Let’s Be Bad

by Jessie Lynn McMains Sometimes, I want to do bad things. This is not a confession of nefarious plots or dirty thoughts. Maybe I should rephrase it. Sometimes, I want to allow myself to be bad at things. I want to let myself make crappy stuff. I want to let myself just make the absolute…

What I Wanted to Say …

by John Bloner, Jr. This is my final article as Racine Writer-In-Residence as I will hand off its baton to the next honoree on July 1st. Thank you to ArtRoot, the Osborne & Scekic Family Foundation, Nick Ramsey, and the Racine Literacy Council for their support and encouragement. Over the past six months, the Krazines,…

Mattias and I: A True Story

When I came across Mattias’ work five or six years ago, I became captivated by his highly-populated cityscapes and his rooms stuffed with bric-a-brac and odd technology. This is the kind of art I want to make!, I told myself.

Forget Paris on the Seine. I’ll Take the Louvre on Lake Michigan

Would you rather have a brat or a baguette? A Kouign-amann or a Kringle? Paris with its Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo is 4,100 miles away from here, and who needs the Louvre Museum when you can experience fine art (and engage in much more) at the Louvre on Lake Michigan, better known as Spectrum School of the Arts and Gallery? Spectrum is located within the historic DeKoven Center campus in Racine, WI at 2050 Wisconsin Avenue and has served southeastern Wisconsin with culture, education, entertainment, and fellowship for over 40 years.

Drawing Tom Waits

As much as I love the sound of Tom Waits – blues shouter, field hollerer, junkyard dog howler, carnival barker – I also am jazzed by the man’s countenance and love to draw pictures of him.

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere

The ancient Greeks defined temenos as a sacred space, a sanctuary, governed by its own special rules. According to Anne Bogart at SITI, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung “imagined temenos not only as an object or place, but also as an experience – a virtual meditative space that can inhabited by the mind – signifying the inner space deep within us where soul-making takes place. In its modern usage, temenos refers to areas that are distinct from the hubbub of commerce and family, isolated from everyday living spaces. This term perfectly describes 16th Street Studios, located in the Racine Arts and Business Center, Racine, Wisconsin.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

You’re probably familiar with the Muses, those Greek goddesses of the arts and science, whom many through the ages have called upon for inspiration, yet you may not know of the Muses of Mirth, birthed here in southeastern Wisconsin by the multi-talented Monne Haug of Kenosha to not only inspire clever souls but to feed them, too.

My Kind of Town: Kenosha

don’t get around much anymore. That’s not just a song title or a result of the pandemic, it’s a fact of my life. Long-distance travel doesn’t suit me. I’ve tried to stuff my 6’3 frame into an airline’s economy class seat and found Houdini couldn’t escape from a space that tight. When my family would travel to Yellowstone or other spots when I was young, I was left behind in the care of my aunt. They did not want to be on a car ride with me then, and you don’t want me as a passenger with you today. It’s a good thing I’ve learned to bloom where I was planted: Kenosha, Wisconsin, the fourth largest city in our state, nestled on the shore of the second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.

Mixing It Up – Part Two

In parochial grade school, circa 1967, Sister Margaret in her flowing black habit and veil, escorted my classmates and I every weekday to St. Mary Catholic Church in Kenosha to hear from Scripture and to sing hymns of our faith.

Mixing It Up

Call Me DJ Jazzy Johnny. My younger self could make a pretty cool mixtape, first on cassette and later on CD. I never played them in clubs – I cannot stay up past ten o’clock, and I hate crowds, even in pre-COVID times. Nowadays, I prefer to mix things up on paper or canvas instead.