Your overall theatre experience is expanded with art exhibits in our lobby gallery. Please be sure to arrive early to check out these artists’ beautiful work.
Curator James Toth creates a unique collection of works to complement each Next Act production.
November 21 – December 15, 2019
Curated by James Toth
Artists can be a pretty serious bunch, especially when it comes to their art. Just read a few typical artist’s statements and you will see what I mean. Most are heady, academic exercises in expounding deep aesthetic, spiritual and/or social intentions through the use of a vocabulary and syntax rarely seen elsewhere. And then there is Jerrold Belland, our featured gallery artist for Neil Simon’s LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR:
“Each day, driving to my studio down Memorial Drive, a story unfolds before my eyes like a movie being played out on a screen. I am drawn to stories and I make art that tells stories. It’s a long tradition, this business of narrative art, and I’m proud to be part of it. I am told that there is a genuine comic element in my work. I am happy about that. I am happy that I can translate my dark view of the world into something that will make people smile.”
What could be simpler or more straight forward? Who could be a better fit for pairing with a play by Neil Simon? I certainly couldn’t think of anyone else.
Jerrold (Jerry) Belland was born and raised on a dairy farm near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. As a graduate of UWM with a master’s degree, he has been making art since the early 70s. In his long career, he has won over 100 awards in various art exhibitions and his work hangs in hundreds of private and public collections. In 2012, he won a Racine Art Museum fellowship and decided to return to an early passion, cartooning, with a vengeance. In quick succession, he published four books of cartoons. His dark view of politics led to his third book, “Scott Walker in Hell and Other Delights” which was quickly followed by another about the first year of the Trump presidency, “Donald Trump, the First Hundred Years.”
We are honored to feature a collection of Jerry’s art representative of his always perceptive, sometimes sardonic, impressions of our everyday world.
Jerry lives with his wife in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin and maintains a studio in the inner city of Racine. At 70 years old, he still maintains a rigorous studio practice. For more information and examples of his art, visit jerrybellandart.net.
Jim Toth is a retired art educator, now in his sixth season as Next Act’s volunteer gallery curator.
The art exhibit opens Thursday, November 21, and is open to the public Monday through Friday, noon to 5 pm, and through the start of any performance.