Press Releases

For Immediate Release

CAVT Contact
Caroline Dannecker, CAVT Museums Inc.

Milwaukee blacksmith Ryan Send presents “Tension” at the Villa Terrace Art Museum

MILWAUKEE (Oct. 18, 2023) — The Villa Terrace Art Museum presents “Tension,” a solo exhibition by Milwaukee blacksmith and Villa Artist-in-Residence Ryan Send, which brings metalwork into the twenty-first century at the Museum.

In a series of steel installations viewable on the first floor of the Museum, Send delivers an invasion of metal “organisms” dropping from the walls. The artist’s manipulation of the metal creates an illusion of movement and life through a visual exaggeration of the laws of physics.

“Steel is a material of contradiction,” says Send. “It has a natural rigidity while being incredibly malleable. ‘Tension’ creates a visual fallacy between that rigidity and the organic dropping and melting of each organism.”

“Send’s work makes you rethink what you know of the material,” says Senior Curator Phoenix Brown. “Guests will be able to see the shift and the breadth of metalwork techniques from the early twentieth century into the twenty-first as they compare our permanent collection of ironworks to Ryan’s steelwork.”

The Villa Terrace is home to the world’s largest collection of Cyril Colnik ironworks. With this new blacksmith-focused residency the Museum hopes to boost public knowledge of blacksmithing as an art form.

“This exhibition is an amazing opportunity for our community to see how blacksmithing continues to be practiced and developed,” says Executive Director Jaymee Harvey Willms. “We’re so thrilled to be able to welcome Ryan and future blacksmiths to the Villa to highlight this craft with the help of UWM and the vision of Adam Hawk and Yevgeniya Kaganovich. We see a future for metals and craft at the Villa Terrace with this collaboration. Send has been a partner in helping design and build this new residency program.”

“Tension” opens at the Villa Terrace Friday, Oct. 20 and runs through December. Visitors can enter the exhibition for free as part of Gallery Night MKE from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on opening night.

To learn more about the exhibition, residency programs or visiting the Villa Terrace visit

About Villa Terrace Art Museum
Villa Terrace Art Museum is Milwaukee’s historic home for contemporary craft and material exploration. The Villa Terrace enriches Milwaukee’s quality of life by creating opportunities for residents and visitors to experience history, culture and the arts through vibrant exhibitions and performances in the grand yet intimate setting of this Italian Renaissance-style villa and garden. The Villa Terrace is managed by Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums Inc. For more information regarding the Museum visit

About Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums Inc.
Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Museums Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving Milwaukee's history and enriching the county through culture and the arts. CAVT supports and celebrates the public’s access to these two historic homes and their art collections by providing innovative and inspiring exhibitions and programming that encourages a better, stronger and more inclusive Milwaukee. CAVT Museums oversees the conservation and continued development of the Museums through member and donor support. For information regarding membership, admission and events visit

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Past News

For Immediate Release: Sept. 6, 2023

Midwest artists explore changing urban landscapes in “Supernova” at Villa Terrace

MILWAUKEE — The Villa Terrace Art Museum on Milwaukee’s east side presents “Supernova,” an exhibition of the evolution of urban landscapes through the works of Midwest artists Hope Wang and Keith Kaziak opening Sept. 14 with a free tour.

The playful and dramatic installations of “Supernova" provide a “friendly entry point” into discussions of environmental infrastructure, labor and urban renewal according to Senior Curator Phoenix Brown. 

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For Immediate Release: May 24, 2023

Villa Terrace welcomes Artist in Residence Ryan Send

Museum partners with UWM for new metalwork residency

MILWAUKEE — The Villa Terrace Art Museum welcomes local artist and blacksmith Ryan Send to its new residency program which partners with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to bring metalwork back to the Museum.

Send’s practice uses traditional blacksmith techniques to sculpt organic forms — influenced by the fantastic and pop culture fantasy aesthetics. “My works use fantastic elements to influence how viewers perceive real space and question the material,” says Send.

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For Immediate Release: May 20, 2023

Villa Terrace Presents "A Different Kind of Garden" by Cat Gilbert

Milwaukee artist's solo exhibition opens June 8

MILWAUKEE — The Villa Terrace Museum of Decorative Arts presents “A Different Kind of Garden,” a solo exhibition by Milwaukee artist and Villa Artist in Residence Cat Gilbert, which explores the Museum's architecture and grounds through an aesthetic lens.

Using prints, paintings and sculpture developed during her residency at the Museum, Gilbert’s exhibition documents and exaggerates the colors, patterns and motifs found in the Villa’s architecture and expansive gardens. Gilbert’s work presents an array of imaginative and evocative landscapes and florals for visitors to explore.

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Immediate Release: March 7, 2023

Villa Terrace announces biennial exhibition celebrating contemporary craft

Features five Greater Milwaukee artists

MILWAUKEE — The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum on Milwaukee’s East Side returns to its roots with the exhibition “Mestiere Biennale” which surveys and celebrates contemporary craft in Greater Milwaukee.

“Mestiere” – Italian for craft – is a juried exhibition surveying contemporary craft in the region. Artists must exhibit mastery of their material discipline to be selected. This year’s exhibition was juried by Curator Laura Bickford of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and features the works of Abigail Edmonds, Sheila Held, Melissa Paré, James Smessaert and Michael Ware.

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For Immediate Release: March 1, 2023

Villa Terrace Art Museum Welcomes Artist in Residence:

Milwaukee Painter Cat Gilbert Joins the Museum

MILWAUKEE — The Villa Terrace Museum of Decorative Arts on Milwaukee’s East Side welcomes local artist Cat Gilbert as its newest artist in residence this March.

“I was immediately enamored with the space and the gardens [when I first visited the Villa],” says Gilbert who is thrilled by the opportunity to study the museum’s Italian-inspired architecture and gardens more closely. “As an artist in residence, I intend to document the Villa through the colors and patterns found in its architecture and abundant plant life and bring the stories of the space into play through these details.”

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For Immediate Release: Oct. 12, 2022

Midwest Artists Take Center Stage in New Exhibition at Villa Terrace Art Museum

Three Rising Artists Tackle Identity and Experiences in Sculpture

MILWAUKEE – The Villa Terrace Art Museum in Milwaukee is putting the spotlight on three young, rising artists for its contemporary sculpture exhibition, “Grounded.”

Exploring narratives of identity and relationships with space and socio-political systems, “Grounded” presents experimental and formal sculpture installations by artists Nick Drain, Sydnie Jimenez and Z Moralez. Moralez and Drain recently graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Chicago-based Jimenez is a Midwest transplant and a recent graduate of the School of the Chicago Art Institute.

“Grounded is a moment to recognize the importance of emerging artists,” says Senior Curator Phoenix Brown. “In their work, Sydnie, Nick and Z are seamlessly combining multiple modes of making to challenge the status quo and cement their narratives in history.”

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For Immediate Release: Aug. 31, 2022

Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums Announce Access Program for Low-Income Families

The Allis joins the Villa Terrace in Increasing Art and Museum Accessibility in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE  – Today the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums announced that they have joined Museums for All, a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits.

The program supports those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits visiting the museums. They will now receive free admission for up to four people to the Allis and the Terrace, with presentation of a SNAP electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card.

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