Usable Space

Address: 1950 S. Hilbert St., Milwaukee, WI
Contact: Keith Nelson
Open Hours: April-September, mid month openings, then Saturdays 12-3

How is the project operated?

How long has it been in existence?
1 year.

What was your motivation?
My motivations are to provide a space for local artists to curate exhibits based upon their interests and, of course, to provide another venue for contemporary art in a city where the options are very few. Also, as this is not a commercial venture, we are able to exhibit work without the pressure of making sales dictating what is shown. 

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
2 organizers.

How are programs funded?

Who is responsible for the programming?
Director: myself.

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
Six 1-month exhibits per year (April-September).

What kind of events are usually organized?
Exhibits ranging from formal painting shows to film screenings/performances. Some live music as well.

How is your programming determined?
Local artists are invited to curate shows based on their own interests, preferably involving some artists from outside of SE Wisconsin.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Proposals are accepted, but most curators are invited by director.

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Curatorial approach is to provide local artists with a professionally managed space with which to present exhibits.

What’s working? What’s not working?
So far, the curatorial approach is working very well. Attendance has exceeded expectations and participating artists have been grateful for the opportunity. Funding is difficult, but not a huge problem thus far.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
My hope is to provide opportunities for networking with artists from outside of the local community and to provide a space for projects/exhibits that would otherwise not be able to be realized.

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
The variety of programming is most exciting to me. Film/video screenings and live music/performance are an exciting avenue to me, as options are few in Milwaukee to present this kind of work.



Images courtesy of Usable Space.

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