fritchen, What Came My Way - January 2016

Director's Choice: Michael Ware, E.B.D.B.B.N.B.

Viewer's Choice: Matthew Warren Lee, The Tempest

Selected Artists:
Timothy Abler, Lois Bielefeld, Larry Booth, Cynthia Brinich-Langlois, Jim Brozek, Valerie Christell, CathyJean CLark, Martha Coaty, Brandi Collins, Stephanie Copoulos-Selle, Eddee Daniel, Maureen Fritchen, Kevin Giese, Patricia Hidson, Andrea Hudson, Kitty Kingston, Eric Koester, Philip Krejcarek, Susan Estelle Kwas, Karla Lauden, Guntis Lauzums, Matthew Lee, J. Myszka Lewis, Valerie Mangion, Lindsay Marx, Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri, Josie Osborne, James Pederson, Nirmal Raja, Vicki Reed, Sara Risley, Janet Roberts. Kerri Root, Katie Ryan, Rafael Salas, Lawrence Sanders, Eric Schoen, Marc Tasman, Jason Van Roo, Arthur Vannoy, Michael Ware, Kiefer Waterman, Rochelle Weiner, Charles Wickler, Sara Willadsen, Ryan Woolgar


walk n talk

Forward 2016 Gallery Walk & Talk

Saturday, January 28th, 2017 | 3-5 PM

Want to learn more about the artists and artwork included in this year's biennial exhibition? Join us for a special gallery walk and talk led by select artists featured in Forward 2016. Visit for event info and a list of the participating artists.

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Listen, Ryan Woolgar, Color pencil and ink on paper, 12 x 9 in., 2016




mad hatter


The Mad Hatter Tea Party

Saturday, March 4th, 2017 | 3 - 5 PM

Don your most fantastically mad hat and attend our 7th annual Mad Hatter Tea Party! Your host the Mad Hatter will be there to keep you company along with Alice, the Red Queen, the Door Mouse and the March Hare too. Enjoy live music, tea sandwiches, delicious teas, and yummy treats. This two hour event includes a tour of the museum, a staging of the Mad Hatter Tea Party from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland", and prizes for "Maddest" adult and children's hats.There will be time for photo ops with your favorite characters. For kids from three to ninety-three!


$25 General Admission/$20 Members

Tickets available at:


For inquiries contact Michael Keiley 414 278 8295 x5