• Address 720 East Locust Street | Milwaukee, WI 53212
  • Phone 414.263.5001
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mon
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Closed Mon
Event Calendar
readings & workshops
April 10

Virtual Poetry Reading: Marilyn Chin

film & video
April 17

Virtual Film Screening: The Collection

readings & workshops
April 19 - May 10

Intergenerational Self-Collaboration: A Multi-Arts Workshop with Paul McComas

readings & workshops
April 24

Virtual Poetry Reading: Krystal Languell + Jennifer Nelson + Ae Hee Lee

film & video
April 25

Virtual Film Screening: Immortal Cupboard: In Search of Lorine Niedecker 

readings & workshops
April 29

Virtual Poetry Reading: Raquel Salas Rivera + Lara Mimosa Montes

Archived exhibitions
Jul 5 July 5 - July 28
7:00pm, $Give What You Can

On view in our gallery from July 5 - 28

In anticipation of the September 14, 2019 book release for AVIARY: Selected Paintings by Ken Wood we present 20 paintings from the over 120 that will appear in the published book. More information regarding the book release coming soon.

In search of words to capture his experience of Ken’s brimming studio, esteemed friend and colleague Carl Bogner posited an “aviary” of paintings among the possibilities. Bogner’s fond remarks, instigated during a KSE Open Studios, resonated in the moment and delightfully resurfaced years later in my thinking about the collection. Yes, how apropos. Aviary. There we find a container as airy and charged as a boy’s full butterfly net or hands cupped about a turtle or a toad. A place for study, observation, for careful pleasure in form and color and movement.

Ken’s aviary was aflutter with astutely imperfect hand-made wooden canvasses, populated with birds and coffee mugs and hearts and circles and words and by countless hours spent mixing and matching often sublimely muted yet vibrant colors. These surfaces often reveal themselves as palettes, spaces for play and contemplation, sometimes quiet and wistful, absurd and abstruse, jokes to himself, gestures both plain and buried. What is the role of intuition, what is calculated? A broken yellow coffee mug glued and broken over and over again reappears, when anybody else would just have thrown it away and moved on. So many reoccurring motifs among the everyday, the mundane, the ephemeral, the abstract. And now, I only wish I had come to know this body of paintings so closely while Ken Wood were still available for meandering conversations about them. -excerpt from AVIARY “Editor’s Note” by Kati Katchever



Ken Wood (1959-2016) was born Thursday, May 7, 1959 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the youngest of six children. Ken was quietly attentive to his environment, noting its details with care and insight. At an early age he revealed an offbeat, quirky sense of humor and an unusually perceptive eye for the world of nature he discovered around him. For example, when he was eight years old, he identified a Polyphemus moth in his backyard. Such habits of close observation surely influenced his development as a visual artist. -excerpt from AVIARY bio by Marty Wood

"Ken was a painter, a filmmaker, an ace technician, a patient instructor, someone deftly and warmly thoughtful in all his engagements. Which is to say that, among other things, he deployed his exquisite taste nimbly, had a handy and accurate moral compass, exercised with glee his sly and expert humor, and could, per Michael Walsh, make ‘the best martinis!!’ He was one of the best people you could talk to -- curious, open, funny, genuine." -Carl Bogner