Sharing the Love in Madison


A lot has happened since this project first began so many months ago.  Connections made, powerful expressions, and the greatest of all: love.  Love has been seen, explored, analyzed, discussed… stories heard and stories felt.  It has been a joy to be a part of this process – to see it come together in such a beautiful way.

I’ve met so many incredible people through these months, so many people that I am proud to call friends.  One of these friends connected me to a larger project that is happening nationally: the Baltimore Love Project.  Artist Michael Owen has painted 27 love mural all over the city of Baltimore and has started taking his love, and his art, across the country.

I am so proud to announce that Michael will be painting a love mural on the side of Plan B this summer.  There will be great collaborations with businesses, artists, and organizations that will work together to make this  a “Summer of Love” here in town.

Love Wins.

Love is Love.

Love is such a powerful experience, let’s make this strong.

See details and a writeup in the Cap Times on the Summer of Love here.

Coming up on June 28th there will be a workshop from 9am-1pm at the Bubbler, hosted by me, where I will bring back many of the interactive components that were featured in the exhibition reception night.  Pieces will serve to connect community through art and experience, as was the goal of the reception night and exhibition (that is still continuing through June).  This will be available for all ages, that will speak of this love Discourse project in town, as well as offer ideas, coloring pages, information and more on the Baltimore Love Project.

Thursday, July 10 and Friday, June 11 Michael will be painting the love mural on the side of Plan B.

Friday, July 11th will feature a concert, also at the Bubbler, from 830-midnight, where bands Flavor that Kills and Cowboy Winter will be playing for their Night Light event.  Forequarter will be providing drinks that evening.  It will also be the beginning of artist/maker and friend Joe Kerman, with Sector 67, who will be the artist-in-residence at the Bubbler in July and August.  Remember the robot, yeah, that’s the guy 🙂  This will be an event to celebrate love in town – what we have seen, what we love, and what we will be building more of.

Saturday, July 12 Michael will be presenting at the Bubbler and offering more information and sharing his art with the community.

I would also love to thank the community for this great support.  The discourse that was shared, interpreted, and discussed was overwhelmingly positive.  More details and pictures of the exhibition and more artists that contributed to come over the course of this next week.’

Love, always,



How Large is the Spectrum of Love?



Artist Audrey Mahlie is a gifted social worker and mother, and is the only artist in the show to tackle the subject of domestic abuse in love.

It begs the question… when does it stop being love?

Is abuse a part of love, of the spectrum of love?

Does it all come from the same place – the love that we feel, that morphs into something disgusting?

What do you think?

Audrey explores the question, “Are you open to love?” 

She writes, “A great love informs how we feel about ourselves. It tells us we are special/beautiful/interesting/smart and worthy of respect. As a social worker I’ve seen people who have never experienced this love – not even from a parent or other family member. They experience only bad love, mediocre love, desperate love, or abusive love. So not really any “love” at all. But these experiences also inform how they feel about themselves. I’ve seen women who are in abusive relationships believe these relationships are healthy because it’s the best they’ve ever had. Maybe he took her in when she was homeless, maybe he showed some kindness in another way. They keep going back to him because that’s what they believe great love is. So in my experience, no, not everyone gets a great love. Those who do should hold on to it and be grateful.” 

Please share your thoughts below.

Who Will This Person Be?



Megan Monday is one of those people that you simply have to know.

Kind, funny, thoughtful… amazing artist that does photography, painting, knitting, and so much more.  Gifted in so many regards.

She also has a business providing photography for businesses, she adds, “I love going into the creative space of a small business and making images there. I take in what you do: your process, your product, the sense of place, the personalities, and I make a portfolio of images to reflect what I see. That viewpoint becomes the catalyst for promotion: through websites, social media platforms, and print.”

Megan explores the love of her son in the question, “Are you Open to Love?”  She beautifully writes:

“The first questions were common ones, born from the uncertainty that accompanies things-not-planned:
Am I ready? Are we sure? Is this the right time? Is this part of our plan?

Be Open, we decided, and new questions started taking shape:
Who will this person be? How will this change us? What will we become together?

Those questions bore a boy. That boy is now 5, and he unfolds the mysteries of his own personality: who he is, who he is becoming.

We find hints of who he will be in his elaborate sea creature drawings: angler fish with bioluminescent lures and carefully drawn coral with golden flowers.

We uncover signs in the costume bin: firefighter helmets become Darth Vader masks, and home-grown super heroes are spun out of dyed silks and Tinker Toy arrows.

We locate clues slipped into the spines of graphic novels: “secretly” reading after bedtime, the pale light from the hallway creeping past the doorsill and illuminating pages.

We unearth new interests with our shovels in the garden: earthworms make customary visits to marigolds, fairy houses are built, broccoli beds are planned and planted.

So I am Ever Open for this:
What creatures will he invent? What flags will he plant? What stories will he tell? “

I am so honored to know her, and so happy to have her in the Discourse on Love art exhibition at Absolutely Art.  She joins 44 other artists as they explore love and what it means in their lives.

Please explore Megan’s work here and see her piece entitled “Open” at the exhibition starting this Friday at 5pm.

Love Breeds Laughter



Philippa Bergmann is a brilliant artist extraordinaire that I have been lucky to meet.

She describes her work as:

“The most vivid memories of my youth are visual, but, often, Alice-like, have to do with a perturbing sense of enormous or miniscule physicality in space. Some memories are indecipherable from recurring dreams. In my paintings, I tease out these overlapping moments, especially those tight-chested recollections and ruminations involving animals, landscapes, and the vast sky. The tone of my work often brushes with the humorous and the surreal (e.g., Hubble space images as painterly treasure maps). Lately I want my paintings to say that anything is possible.

“A hundred million lightyears out. As we approach the limit of our vision, we pause to start back home. This lonely scene—the galaxies like dust—is what most of space looks like. This emptiness is normal; the richness of our own neighborhood is the exception.”
-Charles and Ray Eames, Powers of Ten (1977)”

philippalovediscourse 2

We are so lucky to have her in the Discourse on Love exhibition at Absolutely Art.  The exhibition will run from June 6-28, 2014, with the reception night being Friday, June 6 from 5-9pm.

Please explore Philippa’s work here or see the two pieces she has created for the exhibition!

“Think I am Art”


I believe that Phil Porter is one of those cultural artist icons in Madison.  His work has been displayed all over town; his visions of the city are seen through his most interesting perspective.

Phil describes his work:

“I think I am art, not the artist.

My inspiration for my vibrantly colored paintings of cityscapes comes from travels, local field trips, movies, work experiences, and life in Madison. Regarding my philosophy of my work, it’s important to paint about things that you understand, and that you paint what you like. Buildings are in my blood. Lew Porter, my great-grandfather, is the architect who designed the State Capitol, the Red Gym/Old Armory, Science Hall, and other prominent buildings in Madison. I like to paint the buildings he designed.

I work on thirteen paintings at once. Thirteen is my lucky bingo number. When I paint, I stand in front of my custom made easel my brother, Andy built, with one color on my paintbrush searching for just the right spots.

This paragraph is for those people who want to know more about me. I’m not ashamed for people knowing about me. My family is important to me. My folks said I was mildly retarded, and things would have been a lot different if I was born when my youngest brother was fifteen years later. I originally felt I was an outcast to society. Some thought I was good for nothing, like I was trash. Now I feel like I’m part of society and make contributions like others. I work and sell my art in the community. I feel my art is part of me and lets people know more about me. I am very nice and very pleasant to be around. I am an altogether nice guy and you would like me if you got to know me.”

He is very nice, and a joy to have in our exhibition.  Phil explores nature in his piece where he answers the question “Is there one great love for everyone?”

To Phil, nature is his great love.  How beautiful is that?

Please see more of Phil’s work here and see his new piece entitled “Tall Trees, Flowers, and Double Suns” at the exhibition at Absolutely Art this June, with the opening reception being Friday, June 6 from 5-9pm.




Interesting, right?

Don’t you just love the work of artist Joel Starkey?

I want to fill my house with his work.

We are so honored and excited to have him create a piece for the Discourse on Love project and exhibition.

Joel is exploring the concept of “Love Maps” where his work will be displayed next to other artists also exploring that question (and many others).  This art will create a discourse within itself, as they speak to each other.  There will also be twelve interactive pieces, performance art, live music, and a lot of love all meant to connect community through our collective experiences on the subject.

Please check out his work at his site here and join us at the exhibition that runs throughout the month of June at Absolutely Art.  The opening reception will be this Friday night, June 6, from 5-9pm.


Sisterly Love



I cannot say enough about Jenni Leaver.  Upon seeing her work at the MMOCA Gallery Night, I knew I had to book her for the exhibition.

I love her style – her mixed media concepts, her Cubism references, and the spirit of the people she paints.

Also, she’s really fun.

And she makes stickers.

And she’s super cute.

Jenni explores love for her sister, as she made a piece answering the question “Who taught you love?”

She writes,

“Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart – oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape – of your sister.
~ Katherine Mansfield.”

Please check out all Jenni’s work here and see her piece entitled “Katie” at the Discourse on Love exhibition at Absolutely Art this Friday evening from 5-9pm and throughout the month of June.


When I found Margaret Durow through Etsy, I knew I wanted her.

Not like that.  Get your mind outta the gutter.

But really, she’s great.  I love her style and her creativity.

Lomography interviewed her last year , where she writes, “I take photos that are nostalgic, intimate, and personal to me, but I hope they can also be relatable and personal for the viewer.”

We are so lucky to have Margaret create not one, but two pieces for the Discourse on Love exhibit that will be held this June at Absolutely Art. One piece, featured above, is about sharing and connecting.  She adds, “To love is to care, because you feel something very special. It means sharing that connection and feeling of love with someone, by doing and supporting the things that inspire you both. It means being there with someone, creating a new and exciting feeling every day together.”

Her second piece is two frames with trunks and tiny books of pictures.  where she explores her love map.

Please see her – go to her site – and fall in love with her 🙂

Come and see Margaret and 44 other contributing artists at the Discourse on Love exhibition, where we explore love of all kinds and share together as a community. The reception will be at Absolutely Art on Friday, June 6 from 5-9pm.



Growth and Friendship



Maggie Denmen, what a doll!  So happy to have her in the art exhibition and show 🙂

Maggie is exploring love in her piece.

Maggie eloquently writes, “In my experience love grows from friendship. Someone to care for, to have fun with, and enjoy spending time with. For me, my boyfriend is the person I love and is my best-friend. He cares for me, makes me laugh and accepts me for everything I am. This piece “BFF (best friends forever)” is a symbol of our love and friendship over the years and represents who we are together and where we started from.”

Please explore Maggie’s work here and see her show at Absolutely Art in the month of June, with the reception being Friday, June 6 from 5-9pm.




We are so happy and honored to have Jon Paul Christman in the Discourse on Love exhibition this June.  I first found Jon Paul (JPCDesigns) on Etsy; I was drawn to his work that is surreal with interesting perspectives.

Jon writes,

“Different Paths pertains to the question “what is your love map” in that the two big faces are looking back at each other and are connected in that moment. In the illustration, there are all these other people and space between them and they are apart, yet still connected to each other on an internal level. In this way, I believe on an emotional level we as humans do connect and relate with certain individuals and not others that don’t share whatever it is that they have. Lastly, these past experiences creating a love map that guides us to where we want to be.”

Please explore Jon’s work at Etsy here or on facebook here.

Please meet Jon Paul and many more artists at the opening reception night at Absolutely Art on Friday, June 6 from 5-9pm.